Sunday, June 9, 2013
I am constantly amazed that a couple of generations away from the immigrant parents and grandparents, people that I meet cannot tell me where their family is from in England, Scotland, Ireland, or Italy.
My family, depending on whether we are talking about my mother's side or my father's side are sadly unaware of their roots.
We knew that we were from Sicily, or we were Canadian Loyalists or whatever, but the real origins are to me, a source of pride and interest. Often the kids are interested, but the parents pass on only vague stories about the family past. Indeed, in my Grandparents' case, they were a little ashamed of their "armpit of the earth" island, while they cherished their childhood experiences at the same time.
Well, Surprise, Surprise, we are not exactly Sicilian on my mother's side, and not just Loyalists on my father's. The stories are much more complex than that.
On my father's side, there is Irish, American Loyalist, hounded out of Pennsylvania and New York, and immigrants from the earliest of English migrations to New England. There are Welsh royalty, Norman French Barons, and Danish Vikings...a virtual tapestry of people and history.
On my mother's side, we are Sicilian, Arabic, Jewish, Spanish, Calabrian, Campagnian, possibly minor nobility, popes and cardinals....likely there were pirates, farmers, rogues, seamen, merchants, knights and heroes. And no, our most recent ancestors did not come from Sicily...Though we have Sicilian blood...if there is such a thing...we were from a small island north of Sicily called Salina, and the surrounding Aeolian or Eolian islands...Lipari, Panarea, Stromboli, Vulcano, Filicudi and Alicudi This too, is probably even more complicated that that!
Please read on...question older relatives unrelentingly before they die off...contribute stories and photos to this site... and teach the future generations about your family! Send information to the email address in my profile to the right.