Common Names

Other than my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I never knew any Belmontes or Beatrices growing up. I still don’t. But in researching my family, I find them as common last names in the Boston area. And like most Italian families (sweeping generalization time,) they all have the same first names as well. Steve, Anthony, Salvatore, Maria, Anna, and Susie. I know it’s tradition to name your child after the grandparents, but after generations, this become quite muddled for an amateur researcher like myself. And I know what I’m talking about. I’m Michael Barresi, my father is Michael Barresi and my grandfather was Michael Barresi. I have a cousin Steve Belmonte, and a great uncle Steve Belmonte who were both likely named after Stefano (Stephen) Belmonte, b. 26 Dec 1871 Bonito, Italy d. 15 Sep 1966 Revere, MA. I’m in favor of tradition, but it slows the research down.

This also brings up another difficulty I have in my research, but more in explaining my research. I’ve always had trouble with understanding and explaining the relationship of cousins. That is until I found this chart:

In this template chart, I can now clearly understand who everyone is and how they are related to myself, my father/mother, or my grandparents. This will be a useful tool in trying to sort out all the information.

The wife of a cousin of mine found me on this week and we were trading e-mails back and forth. Here is one of my e-mails to her trying to detail my relationship to her husband and his family:

My father, Michael Stephen Barresi, was born 5 Oct 1952 in Revere. His mother, Camille Belmonte, was born 28 Aug 1926 and her father, Alfred Belmonte, was born 25 Oct 1901 and his father was Stefano Belmonte, b.26 Dec 1871

Stefano was Serafino’s older brother. 

Serafino and Stefano had at least two other brothers (all born in Bonito) 
Francesco b. 1869
Salvatore b. 1884-1900 (in an elevator accident)

and with that being said, Steve (your husband) and my father are 2x cousins 1 removed. Steve and my grandmother are 2x cousins. This is because my family has a whole generation in the middle between Steve’s father and my great grandfather. If my info is correct, Steve’s father Alexander was born in 1916? That would have been my great grandfather Alfred’s 1st cousin. Then Alfred had a daughter, (my grandmother,) Camille, this is Steve’s 2nd cousin because they share a common great grandparent. And then my father (who is actually older than your husband) would be his 2nd cousin 1x removed and me, 2nd cousin 2x removed. 

Confusing as all heck. 

I feel like I did my own Abbott and Costello routine. No assistance required. And just for some more fun…no, the Steve Belmontes named in the e-mail above are not the same Steve Belmontes that I mentioned earlier in this post. Have I mentioned that there are a lot of common names?


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