Research Done to Expand the Family Tree
Mass mailing of Australia 2000
When I left
Vasto back in 1998 I recall I talked to an Alfonzo Pietrocola, my father’s
first cousin, but never met, and he told me an odd story about his life. I told
me he was originally from Vasto and moved to Australia.
In Australia he
worked, got married, had children, saw his grandchildren, and then for some odd
reason he moved back to Vasto. I believe his wife had past away and I guess he
wanted a change in his life. Anyway, I met Alfonzo Pietrocola at his home one
day. He was in bad shape, physically, but he still was a nice person. I recall
we were talking and I mention to him where did he live in Australia?
He told me that he lived in Perth, Australia
and that is where most of his family was living at the time.
In 1999 I
started to work in the family tree using a program called Quark. I recall how
there was a huge section of the family tree where Alfonzo Pietrocola’s family
should be located on the tree, but was not there. So, I used the internet and
found an Australian telephone book. I typed in the name Pietrocola and there
were a few Pietrocola addresses in the Perth
area. I then copied and pasted the
addresses out and made mailing labels. Then I typed up a letter explaining who
I was and my work in expanding the family tree. I sent the letters out and in a
few weeks the email responses started to arrive in my computer. I recall one of
my first emails was from a James Pietrocola and before you know it more and
more email started to come from other people from Australia.
But, what was the real prize was Australian part of the family to contribution
of names, dates, and other family information for the family tree. By the end
of the summer I was able to add more names of the family tree and mailed the
Australian part of the family a copy. To this day I still exchange email and
pictures from Australia
and I have met two of then in their travels in the United
Mass mailing of Argentina,
and the United States.
great success in discovering family members in Australia
I thought I try the same technique in locating distant relatives in other parts
of the world. On the internet there are numerous phone books of different
countries around the world. I knew that many Italians immigrated out of Italy
and did not necessarily go to the United States
or Australia. I
knew that there were large populations of Italians in Argentina,
and other parts of the United States.
So, I used the phone books on the internet to locate other family members who
had the name Pietrocola. But, the hard part was translating a letter into Portuguese
and Spanish for the countries in South America. Luckily,
at school that I teach, there were some other teachers who spoke Portuguese and
Spanish to help me translate the letters I sent to South America.
Also, I used the online internet translation websites to help me translate the
email that started to come back from the different countries and different
parts of the United States.
there was not much success in on finding distant relatives in different
countries and other parts of the United States.
First, many letters came back with a message saying that the people who I sent
the letter to did not live at that address. Or, there were many people who
properly received the letter, but were not interested in responding to some
lunatic in the United States
asking about their family. But, some people did respond. I even received a
phone call from a man in New York State.
He had the name Pietrocola, but came from a different town in Italy.
Nice man, he even invited me to his house in the country. There were a few
responses from Argentina
These people were very nice and considerate to help me find if we were related.
The few people that did respond did give me the names and dates of past
relatives that had the name Pietrocola. I found it amazing that some of these
people even sent me photos of their past relatives. But, what was puzzling was
that a lot of these people with the name Pietrocola came from different parts
of Italy. Many
of these Pietrocolas came from towns like Casalbordino, Collidimezzo, and other
small towns around Vasto. Once I had the names, date of birth, and the town
name I then went back to the Mormon Church that had the “The New York Family
History Center.” I was hoping that I would be able to see if these questionable
descendants came from Vasto, moved to other parts of Italy,
and then moved to other parts of the world. Unfortunately, the archives at the
Mormon Church only cover certain dates and certain towns in Italy,
and therefore I could not make a family connection. On the other hand, there
was on person that had a relative that came from Vasto. There was an Andres
Pietrocola from Argentina
that had past relatives that came from Vasto, but the archives at the Mormon
Church did not have the data to make the connection to his family. The only way
I will find that connection will be in Vasto. There were a lot of dead ends. I
recall after this fiasco getting a Christmas card from Brazil.
Funny, how I could not make the connection to this person’s family and he had
the kindness to send me a holiday greeting.
Postings on the Internet. 2001
On way I
did make some headway in 2001 was by postings on the internet. There is a website
called the “Abruzzo 2000.” This website had a genealogy section where you can
post your message under a town in Abruzzi,
Italy. I did receive
some messages from people that came from other parts of Italy with the name Pietrocola, but most were not related due to the fact that they did not know past ancestors and where their family originated. But, I did get an email from a Victoria Pilgrim and later her father, an email from Enrico DiMarco. It turns out that Enrico DiMarco knew my grandmother, grandfather, and other members of my family. But, how he was related was another piece of a puzzle that I wanted to solve. He gave me the names of the decedents that were had the name Pietrocola, but they were not on the family tree. I turns out that the family tree that was given to me in Vasto has a lot of people missing. Once again, I went back to the Mormon Church and finally I made a connection in the puzzle. I turns out that the relatives that were Pietrocolas and were related to Enrico DiMarco were related to my great-great grandfather. I recall going to his house in New
York State and we
had a great time talking about the family. I gave him a copy of the family tree
and the birth records of grandmother. Another contact that came from a posting
on the internet was from a Laurel Santa Maria in Buffalo,
New York. It turns out that one of her descendants
came from Vasto, but in a different way. Her family came from Vasto, and then
moved to Ancona, Italy,
and then parts of her family moved to New York.
This story proved the theory that some Pietrocolas moved out of Vasto to other
parts Italy and
then moved to other parts of the world. We were able to add more relatives to
the family tree and I sent her a copy of the family tree. I also was able to
meet one of her cousins that lived in New York City.
I recall I met Maria Colamarino in a restaurant in the Bronx
on Arthur Avenue. We shared
information on our families and we had a great time. I even gave her a copy of
the family tree.
help of my good friend, John Carlson, a website designer, I was able to put
together a website that has the address called www.pietrocola.com. I was able to change
family tree from a Quark file to a huge jpeg file. In order to promote the
website I contacted several websites that would help put the website in a
better standing if someone used a search engine to find my website. But, to
really promote the website you had to spend money, which I did not do. I order
to help get the word out I even posted my website on the internet at several
genealogy websites. But, by just having a website people started to visit the
website and I did make some contacts. One funny incident was when my Uncle
Joe’s stepson, who I have not seen in over thirty-five years, contacted me.
Steve Gompertz lives in Minnesota
and we were able to talk about our families over email. But, another big
success was the contact of Roberto Tupone in Rome,
Italy. It turns out that
Roberto had distant relatives that were on my family tree and he even had a
website on his family that had distant relatives that were on my family tree. I
was able to add about four more members to the family tree. Roberto even sent
me pictures of a book on the Rossetti’s that written in 1904.
Pietrocola email search and Pietrocola Goggle search 2004
family search was made through the internet. I did not have the time to go to
the Mormon Church or do a mass mailing to other relatives. So, I tried to find
people with the name Pietrocola on the internet and I was able to do it at home
and promote the Pietrocola website. First, I tried using email search engines
to find anybody with the name Pietrocola. It turns out that a lot of these
emails I found through the email search engines did not even work. A lot of then were closed down and did not receive
mail. Second, was using the website Goggle to find distant relatives. I typed in
the name Pietrocola in the Goggle website and Goggle came up with over two
thousand websites with the name Pietrocola. I then painstakingly went through
the first seven hundred websites. To me it was better than watching television.
The idea was to find a Pietrocola with an email address on the website and then
email a letter about the Pietrocola website.
out I made a few contacts with some people who were interested in finding out
if we were related. Most did not know much about their family and we could not
make the connection. A lot of the people that responded came from different
parts of Italy
other than Vasto. I even was able to contact the people in Argentina
and Brazil that
I contacted back in 2001 mass mailing to South America.
But, I did make a big connection with a teacher from Rome named Giorgio Pietrocola. It turns out that Giorgio family was from Vasto, he had records on his past relatives, and he even had a family tree website on the internet. He is a generous man and he gave me names, birthdates, and other information on his family members that I added to the family tree. Another big contact was from a person named Diane Pietrocola who lives in Las
Vegas, Nevada. She had a
website on selling her toy dolls and I was able to get her email address. It
turns out she was related to Laurel Santa Maria and Maria Colamarino and that
part of the family tree. Diane Pietrocola gave me information on her family,
which I added to the family tree, and in 2004, Maria Colamarino met her in Las
Vegas when Maria went on vacation in Las
A part from
making some contacts with distant relatives it was odd going through all those
websites and seeing the name Pietrocola and not knowing if you are related to
not. I recall seeing Pietrocolas that were doctors in the United
States and Brazil,
soccer player in Argentina,
musicians in Italy,
and there was even a guy named Pietrocola that made websites in Argentina.
But, I was able to contact member of my immediate family that I never really
knew. I contacted a second cousin that was selling my Uncle George’s artwork on
the internet. I never met him, but we were able to send each other email on the
internet. One funny incident was when I sent an email to a person in Italy. But it turns out that the persons name, Salvatore Pietrocola, was the name of a school that was named after him. Someone at the school wrote me an email and explained my mistake, but did give me some information on Salvatore Pietrocola.