Immigrated to family!

Immigrated to family!

When my great grandfather Moretto immigrated to the US he included on the ship manifest that he was coming to be near a cousin in Westville Illinois.  This was right between two censuses, making it hard to be sure that the family would be in the same place at the 1900 Census and the 1910 Census, but my next step should be to search for a person living in the area with a similar name around those times.

My mother remembers being told that my great grandfather was an orphan, but I remember hearing a story about him visiting an aunt that lived in Havre France….  So finding whether he knew his family would be interesting.  Great Grandfather passed away when my Grandmother was only about 3 in the flu of 1918.  He had worked as a coal miner his whole life in the US, and left 9 kids with my great grandmother.  My great grandmother scraped by, cleaning houses, raising a garden, and doing what little she could.  My grandmother was the only one of the kids to be able to go to high school.  Her mother thought she was too sickly to be able to work, according to my grandmother…. so the kids scraped together the money for her to go to school. My grandmother borrowed old school books and managed to finish high school.  I remember her getting to attend her 50th class reunion!  One of her jobs, and the one she was working when she married my grandfather, was as a kindergarten teacher.  -Teachers at the time couldn’t be married, so she had to hide her marriage until later.  My grandfather and grandmother got married in Indiana to hide their marriage.

My grandfather only lived a few years, and then my grandmother moved back with my great grandmother.  My great grandmother had left family behind in Italy, but my grandmother never mentioned family that was already here in the US.

Things that I will search include Census Records and Directories….


Letters ‘home’

Part of the way I went about finding family still in Italy originally (before facebook) was to write letters to everyone with the same last name. It’s a really small town, so it wasn’t too difficult. I included a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to make it easier.   I sent the letter in Italian – not knowing if they would speak English. Of course I don’t speak Italian, so Google Translate came in very handy.

I sent:



Il mio nome e’ Karla Andrew.  Abito a Bowling Green, Kentucky STATI UNITI. Mio bisnonne si chiamavano Caterina Maria Negi, e’ nato a Locana ed emigrato negli Stati Uniti nel 1905. Vorrei mettermi in contatto con qualche mio parente ancora residente a Locana.


Non saprei dire se sono imparentato con qualcuno che port ail cognomen Negri residente a Locana. Mi rivolgo a chiunque porti il cognomen Negri ed abbia lo stesso nome di battesimo di mio bisnonne.  Mio bisnonne e’ nato il 17 Nov 1874.


Qualora Lei ritenga che possiamo essere imparentati, Le sarei grato se vorra rispondere a questa lettera.  Nel caso, invece, che fosse dell’avviso che non fossimo imparentati ma dovesse conoscere qualcuno che si chiama Negri che possa essere imparentato con me Le sarei grato se vorra’ consegnare questa lettera a quella persona.



Voglia gradire I miei sinceri saluti.



I included a list of people and dates that I did know at the bottom.  I was excited to receive a couple responses!   Of course they weren’t in english though, so one of the things I learned is that translating script in another language is really tough.

The responses were pretty exciting though!