How Italian Are We?

19 01 2012

Well, of course Chrissy isn’t Italian at all (unless marriage counts).  But all of my ancestors are full-blooded Italians.  My mom’s grandparents and my dad’s parents came to the USA on a boat from the old country.

Why does that matter to me now, except when it comes to what we’re having for dinner?  Well, there is a possibility that I might be able to obtain Italian citizenship — and, more importantly, a passport that would allow us to live in Romania visa-free, thanks to the European Union.

It’s tricky.  And heavy on the paperwork.  We have to find naturalization papers for my 6 relatives (both sets of mom’s grandparents and my dad’s parents) as well as birth, marriage, and death certificates for all of them.  The big question is whether any of my Italian-born ancestors who came to America got naturalized AFTER having the children who would be my direct forebears.

Today we tried contacting some lawyers who specialize in immigration law and particularly Italian dual citizenship.   But it is Friday, so no surprise, I guess, that we couldn’t get through.  I’m thinking the trick is hiring someone who knows how to navigate all the paper research.  Most of it is on microfiche in the National Archives, probably in New York City, and we weren’t planning a trip to that area anytime soon.

With visa requirements for all five of us to live in Romania being quite complicated, lengthy, and pricey, Italian dual citizenship (if it is within reach) is definitely a worthwhile investment for our family.