Souls of Lunigiana

An ancestor research site for the villages of Apella and Taponecco. 

Before I began all my research into my maternal Italian heritage, my mindset was confident that there was no way I was going to find out anything about my Italian ancestors as my nonna and nonno lived in such small isolated villages that weren’t like places such as nearby Firenze, or London, or Paris, where every major event was recorded and stored away for centuries. I had always been using Ancestry.com for my paternal side where of course, every British, French and German record were. But I persisted and googled for the most broad of topics like ‘Toscana records’ or ‘Massa-Carrara records’ and soon enough I came across a gold mine of information.

None of it was indexed so I couldn’t simply type in my nonnino’s name and come out with a result. I had to click through literally thousands of documents and eventually I came up with a very big result. An extension to my mum’s family tree of about 3 generations, even back 4, 5, 6 generations on some lines and hundreds of cousins/aunt/uncles side ways.

After finding this extensive information about my ancestors, as well as about other families in the villages, and extending my family tree back generations, I decided to create Souls of Lunigiana. This site aims to provide the descendants of people from the historic Lunigianese villages of Taponecco, where my nonna came from, and Apella, where my nonno came from, with information to help them research their ancestors and find out more about who lead to them. Lunigiana is a mountainous region in Italy dissected by the Magra river, covering an area which runs from the Apennines to the Mediterranean Sea, and that now belongs in part to Toscana (Tuscany) and in part to Liguria. It takes its name from Luni, a Roman town, which became the principal urban center on the northern Tuscan coast. Some contend that the name Luni refers to the moon, a celestial body whose beauty is made all the more attractive when framed by the white-peaked Apuan Alps and high Apennine mountains.

The pure joy that my nonna and nonno expressed when showing them the ancestor research I had done inspired me to create Souls of Lunigiana, and I hope I can build up an insightful and informative site for every Lunigianese descendant of Apella and Taponecco to explore. I gladly accept any descendants’ help with any information they can contribute.

This site is in homage to the amazing historic region of Lunigiana, and to those two small villages – Apella and Taponecco.

Credit: About Lunigiana, Wikipedia

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