09 February 2015

The Ask for DNA Sample

Thank you for your warm hospitality Sunday.  It was great to meet you face to face!  It was fun getting to know you some and I hope we will have many more meetings.

I really appreciate your digging into your family photo archives and pulling out so many pictures to share.  I will begin scanning them shortly.  They are a wonderful treasure to have.

Thank you for sharing your Italian family stories, too.  It must have been interesting growing up as a California guy with Midwest parents.  I left the Chicago area at age 13 and for me it was a difficult transition.

It was wonderful to learn of your real estate/property management experiences which are kind of a counter point to my corporate experience.

It was fun to hear about your television career.

You asked about how I made the connection to Veneziano.  The enclosed Death Certificate with you grandfather’s signature naming parents was the final paper clue.  As I mentioned, I would like to further confirm the paper trail via a Y-DNA test.  My results have been measured.

I took the liberty to order a sampling kit from Family Tree DNA and it is enclosed.  I would deeply appreciate your completing and sending the kit back to Family Tree DNA.  I have paid for all the costs.  A very sincere thank you for doing this.

The Meeting

Sunday morning arrived and so did I!  A warm friendly greeting from my newly found second cousin with a cup of coffee and a wonderful visit followed.  My expressed interest in seeing family pictures was exceeded as he had pulled out of his photo collect numerous items.  We proceed to spend the better part of two hours over the pictures and who was in them with me furiously making brief notes on the backs hoping that I would get it correct. Then all the pictures were offered for the taking.  I did!! 

Some genealogy facts were discussed.  For example I could not find the vital record at the Cook County Clerk’s website:

for his parents wedding.  I had found many other family related documents but not that one.  He showed me the Catholic Church document (framed) so I could capture the date.  Nor have I been able to find his grandparents marriage date.  I would not if the Catholic ceremony was considered sufficient and a civil record was not made.

I thought we had a great candid conversation about family which will not be a part of this blog!

I think in two hours it is possible to get a read on another person.  With guests due to arrive shortly I got the sense it was time to pack it up.  Although I had mentioned in writing and verbally my desire to have a DNA test done to tie up my paper trail, my sense was it was not the correct time to “spring” the kit on him.  Rather, when I arrived home I wrote a big thank you letter and included the Family Tree Y-DNA kits.

In the meantime we have been exchanging emails with respect to the pictures and his acting career.

06 February 2015

Getting in Touch

Although the letter was unanswered by the time we left for LA I packed for most possibilities taking numerous file folders with family genealogy, a Family Tree DNA Y sample kit, an Ancestry.com autosomal sample kit, my Flip-pal scanner with extra recharged batteries and phone number to call.

I was nervous to call a complete stranger although the correspondence had softened the nerves some.  My mistake was not calling the number I had in advance.  You guessed it.  The number was no longer in service nor did the area code information have a listing.  A sign of smart phone use rather than land line use.  So I was left with the choice to drive to the address I had from our letter writing.  I did.

The adventure was the address was not where it would be expected.  However, after trespassing and knocking over some cans an occupant asked if they could help me.  I explained the address and found that the property had been split so that the address I was seeking was above the house where I was.  Thank goodness for strangers helping out. 

I drove to the house above and parked.  I screwed up my courage and headed for what appeared to be the front door.  Knock at the door brought no answer.  I was not about to leave without leaving a note or two.  I put one note in the front door frame and left another note with a Family Group Sheet (of course) in the mail box.

So it was time to find a cemetery and the graves of what would be my first cousin once removed.  It was a busy day at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery; however, a person in the business office was able to give me the locations.  After some tramping around I was able to find the grave markers and pay my respects.

FORTUNATELY my smart phone rang and it was my second cousin who had been out running errands. He agreed to meet Super Bowl Sunday morning before the party began at his home.  We chatted briefly and next would be the Sunday visit.