A retired lawyer "with a mind like a steel trap," Dad was a top-notch researcher with attention to detail and an innate desire to do no less than excellent quality work. Several years ago he had watched my mother complete her own genealogy project, learned the ins and outs from her, and then took off from there. He studied the book, Italian Geneological Records, by Trafford Cole, an American genealogist living in Italy, then arranged with Mr. Cole to do the necessary research there. I remember the day he showed me the wealth of photographed documents dating back to 1750, uncovered amongst voluminous archaic records, housed in obscure locations all over Italy. Dad combined these findings with the fruits of his own extensive internet research, in addition to stories told by his parents and other long-gone family members, and compiled a family history that is a joy to read, replete with beautifully crafted scrapbook pages.
Dad spent his days perfecting his craft: studying the work of other scrapbook artists, and then cutting, pasting, and assembling his own stories, photos and embellishments into elegant layouts. His favorite books were Scrapbooking Your Family History and Creating Keepsakes' Scrapbooking Family Heritage. He also loved translating the many documents and letters he assembled (painstakingly, with magnifying glass in hand, as many were handwritten and in dialectical Italian!).
Here are a few of my favorite pages:
These picture postcards are of my grandfather,
who was an officer in the Italian Cavalry during World War I.
After the war, Grandpa spent some time in a convalescent home, recuperating from influenza.
He was awarded three medals for his service during the war.
Grandpa emigrated to the United States in 1920.
Dad was able to find both a photo of the actual ship he sailed on
and an image of the ship's manifest, where he is listed with the other passengers!
Here Dad tells the story of how his parents met. It was love at first sight...literally!
These are Dad's maternal grandparents.
My grandfather's only brother, Pasquale also served during the war.
He later became a Fascist, spending some time in Egypt during the early 1920's...
...where he visited the newly discovered King Tut's tomb!
How cool it that?!
These are all Pasquale's own snapshots.
Dad photocopied each page, and then made over a dozen sets, which Mom finally compiled into scrapbook albums for each of us kids and grandkids, and some cousins of Dad's as well.
He was just starting to work on his own story, but was unable to complete it. I plan to finish it, with Mom's help...and Dad's blessing, I am sure.