I have been bitten by the geneology bug.
It all started about 2 months ago with an innocent conversation in the office. Dale, a woman with whom I have worked for years, turns out to be a serious geneologist who has traced all the branches of her family back to the dinosaurs, and now actually does research for other people. I told her how my Dad's Italian family seems to end with his grandfather coming to America somewhere in the early teens. Legend has it "they didn't come through Ellis Island", I said. Well, she said, Ellis Island was just one point of entry. There were many! He could have come in anywhere. New Orleans, apparently, was a big point of entry for many Italians during that era. Well, I thought, how hard is this going to be, as another family legend is that my maiden name, Garcea, is supposedly very rare and there are only a few of us in America (and since my brother only has girls, possibly is a dying name)?
One simple search on Ancestry.com showed me that there are thousands of Garceas in Washington State alone! Washington! Who woulda thunk? We always believed that there might be a few Garceas in the Chicago area, and the few of us here in California (oh, and my bro in AZ), but that was it.
I have since made contact with cousins on both sides, some who I'd met years ago, some who are completely new to me.
I have been able to give my dad his Grandfather's name: Rosario Garcea. I have determined from census records that his wife's name was possibly Mary Procopio. I say possibly because I haven't any solid proof yet, like birth or death certificates, marriage license, etc.
Oh, and Rosario DID come through Ellis Island! So much for family lore.
Next post: A little about the Sturtevants, Montagues and Bordens, oh my!