Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Feast Of Assumption: The Tradition continues

The annual Feast of the Assumption Festival (also referred to informally as The Feast) is a four day Catholic street Festival centered around Holy Rosary Church on Mayfield Road near its intersection with Murray Hill Road in Cleveland’s  Little Italy neighborhood. Held annually since 1898, the Feast occurs around August 15th in concordance with the observance of the Assumption of Mary.  It includes a procession of a statue of the Virgin through the streets leading to the church, as well as a nightly mass.
My father's family lived in Little Italy and we celebrated the Feast every August! I have been attending the Feast every year of my life.  I am now continuing the tradition with my son, Michael who has also attended the Feast every year of his life so far. This was the 116th Annual Feast of Assumption and we had a great time! I hope this family tradition continues for many more years!
Three of my friends, me and my son Feast 2014

My best friend Patty, my cousin Michelle, the owner Nicole and me in the Smoke Shop
Me and my sister, Elena on the Holy Rosary church steps

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Great Grandmother Domenica Balzano

I never met my great grandma, Domenica because she passed away in June 1949 at the age of 70. When she was born on May 28, 1879 in Gallicchio, Italy, her father, Domenico Balsanio, was 43 and her mother, Filomena Sinisgalli, was 34.  At some point, her last name went from Balsanio to Balzano! She had two brothers and two sisters.
Her entire life was dedicated to having children and making lace!

In 1892, she arrived in New York at the age of 13 according to Ellis Island records, and lived in New York city until she married...
She married her husband twice!  First at the New York City hall on August 13, 1896 and then again at the Church of Madonna on October 4, 1896.  She was 17 when she married  her husband, Domenico Pasquale Giammaria and started to have children.  Their first son, Sarafino was born in 1897 and died in 1899.  Her first daughter, Maria Palma (Aunt Mary) was born in 1900.  She went on to give birth to six more children - Filomena (Aunt Flo), Guiseppe (Uncle Joe), Rosina (Aunt Rose), Elena Luisetta (my maternal grandma Helen), Assunta (Aunt Sue), and Alberto (Uncle Al).  Therefore, she was having babies between 1897 and 1920.
I know they had moved to Cleveland about 1903-1904 because Aunt Flo was also born in Cleveland, Ohio. My Great Grandmother is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio next to her husband.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

The one question that people always ask me, in regards to genealogy, is

How did you get started?

Today I will answer that question -

My maternal grandmother, Helen had a book in her home and it was her father's.  When I was about thirteen years old - I started to read this book and I found it very interesting (probably because it was in Italian and there was a very important list on Page 1)  It was like a register book to keep track of business receipts. My great grandfather owned a grocery store, so that made sense.
In this book, on Page 1,  written in Italian script was a list of all his children and birth dates and birth times.

We called it - "Grandpa's book" or the "Family Tree book" - It was very neat and precise... This is the "Book" that caused me to have an interest in my family heritage and it's what started it all for me! I am now the proud owner of this book! It's very old and falling apart but I am so thankful that my great grandfather, Domenico Giammaria wrote in this book and my Grandma Helen was the one child  that ended up with it!!

He continued to write about all his children's marriages and all his grandchildren too.  This is how I started my family tree, with his information. I'm sure he would be very happy to know that I continued his tradition of keeping track of his family!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday

My Great Grandparents - both born in Rionero Sannitico, Molise, Italy and died in Cleveland, Ohio. This grave is at Lakeview Cemetery. "Riposa in Pace"