One of my Dad’s hobbies is geneology. As far back as I can remember we’ve known that our family descends directly from both Davey Crockett and Oliver Loving. He’s done quite a bit of research on Oliver. More recently he’s been looking into his father’s (my grandfather’s) side, which we haven’t known as much about.
His efforts have gotten a boost from the information age. Hours of research on the web, combined with phone calls and vacations to key spots have filled in some major holes in our understanding.
One of the things that we’ve always thought was that our familiy name was Leonarducci. Not long after arriving in America, the family dropped the “ucci” from our name and no one ever bothered to change it back. Turns out we were wrong.
Recently his search turned up the records of several of our family members landing at the port in New York, including my grandfather, his mother, as well as several siblings, aunts & uncles. Their names were recorded as Leonarduzzi, not the Leonarducci as we had thought. That’s pretty cool.
Check out that record. It shows the date that they arrived, the ship they came over on, and the entire passenger manifest. We aren’t entirely certain of who this Leonarduzzi is, but we do know that we’re related. And, its still pretty exciting to learn exactly when one of the Leonaduzzi’s arrived in America.
We can’t account for the difference in spelling, other than to say that someone in the family incorrectly assumed the spelling of the name before it was changed. Learning of this difference unlocked a lot of other information. Last month my Dad and my aunt travelled to Iowa, which is where our family initially went when they arrived in the states. They found the graves of several ancestors and saw the spot where previous businesses owned by the family through the 1920’s and 1930’s had been. He also found several images of family members during that same era. Below is a photo of my great-great grandfather, Anthony Leonard, who lived from 1864 to 1943.
Learning about where we came from is fascinating. Learning of the interests of ancestors, what they did for a living, where in Italy they came from, how they dispersed throughout the United States, seeing pictures of their faces and the businesses that they ran. This is so cool.