There is no simple formula to finding your long lost cousins in Celenza Valfortore, but here are some suggestions:
- join the Facebook group Celenza Valfortore. There are many young people on this board from Celenza who have many of the same surnames that are common among Americans of Celenza descent.
- search for your family surname in the Italian White Pages ; under the field entitled "cognome," enter your surname; under the field entitled "dove" put in Celenza Valfortore and click the red button that says "cerca"
- if this search does not produce any hits, either remove "Celenza Valfortore" from the "dove" field and leave it empty or enter names of surrounding towns
- search online directories for e-mail addresses. The link in the previous sentence is for Yahoo's Italian e-mail directory. Type the surname you are looking for under "cognome" and leave "nome" blank unless there is a specific first name you are searching for.
- write to the the people found in your search results in Italian
- if you are writing an e-mail, put in the subject line: "the (insert name) family in the United States" or in Italian: "la famiglia (insert name) negli Stati Uniti"
- give them as much detail about your family as you know, including names, dates and names of other family members
- include a picture to show good faith (meaning that you are not some nut!)
- include a family tree (a picture speaks a thousand words!)
- explain why you are looking for your family in Italy
- include your e-mail address
- If you are lucky enough to visit Celenza, people are very helpful and friendly. Stroll around and ask some local people (in Italian) if they know your family surname. Before we knew it, we had several people involved in our search!
Photo courtesy of Richard Serluco. Richard's D'Attelis and D'Amico cousins in Celenza.