Monday, March 21, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- Nonno Enzo's Diary -- November 5,6, and 7, 1915

Continuation of the translation of my grandfather's diary written in 1915-1916 at age 14-15.  See the previous two Monday posts for previous pages.  Location: San Gregorio, Sicily.

Translation below.
                                                                                                                                      November 5

Yesterday evening, around 7, I saw my old advisor, Don Traina, coming from the house. He had left on October 20 to suffer a second visit to the military (recruiters).

But fortunately, he was among the few considered unfit for service and was sent home where he stayed for about a week, and now here he is, ready to resume his duties.

Just last night after dinner, during the short recreation time, I went to him, wanting to kiss his hand, but he shied away. Then, I congratulated him for being rejected (by the military), and I said, “We can stay one more year together.” Having revered him, I then began to walk with the Director.

                                                                                                                                       November 6

Today, two new pupils of the 4th gymnasium -- my class -- arrived; they are brothers.

The larger one -- stout, medium height, black hair, wide forehead, narrow mouth, with a forelock of hair -- was my classmate some time ago in Catania at the boarding school, San Francesco di Sales.

The smaller one -- of the right size, aquiline nose, black hair, closed mouth in the expression of a smile, lively eyes like those of a rooster -- also attends the 4th gymnasium, and today came to school.

I shook their hands and reminded them of all the tests we'd had together at the Hospital.

In the study, their place is in the front pew. Don Ercolini departed from us and will return in a few days.

Today, our new professor, Don Bologna, arrived -- medium height, features a bit rustic, flashing eyes, voice like thunder, calloused hands ...

He was my old advisor in the San Francesco (di Sales) dormitory.

Don Ercolini will now move on to being the professor of the 5th gymnasium.

                                                                                                                                        November 7

The boulders Polyphemus threw at Ulysses
Today, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, we went for a stroll. I enjoyed the walk, and we ended up on a hill opposite Aci Castello. From there, you could see a beautiful view -- the boulders the Cyclops, Polyphemus, threw against Ulysses, which now rises above the sea as peaks. On top of the larger rock there is a house. Later, we returned happily. I joined Messina and Ruggeri, and we began to speak of many things. Ruggeri, with the excuse of needing to take care of his needs (bathroom) remained behind us, and when he caught up to us, his pockets were full of lemons. He offered me a lemon, but I did not accept it, saying it was stolen. Before arriving in San Gregorio, we met a man with a small pig over his shoulders, who every once in a while let us hear his beautiful voice (squealing pig). Our laughter reached up to the stars, but then it all ended, and here I am already, at the table, describing this meeting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Burud Farm in Baerum

Burud Farm in Baerum, Norway.  Several generations of ancestors lived on this farm.  My third great-grandparents, Kristoffer Pedersen and Ellen Hansdatter, had several children while living here.  Martin, Hans, and Haakine Christopherson eventually emigrated to Salt Lake City.  Their sister, Jonette Kristoffersdatter (Norwegian spelling) stayed in Norway, and she was is my great-great grandmother.

Part of Burud Farm is now a lovely golf course.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- Nonno Enzo's Diary -- November 2 and 4, 1915

Continuation from last Monday's "Amanuensis Monday."

Translation below...

Click on the pictures to enlarge.
                                                                                                                   November 2, 1915

Today is the commemoration of the dead. At nine o'clock in the morning we went for a walk.
I had filled my pockets with chestnuts, and when we arrived in the countryside I distributed them to my friends who accepted them.

I will gladly walk with the Director, a good priest who truly cares for us, and from whom I learn so many little facts (and stories) he eagerly recounts to the young novices who are heading for an ecclesiastical career.

                                                                                                                    3 o'clock in the morning

About two and a half hours after midnight, I awoke to the sound of the wind flapping against the windows. Around a quarter after 3, the window before me opened in a furious burst of wind and the cold air entered the dormitory room, and I was forced to hide my head under the covers. Around four o'clock,  the wind having calmed down a little, I put socks on my feet, got out of bed to close the window, and then returned to bed to regain the lost sleep during the night.

                                                                                                                   November 4

After lunch, at 3:30, during the Italian class of Don Ercolini, a little incident occurred that made me die from laughter. We had all entered (the classroom), and I being the last one, closed the door behind me. I was about to take my seat when the bench suddenly fell apart with my two classmates -- Valenti, Agostino and Torrisi, Giuseppe, who both fell to the ground. Valenti hit hard against the back part of the bench, while Torrisi hit his head against the foot of the bench behind him.

The laughs were endless, and even Don Ercolini laughed heartily; but then we had to quiet down to begin Italian class.

I was called into the parlor, and a woman I did not recognize gave me a box with three eggs and some biscuits.  (This probably was sent to my grandfather from his family.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Løken Farm

Løken Farm in Baerum, Norway.  My great-great-great grandmother, Ellen Hansdatter (1822 - 1899), was born here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- Norwegian WWII Hero

This past summer I saw this grave in the cemetery of Borgund Stave Church located in Borgund, Lærdal, Norway.
Buried here is Kristian Johansen Kullerud from Royken.  He was born the 10th of December in 1909 in Nes, Romerike, and he "fell for Norway" in Borlaug, the 30th of April, 1940. Although I can translate the rest of the
epitaph, I am unsure of the actual meaning.  Help, Dad??? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- Nonno Enzo's Diary -- November 1, 1915

Vincenzo Di Bennardo (1900 - 1982)
 during his Salesian boarding school
days as he approached the
priesthood. He was never fully
ordained.  Picture taken circa
1918 in Catania, Sicily
I have decided to start translating my grandfather's diary, written during the school year of 1915-1916. I have slowly been transcribing it in Italian into a Word document, and I am about half-way through it.  I may as well start translating the diary into English as well.  Amanuensis Mondays may help me accomplish the feat.

Some information for background:  My grandfather was born 15 November 1900 in Palagonia, Sicily.  His mother died when he was a boy, and, as was common at the time, he was sent to a boarding school (called a "college" in his diary).  His aunt Filomena was the Mother Superior at the school, so he wasn't completely without family, but it is clear that he missed his father and family dearly.  The diary begins November 1st, which would likely have been his first day of school.  The boarding school he went to was of the Salesian religious order and was located in San Gregorio, Catania, Sicily.

Note: Some oddities may exist since I am attempting as faithful a translation as possible.  This attempt also makes the grammar a bit difficult to apply as correctly as I would like.

See translation below...

See translation below...

1 November 1915

Today is the commemoration of All Saints’ Day.

A High Mass in song in the parish church.

Not too much studying and plenty of lunch.

After lunch, I along with my companions, headed by Don Gardarella, went for a walk along Via San Gregorio-Trecastagni-Via Grande-San Gregorio.

Some of my friends wanted to go Pedara, but the order of the Director was followed precisely by Don Gardarella. When we arrived at Via Grande, it was already 4:30 pm; therefore, it took us two and a half hours, which seems like a lot of time, but then saying we visited two cemeteries in San Gregorio and San Giovanni la Punta, the time it took seems relatively fair.

Messina, my classmate from the fourth gymnasium, a good and pious pearl, and I, with the consent of Don Gardarella, walked away from our companions: I did, so I could visit my old school friend Giuseppe Mirone d’Ignazio, a boy as good as bread, a scholar and a saint for religion. One small defect obscures his gifts: his temper; but calming down as he asks forgiveness from his antagonist ends in playing and chasing each other again.

Messina instead went home to visit his relatives and then returned to me in the house of Mirone, where at his father Mr. Ignazio’s insistence, I was forced to accept a small glass of Vermouth.  My friend (Messina) came by after his visit to the cemetery and gave me a handshake while insistently forcing chocolate candies into my pocket.

Giuseppe, knowing that my schoolmates were there, not far from his home, with kind words let my other friends in his home and offered everyone a small glass of Vermouth that my comrades did not refuse.

To me, he spoke of Bronte, where he would go on November 3rd to spend a year with my other old friends, such as Sebastiano Salafia, a one-of-a kind young man and the top student of our school.

His hometown is Sortino -- also the hometown of my stepmother, Vincenzina Tannelli -- a very beautiful town in the shape of a Citadel.

Then he (Giuseppe) took us to visit the cemetery where I admired many chapels, among which the first one was for the Mirone family. So I squeezed his hand affectionately, and together with my companions we returned to San Gregorio. While on the road back, as it became dark, we sang until we arrived back at the college.

At my arrival, there was not-so-great news awaiting me. The doorman, a young man of 18 years of age told me this:

“Di Bennardo, your relatives were here until a few minutes ago, but then not wanting to make the carriage for hire wait any longer, and being that it was becoming dark, they departed, leaving some packages here” – and in so saying, he presented me with wrapped presents that I took to my room. There, I found a bottle of Marsala, sweets, some apples, a basket of chestnuts, and a pair of scissors I had asked them for in a letter.

This news so disturbed me; I would have liked to see my dear family and tell them many things; what fortune could have distanced them from me? But what can be done about it?

I took my bundles and then went to my desk after placing them up high in my room. But I could not study because the distressing news of tonight had produced its effect on me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Progen -- Month 4, Part 4 (Research Plan-- Italian Great-grandfather)

I have been posting my research plan for finding the birth date for my Italian great-grandfather, Pasquale Ursino, in a series (it is quite long).  To see the previous posts click here, here, and here.

Here is the fourth and final installment:

Future Research

1. Find Pasquale Ursino’s birth record in the civil records microfilms for Catania, Sicily, Italy.

Now that I have an actual date of birth, I can order six microfilms to find his birth record. I still don’t know the section of Catania he was born in, so I have no choice but to order all six; but I now have a definite year. I will order microfilms containing birth records that include the year 1863: film numbers 1339640, 1339694, 1339767, 1339770, 1339773, 1338981.

a. When I find the birth record for Pasquale Ursino, I will probably learn the age of his parents at his birth, which will help me find their records as well. I would want to find their birth, marriage, and death records.

b. Any new information would be added to the family group record with the appropriate citations included.

2. Find the birth records of Pasquale’s brothers and sisters.

I will search birth records before and after Pasquale’s birth to find any siblings. All information will be added to the family group record with citations.

3. Search for any death records for the siblings and parents.

4. Find the marriage records for Pasquale’s parents.

Finding the oldest sibling for Pasquale will help narrow down the year of marriage for the parents. Marriage records from Catania are available in the LDS Family History Library Catalogue. The appropriate years spanned will be ordered. If I cannot find the marriage record in the years before the birth of the oldest child, I will search later years and nearby towns.

a. All the information will be recorded on the family group record with appropriate citations.

b. The marriage record may include a list of documents submitted to the town hall personnel at the time of the wedding. I will look to see if there are any “Processetti” or “Allegati” available in the Family History Library Catalogue. I will order the microfilm.

c. The “allegati,” or supplemental records, may include handwritten copies from the civil and church records (note: I may be able to search a specific church’s records, too, with this information). The “allegati” records usually have information regarding the births of the bride and groom and their parents, and could also include information about the bride’s grandparents and great-grandparents (paternal line), as well as the marriage banns, and a handwritten copy of the marriage record.

“Allegati” or “supplemental” marriage records are a vital source of information for Italian genealogy research. If one is lucky, they are easy to read! (Note: Besides contending with handwriting issues, any supplemental church records included in the marriage record will be in Latin.)

More Future Plans

I intend to search for the two wives who left Pasquale widowed and any children from each marriage. I also wish to find all the details for the children he had with my great-grandmother, Francesca Scuderi. When I research my grandmother’s siblings, I will also search for the three half-siblings truly fathered by Pietro Napoli. I am particularly interested in my grandmother’s half-brother who died during WWI while trying to save another man’s life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Olav Kristiansen

Olav Kristiansen from Baerum, Norway, was brother to my grandmother.  I love this picture!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- Cemetery of Palagonia

Picture by Kathy Kirkpatrick.  The cemetery of Palagonia does not seem to have tombs prior to 1925.  My great-grandfather, Carmelo Dibennardo, probably died in 1925.  I need to research the history of the cemetery.