Tag Archives: Utica

Family Tree

Family Tree: Learning the strength of a family’s bond

My mother instilled in me a great appreciation for my heritage. I remember looking as a child at my great grandfather’s citizenship certificate. He – Vincent D’Orazio – had come through Ellis Island to start a life in the United States after leaving his home in Calabria, Italy. My mother pointed out on a map, perhaps her globe she always kept in the kitchen, that Calabria was easy to find. It resides in the “tip of the boot,” so to speak, of the Italian geography. These things made the stories seem more real to me. I could feel the raised bumps on the certificate where the official seal had been placed. My great grandfather’s solemn expression stared out at me from the square picture glued to the paper. What a treasure this was.

Vincent D'Orazio's certificate of citizenship

Vincent D’Orazio’s certificate of citizenship

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