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Success Stories

On the eve of going to London for the excellent talk by Professor David Green on the ‘Italians in London’ I checked with the society website to ascertain whether the ongoing census transcriptions had any information relating to my Italian ancestors by the name of Viscardini. Much to my delight three entries had been found in the 1851 census at an address in Whitechapel, London.

As the talk was held at the Family History Centre I was able to use the information to select the relevant microfiche of the Census return. This recorded a household containing fourteen males, all born in Italy and giving their occupations as Looking Glass Frame Makers. Within the list I was able to identify three of my relatives, my great-grandfather, his younger brother and an older relative. Of interest was that there was only one female living in the house and her occupation was given as ‘domestic servant’!

This is the earliest reference to my family that I have found and I would like to express my thanks to the members who are working their way through the census returns to enable others to gain information relating to their past.

Member 128/J  

October 13, 2004

Dear Julie, just to say a belated Thank You for putting John Simpson in touch with me after he saw my details on the AIFHS website. He has been researching the Sersale family for some time and was able to give me valuable information on our shared Italian ancestor. We have had a wonderful time sharing family history and found we are 4th cousins. It was interesting to know that John is the co-editor of the Oxford English  Dictionary. However, neither of us has been able to shed any light on Antonio's life and family before he came to England during the Napoleonic Wars ,from Naples, at the very end of the 18th Century. His occupation given at the time of his marriage to Sarah Morgan in London in 1801 was Bronze Figure Worker. There is speculation that Antonio went back to Italy and married bigamously there. We know there is a noble Sersale family in the Naples area and the Marchesi Antonio Sersale has opened his summer palace in Sorrento as a very expensive hotel. John wrote to him and asked if he knew of our branch of the family ,but he did not. We joked that he was afraid we might be after their money !!Sorry to go on a bit, but I wanted you to know of the success of the AIFHS in helping family research. If you have any suggestions where we might go from here to find more information I would be very grateful, Yours Sincerely, Anne-Marie Rowlands. Membership no.191.Looking forward to the next Newsletter.

Member 191

October 30, 2004

Hi Ruth [Transcriptions]

Many thanks for all of the details on my family. Of the research that has  been undertaken, it appears that the record details you have, so kindly passed to me are 100% correct.

My parents named my sister after Guidant (We pronounce the name as Genital), but at the time of the registration of the birth, did not know how  to spell the name, so, they named her Gyrate, which as mum always said was the nearest they could get, as that is how they thought the name sounded.

The marriage of Guiditta, is one for my files, as did not have this. Angeline was one of a twin (To Fortunatus known as Freddie) Angelina died at 9 months old. Luigi ,as mentioned before emigrated to Canada, and died in Detroit, California USA. was living with a family relative named Fionda (Surname)

Guiseppi is/was my grandfather The biggest shock is the marriage of Andrea & Nanzensa in Portsea. From a very early age, was always told the following story. Andrea ran away from home as a young boy, due to his ill treatment by his father. His family where supposed to have had many vineyards in and around St Elia & Roccasecca. After running away from home, he was taken in by the  D'Agostino family. The story then goes that ,this family decided to emigrate to England, but with no money, they decided to walk and work their way across Europe to England. By the time they reached Spain, Andrea & Nanzensa were allowed to marry and by the time they moved on from Spain, Lucia was born. On arrival in the UK at Plymouth, Andrea & Nanzensa had their second child ,Antonio Joseph in 1885 . They at sometime later moved to Bristol where the other children were born. This is the family story passed down to all the descendants. Andrea & Nanzensa remained in Bristol for the rest of their lives, until their demise in 1928 & 1940.

Will (Today) contact my living aunts ,and discuss the marriage of Andrea & Nanzensa. Will of course be applying for the marriage certificate a.s.a.p. Hopefully !!! there will be some unknown details recorded on the certificate, such as their respective age at the time they married. I am sure you can understand the stunned silence, when I read your e mail.

Many many thanks again, for your help with unravelling my families passed. With regards to Gerretta being born in Italy, this has always puzzled me as well. The abode of the family in Bristol in 1901 (Sims Alley) was the slum area of Bristol in its time. So there must have been a valid/urgent reason for Nanzensa to return to Italy while pregnant with Gerreta. (Guiditta).

Yesterday, the film which was ordered from the LDS, on St Elia arrived. Had  good 3 hours going through the births in St Elia from 1800 to 1865.Found several D'Agostinos births between 1850 &1865.

Only one stood out, and that was a birth in 1861 for a child of one Nanzensa D'Agostino ,a son named Giovani .Have a printout of this record for my files. Problem is cannot read Latin /Italian, so will have to purchase a dictionary and hope I can translate the other details and find out who the father was ? Also thanks for the info on a family group sheet. Have purchased FTM  (Family Tree Maker version 10)

Cannot thank you enough, if there is anyway I can repay you research wise, please let me know. You have saved me many many hours of wasted research time with your advise. Am in your debt !!!!

Regards Tony (Downend, Bristol)

09 November 2004

Thank you kindly for putting me in touch with Stachini links in UK community.

Early communications are proving amazing, with revelations that I could not hope to have established so quickly, and would not have known about.

Nello Ostacchini in particular identified a family link and has been able to offer details of my grandfathers siblings (copies of birth certificates to follow - period 1885 - 1895), which will naturally require further research.

So delighted that I have confirmed my Italian links and thank you for linking me with Stachini contacts, who have been most helpful.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gorry (nee Jackson) and now known Stachini descendent.

Re: FRANCIS MOSCARDINI, son of Barthlomew Moscardini


Thank you for the information. I have also received info from Tina which is most rewarding. I have received written confirmation from the Church in Brighton in which they married. The Church records have been retained in the vaults and not released to the record office.

I am most grateful for your comments and will follow up the lines of investigation.

Best wishes