Fellow blogger, Victoria, who writes http://postcardzfromvictoria.com, has been staying with me. She was very keen to visit the Garfagnana area after finding out that her maternal grandparents were born there.
Her mother’s family came from Castiglione di Garfagnana, a beautiful fortified town on top of a hill surrounded by the magnificent mountains of the Appenine and Apuan Alps.
We went to the Comune office where we were helped by a charming young woman called Christina.
She searched records and found the family, but not the birth records of Victoria’s grandmother. It seems she was probably born in an outlying community and her birth was not recorded at the Comune. Christina promised to look further into church records when she had more time.
After wandering through the pretty town and chatting to several locals we went on to Pieve Fosciana to search for Victoria’s grandfather.
Pieve Fosciana is just a few kilometres from Castiglione di Garfagnana, on the flat plain below.
The Comune office was closed, but as luck would have it, we came upon a helpful gentleman named Francesco who searched one of the old books and found the records of her grandfather and his marriage.
He then walked us around the corner to the house where her grandfather was born. It was quite emotional.
Of course the house has changed in the last hundred years, but it is still there.
We were delighted to find 2 helpful people who didn’t hesitate to help with our enquiries. It is great that these records are so accessible and that is possible to look through history. It would be wonderful to know the stories of the names on those pages.