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"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday

My "Step" Great Grandfather, Antonio Gennarro D'Amore and his first wife Rosina. He was the second husband of my Great Grandmother, Filomena Sinibaldi Pinto.  They were both widowed from their first marriages. These graves are at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. "Riposa in Pace"

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Grandpa Tony

My maternal grandfather was born in Busso, Campobasso, Italy in December of 1905.  He was baptised in 1906 in the same town.   When he was 14 years old, he arrived at Ellis Island with his family. He departed Italy from Naples and arrived in America on October 19, 1920. According to the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, he was traveling with his mother, Filomena and two brothers Mario and Angelo.  They were in route to Cleveland, OH to see their Aunt. His parents had another son named Richard after they were in Ohio.  Therefore, my grandpa was the oldest of the four boys. In November 1929, he married my grandmother - Helen.  They were married at Saint Marian Catholic Church in Cleveland, Ohio. My grandfather was a bricklayer and eventually owned his own business called "Pinto Chimneys and Incinerators." He and Helen raised three children - my mother being the youngest.  I spent lots of time with my grandfather. My best memories were when we were sharing a meal that my grandma had prepared and we would sit at the kitchen table together and talk. He would always make me and my sister laugh! In his older years, after retirement, he would walk to the Racetrack and when he would win - he would give us both money!!  He also loved to sit in his white leather lounge chair in the living room and watch Golf! He was a very good looking guy and always dressed sharp.  He was very sociable and had many friends.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Grandma Helen

Anthony & Tony Pinto November 16, 1929

My maternal Grandmother, Helen Louise Giammaria