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October 19, 2018

Genealogy – It’s what I do and have done for several decades. It is very interesting and informative to know a bit about your ancestors. These days it’s becoming essential.

We all seem to be at least a little bit curious about our family. From the great pool of humanity, where exactly did we come from? Why do we have blue or brown eyes? Who were these people who came before us? How did they live? What did they do with their lives? Why am I short or tall? These and a huge host of other questions are often answered in great part by studying our genealogy in some depth.

Especially in the United States, where virtually everyone has their roots somewhere else, genealogy has become important to all generations. Are we Italian, English, German, Greek, Spanish, French or what? The answers come slowly through patient research and often they don’t match those given to us by our direct family. Things get lost in the long parade of years and can only be straightened out by finding the facts through ardent research.

Another benefit of genealogy is the ability to learn about some of the medical indicators of your ancestors that might affect your own overall health. If for instance you have several ancestors in a row that had issues with the heart, it might be a good idea to keep a close eye on those factors regarding your own well-being. Likewise, a propensity toward diseases including cancer, diabetes and others can be discovered by looking closely at the causes of death of both your maternal and paternal ancestors. Even the incidence of twins can be predicted to some degree.

In my own case, I was told decades ago that my second great-grandfather was born in Switzerland. It didn’t make a lot of sense so I looked into the matter and discovered that he was born in what was once Austria (now Italy) but yes, he did work in Switzerland.  I tracked down other popular family myths and patiently uncovered the truths. No, my mother’s Byron family was not related to Lord Byron. The name was changed to Byron from Byrne when her distant ancestor came to the United States from Ireland.

Along the way, I found a few facts that were a little out of the ordinary. In looking at my great-grandparents’ marriage record, I noticed that the priest had noted in the margins that the bride was 8 months pregnant when she was married. This wouldn’t be big news today but in 1870’s Austria, it was huge news. I can imagine how the couple was ridiculed in their tiny village for having done the deed out-of-wedlock.

Over the years, I turned my hobby into a profession and I now do serious genealogy research for others. I specialize in American, German and Italian genealogy but I have done projects for people of all  backgrounds including Native-Americans. If you have an interest in your family’s past, get in touch here: I would be happy to give you a quote for my services which are very, very reasonable.

The coat of arms pictured above is that of my family in Cloz, Italy.

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  1. The research is endlessly fascinating, yes?!!


  2. Hmmm. Cloz. Does that translates as “klutz?” Very enlightening and enjoyable piece, Allen. 🙂


    • Actually Cloz is our old dialect for Claudious as the village was supposedly the summer home of Roman Emperor Claudius, who settled our valley under the Romans.


  3. Nice write up. Like you I have been curious about my family. Join me as the mystery continues.


    • I read your post. Like you, I have had to look closely at spellings and how names change when they are Americanized. Weiss (German for White) can be written several ways and often the spelling goes back and forth. I have had good luck in researching family neighbors and friends in Europe and seeing if they show up in census records near my target. Very often, they came into America together and not alone.


  4. Fantastico 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on allenrizzi.


  6. Hi Allen. My roots are German and one thing I discovered is that marriage was tightly controlled by the elders, so an out of wedlock birth wasn’t actually that uncommon. Permission to marry was decided by whether the elders thought you had the finances to start a household. I don’t know about the region for your ancestors, but maybe something similar was going on? Personally, I’ve been looking at whether my US ancestors owned slaves and what happened to the various individuals throughout the 1800s. I had thought all those records were lost in the civil war, but they weren’t! Yes, geneology can be fascinating for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So interesting when we find out the truth, isn’t it? How are you doing Allen? You are in my prayers daily for healing!

    Liked by 1 person

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