Most of my Italian American cousins come out more French than Italian, which is confusing, since I’ve researched most of Michele’s and Anita’s family lines back to Tuscany from at least the 17th century, and many lines much further—some even to the 1200s. I have found birth records for every Italian ancestor on the Italian side of the family going back to all 16 of my third great grandparents. Each one was born in the same valley in Italy, the Valdinievole (roughly between Lucca and Montecatini), or just a few miles away. All of the surnames are common to our little region of Tuscany. All of my first cousins should be approximately half Italian, but none test more than 11%. One tested 0 percent Italian and 45% French.
|Anna Giuntoli Hughes|
Still another cousin, now deceased, was born to Gabriella Montanelli of Montecarlo and Giuseppe Ferranti of Villa Basilica, both small towns in the province of Lucca. Her results: 44% French, 54% Italian.
Another sad result of the problem is that some people now wrongfully suspect their grandparents of infidelity. One of my cousins commented, “My mom and several of her siblings have had their results come back as French, with no trace of Italian. It has us all flummoxed. We we were thinking my grandfather must have had a different father (out of wedlock).”