05 February 2010

Via the Independent Scholar and Non-Commercial Family Historian

I have recently received quite a lot of emails from various genealogy and media organisations so I thought I should write a blog post to clarify my status as an independent and unpaid genealogical scholar.

If you work for a commercial organisation and I have provided free reviews and/or free links from Ancestors Within, you may like to consider making a donation to:

One of the independent research projects I have underway is about the interrelationships of Italian migrants to Australia between 1848 and 1948, with a special focus on three family groups. I am also attempting to develop a film script about one of those groups.

You may recall some of my earlier blog posts about the little village of Ossolaro in Lombardy. I took the above photograph in 2007 when making a very brief stop there. Last year, my husband and I had a longer, and very fruitful visit.

One of the first people from Ossolaro to arrive in Australia, as far as I am aware, was young Carlo, pictured above. This portrait was probably drawn sometime around 1880. Two of his grandchildren, now octogenarians, believe he went to London and South Africa before heading to Melbourne. We also know that Carlo had an older brother called Costatino who also came to Australia.

Carlo's journey gradually took him from poverty to prosperity and he helped many people to achieve success on their arrival in Australia, including several members of his extended family. Carlo was one of the youngest of several children of Ossolaro's blacksmith. His youngest sister became the second wife of a miller in the village.

Here are links to two of my earlier blog posts about the mill in Ossolaro:

Last year, I discovered that the mill building still exists but that it is now a private home. I have been collecting information about the watermills of the Po valley and have found that they have a very long and interesting history.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.