Travel By A Sherrie Affair Blog

The Experience Of Tracking Down Some Ancestors

Pofi Italy Ancestors

The view from Pofi. A beautiful area my ancestors are from!

Hello Everyone!,

I would have to say out of all the travels we have done, one of the most special moments for me was traveling to Pofi, Italy where my Great Grandfather Giuseppe Fabrizi was born.  It took a lot of research to find ancestors on Ancestry.com and find exactly what town he was from, but it was worth it!  Here is how my experience of finding information on my ancestors began…

In 1998 we went on our 2nd trip to Italy.  Kevin and I went on a day excursion down to Naples.  As we were driving down the autostrada I remember looking to the left and seeing a town that for some reason I was drawn to.  We were about half way to Naples and I remember pointing it out to Kevin and saying I would love to just go to some of the small villages to explore one day.

Research starts on my ancestors

Fast foward a few years from that trip, I discovered Ancestry.com.  Spent hours and hours on it, still do!  I finally found the connection I needed to my Great Grandfather, he was born in Pofi.  Next of course I mapped it out and thanks to technology I could see a satellite view.  Strange things happen, and you might not believe this- but it was the town I saw from our trip! I knew it was for I recognized houses that were closer to the road.  I immediately told Kevin next trip we have to go!!

Well it didn’t end up happening on our next trip, but in 2012 we finally made it happen.  First thing we did when we arrived at Hotel Columbus near the Vatican was ask them for a private driver to take us to Pofi.  They looked at us like we were a little crazy (they know us from experience- but that will be in another blog post) they never heard of Pofi.  But being the best hotel staff in Rome, they hired a driver for us.  The next day we had a nice young man pick us up.  He asked where we wanted to go, told him Pofi, he never heard of it.  So map quest was pulled up.  Needless to say, we arrived with no real issues.


Pofi, a cute and quite town.  See pictures included.  We find out as soon as arrive that we need to go to the very top to the municipality next to the church to obtain the birth certificate of Giuseppe.  So hiking up we went.  Now this is where it gets interesting.  We enter, there is about 4-5 people that work inside.  Two older gentleman are behind the main desk.  Houston, we have a problem.  No one speaks any English, not a lick.  After a few minutes of writing and lots of hand gestures (thank God I’m Italian, this helped) we at least conveyed my Grandfathers name.

Now remember this is back in 2012, I have an iPhone 4 I believe, with something on it that came in really handy. A Translator! I proceed to talk into my translator, switch to repeat in Italian, play it for the men.  You would think they just met the Jetsons.  I convinced them to speak into my phone, switched it to English and presto we have communication!  Next came the research.  Big, tall books with lots of dust on them I kid you not, were taken off a shelf.  Just a few more hand gestures and a few minutes later, I had my Great Grandfathers birth certificate, which gave me names of my Great Great Grandparents and siblings!  All worth the trip!

Update: My journey continues thanks to ordering the Ancestry.com DNA Kit- get your’s here!!

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Pofi Italy

Straight up we go!

Pofi Italy

It was a straight up walk

Pofi Italy ancestor research

More information they provided me

Pofi Italy Birth certificate

Great Grandfathers birth certificate

Ancestor research

Looking up my maiden last name

So exciting when he brought down the book!

Bakery in Pofi Italy

Yum! The bakery was open!

Memorial in Pofi Italy

Beautiful memorial

big bus rome













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About travelbyasherrieaffair

Sherrie has been traveling for sometime now. Her husband Kevin and herself love to explore different destinations and adventures. She has always wanted to write, so writing about traveling just became the obvious combination. "I love, love, love to travel! Everything about it- views, sights, experiences, exploration, food, wine and of course meeting people!" Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten

  1. This is super awesome!!!!! I feel like I always get intrigued by foreign countries that I’d rather visit those than explore my own or get to know my origin better. Pofi is such a cute town name and thank you for sharing this beautiful journey with us! I’m definitely inspired to research my own!!

  2. wow, this is insanely inspirational, i can’t even imagine the journey you went on and all the emotions you must have felt! I really want to do something like this!

  3. This is very cool! It is always inspiring when people do research to find their ancestors. You had an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. This is so phenomenal! Tracing your history and experiencing the town that your grandfather grew up in. I did the something very similar 2 hours ago and it is so powerful to know where you came from. Love it!

  5. What a truly incredible experience. I can’t even imagine doing something like that. I think my oldest tracked family came from Norway? I think? Ha! But very cool!

  6. This is actually cool! Been thinking of doing the same thing but I don’t know where to start. Also, it looks like you’re solving a msytery.

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