A year or so ago, my paternal grandmother had given me her parent’s birth records, along with their wedding picture. My grandfather (her husband) had passed away a short time before that and she must have also given me some paperwork that belonged to him. The papers included his birth certificate, baptism record, Naval service record, and Naval discharge.
The birth record is the only paper that didn’t have any new information on it, although his mother’s maiden name is misspelled as Norfa instead of Nolfo. And my big goal this week is decipher and translate his baptism record (and Caterina’s maiden name is misspelled again.) Another one of the rumors surrounding my grandfather turns out to be true as well. At least partly. We had heard rumors that he had been born Mario, but had changed his name to Michael. More recently, about four years ago, I found out that he was born Michael Mario and he changed it to Michael Joseph. His birth certificate clearly states that he was born Michael Mario Barresi, but his baptism record only lists him as Mario Barresi. My grandfather was likely partly named after his uncle, Mario Barresi (b. 1883 Mineo, Sicily, Italy) and/or his cousin Mario Barresi b. 1910 Saugus, MA. The latter Mario Barresi was known as Mike the Tailor and had a tailoring shop in Saugus.
And though I have many pictures of my grandfather in his service uniform throughout WWII in Hawaii and Alaska, his Naval records show the military ribbons he received as well as his last place of employment prior to enlisting. I didn’t know that he ever worked at GE, but his future father-in-law also worked there at about the same time. And although I knew he was in the electrical industry, I never knew that he went to school for it, no matter how brief.
I still don’t think I’ve taken enough time to analyze these papers and get all the info in order, but I plan on taking my time and getting to know my grandfather a little better.