Monday, September 30, 2013

Maritime Monday: Fortunato Oneto, Father of Paolo Oneto - Camogli, Italy

I am including this post in Maritime Monday because I have learned over the past few days that the Oneto family from Camogli, Italy has a long standing maritime tradition, something my husband was very pleased to learn. He has a need for the sea. (Go U.S. Navy). We learned last week that his great-great grandfather was also an Oneto sailor. Here’s how:

I had been stuck for EIGHT years on my husband’s great-grandfather Paolo Oneto. I had his marriage record, pulled from the Family Search site. He and Clara Aste were married in 1909 at St. Francis Church in Hoboken, NJ. His parents were listed as Fortunato Oneto and Maria Mortola. I knew from his World War I registration card that he was born in Camogli, Liguria, Italy on October 23, 1886. According to the U.S. census records, he was an instrument maker for Keuffel and Esser, a drafting instrument company, in Hoboken.

Beyond that, I did not know much more. Every few months I would do new searches of the New Jersey records, Family Search, Ancestry, you name it. I wrote to St. Francis, but so far, have not gotten a response.  My funds are limited, so I cannot just run up to New Jersey to dig around, let alone take a trip to Italy. I was starting to lose hope that I had truly reached the end of internet records for Paolo. It happens. Sometimes, you just have to go to the places to get further. I understood this, yet have a lack of monetary resources at the moment. I have to make do until I win the lottery.

Just last week, however, I noticed a set of undiscovered-yet-obviously-glaring-me-in-the-face records on Family Search. These were birth, marriage and death records for Camogli, Liguria Italy. These records are not indexed, but they cover most years from 1866-1910. I took a deep breath and dove in. 100 image views and a complete-overload use of Google Translator later, I found it.

Yes, that is the birth record of Paolo Oneto, born October 23, 1886 to Fortunato Francesco Oneto, sailor, and Maria Mortola. *Insert angelic music here* Yes, I shed a happy tear or two. Eight years is a long time to be in the dark. Not only did this record list Paolo’s parents, but also the fathers of Fortunato and Maria. *Faint*

What intrigues me about Fortunato’s father is that his name was Francesco Oneto. I am really hoping, though prepared to be disappointed, that our Oneto family is somehow related to the Francesco Oneto who commissioned this statute in honor of his family:

Wikipedia Image

Wikipedia Image

Beautiful, isn’t she? She guards the Oneto family tomb in the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa. This particular Francesco Oneto was the President of the General Bank and apparently, a very wealthy man. The good news is that in my search I found that Fortunato and Maria had another son after Paolo and his name was Francesco Eduardo Oneto, born 1888 in Camogli, so there’s the Francesco name again. Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, I am going through every single image on these databases and pulling out every Oneto, Mortola, Aste and Avegno I can find. I am excited to make these connections and I am learning quite a bit of Italian in the process. Genealogy is a wonderful thing. 

©copyright Piper Oneto

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