Journey to Discovery

So, now that I had these documents, I couldn’t wait to get started. My organizational skills kicked in and I grabbed my coding sheets to begin my flowchart. And of course this led to many unanswered questions.

So, I called Mom and started the cross-examination about the documents and family. My mother was a woman of very few words, especially about the family. Since she had sent me her fathers’ death certificate, I asked where he was from in Italy. She said “Papa came from Messina”. Ok. Messina is both a city and a province in Sicily.

I did some research and found some tools to help with my next step.

  • I found the address for the Stato Civile in the Comune of Messina that accepts requests for birth, death and marriage extracts.
  • I then went to the Latter Day Saints web site to obtain a form letter for my request. I started out with a basic one but then began tweaking it to add the information I had.
  • I then found a translation web site called Babelfish to help translate my Word document into Italian. This was before Google translate existed.

So, I sent my letter to Messina, Sicily, Italy. In addition, I went to the Italian White Pages, and searched for folks with the surname Cottone in Messina. I then did a mass mailing to all these folks asking if they were related to my grandfather. Yes, I know, a search for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Two weeks later I received a reply stating that they had no record of my grandfather, Francesco Cottone.

I called Mom and she said “Maybe Margaret could help”. Ok, but who is Margaret? Margaret was Carmela’s daughter-in-law. Ok, but who is Carmela? Carmela was Grandpa Cottone’s sister!!! Really?? Why didn’t I know this?

So, Mom gave me Margaret’s phone number in upstate NY. Before I would call Margaret, I called my older (by 8 years) sister Laurie. She said that she, Mom and Dad would “go up to the farm” to visit Aunt Carmela before I was born. So, I told Laurie that I was going to call Margaret, introduce myself and ask if we could visit.

Road trip………

2 thoughts on “Journey to Discovery”

  1. THANK YOU FOR SENDING THIS MASTERPIECE!! YOU MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE TO START THIS JOURNEY. YOU HAVE THE POWER ….AND THE SKILLS TO OPEN YOUR HEART AND MIND TO ALL LIFE HAS TO OFFER. NOW, TAP YOUR POWER AND FOLLOW THAT DREAM!!!
    LOVE YOU…Joycemarie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *