In 1977, when the mini-series “Roots” took America by storm, thousands of people adopted a new hobby called genealogy. And Maria Buchignani Taeuffer was one of them. One of her first steps was to interview some of the oldest members of her family that she could find. This precious snippet of conversation with her aunt, Louise Giorgi DalColletto, was recorded sometime in the late 1970s and allows us to hear the voice of our beloved Aunt Louise/Nonna one more time…
Maria never had the opportunity to investigate the family members that Louise talked about, but her cousin Frank Belluomini did. He worked with Monica DiPiero at the L’Ufficale dello Stato Civile in the Comune di Villa Basilica to discover the Giorgi family of Boveglio. When he and his family visited the small village in 1998 they were welcomed with open arms.
During that visit Frank was delighted to meet his first cousin once removed, Orazio Cesari, the priest Louise corresponded with. Monsignor Cesari drove the Belluomini family around the area regaling them with family stories – unfortunately all in Italian. The way Frank tells the story of how fast Father Cesari navigated around the narrow, winding, often unpaved mountain roads makes me think that, despite her denials, the motorcycle Louise mentioned may have indeed been his!
The photo below, given to Frank by the Italian branch of the family, is of Louise’s grandparents, Giacinto Giorgi and Daria Ferrari (seated) with their two daughters, Genovieffa and Mustiola (Giacomo Giorgi’s younger sisters who Louise talks about in the interview).
Frank has written a wonderful book detailing his findings, “The Giorgi Family of Boveglio, Lucca, Italy, An Album of Genealogy and Memories, La Nostra Storia.” You will be able to read some of those stories in a future post.
Below is the family of Giacinto Giorgi and Daria Ferrari with the people Louise mentioned highlighted. All of the three brothers who survived into adulthood; Giacomo, Massimo, and Giovanni emigrated to the United States. Their stories will also be detailed in future posts.
Interview between Maria Buchignani Taeuffer and Louise Giorgi DalColletto circa 1978
Monica DiPiero, L’Ufficale dello Stato Civile, Comune di Villa Basilica
“The Giorgi Family of Boveglio, Lucca, Italy, An Album of Genealogy and Memories, La Nostra Storia” by Frank S. Belluomini
Photos from collection of Frank S. Belluomini