Immigration histories of Rockford’s Italian families sought

Staff Report

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association (GRIAA) is inviting all Italian-Americans in the Rockford area to participate in “The Immigration Histories of Rockford’s Italian Families.”

Through the association’s Culture and Education Committee, GRIAA wants to tell the stories of those who came from all of the provinces of Italy, from Venice in the north to Sicily in the south.

GRIAA is seeking to collect the history of any Italian family who came to the Rockford area in the 19th or 20th centuries.

Gene and Shirley Fedeli, co-chairmen of the GRIAA’s Culture and Education Committee, want people of Italian heritage to print out one or two written pages that tells how their grandparents or parents found their way to Rockford, whether it was through New York’s Ellis Island or up the Mississippi River via New Orleans.

The project will be a way to tell your family’s story like it has never been told. That’s because it will be written in the very words of the family members. Through these stories, all will learn about the thousands of other families who came to Rockford.

GRIAA will have space in the Culture Tent at this summer’s Festa Italiana so you can see some of the family histories that have been created. GRIAA invites people to write a short history of their family — one or two printed pages — and submit a picture. GRIAA will gather all of them to be eventually placed in a soft-bound book.

For information, contact Gene and Shirley Fedeli at

From the Aug. 15-21, 2012, issue

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