Nov 232012


[1] Birth certificate of the applicant
29 Sep 2011 original birth certificate located in our files
17 Oct 2011 need to order a long-form birth certificate from Buffalo for $10
28 Oct 2011 long-form birth certificate arrives
29 Oct 2011 sending a request to NY State for apostille for $10
12 Nov 2011 request for apostille returned because they require an Erie County Clerk certification
14 Nov 2011 request to Erie County Clerk to sign and certify our birth certificates for $3
22 Nov 2011 request returned because I forgot to include a check, resent
3 Dec 2011 apostille received from NY State
23 Mar 2012 sent off for translation by Gabriella
29 Mar 2012 followup with Gabriella about translation
3 Apr 2012 translation arrives
3 Apr 2012 sent off to NY consulate for authentication/verification ($14.50)
23 Apr 2012 authentication received from NY consulate
*** DONE ***

[2] Certified full copy of marriage certificate issued by the Italian Town Hall, "Estratto Del Certificato Di Matrimonio"
17 Sep 2012 marriage certificate received from Serradifalco
*** DONE ***

[3] Certificate of residence of the applicant
10 Nov 2012 paperwork completed
*** DONE ***

[4] Certificate of citizenship of the Italian spouse (this will be issued by the consulate of residence at the time of application)
issued by consulate

[5] Certificate of family status (same as above)
issued by consulate

[6] Police clearance or certificate of criminal records (certificate of good conduct) issued by the central authority of each state of which the applicant has been a resident since the age of 14, accompanied by a translation into Italian; for us, that means New York, Indiana, Tennessee – consulate said "this office will certify the translation"
21 Mar 2012 emailed NY State to ask about process for obtaining a criminal record suitable for apostille
26 Mar 2012 background check packet comes from NY State
24 Sep 2012 finger prints obtained ($12.00)
24 Sep 2012 fingerprints sent to NY State for background check ($60.75)
24 Sep 2012 fingerprints sent to TN for background check ($29.00)
24 Sep 2012 fingerprints sent to IN for digital prints ($12.00)
24 Sep 2012 fingerprints sent to IN for background check ($10.00)
4 Oct 2012 background check received from IN
4 Oct 2012 sent background check to IN Secretary of State for apostille
4 Oct 2012 also requested another background check since the first was not signed and sealed
6 Oct 2012 TBI background checks arrive, but last name is misspelled on the address line
6 Oct 2012 send back to TBI for new copies
9 Oct 2012 NYS background checks arrive, but they are not signed
9 Oct 2012 sent these (unsigned) background checks to see if they will can be apostilled ($10)
9 Oct 2012 wrote to NYS Police asking them to issue background checks with signatures
13 Oct 2012 corrected TN background checks arrive today
13 Oct 2012 background checks sent out for apostilles ($4)
17 Oct 2012 background checks returned, need to forward to Davidson County Clerk first
17 Oct 2012 sending background checks to Davidson County Clerk, asking them to forward to Secretary of State
18 Oct 2012 background check request returned by Safran in order to submit to the IN State Police
18 Oct 2012 request to notarize IN State Police background check returned inexplicably
18 Oct 2012 resending requests to IN State Police
19 Oct 2012 received background check from NY State, but only in married name, not maiden name
19 Oct 2012 sending background check to NY Secretary of State for apostille ($10)
19 Oct 2012 sending a new request to NY State Police for background check in maiden name too
24 Oct 2012 background check request returned uncompleted by Indiana
25 Oct 2012 need new set of fingerprints for Indiana
25 Oct 2012 need to resend background check request to Indiana
25 Oct 2012 apostilled Tennessee background checks arrive today
25 Oct 2012 New York background check request returned
25 Oct 2012 Indiana Secretary of State department calls and they may be able to apostille the background checks
25 Oct 2012 sent Tennessee background checks to Gabriella for translations
26 Oct 2012 called NY Secretary of State and they gave me names of people who could sign background checks for apostille
26 Oct 2012 called NY Department of Criminal Justice Services to get signatures
26 Oct 2012 NY Department of Criminal Justice Services calls to say background checks are signed and being delivered
30 Oct 2012 apostilled background checks arrive from Indiana
30 Oct 2012 sent Indiana background check for translation
2 Nov 2012 letter for background check arrives from New York
2 Nov 2012 mailing off background check and the letter to NY State for an apostille
3 Nov 2012 another NY background check arrives today with an apostille
3 Nov 2012 sent NY background check for translation
18 Nov 2012 translations arrive
19 Nov 2012 $100 for translations paid
*** DONE ***

[7] F.B.I. Clearance with finger prints form (in addition to the above certificate/s), with translation into Italian – consulate said "this office will certify the translation" 
Certificate of good conduct issued by 
Federal Bureau of Investigation
CJIS Division
Attn. SCU-MOD/D2
1000 Custer Hallow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306 
Tel (304) 625-3878 
24 Sep 2012 fingerprints sent to FBI for background check ($18.00)
3 Nov 2012 FBI background check arrives
3 Nov 2012 mailing FBI background check for an apostille by the Department of State in DC ($8)
3 Nov 2012 sent FBI background check for translation
18 Nov 2012 translation arrives
21 Nov 2012 apostille of FBI background check arrives
*** DONE ***

[8] Payment of Euro 200.00, proof of bank transfer – consulate said "copy of the wire transfer is fine" – someone on the Italian Citizenship Message Board warned "Be sure to watch for any 'incoming wire transfer' fees that may be discounted from the 200E that you send, depending on what method that you use. Would had to 'deposit' 200E, then find out later than the application may not get accepted because there as a 10E incoming wire transfer fee that was subtracted from the 200E, only giving them 190E."
10 Nov 2012 wired 200E ($268.99 after currency conversion and fees)
10 Nov 2012 xoom cancelled the wire transfer
10 Nov 2012 emailed xoom customer service to try to understand why
11 Nov 2012 retried with Western Union ($275)
23 Nov 2012 transfer completed
*** DONE ***

[9] Valid passport for both spouses
10 Nov 2012 copies made
*** DONE ***

[10] Proof of residence: Driver's license, utility bills, bank statement
10 Nov 2012 copies made
*** DONE ***

Nov 172012

I received the Pension Records for Henry Angle, one of my wife's great-great-great-grandfathers, who also fought in the Civil War. He is in the same part of the family tree as the Zellers. While it doesn't note his parents' names, it does list his children and their birthdates, and it also notes the location of his marriage and birth, in Mifflinville, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. I'm writing the Columbia County Historical Society to see if anyone could possible search the recrods that they have.

Nov 152012

I while back, I did a mass mailing to a lot of Palmeris listed in the Buffalo phone book. I ended up finding a bunch of grandchildren (and one child) of the Palmeri brothers, Angelo, Calogero, Pietro, and Salvatore.

This week, I got a message from a grandson of a Pasquale Palmeri, who was also born in Serradifalco. Apparently, Pasquale, born in the 1860s, was a cousin of the Palmeri brothers and came over with them to the United States. Pasquale and his wife Ida and their family lived on 7th Street in Buffalo, the same street that my great-grandfather Angelo and his brother Calogero lived on.

He also sent a photo, probably taken in the days when the Palmeri brothers and Giambrone sisters – and their cousins – worked as farm laborers down in Eden, picking peas. I gave him the link to the Story of Charles and Barbara, and he recognized my great-grandmother, Maria (Giambrone) Palmeri, and her sister, Barbara (Giambrone) Palmeri – women that he could never identify in this photo.

Oh, and the Jim Palmeri in this photo is the person who accidentally shot Josephine (Palmeri) Christopher with a BB gun in the story of Charles and Barbara.

back row: Jim Palmeri, Lucy Palmeri, her husband Charlie Palmeri
middle row: prob. Barbara (Giambrone) Palmeri, Ida Palmeri (mother of Jim, Charlie, and Sam),
unknown, Maria (Giambrone) Palmeri
bottom row: Alfred Portale (married to Connie Palmeri), Pasquale Palmeri in front of him (son of Charlie and Lucy),
Sam Palmeri, unknown, Ida Palmeri (daughter of Charlie and Lucy)

Nov 102012

For my wife's jure matrimoni application, we need to wire 200 Euros to the interior ministry (Ministero Dell'Interno). Used a recommended service called, which was a lot cheaper than the bank or other services ($5 versus $20+ or a percentage of the amount wired).


About 10 minutes after completing the transfer, I received an email from xoom that it was being cancelled for reasons unknown. I've emailed their customer support people to try to understand why that happened.

Update 11 Nov 2012

Xoom said they only allow person-to-person wire transfers. They don't allow person-government or person-institution transfers.

Update 11 Nov 2012

Retried with Western Union.

Update 15 Nov 2012

Western Union has processed my request and it should be in the account by 20 Nov.

Nov 032012

Another copy of the NY background check with an apostille arrived today. I think someone from the NY Secretary of State's office must have gotten the background check notarized and then they apostilled it and returned it. Very nice.

In addition, the FBI background check came today. Send it off for an apostille by the Department of State in DC.

Oct 262012

Today I called the NY Secretary of State's office. They confirmed that if I can get signatures on the criminal background check by the director of assistant director of DCJS (Joseph Morrissey or Donna Call) they can apostille the document. Today I spoke to DCJS and they will be issuing new background checks with one of those signatures.

Oct 252012

Several weeks ago, I wrote Montemaggiore Belsito, Sicily, to see if they could send me some information about my great-grandfather's siblings who stayed back in Sicily.

Cruciano Giuseppe Millonzi was born in Montemaggiore Belsito 19 June 1873 and married Anna Maria Sabini on 12 Mar 1901. He was "eliminated by emigration in the municipality of Ravanusa on 07/12/1933 reinstated on 19/05/1936 by Bisacquino emigrated to Ravanusa 05/05/1937 reinstated on 02/07/1947 by Ravanusa (AG), died in Montemaggiore Belsito on 3/4/1949."

Cruciano Millonzi was born in Montemaggiore Belsito 11 Aug 1876 and married Nunzia Dolce on 10 Feb 1923 in Montemaggiore Belsito. He married Angela Ingrassia on 12 Feb 1927. He died 21 Oct 1945 in Montemaggiore Belsito. Cruciano and Nunzia had a daughter Rosario Millonzi born 13 May 1925 in Montemaggiore Belsito who married Giuseppe Dominuco on 10 Apr 1948 in Montemaggiore Belsito; they moved to Montedoro (Caltanissetta) on 14 May 1948; she died 7 Jan 2009. Cruciano and Angella had a daughter Ignazia Millonzi born 25 Dec 1927 in Montemaggiore Belsito who married Pietro Montana 10 Apr 1948 in Montemaggiore Belsito; she moved to Montedoro (Caltanissetta) 14 Apr 1948.

Carmela Millonzi was born in Montemaggiore Belsito 18 Dec 1881 and married Gaspare Silvestre 22 Nov 1902 in Montemaggiore Belsito. She died 31 Jan 1946.

Oct 252012

One state down, two states and the FBI to go. Tenneessee background checks arrived today, apostilled.

New York sent back the background checks without signatures, seals, or apostilles. I did call and get some information about someone I might call in order to get the background checks signed, sealed, and apostilled.

Oct 232012

Today I received a more complete pension record from Isaac Zellers, my wife's great-great-great-grandfather.

This confirm that he was in the Battle of Gettysburg, company D of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

"In the 150th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, company D, commanded by H.W. Crozer. Honorably discharged on 26 Aug 1865. That while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of duty he on the first day of July 1863 while engaged in action at Gettysburg, PA received a gunshot wound in the leg, about two inches above ankle thereby disabling him from duty, that by reason of the effects of said wound he is unable to attend to his occupation which is that of shoeing horses … and that he was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg as aforesaid was treated at the hospital there, transferred to Hospital of York Pennsylvania on the 20th of July 1863 remained there until ordered …"

It also notes that Isaac Zellers' wife is indeed named Catherine Cole (according to Isaac) or Emma Catherine Cole (according to son Martin Reynolds). They were married 8 May 1862 in Union County by Rev. Weise or Heise. She died 23 Jan 1897.

It also notes the initials and birth dates of their children:
C.H. Zellers (prob Charles Henry) born 28 Feb 1963
Eliz C. Zellers (prob Elizabeth Catherine) born 1 Sep 1866
S.L. Zellers (prob Samuel Lee) born 15 Nov 1867
W.J. Zellers (prob William J.) born 9 Mar 1869
A.G. Zellers (prob August G., my wife's GGGF) born 30 Jan 1871
R.M. Zellers (prob Reynolds Martin) born 21 Mar 1876
Reba A. Zellers (prob Rebecca A.) born 16 Jun 1877
M.R. Zellers (prob Martin Reynolds) born 9 Mar 1884

I've written Union County (courthouse and historical society) to see if they have copies of the marriage record and if they have copies of her death record.

Oct 192012

Today we received background checks from NY State. The background check itself was still blank. But it was accompanied by a letter than was signed and notarized that said that the background check would be blank. Odd. They can notarize a letter but can't notarize the background check. So I stapled them together and sent them off for apostille by the NY Secretary of State.

Unfortunately, even though I asked for the background check to be listed in my wife's married name and maiden name, they only came in her married name. Since she never used that name while living in NY, that could be a problem for the consulate or for Rome. So I sent a letter thanking them for sending the notarized background check but asking for another one in her maiden name.

Oct 182012

Today we received two letters concerning Amy's background checks from Indiana.

One was from the Indiana State Police, returning our request for the background check to be notarized. They said they tried to contact us, but Amy didn't say she got a call from them.

The other was from Safran, who digitized her finger prints. We asked for them to forward the request to the Indiana State Police. They sent it back to us.

Ugh. This is frustrating! I'll be responding to both. Again!

Oct 162012

My brother wishes to apply for Italian dual citizenship. He lives out west, so he would apply through the San Francisco consulate. Their web site says this:

As of 10 October 2012, in accordance with memoranda issued by the Ministero degli Affari Esteri (MAE), this Consulate will no longer refer to the files of other Consulates or Comuni (municipalities) in Italy. Therefore, if you are applying after a family member has already received recognition of citizenship by descent from the same ancestor, you will be required to present all family documents from scratch, either in original from the relevant U.S. agencies, or as copie conforme (authenticated photocopies) issued by the Consulate or Comune which recognized your family member’s citizenship. The latter method is generally recommended and faster, but incurs a fee.

Today I emailed the Detroit consulate to ask what the procedure would be for me to obtain a cope confirme of my application materials for him to use in San Francisco. The birth certificates for my grandfather and mother were the only ones our family had. To get new copies would require a court order because NY State will not release a birth certificate to anyone but the person named or their parents.

17 Oct 2012
Response from the consulate: Your brother must contact our Consulate in San Francisco, we have new regulations.