Sara has just joined the MyHeritage team and has been given the task of engaging with our 300,000 Swedish users. In addition, she now has her very own MyHeritage Swedish blog to post daily about all the genealogical happenings in Sweden.
Sara, in her first post, talks about her fascinating family history and how she tracked down her uncle in an otherwise baffling situation. Below is a summary of her story, translated from Swedish.
Her maternal line originates from the East coast of Sweden going as far back as the 1700s. However, her paternal heritage is really rather fascinating. Following the Second World War, both of her grandparents emigrated to Sweden.
Her Grandfather Fransesco came from Taranto in Southern Italy and he met Grandma Marietta when she emigrated from Finland. They lived in Sweden together and bore Sara’s father in 1958. A few years later, her grandfather died leaving her father to be raised without a father or siblings. After the death of Sara’s grandmother 20 years ago, her father found the death certificate of his late father and learned of two brothers; one living in Sweden and the other in Italy. Naturally, he contacted his brother in Sweden. For personal reasons he refused to meet him. However, the brother in Italy was never contacted and deemed to be “too far away.”
Sara pursued the matter with her father, as herself and her sisters were very keen on having cousins. The effort was to no avail. After graduating high school in 2005, Sara decided to bite the bullet and travelled to Italy. Taking the only proof with her showing that she did indeed have an uncle, she immediately took herself to an internet cafe and searched the yellow pages, but without any result.
After another three months of living in Italy and one week prior to returning to Sweden, she asked a visiting friend to accompany her to Taranto. Sara decided to checked the yellow pages one last time before leaving, and discovered, with her new Italian skills, that her uncle’s name was misspelled on the death certificate of her grandfather. She searched again using the correct spelling and voila! - she quickly scribbled down his address and number.
She hopped onto the overnight train to Taranto and went directly to the tourist office to find a hotel. She told the receptionist her story and she offered to call her uncle’s number, a certain Mr Gian Paulo. Mr Paulo confirmed there and then that his father was Fransesco Delfino, Sara’s grandfather.
In what must have been quite a moment for her, Sara said “In that case, Mr Delfino, you are my uncle and my dad’s brother.” Within the hour, her new cousin had picked her up and she was sitting in her uncle’s kitchen. He talked about how he was left by his father, who subsequently went to Sweden!
Two months later, and the brothers were reunited. The family now stays in regular contact and Sara’s parents have now passed a course in Italian.
We wholeheartedly welcome Sara to the MyHeritage team and thank her for telling this excellent story of triumph in otherwise uncertain circumstances. It just shows what can be achieved with perseverance. Perhaps that branch of our tree that we always ignore is hiding another living relative? There’s only one way to find out though!
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