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Cross Family

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Cape Cod, Mass.
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Cross Family

I am 60 years old and have started to search my family history. My search has brought me to Chiavari Italy. My great great grandfather was Steffano Cross from Chiavari, he was born about 1826. According to US census records and ships registry he left Genoa Italy 1854 and arrived in New York on August 29, 1854. The US census data indicates that he got married and had a son Salvadore Cross, my great grandfather. I am trying to locate any information regarding Steffano and the Cross family from Chiavari Italy. I would appreciate any information or help in which direction to look next.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: Cross Family

We have found our relatives in both northern Italy, and in Sicily.

Begin here at home. Talk to as many elderly family members as possible, and get as much information as you can. Document, video, and tape responses. Check the Ellis Island sites, especially info on the ships taken from Italy to here. Get information on Naturalization. These documents usually have towns of origin, and names of parents. Try to collect names as far back as you can. We sent to the communes in Italy for raised seal documents of birth, marriage, and death. That provided us with names of generations back. That's important, because when you check records in Italy, you will be able to look through, and possibly find siblings by tracing the same names of parents. This will allow you to trace, and find living family who are still in Italy.

Once you have family names, and a general idea of dates, you have several options.

Visit the communes, or municipal buildings in each of the towns. Keep in mind that they are closed during lunch for several hours, and if the towns are small, they may only be open in the morning. Books with birth information are stored in the communes. Though some communes have begun to computerize the information, many will still pull a handwritten book off a shelf! Fascinating to see!

Then, visit the local churches to cross reference the information. We have found church records in Sicily that were so specific, that when family members left for the US, records were updated to reflect where they went, who they married, and when! In northern Italy, we were able to photograph the pages of the books. The records were so detailed that they even provided the names of godparents, and the town that my great-grandmother came from, which was different from where my grandmother was raised.

Finally, we have walked cemeteries, and checked their books, and records.

Another interesting aspect was checking initial Social Security applications. It has signatures, occupations, and information that could be useful in tracing lineage.

I wish you well! It's an infectious, and rewarding journey!

Sonora, CA
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2. Re: Cross Family

I am a 74 year old in California.

Both sides of my family came from the Chiavari area. I had always heard of Chiavari, but it turns out that the families - Malaspina and Cuneo - came from small hillside villages some 4-5 miles inland from that city.

Problem with records is that you must find the specific village and church for any records prior to 1870. That's when Italy became a nation and started compiling civic records. Anything prior to that date are only found in the family church. I have now found records dating back to the early 1600's at the two family churches in Camposasco and San Colombano Certenoli.

In Chiavari itself there are many churches and you'll probably have to contact the Basilica in Chiavari to begin a search.

My families came to California in the 1860's I've still not found the records of where and what ship they may have arrived at. Ellis Island was not yet open so their records are of no help.

Go on the internet and check in to Chiavari and get the names and addresses of the various churches and write to them to see if records are available and what it takes to get info.

Good luck, it took me some six years after I first tried the Chiavari churches.

Ray Malispina

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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3. Re: Cross Family

This might be of interest: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g194735-i6309-k258…

4. Re: Cross Family

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