For years, I’ve wanted to discover more about my roots. The recent trip to Roccavivara my Grandfather Profy’s home town, was part of the project. During the trip I clarified many people in my family tree. Earlier in the year, I met several of my mother’s Irish relatives. They emailed me some genealogical pages one of the Gallagher clan had collected. Italy, Ireland; Italian, Irish.
Grandfather Profy and brothers Some Gallagher’s Mill Street Boys Club
Growing up in Bristol Borough I was from both sides of the tracks. Although I went to the Irish Catholic school and church; I identified more with my Italian heritage. In my Sophomore year at Boston College, I read Leon Uris’s “Trinity.” It is a powerful novel about the times of trouble in Ireland. I immediately wrote my mother saying that I would recognize my Irish heritage.
Last week, Diane signed up again for Ancestry.com. She has subscribed off and on for several years, exploring her own English-Irish ancestry. She even started a Profy-Gallagher tree with a few entries. Yesterday I logged in on her account. Ancestry allows you to build a family tree and then search certain databases for relevant information. You can enter any information you have about individuals and see what documents ancestry may provide. If a document is related to your ancestor, you can save the data on their “time line,” and save or print the document. I was rolling along until I somehow erased all the Profy side of the tree. Oh my. It didn’t take too long to reconstruct what I had and add more.
I’m not sure how much I will learn from the databases that ancestry searches. Some things have already struck me as unusual — I found a record of Uncles Tom and Albert military service; but none for my father. No record of my marriage has surfaced yet. I did learn the address of my grandfather’s shoe shop in Princeton, and saw that he lied about his birthday on a draft registration for World WR II? I was surprised that several others have created a tree for some part of my family. When that happens you can review what they have and if you think it’s valid and add it to your tree.
Vince Profy Cis Profy. Vince Profy
Unlike Diane whose ancestors have been in the United States for generations. Mine only date to my grandparents; maybe Irish great grandparents. My plan is to keep working Ancestry for what if offers. Use their program to organize time lines and trees. And then mine other possible sources of information. Digitize older family photographs; make an ancestry album of documents. In the process learning more about my roots. Retirement has given me time for thinking, writing, blogging, a process of self discovery.
Gallagher grandmother. Grandparents and me Grandparents wedding