Saturday, April 30, 2011

Family History

Yesterday I was looking for an online link to Reno Bertoia.  While looking, I found his recent obituary and a great picture.  Since I do not read the Sports pages in the newspaper, I missed any mention of this when it happened on April 15.
Former Detroit Tiger Reno Bertoia, who died Friday, April 15, 2011,  looks over his collection of baseballs from his playing days at his Windsor home on Monday October 16, 2006.
Photograph by: Tyler Brownbridge, The Windsor Star

I sent word to my sister of his passing.  She is several years younger than I and not the big baseball fan I was, therefore, less likely to remember his playing days with the Detroit Tigers, from 1953 til 1958 and from 1961 til 1962.  I had a good friend in High School who was a member of his fan club.  At the time I thought that was really cool.
Reno was born in San Vito al Tagliamento in what is now the Province of Pordenone.  But ask anyone in this part of my family and they will tell you they are from Udine.  That's true since Pordenone was carved out of Udine in 1968.
My mother's older sister Ardemia, the woman who raised my mother (their parents were both dead by the time my mother was eight), had married a man from Casarsa della Delizia, a neighboring town of San Vito.  So, it was his side of the family that was related to Reno.  But in Italy, your family is my family.
Reno's mother had a catering business and my mother helped her on occassion.  Not often.  Serving food at big Italian weddings is not easy work.
Anyway, my mother's sisters and mother came here from Cordenons, Italy, after World War 1.   While my aunts and uncles were all born in Italy, my mother was born in the states in International Falls, MN. 
So, while googling all of this there was a Wikipedia link to people born in Cordenons.  There I saw the name Nelson DeBenedet.  Born in 1947 in Italy, he played hockey for the Detroit Red Wings from 1973-74.
A light bulb went off in my head.  I remembered some DeBenedet family members.  One of my cousins made a really great family tree online (with some errors, but a good tool, nonetheless), so I looked at it to find the DeBenedet name.  And there it was - Rosa DeBenedet, Aunt Rose.  The woman scared the you-know-what out of me.  I don't think I ever saw her smile and she yelled a lot.
Now, what are the chances that Aunt Rose was related to this other DeBenedet family?  Cordenons only has 17,000 people.  And everyone in that area marries into the same families over and over.
I guess it is something to ask my cousin about.  The Canadians in the family are huge hockey fans and would surely know. 
As I often say, there is just a ton of information out there on the internet.  All you need is time and you can find anything.  Years ago I started my own family tree.   I had both grandfathers names carved into the wall at Ellis Island.  Both of them arrived in America in 1913, Angelo going to Ft. Francis, Ontario and Stanley going to Detroit, MI.
I need to sit down one day and actually finish inputting all the information.  All I need is time.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Denise! My name's Logan and I was just speaking to my mom on the phone about our DeBenedet family history. We have a book from the Francesco DeBenedet side of the family so I was looking through google before finding your blog. Our DeBenedet family all lives in Fort Frances from my mom's side and my parents live in Dryden which is close to Fort Frances. Angelo was one of her great great uncles and she said she also had an Aunt Rose who was 'spooky.' I'm interested in finding out if we're related and it would be cool to discover a whole other side to the family that we don't know about. If you're also interested in connecting please send me an email and I'll set you up with my mom who knows a lot about our family and has a book of it. Hopefully you get back to us it would be really awesome!


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