In the year 2000, I visited my ancestral village of Longano (Province Isernia)
and found a woman who was 103 years old. It was awesome to meet a living person who co-existed with my great grandfather, Francesco Pallante, who was born in 1869 ! He left Italy for America in 1903. I asked if she knew him, or remembered what was going on in the village that year. But she was just slightly too young to remember that far back. Her son and his wife had the surname Pallante. They were not direct releatives, but they were delighted to show me around the village. Years before, in the early 1980’s, I had corresponded with the village priest (before the LDS created microfilms for this village). He helped me construct my Pallante family tree by mail. This priest was no longer there, but I remembered the name of a villager he had said was a direct relative of my Francesco. That man “Umberto”, showed me the house where Francesco was born. It sat empty but Umberto took care of it. There was a shovel propped up against the door, as if work there was done…… “gone to America”.
Outside the church where Francesco was baptised was a very old tree. Villagers thought it must have been just a very tiny sapling when Francesco left in 1903.