2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 28 (July 8 – July 14): Reunion
I “first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.
If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!
DeTulio Family Reunion
Giuseppe DiTullio (front left) visits America on Dec. 1, 1969 for the first time to meet siblings. (Through the years in America, their name took a change in spelling from DiTullio into DeTulio.)
Giuseppe (Joseph) DiTullio was born (1903-1987) in Bari, Italy… the first born into the DiTullio family and the only sibling not living in America. His father, Giovanni DiTullio immigrated alone in 1906, and after establishing himself with a job and living accommodations, he sent money for Giulia (Julia) to come in 1909; they had two children… Giuseppe, age 6, and Domenica (Minnie), age 3. The article said that immigration laws only permitted one child to come, so as Minnie was the youngest, they brought her with the understanding that Giuseppe would remain with his grandmother and sent for later. When money was saved, and the time came for him to come, he declined… he decided he would save the money for marriage instead of coming to America.
Through the years, all but two of his siblings, Minnie and Mary, visited Italy and met him and his family. After the death of his wife, it became his dream to finally visit all his siblings in America… and they made it happen for him! He was met at the Kennedy Airport by his brothers and the reunion celebration quickly began. It wasn’t easy to communicate with him, as his American siblings didn’t speak the Baranese Italian dialect, which is very fast, but after several times of telling him to slow down, they soon began to understand what he said. Giuseppe was very overwhelmed in their first meetings… as well as in learning how to tell them apart. They were his brothers and sisters, but yet strangers!
Children of Giovanni & Giulia (Catalano) DeTulio
Giuseppe spent a whirlwind of a couple days with each sibling, in trying to get to know them and their families. The one thing I’m sure he felt at home with, was the food… as they all cooked very old-style Italian foods learned from their mother.
I can’t even imagine how he felt… meeting all those strangers at once… but yet they were family… his very own brothers and sisters… of whom he’d never met, except for one, the baby Domenica. His dream of this very meeting had finally come to be! Domenica (Minnie) was my husband’s grandmother… and if she had been the one left in Italy, I would have never met my husband, as his mother would be living in Italy. I’m thankful she was the chosen child to bring to America!
Graves of Giovanni & Julia DeTulio at St. Lawrence Cemetery
Giovanni: 1882 – 1950 Julia: 1885 – 1957
The 66 year-old widower had not seen his parents since that day they sailed to America with his baby sister Domenica… now he stood solemnly at their graves, over sixty years later… saying a final goodbye.
Giuseppe was my husband’s great uncle… and the only one he never met. He was currently serving in the USAF and stationed in Warner Robins, Georgia at the time he came to visit. His mother sent him the newspaper clipping that was in the New Haven Register.
Stay tuned for Week 29: Challenging
Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!
To read more Family Stories… click HERE.
© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved