Monday, December 2, 2019

Finding More of My Grandsons' Italian Ancestral Records - Updated!

After my success last week finding ancestral records for my grandsons' Delucchi family in Varese Ligure in La Spezia state (see Finding 1838-1859 Italian Records for My Grandsons' Ancestors), I decided I would try to find the "other side" of the family. 

1)  What I knew from what the family said, Giacomo "James" Sturla (1892-1974) married Stella Delucchi (1898-1996) in 1915 in San Francisco, California.  The family said that the Sturla line came from Lavagna, and that Giacomo's parents were Luigi Sturla and Maria Podesta.  Giacomo's birth date of 7 July 1892 was obtained from his California death record and Social Security record.  The family information said that Maria Podesta's father's name was Giacomo.

2)  Could I find Giacomo's birth record in Italy?  The FamilySearch Catalog has the following records for Lavagna in Genova state:

*  Italia, Genova, Lavagna. Stato civile : Tribunale, 1866-1939

**  Allegati (matrimony): 1866 to 1882, 1896, 1924-1941
**   Morti (death):  1866 to 1936
**  Nati (births):  1866 to 1939.

All of the microfilms have been digitized, and are available to me at home.

I chose the Nati 1892 link, and saw the 174 digitized images for this record set as thumbnails:

I figured that since Giacomo was born on 7 July 1892, that I would start at image 90 of 174.  That record was a birth on 10 August, so I overshot with my estimate, assuming that Giacomo's date is correct and the records are in date order.  I quickly found Giacomo's birth record on image 77:

UPDATE: The date of the birth record says "undici" and "Juglio" which is 11 July, so the birth date on the US records is wrong (?).  and the 7th line down says "del di sette del corrente mese" which translates to "of the seventh of the current month"; so the US records are correct - the birth date is 7 July 1892.  

The father's name is "Sturla Luigi" and he is age "ventinovei" or 29.  His occupation is "contadino" or farmer, and he resided at No. 18 Via Rezzio in Lavagna.  The mother's name is "Podesta Marianna di Giacomo" and I don't think an age is given (I can't read the written words well).

So Giacomo's birth record shows his parents are Luigi Sturla and Marianna Podesta, daughter of Giacomo, which is what I knew from the family records.  Now I have a record image to show my grandsons and son-in-law!

3)  Can I find Marianna's birth record?  Her birth date from the family records was 1867, so I looked through 314 images for her in the Nati 1867 record set without finding her (that took about an hour).  I went to the 1868 records, and found her on images 271 and 272 of 325 (she is the bottom record of image 271):

I struggled to read what it said since it didn't use the printed form, especially finding the names of the parents.  So I went to the Italian Genealogy group on Facebook, and asked for help with the parents names and birth date.  Within 30 minutes of posting the link to the record, I had a response from Frank Santoro:

"Father Giacomo (son of the late Tommaso and Margherita Lertora); mother Catterina Campo/Campa/Campi. Date of birth 3 Oct."

In addition, Maria's birth name was Maria Nicoletta Podesta, and the parents were from Santa Maria di Monticelli commune.  Luigi was age 45 and Catterina was age 44, and I think Catterina's father was Lorenzo.  

UPDATE:  After several readings, I think Catterina's last name is Canepa rather than Campa.  I see that the date of the record of Maria's birth was 6 October, and I finally found Maria's birth date of 3 October "tre corrente" in the 7th line of the second image above.

Unfortunately, there were no sidebar notes on Maria Podesta's birth record which might indicate a marriage date or location, so it's possible that she did not marry Giacomo Sturla in Lavagna.  

Unfortunately, the birth records for Lavagna start in 1866, and Luigi's birth date is about 1863 (from his age at Giacomo's birth), so those records are not available on FamilySearch.  

However, there should be birth and marriage and death records in the church records, but they are not available on FamilySearch or Antenati.

4)  I have not looked for the marriage record of Luigi Sturla and Maria Podesta yet, it is probably between 1886 and 1890, and there are probably other children of the couple.  No one else has put these persons in FamilySearch Family Tree until now, so that is no help.  Their marriage record may tell me their parents names (but I already know Maria's parents and grandparents names). 

From their ages, Maria's parents married between about 1842 and 1866, and those records are not available on FamilySearch.

5)  I wondered about the size and location of Lavagna.  Wikipedia told me that " is a small town near the city of Genoa..." with a 2012 population of 12,510 and an area of 5.3 square miles.  It is east of Genoa on the Mediterranean Sea.

I wondered how Lavagna was pronounced so I used Google to find out - it is "la-von-ya" (a silent 'g') and means "blackboard").

Here is a Google map showing Lavagna and the surrounding area:

Genoa is just off the map to the left on the Sea.  Lavagna is outlined in red on the sea on the right side of the map.  In the red ellipse about 3 miles north of Lavagna is Santa Maria di Sturla.  Is this the Sturla home village?  Is Santa Maria di Monticelli the church in this village?  

I found no church or civil records on FamilySearch for Santa Maria di Monticelli in Genova state.

Santa Maria di Sturla has about 60 residents, and is 38 meters above sea level.  The church was completed in 1700:
There is also a San Pietro di Sturla village nearby.  Sturla is also a neighborhood in Genoa with a fine beach.  .

6)  This was more genealogy fun for me.  I love exploring records and finding places on maps.  If this were my ancestry, I would find a BnB in the Lavagna area and go exploring.  I think I will leave that to my grandsons, their father, and his cousins to work on!

UPDATE:  9 p.m. 2 December:  Reader Zio corrected my birth date for Giacomo Sturla.  Thank you Zio!!


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Zio said...

Randy... Giacomo's birth is actually July 7th and is recorded on the 11th of July.

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Zio,

Thank you for the correction. I couldn't read the Italian of course and thought the 11th date was the birth date. My mistake!

I see "sette del corrente mese" in the 7th line so that's the actual birth date I think.

I will correct my post and add that information to it.

Regards -- Randy

Zio said...

Hi Randy,

Happy to help and glad to see some Italian genealogy related blog posts. You have it correct now.

Ciao... "Zio" [Uncle]