Where do we live?

Relatives in Italy and in the world.

Surname maps to find Italian and emigrated relatives



hen you think about your last name, especially if someone thinks that it is not a common one, it is always believed to know nearly all about your relatives closest or not, but the advent of Internet and its world-wide database has refuted also this conviction that everyone like me had.

At first I would never have thought that the surname Papaccio was included in the history of the Italian emigration. Now instead it is without a doubt that I was wrong and that it's my duty to search for news about my relatives emigrated in America, Argentine or elsewhere, even though they are not so close to me in our genealogical tree.

Therefore my searches began through search engines in which if I entered the word "PAPACCIO", they gave me as result a list of hundred of pages that were linking to websites of persons with my same last name. After various years of irregular searches I have found many informations about my relatives lived in the past century and others who still live throughout Italy, United States and the rest of the world. As usual I have to thank white pages on-line to allow me to create a mapping, even though partial and limited to the above nations, of persons homonyms to me. God only knows how many other Papaccio are scattered in the world...

As regards Italy, as shown in the image on the right, Papaccios are distributed Diffusion of Papaccio surname in Italy on various regions.The great majority lives near Naples, and these are my closest relatives. For other regions I did not suspect the presence of my relatives in Veneto or Sardinia for example; it would be beautiful to ask these relatives why they live there when the roots of Papaccios are unquestionably planted in Campania, but the respect of privacy imposes me a certain moderation, indeed they are perfect strangers to me and viceversa.

The speech about the foreign countries is more complex, in fact the Italian emigration had brought an afflux of millions of persons mainly towards United States, Canada, Germany, Argentine, Brazil, Switzerland, Belgium and Australia. Therefore the search for emigrated relatives in the United States of America had begun starting from the website of Ellis Island, the small island in front of the Statue of the Liberty in the harbour of New York City. Here in fact the Italian emigrants, together with those from other nations that searched fortunes in America, remained in quarantine for a long period (just like you could see in "The Godfather Part II", skilfully directed by Francis Ford Coppola). Browsing the electronic archives of this website, I've been successful in founding approximately 50 Papaccios, men and women, whose names were recorded after their disembarkation. First Papaccio recorded on Ellis Island As shown in the photo here on the left, on line 14, the first recorded Papaccio to Ellis Island is Francesco Papaccio, who at the age of 15 years old, illiterate, paying himself the travel from Afragola (Naples) and only with 25 dollars in pocket he has gone to meet his brother Nicola and he disembarked from the transatlantic Fulda on December 2nd 1897. The transatlantic Fulda The transatlantic was dismissed some years after because of its bad conditions, therefore the travel from Naples to New York had been still harder for those persons. Unfortunately I was not successful to find out which end has been of Francesco, but I truly hope that he lived a life better than the one that he had left in Italy. Since then, Papaccio's continued to arrive in the United States settling down themselves mostly in the states Diffusion of Papaccio surname in U.S.A. of New York and New Jersey, but as it may be noticed from the other photo, also in Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, where Phil Papaccio comes from, who had contacted me through this website and to whom I want to give my thanks for having told me a little history of his family in America.

From Argentine I received an email by Gabriela Papaccio, my homonym of Buenos Aires and I want to thank her for the testimony of Papaccio's presence in South America. However, without any electronic archive about recording of Italian emigrants available on the net, I'm not successful to receiving official news about my relatives disembarked in that country still farther.

Anyway I have to say that many other Papaccios leaved years ago towards different countries and nobody knows more, at least regarding a real documentation. Sometimes I think about the novel "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, which talks about Ishmael (whose last name is unknown), who decides to navigate round the world, having not much money in pocket but the great desire to travel, and so he embarks on the Pequod. And I see the Pequod like the right metaphor of the emigration or also of the abandoning of our own lives from earth; indeed the crew was composted by people coming from any nation and of any social extraction, from the Sicilian sailor to Queequeg the harpooner, prince of a Polynesian island.

A real curiosity has been to find the name of a certain Giuseppe Papaccio, The transatlantic Andrea Doria profession carbon loader, who aboard on the illustrious ship Andrea Doria, succeeded to save himself nearby Nantucket, Massachusetts on July 25th 1956 after the fatal collision with the Stockholm ship. Unfortunately I do not know which end has been of him, but I know that its job had been a hard one and living that terrible experience and being able to tell it, is a great honour.

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