Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pizza with another distant relative

Tuesday, April 01
It’s an easy thing to search online for Spadonis who live near us in San Salvatore. It’s another thing to muster up the courage to call on them. I know that two brothers of my great grandfather Pietro Spadoni moved near San Salvatore 130 years ago, and they each had three sons, so it would seem that there must still be some Spadonis around who are not that far removed on the family tree. Two weeks ago, Elena made a phone call for me and we met with Fausto Spadoni of Montecarlo, who was not a descendent of either of Pietro’s brothers. Tonight Lucy and I went out for dinner at Pizzeria La Favola Mia in Chiesina Uzzanese, owned by Leonello Spadoni, without the aid of a translator.

I hoped that the owner would be there, and he arrived just as our pizzas where being served. He sat with us, and I explained how I had been researching the family’s origins. Of course, most of the hard work had been done by Carlo Spadoni, and I showed Leonello the pages detailing how the first known Spadoni came from Marliana, and then how brothers Bartolomeo and Michele had each founded large families in Stignano before later families moved to other communities in the Valdinievole. We enjoyed a short but pleasant conversation, and we were both mildly disappointed to learn that we weren’t closely related. Leonello’s father and grandfather were born in Ponte Buggianese and didn’t match any names that I have in my files.

I took down the name of his grandfather (also Leonello), and I will eventually find out how we are related, although I may not make it that far this year. I still have about eighty years of records to examine before I finish my work at Ponte Buggianese and move on to another city. Lucy and I enjoyed a great pizza dinner and the chance to chat with a newly discovered distant relative—and to top it off, when we went to pay, Leonello said the dinner was on the house. Ah, those Spadonis are such gracious people!

Footnote: Leonellos father and I are fourth cousins. Leonello is one generation removed, so he is my fourth cousin, once removed, and he is the fifth cousin of my four children. Put another way, our common ancestor is my great great great grandfather Francesco Spadoni, born in 1759 in Ponte Buggianese and married to Maria Galli.

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