Who we are

24 Jun

Giovanni Osenni

Giovanni Osenni.  Born in 1889, in Rome, abandoned or given to a family in the country to raise, our family legend says he was born to a wealthy young woman, perhaps a member of the Orsini family.  His father was said to have the surname Marconi.  This story was based on the names on his birth certificate, which he was somehow able to obtain after WWII, as reported by my Aunts, my father’s sisters Antoinette and Lydia.  Alas, the birth certificate was lost again, here in the states!  My search to find it began in 2006 when I found online a geneological researcher, Ann Tatangelo of “Angel Communications”–helped by an angel! When Mike (my husband) had a week’s work in Rome that year, I accompanied him and met Ann and together we visited villages in Ciociaria, where we knew Giovanni had lived and worked, since that’s where he met my grandmother, Annuniziata Grilli.  During the search for Giovanni’s birth records, we found my grandmother’s information in the village of Piglio.  We found the house where she lived as a girl and one of the elderly neighbors there told us that we had cousins just up the street!  We surprised them with a visit, which is when Giulio and I met for the first time.

Annunziata Grilli was born in Ferentino and moved to Piglio with her parents in 1893.  She was one of 9 children.  Only she and her brother Guarino emigrated to the states (1919 for her).  She left Italy to marry her childhood sweetheart, Giovanni–and they did marry, at Ellis Island!  The remaining siblings stayed in Italy, and Giulio’s branch of the family are descendants of my grandmother’s sister Francesca Grilli, my father’s Zia Francesca!

Antonia Angelisanti and Giancinto Grilli

Annuniziata’s parents, the common ancestors of Giulio and me, were Giancinto Grilli and Antonia Angelisanti.  (Another angel!) The Grillis lived in a little house at Ponte Gattone in Piglio, and it’s where Giulio’s great-grandmother, Francesca, remained for her whole life.  Giancinto was said to be a tall redhead, certainly unusual for this part of Italy. One of  the neighbors we met told us that he had his own little wine “cantina” where the local wine, Cesanese, was sold.

Fast forward to 2011, here are Giulio Tirinelli and me, in the midst of planning our workshop!  Looks stressful, doesn’t it?  We are at the National Park in the Simbruini Mountains, surrounded by the beautiful and rugged landscape of Ciociaria.  We hope to inspire our painting guests with the landscape, not to mention the food, wine, and warm people whom they will meet there in the next two weeks!

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7 Responses to “Who we are”

  1. Sal Grilli January 14, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    You would not happen to know who Giancinto’s father was? I too am a descendent from Ferentino with the last name Grilli.. In 1853, Giulio Grilli,,gave birth to Gaspar Grilli, in Ferentino, Gaspar Married Maria Pompeo, and had several children 6 sons and 1 Daughter. The third eldest was my grandfather Severino who imigrated to US in 1904. I am sure the Grilli’s from Ferentino were all related by a common ancestor have you gone back any further? Please advise? Cricket03230@aol.com

    • halfmoon613 January 14, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Hello Sal! I’ll check my record…maybe his name is on there! The family definitely moved from Ferentino to Piglio, around 1892. Giulio doesn’t ring a bell, but likely they are related. will get back to you. where are you located?

      • Salvatore Grilli February 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

        I am in Hollywood, Florida, since 1979.

    • halfmoon613 January 14, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Sal, Giacinto’s parents were Clemente Grilli and Caterina Cantagalli. He was born circa 1852. That’s as far as I have gone back. Maybe Giulio was a brother to Clemente…or a cousin…

      • Salvatore Grilli February 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

        Gaspar would be brother to Clemente.. Gaspar was born 1 marje 1852. In an old family bible I found a copy of “Certificato di Batteimo” from “Basilica Cattedrale Parocchia S.Pietro Aposatolo” FERENTINO It shows pagina 1 de 2.. It also shows Giulio Grilli wife was Elizabetta Colonna. My question,” is it possible Clemente is page 2?” Was he a twin?….I have tried now for over a year, to find out what happened to the church records at S.Pietro in Ferentino, I understand the church received severe damage during WW2. It was reopened apparently as S.Pietro y S.Paulo, all efforts to request additional records have failed…Can you help? Sal

      • halfmoon613 February 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

        Hi Sal,
        Interesting…maybe they were twins! I haven’t done further research, but will check with relatives in Italy…it would have been “certificato di battismo” it’s hard to read that old fashioned writing…

  2. Nicole March 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    HI! My name is Nicole Kinser. I have begun researching my mother’s history on her father’s side. Their last name was Grilli! I had hit a road block with my great grandfather, until I came across his World War 2 Draft card, which stated that he lived in Ferentino Italy, from there I was able to find him on the Ellis Island listings, which stated that he was from Serrone! Here is what I know. His name was Quirino Grilli, he was born in 1886, march 25th. He came to the States for the first time in 1905, his residence being Serrone, but he left out of Naples. He had a brother John (Giovanni??) a sister Dorothy, and somewhere in there fits someone by the name of Nancy. He then at some point went back to Italy, because he married my great grandmother (Colomba Graziosi who was born in 1891) In 1909 in LaForma Italy. She had their first child (Louis) in 1910 and then they came to the states. They had nine children all together: Louis, Ellis, Abner, Emanuel, Matthew, Giacinta, Antoinette, Phoebe, and Naomi. I’m not sure if this is connected at all, but if you have any info that you can pass my way at all, I would be so thankful! coleykinser@yahoo.com

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