I have long had the immigration records of my great-grandmother, Maria D'Ingeo Gatto and a portion of her family; she immigrated in 1917 with her father, Domenico, her sisters Angelica and Giovanna, and an unrecognized woman, Maria Lupo. The family said that they were being met by her sister Rosa; I know that she also had a brother, Vicenzo "James" D'Ingeo. I had never been able to find arrival records for Rosa or Vicenzo on Ancestry, but some time ago I searched a little harder and came up with Vicenzo's arrival records on the Ellis Island website. But I never had any luck at all finding Rosa.
Then, last week, Ben bought the Who Do You Think You Are book by Megan Smolenyak, and I read it. In it, she mentions the Steve Morse One-Step webpages. Now, of course I knew about the One-Step site. Of course I had visited the One-Step site. But it occurred to me that I had never really used the One-Step tool to systematically search for and find something that was eluding me.
I didn't even go into it looking for something I couldn't find; I went into it looking for something I knew was there. My Ancestry.com subscription has lapsed, and we're letting it stay that way for a little while longer, and then maybe discussing if it might be more worthwhile to direct our limited genealogical funds towards a different database for a time. So when I needed information about Maria and her father Domenico from their passenger manifest (and this week I'm on a computer that includes neither my saved documents nor my genealogy software), I used Steve Morse's Ellis Island Gold Form to find the passenger manifest I'd already seen, by filling in information I already knew it contained. And I realized that this long-ignored tool might be able to do what it was intended to do and help me find something I had never been able to find. So I tried a little harder, and in 15 minutes or less, I had Rosa's arrival records, dated 6 Dec 1911, where she was recorded as Rosa D'Inseo. She stated that she was meeting her brother Vicenzo and that her closest relative in Italy was her father Domenico, in Toritto. It was really her! I think I'd begun to suspect that she had married before immigrating, and I'd never find her arrival records without knowing her married name. But it turns out that I just wasn't looking hard enough!
Later this week I'll share Rosa's elusive arrival records with you!
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