Wednesday, April 24, 2013

With help from a pro, I make another Spadoni family connection on last day

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Have you ever played a sport and thought you were getting pretty darn good, and then you went up against somebody who was really, really good?  And then you realized that you actually weren’t such hot stuff after all. Today I observed close up the vast difference between an amateur and a professional, only it wasn’t in sports and it wasn’t a competition. If it had been a contest, I would have been the loser for sure, but a very happy one anyway, because I ended up obtaining the information I have been seeking for many days.

I recognized last week that I was still far from my goal of finding out how the Alameda, California, Guido Spadoni family—which is also the family of the famous Italo and infamous Gino—is related to the other Spadoni families. So I sent an e-mail over the weekend to Andrea, the archivist who has helped me in the past. I told him that I would need his help at our next session at the church archives, because it would be the last time the archives were open before I had to leave (I leave Sunday).

It had taken me about eight sessions at the archives to go back four generations in this family line. True, I was also working on the Tacoma family line as well, plus trying to record the birth of every Spadoni I found in Ponte Buggianese, but now I needed to go back another four generations in a single two-and-a-half hour session. This called for the work of a real professional, and Andrea did not disappoint. With an hour or two of detective work on his part, he went back four generations further and found the link to the Spadoni family of Stignano. Since Carlo Spadoni has already compiled a complete family tree for the Stignano Spadonis, this ties everything together. Andrea, I bow down to your impressive abilities and thank you for your time!

So now we have connected five Spadoni family lines: Gig Harbor, Seattle, Tacoma, San Francisco and Carlo’s family here in Toscana. Even though the final work was done by Andrea, I still feel a certain sense of personal accomplishment. I played a small part, at least, by having the good sense to ask for his help again.

The San Francisco family is far removed from all the other ones I have found. It splits off from Carlo’s line in the late 1500s, and from my line in the late 1400s. I’ll try to summarize without going into too much detail. Francesco Spadoni, born around 1455 in Marliana, moved to Stignano and had two children, Michele (around 1480) and Bartolomeo (around 1490). The Spadoni families of Gig Harbor, Seattle and Tacoma descend from Bartolomeo, and Carlo’s family from Michele. Three generations removed from Michele, Domenico and wife Camilla gave birth to sons Giovanni (1605) and Pietro (1617). Carlo’s line follows Giovanni, and the Alameda Spadonis descend from Pietro.

In the 1600s, one member of each of these families moved to Ponte Buggianese, and I believe that possibly every Spadoni who has lived in that town is a part of one of these three branches of the family. This would explain why so many of the Spadoni families living in Ponte Buggianese have no idea how they are related, since the lines diverged so long ago.

It would be nice if I could say I was a close relative of the Alameda family, with whom I have established some friendly contacts, and with Italo Spadoni, who has a street in Ponte Buggianese named after him, but in truth we are very, very distant relatives. On the plus side, if you have read my blog entry about Gino Spadoni, maybe its just as well to say that we are not close relatives. But most of all, I am very content to have been able to tie all these families together during my last week here for this year.


  1. JUST. BLOWN. AWAY! Incredible!!!

    ~Diane (Italo's great niece)

  2. Once again, amazing work, Paul! So interesting! Now if I could figure out where my Chicago Spadoni's fit in! I may need to enlist Andrea's help for that! I know they are somehow connected to the Alameda Spadoni's but I'm just not sure how......

  3. Andrea would definitely be the best for this, as I lost the trail on your family in the early 1700s, but he has ways to find out where to look next. I hope you do, because I really want to add this in to the tree. There is another California Spadoni family that has contactws me, but I ran out of time and didn't even make a start on them this year.


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