Engraved Door Stopper

Engraved door stopper in Bagnoli, Italy
Engraved door stopper in Bagnoli, Italy

My great-grandfather, Rocco Patrone, immigrated from Bagnoli, Italy (near Naples) to New York City in 1905. He worked in a factory, and when he made enough money sent for his wife and children. Later, he worked in the jewelry business and eventually owned his own store. My dad group up in a large Italian-American family, but the Italian speaking members were gone long before I was born. When I had the chance to study abroad in Florence, Italy in 2014 I jumped at the chance to immerse myself in the language and culture. In October of that year I had the chance to visit my great-grandfather's home town with my aunt and father where we were able to read birth and marriage records dating back eight or nine generations in the local church registries. We also were able to track down a family home where we found the initials engraved on the front door stopper of Lorenzo Patrone, Rocco Patrone's father, my great-great-grandfather. It is hard to feel attached to my heritage when I am so far removed, temporally, spatially, and linguistically. However, being able to touch traces of my ancestry brought it to life, and I will forever be grateful to have been able to have taken that multi-generational trip to see my homeland in person. 

Place(s): Italy

– Alsace Patrone

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more