Genealogy is a hobby for many people, an obsession for others, and sometimes both. Everyone has their own reasons for taking it on. Aside from attempting to satisfy one’s own curiosity, many do it to honor their past or just to discover it. One thing I’ve learned, you’ve got to love a challenge!
My curiosity became piqued after stumbling upon a carton of old pictures and “ancient” family documents after my mother’s passing. My parents’ birth and baptismal certificates, nearly a century old, gave few clues to four grandparents — three of whom I never met and one who passed away around the time I began to walk. Ellis Island databases provided a few leads and several misleads. Soon it was time for the big guns. Ancestry.com confirmed my suspicions: the road to grandma and grandpa had more forks than the silverware drawer at the White House.
Tired and defeated, I took a genealogy leave for a while vowing to return to it another day when I had the wherewithal to decipher which of the numerous Paolo Capotostos in the search results was my maternal grandfather and which among the pile of digital documents belonged to him.
My leave came to an abrupt end in 2007, a few weeks after I returned from celebrating my 50th birthday in Rome with my son.* Cooing over all the details of my trip with my favorite Italian friend, Dan understood my love affair with bellying up to the coffee bar, ordering un cappuccino e quel dolce con creme. And then debating over the number of times it was acceptable to belly up to same in a given day…
I digress. Dan, a first generation Italian American, suggested I get my Italian dual citizenship. As I, along with my parents, were born on U.S. soil, I had no idea this was even an option. But thanks to jure sanguinis (law of blood), all I needed to do is provide a little proof.
OK, maybe not so little. If you could find your way through the ifs, ands, or buts, you were on your way to an Italian Dual Citizenship.
Let the games begin!
*NB: Celebrating your 50th birthday in a place where everything is way older than you are, takes the edge off. Italy more than filled the bill.