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Welcome, we are on 21 01 2019
TRIP TO PROCIDA
Thanks to Jeff the Switzerman for his help in the translation.
And also thanks to PHILOO from Modica, Prov. di Ragusa, SICILIA.
EPISODE 1: TO TURN THE PAGE.
To get retired means to loose some of one’s social references.
Whatever the strength of a relationship among his own family or friends, a kind of a fear is sometimes felt when it is about to face a new world.
As far as I am concerned, 2 years ago I decided to learn more about my father’s ancestry.
My father’s grand-parents have been very close to me in my childhood at La Marine district in ORAN, French Algeria.
ORAN was a Spanish city where even Italians were used to speak the language from VALENCIA.
Among my father’s grand-parents there was something else, something hidden that I realised very soon: as we were in FRANCE, we were supposed to speak French only and that was all. Nevertheless, from time to time, while arguing, my ancestors used some slang expressions directly coming from NAPOLI.
After some time, I discovered we were from PROCIDA actually. From this time this island has been being enchanted, as Peter Pan’s island or any kind of mysterious Olympian kingdom. Then PROCIDA came into my mind.
And now, without any kind of warning, with my own experience in my back instead of in front of me, the magical word came back to my memory.
After some quick surf on internet, here’s the reality: where is this fishermen’s island my great grand-parents had to leave at the end of the 19th century pushed away because of misery? On the pictures I have the feeling to see the French Riviera. I definitely need to learn more.
Then, surfing from one site to the other one, I find “The Great PROCIDA and ISCHIA Family” site. What are my risks? I register as a donator, so happy to play with destiny. It took me some time before being really involved, and at least going into some genealogical research. I could barely see SCOTTO’s nice tool but I could not realise directly its amazing power and its sharpness precision.
At the same time, when the “.fr” domains have been opened to a larger public, I quickly booked one with my own name.
Then the “.php” became a kind of a hobby and I even created my own little web site.
After some months, approximately 18 months ago, I received an e mail in English in which someone named MOVIZZO asked me if this name could indeed come from PROCIDA.
I answered him in a French and rude way “of course”. The poor man did not come back to me. I could understand he was a sailor man. It was a bit curious because before me all MOVIZZO were sailor men, fathers and sons. The story ended like that.
In Spring 2008, an American nuclear aircraft carrier moored in MARSEILLE.
My mom received incomprehensible phone calls and did let me know about that. Going through many different issues I could discover eventually someone named MOVIZZO from BROOKLYN was trying to contact me.
The rest happened by chance even maybe thanks to mysterious or miraculous ways, but a few hours later I was right next to the American ship hugging a blond executive officer. His eyes are as blue as mine are black: my cousin Paul Gaetano MOVIZZO.
After a comprehensive check-list, the checking perfectly matched; he was my real cousin (MOVIZZO) from the USA.
What happened between our 1st e mail and this meeting?
I have simply decided to use “The Great PROCIDA and ISCHIA Family” internet site.
After 3 different queries about my great grand-parents I had known in ALGERIA, this gave me the taste for genealogy and the will to know everything about MOVIZZO family in PROCIDA.
The result, quite easy to obtain, has been the implementation of a genealogical tree full of registers coming only from St Michel parish and dated year 1670.
Everything is there, vertically but also horizontally. Right now there are 117 updated names.
The memory of my Algerian ancestry perfectly matched with the 20th century results. I really could figure out how was precise my 19th, 18th and even 17th century MOVIZZO ancestry as well.Here is a little report about these results I am talking about. I still have been working on it. I have published this report on the site www.movizzo.fr which became www.movizzo.net according to my cousin Paul’s advice.
He has communicated this one to his American family, therefore to my own family.
He has been working on the development of this work, joined and helped by his wife Deb.
American people are fond of genealogical roots and by chance or need this ancestry coming from PROCIDA is as hungry as me of discoveries. Paul Gaetano was thankful because I could allow his children to know where they do come from.
The ones who went to the French ALGERIA at the end of the 19th century were running away from a poor country in order to eat properly using their sole fishing know-how.
The others who have been to the USA wanted to become rich. At the end of the day the meaning for both was to offer a better future to their family and children.
They all have succeeded in it despite some historical facts.
Today, time has come from both parts to be back to our pride roots. The knowledge of these roots helps our present and our children’s future.
Everything was possible thanks to our association, to Pascal and the whole team‘s involvements. American MOVIZZO family even thinks there is a miracle there.
I have to admit I do as well thanks to our association I pay a tribute to, once again.
Episode 2: BACK TO THE FUTURE.
I turned 60 years old on the 8th of May. My wife offered me a week in PROCIDA as a present. I landed there on the 9th of May via Paris and Napoli.
Once there I met Pascal SCOTTO di VETTIMO and a lot of other members from this Association called “The Great PROCIDA and ISCHIA Family”.
As soon as I land I am completely fascinated by such an atmosphere: it is around me but it also comes through my memory. My memory? How come? I have never been here.
The light, the scents, they all take me back to the country where I was born, in my MOVIZZO family who has fed me.
Step by step I discover an atmosphere that has always been by my side without really experiencing it, and this one has actually never left me.
I can hear typical expressions from PROCIDA around me and I feel like back to my childhood and youth: my grand parents are with me. I can even hear my La Marine district in ORAN.
I can see again the old picture in which my great grand-mother Rosine was hugging me. She was born in PROCIDA. My wife feels my emotion. I can smell the fragrances from the port and from the latest marsh. Cool evening temperature matches perfectly with this day atmosphere. I know everything. What kind of weird force did attract me here?
Till which extend should I understand the destiny existence?
What is the part of chance or necessity?
Thanks to “The Great PROCIDA and ISCHIA Family” informatics tool, I have succeeded to implement a comprehensive genealogical tree from the 1st MOVIZZO coming from NAPOLI and arrived on this island in 1670.
I have got all the updated information of more than a hundred of people.
But one mystery remains: MOVIZZO’s house that I have discovered through the official site: “provincia.napoli.it”.
How come this opulent and rich monument could have been built while the family was leaving pushed away by misery to North African coasts and to the USA?
Was MOVIZZO family rich or poor? What kind of familial, social or politic problems could have been behind this exodus?
You would agree with me: it is very interesting for a little genealogy amateur to face such an enigma as it could be for a scavenger hunt.
I meet Maria CAPODANNO who is the island living memory according to Pascal SCOTTO.
I could appreciate that very soon indeed.
Maria knew this house story which is located via Vitt. Emanuele. On top of that she even knows the current inhabitants.
I meet this person, Domenico F. in the old church San Giacomo at 6 PM. He is retired. He was a captain in the merchant navy (as my father, his father, my grand father, and so on and so forth).
It took us just a while to know each other and here we are in a passionate discussion in which the emotion is felt through our voices and wet eyes.
I have discovered and understood everything: no more mystery.
Between 1870 and 1880 MOVIZZO family had 2 main branches with 2 cousin same family names.
2 brothers Vicenzo, Cristofero and sisters were part of one family. 2 brothers Francesco, Gaetano and 1 sister Teresa were part of the other one.
Since in PROCIDA everybody had the same first name, the search was easier: both fathers of those 2 children groups were called Cristofaro.
What’s going on exactly?
Around 1870, Vicenzo, Cristofero and their sisters leave to ORAN with some other cousins, split among PUGLIESE and INTERTAGLIA families. They will become sailor men and fishermen.
At the same time, Francesco from the other part boards to the USA in order to take part of NEW YORK harbour construction. A lot of workers were needed. He disembarks in BROOKLYN, lives there and he will be the 1st one of the American tree part I am studying at the moment. A lot of children will be born in Brooklyn.
His brother Gaetano went to EGYPT in 1880 to help in the Suez Canal construction. Their sister Teresa got married and there is no more MOVIZZO in PROCIDA by this time, just a few old persons who will die very soon.
But here is the final issue in this simple but incredible story: Gaetano becomes rich in Egypt. As a good sailor man he will even become the PORT SAID pilot at the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1928 he came back to PROCIDA where he will make this luxurious house in via Marcello SCOTTI being built. He paid cash all the works with golden sterling coin bags earn in PORT SAID.
In 1930 he got retired and lived in the house.
This wealthy person becomes important for the village. War is coming and he becomes PROCIDA’s Podesta (this position stands for the current mayor) in 1935 and 1939.
He will get married twice with no child. He becomes then the last MOVIZZO who was living on the island.
The mystery which was not really one has been solved: 3 semi-contemporary parts, 3 synchronised departures for different geographical locations, sisters and daughters who got married: there is no more MOVIZZO on the island.
However, the story doesn’t end there. Domenico F., also called “Mimmo” who stands up just in front of me is Gaetano and Francesco’s nephew and Teresa’s grand-son. He is actually my leaving great-cousin even if we do not have the same family name.
I venture asking if in the cemetery, a trace of the MOVIZZO passage still exists.
With a strong and shared emotion, he designs a map for me with a tomb location.
We swap hugs, addresses and phone numbers, what a day!
The day after, in the morning, here I am in PROCIDA cemetery along with my wife.
In order to navigate sailor men know exactly how to read and design maps. Domenico’s one was right and precise: I was very soon facing a high marble grave engraved with MOVIZZO name.
It’s curious; there was a lot of flying pollen at this time in this cemetery. The wind blew away and that made me itch my eyes like mad, I could not stop drying my tears. Bloody pollen!…
The story is settled.
I know what I was looking for in PROCIDA and I have finally found it.
It was me.
Tomorrow with a new serenity which I do feel from now on, I am going to tell this story to my family in MARSEILLE but also to the one who lives in Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Florida.
As I am on retirement, I am going to prepare my next trip which goal will be to meet my cousins there.
Thank you so much to “The Great PROCIDA and ISCHIA Family”, to Pascal, to voluntary members, and a big hug to Maria CAPODANNO.
See you soon; I already miss you, like I miss this PROCIDA island which became My PROCIDA island.
MARSEILLES, on May 20, 2009.
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