A Reply from Pietraperzia
On April 29th I sent two letters to the town archivist in Prietraperzi and Tricastagni to request information related to three of my relatives, Giuseppe Viola, Francesco Faro and Concetta Pappalardo. The weeks passed by without getting a response from either town and my plan was to give them a full two months and the follow-up with them.
This afternoon I got home before Becks did and with her anniversay present in my arms I opened up the mailbox to see if anything interesting had arrived. Sitting on top of the otherwise boring mail was a letter from the Comune di Pietraperzia!
I grabbed the letter and ran inside the house filled with excitement. I let Jackson and Molly outside and walked back into the livingroom to open the letter. I attempted to temper my excitement by noting they may not have been able to find any information related to Giuseppe Viola and that inside was nothing more than a letter of regret. However, the optimist in me wondered why someone from Sicily would bother to reply if there was no useful information inside.
I carefully tore open the envelope and inside was a copy of the letter I sent them (Thanks again Bleeding Espresso!) along with two Extracts from the Register of Birth from the Comune di Pietraperzia! Each of them contained information for a Giuseppe Viola who was born in the city in 1882.
I could not remember my great-grandfather’s birthday so I ran to the computer and checked his World War I draft card that stated he was born on February 11, 1882. One of the birthdays listed for one of the Giuseppe Viola’s was February 9, 1882. The other Giuseppe’s birthday was in December and based upon the information I had, I determined that the February Giuseppe was my great-grandfather.
The really exciting part aside from learning my great-grandfather’s real birthday was that I found out the names of his parents who no one in my family knew. My great-great-grandfather was Antonino Viola and my great-great-grandmother was Maria Puzzo! Although they may only be names, they mean a lot to me because they are the first great-great-grandparents from Italy in my family tree from whose identities I know.