"Liza's Helpful Hints in Finding her cousins in Italy"
Due to the abundance of mail I get each day from all of
you wanting to know how to find your cousins in Italy, I
have come up with these helpful hints that helped me find
my cousins in Italy. My Webpages have generated a lot of
So, here is a compilation of Liza's ideas that helped me
find my cousins in Italy. I can not guarantee that you
will find your cousins by using these ideas, but, I can
share with you how I found mine.
I do my research different than most people. I feel
everyday that goes by is a precious day that is less
in knowing an elderly cousin. I look for people who are
alive and then work my way back in time, through family
history and old photographs.
Sometimes your family you find has little to share as far
as dates, but, pictures are just as valuable, at least they
are to me.
I thought that just because my cousins live in Italy,
that they should know all the family history. But, I have
found that I know more then they do living clear in another
country many thousands of miles away.
Here are Liza's Hints that found her cousins in Italy
1.)REGISTRY OFFICES-I wrote to the registry office in the
city where my grandfather was born. I had to send money
(cash) in with the request.
2.)FAMILY CERTIFICATES-Once I got my family certificates
back from the registry office, I wrote one complete letter
of all of my family information and claims.
3.)ENGLISH OR ITALIAN-I thought it was a good idea to write
a version in english on one side and a version in italian
on the other side. Between the 2 letters, my cousins would
get the complete idea of what I was searching for and what
I expected from them (to find my cousins).
4.)THE WHITE PAGES FOR ITALY-On my main cover of my italian
genealogy webpages, I have a link that says"Liza's favorite
italian genealogy links." The second button down after
entering that page is the telephone white pages for all of
Italy. I put my surname and city in these blanks and pulled
up everyone with my surname and started writing. Yes, there
was over 400 DiCredico's in Italy.By clicking on a specific
name,a person can obtain a zipcode, telephone number and
address of each person to write to them.
5.)ADDRESSING LETTERS-When I address a letter to Italy, I
always write the name of who it's to like this:
***Per Liza DeCredico e famiglia*** This way if a family
member is deceased that you were originally writing to,the
other family members will open the letter instead of return-
ing it back to you. My letters looked like this as an
example> Per Mr.Palatta e famiglia
77100 Vasto (Chieti)
6.)SENDING LETTERS-When I mail a letter I always send it
"AIRMAIL." You pay for it and if you don't specify how you
want to send it to the postmaster, he can send it either
air or ground. Air takes 7 to 14 days and Ground takes
1 month to 6 months (depending on the month it is mailed).
7.)POSTAL COUPONS-I have bought postal coupons to put in
my letters, however my cousins have said they are useless
in some cities.
8.)INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDERS- I have also taken time to
order many $5.00 money orders to send for my family
certificates. I have paid $7.00 to 10.00 per certificate
to get them changed from American money to Italian Money
Orders. Then, after I send them with my request to Italy,
they send them back, not wanting to collect any money for
the family certificates. Then when I got to cash them in
at the bank, the bank wants to charge me another $7.00 to
$10.00 (each money order) to exchange them from Italian
money orders to American dollars. I have a lot of italian
money orders in my scrap books.
9.)SENDING CASH TO ITALY-My letters I send to Italy and get
from Italy have had the bottom of the letters cut out like
in the shape of a v or u. The money is removed. I have many
ways to solve this problem. One of them is to insert foil
as big as the letter, inside the envelope. THis makes it
almost impossible to see in the letter to trace cash money.
(This is what I have been told from friends).
10.)ITALIAN TRANSLATOR PROGRAMS-I do use a translating
program. However, my cousins have complained that they are
unable to understand some of the phrases, that I write.
No program can take the place of a human person but for
myself, I have no schools around me to each me. So, I have
learned one word at a time. A translator program for your
computer is very handy when you have to keep communicating
with your cousins in Italian and you don't know their
11.)DiCredico's and DeCredico's-When I write to people that
have my Italian Surnames, I always keep their research they
share with me filed in a book labeled with the surname on
it. I use the plastic liners from a store and keep it at
my finger tips for easy access. Just because their research
might not match now, it may match with yours 100 years ago.
12.)CREATE YOUR OWN WEB PAGES-I have had so many people with
my surname write to me. The web pages have been wonderful!
You can produce a web page from page editors. You can pick
out things to write and put on your pages and press the
button and it is done. Not to hard.
13.)ITALIAN SURNAMES AMERICANIZED-I kept in mind that MOST of
my Italian Relatives Surnames were Americanized when coming
into the United States during immigration times. Most of
my relatives that were italian couldn't write or speak
the english language, therefore left little emotion to try
and defend their families "TRUE" Italian Spellings.
14.)ITALIAN SURNAMES VARIATIONS-I put the first few letters of
Italian surnames in the white pages. For example, the name
Parenti,I found that if I submit the first few letters such
as "Pare" in the italian white pages, many different names
came up that could of been my surname because of the wrong
name written down during immigration. If someone is having
a hard time researching a line, this may be the cause,
I would keep an open mind to all the spelling variations
that come up in the white pages for Italy on the internet.
I found Parenti,Parente,Parenta and more.....
15.)CHRISTMAS PRESENTS TO ITALY-I send all of my Christmas
presents in October,including Christmas cards. This has
guarenteed me that all my Christmas presents are arriving
to all my cousins in plenty of time.
16.)POSTAL EXPENSE ON POUNDAGE-I have found that the cheapest
way to send packages to Italy is in 2 pound packages. This
goes for small package partial cost. From the cost it is
really easier to send cash for presents. But, this is the
most economic way if you have to send a small package to
a loved one in Italy.
17.)INTERNATIONAL WHITE PAGES-With seaching the internet I did
find photo pages for many different countries.I wrote to
EVERY family in EVERY country with my Italian surnames. It
is possible to find cousins in Canada,Australia,Argentina,
United States,Other parts of Italy and more countries.Keep
and open mind.
18.)SEND A PHOTOGRAPH-With my first letter to Italy, I tried to
always send a wallet sized photograph. This creates a first
bond with you and your cousins. On my first trip to meet my
cousins in Italy, I seen my Photo in a frame at EVERY house
so much more special.
19.)SOUND INDEX CERTIFICATES-A person can go to the Family
History centers located all over the United States. A person
can order by sound index,all the films with their Italian
Surnames. For example if I was looking for DiCredico in the
city of Chieti, I could go to the church, order the films by
sound index through the church. Photocopy all that pertain
to your family you are researching.
20.)SOUND INDEX CERTIFICATES MATCHING-My couisn Joseph went to
the Family History Center and researched one surname in his
family. For example he searched Pietrocola, he ordered the
films for all one surname for all one city, photocopied all
of the certificates on the films, took all of these home and
pieced them all together. He has built quite an empire of
information.(Thanks to Joseph for sharing this tip).
21.)SEARCH ENGINES-There are tons of Search Engines on the
internet. Some are Italian search engines. I put my surname
of in each one and wrote to all the persons in each web page.
22.)CREATE A PAGE DEDICATED TO ALL WITH YOUR SURNAMES-I have
created web pages for ALL of the families with the surnames
of DiCredico and DeCredico's to sign. Once placing the
surname of DiCredico or DeCredico on my pages, the search
engines sweep that information up and offer it to all the
persons researching that surname. Many families have found
me this way and signed my guestbook.
23.)CREATE AN EMAIL PAGE-If you find other families with your
Italian Surnames and want their addresses posted for others
to contact them as well, then start a email page of all the
people whom have your same interest. I would get permission
from each family first,before posting their information
24.)EMAIL SEARCH ENGINES. I have listed these on my favorite
genealogy links.I put the Italian Surnames in each engine
and wrote to all of the people with my surnames.
These helpful hints were listed on this page to share with other
people searching for their lost families as I am. These are not
to be linked to or reproduced in any way. Prosecution will be
followed for stealing my information on my web pages. Please
write for permission pertaining to my ideas. Liza DeCredico
UPDATED ON December 1999
I am not liable or responsible
for anyone using my ideas, these are hints that I experienced
and it was requested of me to share the steps I took to find my
family to help that other's may succeed from my true life