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Colaianni


The information on this web page was sent to me by Shirley Sinclaire. She has done a tremendous amount of work on the Colaianni family. You can contact Shirley at ssinclairemsn.com . I'm going to have this info on this site until Shirley gets her web site up and running. She and I have many common surnames in our ancestry but we are not related yet.

She is researching:
Grandfather, San Pietro Avellana, Isernia, Molise, Italy: 
Colaianni/Colianni, DiGiacomo, Rotoli, Musillo, Morelli, DiSanza, Ricci, Nicola.
Some other names on certificates received not verified yet - Carlini, Frazzino, Frazzini, DiLorenzo, Labate, DiCianno, DiTullo, DiTella, Petrano, Mastroianni, Donatone, Salvatore, DiLudovico, Tonti.

Grandmother, Caltabellotta, Agrigento, Sicily: Truncali, Soldano, Tornambe, Grisafi, Guarino, Traficante, Ricci, Castrogiovanni, Piazza, Romagnolo,  Trapani, Farina, Colletti, Amato, Leo, Mule', Toma, Carlino, Colorosa, Vetrano.
S
Cousins: Rusciano, Donatelli, Graziano
 
Colaianni Unknown - Shirley sent me these photos. She is trying to identify who they are.

Colaianni in Chicago - These photos were sent to me by Rayna Colaiani Valentine.

Here are some very early (2003) emails that I received from Shirley:
Mark, I am delighted to hear from you...I have been working on microfilm from SPA and indexing the births, marraiges and deaths.  I have a few years completed, not all, it is a slow task, because I can only get to it not on a regular basis.  Yes, I looked at your site, it is great, I recognize all the surnames from my microfilm search.  Also, a lot of these names intertwine with my family through marraiges, etc.  I do not have any family left, so I have no one to ask about these questions.  When my aunt Mary has my grandfathers birth, naturalization, citizenship, passage papers, etc., I wanted to make copies of them, but she said they were too fragile, I mentioned it was all the more critical to copy them.  Well, she passed and all her belongings were taken care of by her brother Nick.  From there, all the papers disappeared.  Nick would not say anything about the papers and now he has passed.  His son said they could not find any of my grandfathers papers, so they are now lost to us, and the records were destroyed in WWII in SPA, so I am having to try and work with the films.

I have attached a document that kind of tells the story, and also my direct line from grandfather to me.  I would appreciate it is your mother could let me know anything about the Colaianni's (Colianni).  They had a big reunion in St. Anthony, MN in the mid 80's, but I was living out of the country at the time and could not attend, so again, missed opportunities.  I know there were/are relatives in Illinois, Texas and California, plus other places, do not have any info on them.

When I get the SPA records done, I will be happy to send you a copy, it is in Excel spreadsheet format.  I have found a couple of names that match your site, but the dates are a little different, could be another relative.  Let me know if you want any further info.

(See attached file: The boy finally pulled his finger out of the crack in the dam)
(See attached file: Pietro Bio)

Please stay in touch and maybe we can share further into.
Shirley
Dear Shirley,

Thanks for the quick response. I find that the more I work at genealogy, the more connections I find (and the more confused I get!).

It sound like you are taking a much more orgainized approach to the SPA records. So far I have films 1448675 and 1448676. These may be the same ones you are using. I've just ordered three more of the earlier films.

Ercole Colaianni, my mother's compare is shown on film 1448676, nati 23 Nov 1898, index #67. One of my great-greatuncles, Aminta Frazzini, signed as a witness. Another person, Luigi Carlini, also witnessed. I haven't connected him with my family yet but my grandmother was a Carlini.

I've attached a scan of Ercole and his wife's tombstone. They are buried in Saint Mary's Cemetary in Beaver Falls, PA.

I will talk more with my mother about Colaianni's and I'll let you know. I will try to find out if Ercole has any children in PA.

I have a copy of a 1947 Beaver Falls Resident Directory. It lists Earl and his wife Martha (my mother is certain that this is Ercole). It says:
 Coloanni (spelled wrong)
 Earl
 Martha M.
 3 children
 Earl worked as a WarehouseMan for the Pennsylvania RR
 1015 10th Street

Mark
Mark,

I agree, the more we research, the more we find, and in the cases of Italians, it can get more confusing, with the traditional naming of the children. You have whole families with repeating names, so you have to make a note of which father (etc) they belong to.

I have the same two films you have, plus I ordered two more which I am currently working on, it is the Nati 1809-1813, 1815-1834,  film #'s 1338775 and 1329602 (I believe, not sure).  I figured as long as I was going to index the area and cross reference my information, I would start at the beginning of the films.  I have been able to cross reference several families with children, etc., so far.  It has been exciting to see the info.  I feel like I am right there and part of the process.  I even feel the sadness in finding family members whom have died so young.  The 1809 records so far that I have seen, do not have an index, so you have to read each document.  This forces you to get a grasp of some of the language in order to translate and find what you want (I do not speak Italian unfortunately, but am in the process of learning). However, this can also give you relatives of the deceased ..... paternal/maternal uncles/aunts, cousins or grandparents, whomever gave the info, etc.  After these 4 films, there are 8 more films to process.  A labor of love to my grandfather.  Next is my grandmother who came from Caltabellota, Grigenti, Sicily - Giuseppa Truncali.  I have more info on her and have found her family and was able to visit in 2001 and will again spring of 2003 (had such a wonderful time, even though there was a language barrier, we laughed a lot at my trying to learn, it was fun), so I have been concentrating on my grandfather in order to find his family.

As to the Colaianni name, it has been quite distorted by different processes, I have found: Colajanni, Colaianni, Coleman (go figure this one out), Colanni, Calanni, and on and on.......

In the 1809 records, it looks like the original Frazzini name started as Frazzino. Carlini is Carlino, etc.  Did DiVecchio originate as DelVecchio or DeVecchio?  We have some here in Minnesota (Minneapolis) with that name....

Hmmm. Earl worked for the railroad....Colaianni Brothers were contractors for the railroad...wonder if there is any connections, some of them traveled the lines doing the contracting work.  No telling where all of these different folks ended up.

It is fun talking with someone with direct ties to SPA, keep in touch.  My home email is:  ssinclairemsn.com

We can always use the help of others to guide us in our destined directions!
Keep in touch,
Shirley
Mark,

Funny you contacted me, I just received info from the archives from the  Province of Isernia regarding my family.  I sent a letter March 7 and got my answer on September 8.  They cannot give me his siblings, etc, but they could give me genealogical info on my grandfather and his family on back to when they started archiving records (1809).  Some went back to the early to mid 1700s.  I found a lot of info I had from the films, but even more that I did not, because of not understanding the relationships.  What I DID find out was, that my grandfathers parents were cousins, another words, their fathers were brothers.  I understand that this happened in all countries in the old days, because of not traveling around much.  So I made a new connection, and now have to research on from there.  This may have happened in yours too, which made a cousin also an uncle.  Are you confused even more?  I also have cousins who called each other "brothers", because they were close.  It makes it hard to distinguish who is who.....I can see where they would call themselves "uncles", etc. if they were a close family.  But it gets so confusing to us who are trying to get the records straight for the family trees.

Yes, I know where Aurora, MN is.  It is in northern MN.  This is where the iron mines were, and where the railroads were being built during those eras.   My relatives also went to that area (St. Louis County).  Pietro's "cousins" were railroad contractors and they were all in that area.  Then one of the Colaianni's built a "Supper Club" in the area and had it for many years.  Then they moved to Mpls and to Chicago, etc.

My grandfather died in 1951, didn't have much contact with some relatives since then, then I was too busy being a teenager with my friends, moved away in the 60's, came back in the late 80's and everyone moved away, etc. and I lost track.  Then I started to research in 2000, so that tells you what info was more likely lost.

Good luck,
Shirley




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