Saturday, April 27, 2019

Finding more members of the great Spadoni family in Italy

Livio and me in his kitchen . . .
In the late 1800s, Francesco Spadoni, the brother of my great grandfather Pietro, moved from Pescia to Spianate, a little community just outside Altopascio, about eight miles south of Pescia. I knew Francesco had four sons, but many documents from Altopascio’s city hall are missing—I believe they were lost during World War 2—and I had been unable to locate any descendants.

and with Daniela in her kitchen.
Using the online white pages, I located Livio and Daniela Spadoni in Altopascio and paid them a visit a couple of weeks ago. With the information they provided, plus what I found in the books of baptism from the Spianate church, we determined that they indeed are the great great grandchildren of Francesco. They are brother and sister and live on separate levels of the same house. Although they are about my age, their late father Enzo is actually at the same level of descent as I and my numerous Gig Harbor first cousins. Enzo would be my third cousin, and Livio and Daniela are fourth cousins of my children (or my third cousins, once removed).

I was able to add their children, grandchildren, uncles and first cousins to the family tree we maintain on, fulfilling a goal I set about five years ago to track down descendants of some of Pietro’s many siblings. I’ve now located three family lines located in Italy and one in Chicago.

I also paid a visit today to Simona Spadoni, a Facebook friend born in Borgo a Buggiano. She had commented that she didn’t have many relatives living nearby and wanted to know how she was connected to the greater Spadoni family. With my large data base developed over the years, I was able to place her in the family tree without much difficulty, once she gave me the names and places of birth of her grandfather and great grandfather. Simona and I are on completely different sides of the tree, with our common ancestor, another Francesco Spadoni, born around 1455.
Tutti Spadoni. Front: Simona and Elisabetta. Back: Massimo, Paul, Lucy.
Most of Simona’s cousins emigrated in the early 1900s, some to Uraguay and others to the United States. The only other local Spadonis in her family line are her brothers Massimo and Giovanni and her sister Elisabetta and their children. She does have some contact with second cousins Cindy and Calvin Spadoni, born in Illinois.

Alexa Spadoni
Lucy and I met Simona at the home of her mom, Mirella Rosellini. I told Signora Rosellini that Alberto Rosellini, whose parents were born in nearby Chiesina Uzzanese, had been governor of Washington from 1957 to 1965. We also met Simona’s sister Elisabetta and her husband Sanzio Natali and their brother Massimo and his daughter Alexa.

They showed us photos of family members who had moved to other countries, and I gave them a printout showing their family tree dating back to our earliest known ancestor, Bartolomeo, born around 1430.

While it’s unlikely that we’ll have significant contact with any of these relatives in the future, I enjoyed the search, and as is my custom, I invited them to visit us in the United State should they ever get the urge. Some day one of our Italian relatives may even take us up on this offer.

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