Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reggimento Bersaglieri

Don't laugh at the guys with the "vaira" hats. Michele Arcangelo Lamonica served the Royal Italian Army very well. You might know him as Mike Lamonica. It seems that if you try hard enough, you can find all kinds of information on the world wide web.

Mike Lamonica represented our family well in the military. I have found records from 1899 to 1902. He was a sharpshooter during this time period. The Royal Italian Army came to be in 1860. The Bersaglieri served as the light infantry battalions of the brigades and divisions of the new army of united Italy. The name "Bersaglieri" means sharpshooter. They have always been a high-mobility infantry unit and can still be recognized by the hats they wear.

Even today there is a Bersaglieri group in the army. Today there are six regiments. Mike Lamonica was a member of the 7th Regiment which at that time must have been stationed out of Milano. Today the 7th Regiment is the Pinerole Brigade in Bari (Apulia).

I have found several dates on military documents. It seems one of the earliest dates I have is July 1, 1899, which wold have made him 20 years old. He recorded his shooting scores during May 22-23, 1900, June 9, 1900, July 10 and 16, 1900, August 18-20, 1900 and October 16 & 26, 1901. During this time, He was promoted. Interesting, because somewhere in there he had time to get married. I do not have any documents detailing his marriage, but it is believed to be around 1900.

He was injured at least twice during his career. In 1900 he spent a lot of time in a hospital and again in 1902. I have some documents and I have tried to translate but I am still learning. I think there is still a lot of information to find from his military career. I will continue to work on this and correct myself as I get better information, until then I wanted to post something new to keep you guys coming back for more.

Friday, October 19, 2007


John Ciccolella's fathers name was Panfilo Ciccolella. While researching Italian names, I found that Panfilo was not a usual first name. Panfilo is the Italian form of Pamphilos. Pamphilos is ancient Greek which means "friend of all". Maybe not the most interesting item I have found, but its more than I had yesterday. In the photo, John Ciccolella is shown as the far right, in the middle is Joe Ciccolella and to the far left is Tititno Dentino.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Italian Cities Data

Just another quick note. John Ciccolella was born in Pettorano sul Gizio. The city is located in the Abruzzo Region and the L'Aquila Province. The current population is 1,255. The Patron Saint of the city is Santa Margherita (you wonder was so many Margaret's are in the family).
Christina Lamonica was born in Forenza, the Basilicata Region and the Potenza Province. The city has a current population of 2,546. The Patron Saint is San Carlo Borromeo.
Both of these cities are in Southern Italy. You can go to Google or Map Quest and get a great look at where our families grew up and raised their children. I am in the process of getting more information about these cities so I can write for documents, etc. Thanks, hope to hear from you guys down the road. By the way, the photo is of a younger Giovanni Ciccolella playing his favorite instrument.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lamonica or Lamonaca

Hello again. I found an interesting document, it is the Immigration paper for one Michael Lamonica. For those not sure, this is the father of Christina Lamonica. To me this was an extremely important find. I do not know much of my great grandfather. The document is from the early 1930's, Christina was 4. Anyway, I have digital copies and can make them available for anyone who wishes to have a copy.

In addition, I found a memo dated 1969 where Christina Ciccollela wrote her home town in Italy for a copy of her birth certificate. In the memo, they strong state that her name is Christina Maria Lamonaca. No I in the spelling. This is very interesting, as I was planning to research the name. The family hails from Forenza, Italy. This is the Potenza province. In fact, I have seen it spelled as LaMonaca as well.

Also, I found some information that Michael Lamonica was a superior shooter in the Italian army. He was an expert and very well respected for his abilities. Pretty cool, huh!

I will continue to upload photos and notes and news as I get them. Please send me some email address of those that might like to keep up with this. Best Wishes!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Where to Start

Oh, where do I start. Currently, I am sitting at the Baltimore airport waiting to catch a plane to Pittsburgh, headed home to see the folks. I was killing some time and decided to start a Blog for the family members on my mother's side. Recently I have enjoyed going back to trace family history. I joined the web site. I have found some really neat things on both my mother's side (Ciccolella) and on my father's side (Bennett). I am going to begin posting some notes and news regarding the Ciccolella side of the family and soon will invite other family members to join in. I encourage your participation. rememebr I am stuck way down south in Mississippi and I miss getting together and seeing family. Don't get me wrong, I love the south and Mississippi has been great, however, we have a very strong family with some great characters. It is time we bring a little technology and communication to the group. I am sure many of you email each other and I plan to do the same. However, I hope you particiapte. I look forward to updating the Blog now and then.