Paul and Lucy Spadoni periodically live in Tuscany to explore Paul’s Italian roots, practice their Italian and enjoy “la dolce vita.” Paul is the author of "An American Family in Italy: Living La Dolce Vita without Permission," an Amazon bestseller.
All work is copyrighted and may not be reprinted without written permission from the author, who can be contacted at www.paulspadoni.com
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 Ancestry.com, 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
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
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.