To update this thread, anyone who lands in this thread can find the Association on the new site: https://associazionelaghitaninelmondo.com/
or on the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1663634527216305/
You can contact the local team via the website for research, all free, or me directly, and we'll get it figured out.
There's a big Festa being planned in August of 2020, so if you're thinking about visiting, that would be a good time to target.
2017: I just returned from a 2 week trip in Italy, part of which was spent in the Calabrian region, specifically the town of Lago in Cosenza (about 6 miles up in the hills from the shore of Amantea).
In this town I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the current Mayor as well as a local historian and his son who did EXTENSIVE research for my family tree. What they were able to accomplish in 48 hours was amazing.
They're very excited about the possibility of meeting more ancestors from the town and would love to be contacted by anyone who needs info in this area.
Please let me know if you would like to contact them and if you have enough basic tree info to give them something to work with.
A few reasons this area (and most of southern italy) is difficult to work with on Ancestry:
- the towns do not have house numbers. They go by name only. So home history is not tracked anywhere like in the US. We literally drove around the town talking to the oldest people still alive there to find information that lead to my great-great ancestors homes.
- Italian privacy laws forbid the public sharing of personal records like birth, marriage, divorce, and death, unlike here in the US where all of that is easily obtained on the web. You can share records you have, but they can't bulk post them. Lago has filing cabinets filled with original records like this and they search through them by hand, but it's pretty amazing to see.
- Your ancestors might have a nickname. My family tree had a lot of what I thought was inter-marriage. I was incorrect. There are many families with the same name in places like Lago, likely from hundreds and hundreds of years ago, so to tell the family groups apart, they assign nicknames. These are locally passed down and not officially recorded anywhere.
- Local communes like Lago have surrounding 'districts', very tiny mini towns that in the US we'd just say are part of Lago. But they're considered a sub-district to them and they have a name. That name is what's recorded on their documentation and records, but it's not on maps, like Google, which can be difficult. It's also usually not on immigration records. All of mine say Lago, but my family actually resided in a district overlooking the town from a hill.