Genealogy and Me, a Short History


The North Meets South Encounter

I was born and raised in the small town of Sonoma, California.  My father, Carl, was a mix (50/50 to be exact) of Italian and Finnish. He had one surviving sister; her name was Judy.   My father and his sister were raised by their grandmother, Giovanna, who was called Nonna by everybody.  My mother, Mary, is German, English, Welsh, Irish and Swedish. Her family has been tracing their genealogy and logging family history for longer than I can remember. I did a little bit here & there to find my father’s side of the family.  History was not my favorite subject when I was young, but since I started doing Genealogy, I have developed a love of the subject.  My father’s Finnish side is difficult since we never learned the language or culture. All I knew when I started this journey is that the Finnish from the north met the Italians from the South in a little town called Iron River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the early 1900’s.


The Roots of a New Tree

Somehow, in 1925 my Italian grandmother, Mary, convinced Nonna to let her marry my Finnish grandfather, Charles.  In 1927, and again in 1928, Mary gave birth to stillborn twins. In May 1929 my Aunt Judy was born.  Sometime between 1930 and 1935 they all migrated to California, where my father was born just a few months short of my aunts tenth birthday.


The Search

I started research for my father’s family in about 1990 and I have traced my ancestors back to the 1700’s, and I have not been able to stop.

This new love of research quickly evolved from a fun hobby to do in my spare time to an obsession. I love ‘the find’ so much that I have done research on interesting names I’ve found in cemeteries, read somewhere or just heard in passing.

The excitement of finding a new family member, or with luck, a whole new branch will have me sitting for hours looking for everything that I can find about them.

It would be my pleasure to take the mystery out of your past.