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Families reunited after many decades

30 Jan

One of our satisfied customers from the United States took a trip to visit her ancestral village in Italy and to meet the new relatives Pallante Center for Italian Research had  located for her as part of a family tree research project. The relatives were then able to supply additional information about her family’s history. She writes:

“After meeting at the hotel for a while we drove to the home of a new cousin for lunch, wine, and grappa.  Once we drank grappa two sisters in their 90’s) started telling stories (or “tales” as Maria was calling them).  There was laughter, and rolling eyes from the older adults…… From your research, we knew about Concetta and Paulo but not about Raffaele and Giovanni!  ……Our translator questioned people on the street about another branch of the family, and as fate would have it, one of the people that we asked was Maria Assunta herself!  We took a walk down a country road, while eating  red and white grapes, two kinds of figs, green beans, red peppers, walnuts, dates, pomegranates’ figs…and for those of us who were unaware – and didn’t pay attention to the warning – ate a forbidden  olive right from a tree.  It was a magical trip!

Thank you for choosing Pallante Center !

22 Mar
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2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of our company. We are celebrating two decades of finding nearly 20,000 ancestors. Our customers have all been a joy to work with, and  have come from all over the world…Canada, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Australia, Ireland, UK, and South Africa! Their ancestors left from all regions of Italy.
Many of our researchers have experience stemming back more than twenty years. But 1997 is the year PCIR was formed. The center conducts research by various methods for each unique case. Sometimes the only method in a certain town, or earlier century, is to go to a church in person. In this case, we have a network of specialists  in Italy. Permission to access parish records is often available only to professionals.
PCIR has expanded services over the years. In 1997 we never imagined we’d be locating ancestral homes by drone! New services include Title Reports, original deeds, and locating heirs for inheritances. For a family tree, choose from a single session, mini tree, or a full book. Once a bit of your tree has been researched,  you’ll want to meet or correspond with new cousins in Italy. If you’re applying for dual citizenship, we can obtain  certified records from Italy. Or perhaps your interest is in obtaining old military records, primary source material for a book you’re writing, such as an old police report from WW2. Translators are available for any of these records.
How far back we can go depends on the availability of records that exist for your family’s ancestral town. (If you don’t know what town we can usually discover the town of origin.) We’ve been able to get into the 1500’s for many people who chose keep digging. But you are never locked into any contracts.
We look forward to helping you discover your family history !

Who is on your family tree in Italy?

26 May

Choose a three  or six month project, or stay to get a full family history book.  Afterwards we can search for living relatives in Italy!

Get started today on your Italian Family Tree !

We have been established for decades and have partners all over Italy.  What we need from you:

  • A solid starting point. (Tell us all you know about the line to be researched.)
  • Clear goals.
  • Copies of any documents you already have that pertain, with your application fee, or a deposit for a research session. We will then review what you have and determine the starting point. Sometimes the starting point is to discover the town of origin.

Please read our Testimonials page. It’s full of many wonderful comments from past customers who were delighted with our work !  We’ve even been endorsed on the Fox News website and Who’ Who !  You’ll get the most for your money here. We have found many thousands of Italian ancestors over the years !  Find the scroll down menu above and use the contact form to let  us know what town.

 

 

 

New! Aerial Video of Your Ancestral house and town!

19 Dec

Introducing our AWESOME new service ! Available for anywhere in Italy. We can provide a video (or aerial photos) of your ancestor’s house and town by drone (of about 10 minutes long).  Customized for your specific needs. Travel to the site fees apply. (Based in Central Italy). Starting at  $997

Sicilian translator needed for documentary film.

16 Sep

Interviews were conducted and filmed in Sicily for an upcoming movie documentary. Now a (preferably native-born and raised in Sicily) person is needed to translate into English– direct from the video. Applicants also need to be able to record time code as they go, so that the filmmaker is able to match to frame. The translator will watch video footage and create a transcript in English.  The transcription must be in sync with the video time code.  The film maker will later close caption selected  passages.  If you think you can do this, please contact us immediately !

Tour Guides in Sicily

9 Apr

The best private tour guide service for Sicily ! Customize your trip (from one person to a large group), visit your ancestral village, meet people by your surname (maybe even organize a private dinner event with them!). Visit your ancestral church, the cemetery,  stop at the town hall to get a vital record… and also visit any of regular tourists sites all over Sicily, with an English-speaking private escort! No need to rent a car (unless you prefer), but the tour guide will take you around on a carefree narrated private tour. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS.

http://TourGuidesInSicily.com/tour-guides-in-sicily/

We have a winner for our personal story contest !

9 Mar
The winner of our immigrant story contest is from Australia. It involves a stone mason from northern Italy, who went to Australia in the 1880s to teach convicts to make tombstones. The actual story will be published later on, as part of a larger project.

The winner is a man who was adopted when two years old, and spent a lifetime with an overwhelming desire to know about his birth family.  The story is full of many different twists and turns and unexpected surprises. It’s a compelling story of one man’s emotional journey. Ultimately, he found himself in pursuit of his Italian immigrant’s place of origin–though he never knew he was Italian!  His lineage has now been traced back several centuries–to an ancestor who first arrived in northern Italy from Sardinia !

A man who once knew pretty much nothing at all, now knows even the exact house where his immigrant to Australia was born in 1850. He was surprised to learn the month and day of birth, because his granddaughter shares the same birthday !  The family hopes to visit their ancestral town in Italy in the near future.  It was over 130 years ago when his ancestor, Giovanni made the decision to respond to an ad by the Australian government and move to a far away land.

Villarfocchiardo 7
The contest prize is 100 euros in cash !
_____________________

Winner of our Spring Recipe Contest !

1 Jun

Congratulations to Sheri Mignano of Petaluma, California is our newest winner.  She has won a cash prize of 100 euros, and a free genealogy document request!  Sheri’s ancestors came from Borgetto in Province Palermo, Sicily.  Her family handed down a recipe called Cuccidatti’s.  It was submitted for the St. Joseph’s Day holiday.

You can view the winning recipe entry at this link:

http:/www.pallantecenter.wordpress.com/recipes/recipe-contest-winner-may-2012/

Italian Easter Traditions

4 Apr

At this link,  you’ll find a typical recipe for traditional Italian Braided Easter bread with colored eggs stuck in it.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/braided-easter-egg-bread/

A question was asked of PCIR……

What is the origin of this Braided Easter Bread  tradition?

We asked a well-known professor of Italian Studies who said, “There is no answer, “origin unknown”. He also commented that bread is symbolic of life, a circle never ending, red eggs represent the blood of Christ.

A company in Sicily produced a documentary called “Holy Week in Ventimiglia di Sicilia” which mentions this tradition.  Here’s something about the context of this custom: 

Easter Saturday and Sunday

“Saturday is a day of silence; everyone is mute due to the absence of their Lord. The ritual of Easter Sunday begins late in the evening of Saturday with a solemn liturgy, the Easter Vigil.  The shadows, which seemed to triumph in the Passion of Christ, come to be pierced by the fire of the Easter candles, symbolizing the Risen Christ who triumphs over the powers of darkness. Now the costumes are completely changed into joyous garments. “Christ has truly risen and the hearts of the believers are filled with joy.” At midnight “si sciuogghinu”, the bells, are “untied” and a discontinuous and joyful peal announces the Rebirth. It is the passage of Our Lord from Death to life; the passage of man from the servitude of sin unto grace. It is the triumph of Good over Evil, of God over the Devil, of Life over Death.

 In the morning the festival bells call the faithful to celebrate joyously the risen Christ. After the Holy Mass, the ritual of the easter Supper takes place. Among the many delicious items of Calamignese food on the table, the traditional Easter sweets prepared the previous day by the skilled and hardworking women of the town are to be found; the “U pupu cu l’uovu” (the “doll with the [hard boiled] egg”) and “i palummièddi” (the “iced doves”) both sweetened with a rich glaze “a marmuràta” (or “marbleized”).

“Pupu cu l’uovu” photos by Ciro Grillo

 

For several years the festivities have continued celebrating the “Monday of the Angel.” Custom dictates that in Ventimiglia the so-called “pasquetta” or Easter picnic with relatives and friends be preceded by the early morning Easter procession with candles (the symbol of Christ risen). The procession leads out to the cemetery where the hope for the future resurrection of the dear departed is expressed.”

But what is the history of this Easter bread with the colored Eggs stuck in top?

To learn more, we asked a Sicilian food company. They are in agreement that the origin is unknown.  Sicily Good Foods, in Agrigento, Sicily did some research and sent this information: 

“La coddura o cuddhura , is a typical Sicilian cake, prepared before chocolate was known on the island (Sicily). The cuddura (from the Greek kulloura, meaning “corona”, in English “crown”), is a ring-shaped cake. In antiquity shepherds or wayfarer prepared it; and they slipped it on a stick, or the arm, and carried it around with them. It is typically a Sicilian cake, but also found in some areas of southern Italy. It is eaten through the Easter season. During the period of Lent, moderation is observed and meat, eggs, and cheeses are excluded from the tables, but with the arrival of Holy week, deprivations end, and eggs are used in the preparation of Easter cakes.

In Sicily, today it is still the more widespread Easter cake. Its origin is not sure. It is like a large circular cake with varied, but always uneven, with eggs incorporated, in their shells…predominantly red, to represent the blood and the suffering of Christ”. Young women used to give it to their fiancé on the day of the Resurrection.” “But the form of the cuddura is not only circular: they are prepared also in the form of “campanaru” (bell tower) to recall the tolling of bells for the risen Christ, in the form of “panarieddu” (little basket), to wish abundance, or of “gadduzzu” (clock or dove) for boys, “pupa” (doll) for the girls, and “heart” for beloved parents.

They assume various names according to the locality in which they are prepared, “campanaru” or “cannatuni” in Trapani, “pupu ccù the ovu” in Palermo, “cannileri” in Caltanissetta area, “panaredda” in Agrigento and Siracusa, “ccù cuddura the ovu” in Catania, “palummedda” in the south western part of the island) and various forms (little baskets, of doves, small horses, hearts).”

If your family has a tradition of making this braided Easter bread, or any other treasured traditions relating to Easter, we’d love to hear your comments on our Facebook page ! I will repost this blog there.

Interviewing Italian villagers

27 Jan

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.

                                   

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