This past Saturday I spent the entire afternoon at the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles. I recognize that this statement is slightly misleading, as it has baffled some to think I was converting or something. To clarify, I was not there to abandon my Catholic roots, but to research my Italian ones. Those fun loving Mormons have a wonderful system of gathering documents and records and the like and then archiving them in their system at Family History Centers nationwide via microfilm/microfiche. The temple here in Los Angeles apparently has the second largest Family History Center outside of their Salt Lake City headquarters.
Marilyn and Barbara were my two wonderful research assistants that day. While they were dually impressed with my research thus far, they hoped they’d be able to help me finish off some loose ends I’ve been trying to tie up… mainly, when and where were my great-grandparents married???
To no avail, we found nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Please excuse my ho hum attitude. We did in fact find a few clues. Nothing substantial, but it is something. Here’s what I’ve found:
- Liborio’s brothers were living in Beauregard Parish at the beginning of WW1 and had filled out War Registration Cards. Not sure what this does for me…
- I found no record of Anna or Liborio’s families on the 1900 census in Texas or Louisiana. I did however, find a Bar**** Marcello (someone scratched out the last half of his name on the census report) with the same birthday and immigration date as my great-grandfather but living in New Haven, Connecticut. To note, he went by Barney when he moved to the states and listed Barney on all later census reports.
- Though I have no idea why Liborio would be in New Haven in 1900, I did find many other Marcellos living in New Haven as well. Perhaps they came through New York in 1892 and were living/working in the Northeast before migrating down south. Why his family would head to Deridder, Louisiana from New Haven is beyond me at the moment. But it’s a possible lead…maybe.
- Finally, my last clue. I found a family tree online that stems from my great-grandmother’s family, possibly a brother. I’m just not sure. Well, they had found a marriage certificate from 1903 in Dickinson, Texas. WHICH IS WHERE NONNA LIVED (before she became nonna)! Now, their last name could be common, how do I know it’s even the same family?! How? Well… linked to this marriage certificate, was a story about the groom Antonio. A story provided by his great-granddaughter who happens to be have the same surname as some of our cousins! Kind of a round about connection, but it at least tells me the Liggio family was celebrating weddings in Dickinson, and perhaps buried somewhere in Dickinson lies a marriage certificate that could be the key to my Italian Citizenship.
All in all, the Mormons didn’t give me any concrete facts on my direct family line. But they were very eager to help. And it’s possible I’ve been steered in the right direction.
I’m thinking it’s a good thing I left out the part of my history which includes impersonating Mormons in a New Orleans bar. They might have scowled and judged me. And then promptly kicked me out of their safe haven of family records.