What Little I Know...

What little I know about my Galgano Family History...

My father's family is from Piermont, New York, which is in Rockland County, on the west side of the Hudson River, just above New Jersey. My father's name is Francis, my grandfather was Joseph born in 1907 in Piermont, died there in 1978. He had a couple of brothers, Jimmy is the only one I know about, born in 1910 in Piermont, died in 1978 (he died at my grandfather's funeral, i believe). My great grandfather was Salvatore, he was born near Naples, Italy in 1877, immigrated to Piermont, probably around 1904, and died here in 1968. I believe he had a sister that lived with him. My father has brothers Joseph, David and sisters Antoinette and Doris, and a half-brother Anthony Coder.

January, 2001

Since first posting this site in August of 1999, I've learned quite a lot about my heritage, and many Galgano's from around the world have contacted me. Here's the story, as told in an email to Marlene Dunham, founder of the Calitrani Connections, Mario Toglia, who researches immigration records of Calitrani immigrants to the USA and has posted them on his They Came By Ship site, and Jason Gervase, founder of the Calitri-L mailing list, and keeper of the flame. Jason is quite a remarkable man. He has documented the genealogy of more than 20,000 descendants of the village of Calitri.

I have had very little family history. My fathers family was not close, and I only have occasional contact with a few first cousins. My grandmother grew up in an orphanage, and there is no 'keeper' of our ancestry. Out of curiosity, I've searched the net for Galgano's from time to time, and in fact, it was Mario's passenger list that came up, a couple of years ago, the first time that I saw the Calitri pages. I looked for likely ancestral candidates, but didn't find my great grandfather, Salvador. I looked at all of your site, and thought, "how nice, what these people are doing," although I thought that it was unlikely that there would be a direct connection between my family and Calitri--there must be hundreds of galgano immigrants from dozens of little towns, what are the odds?

I put up the Galgano site around this time, thinking of the Calitri site, and the idea of a place where "Galgano's" can meet would be nice.

Six months ago or so, I revisited Mario's list, to check again, and saw that more new Galgano's were on the list, and Piermont, my father's hometown, came up a couple of times. I decided to join Calitri-l, and sent a note to Jason. His response was remarkable. Within a day, he linked my great-grandfather to Calitri, and sent me 8 generations of family history. Boom. It's like the story: Yesterday, I couldn't spell Caltri, now I am one! I'm very pleased. Overnight, I went from having very little heritage, to having a great group of cousins, and a home town in Italy. It doesn't get better than this...

This is what the internet is all about. This nice story is a direct result of your site, Marlene and Mario. It works. Thanks so much. I've wanted to write up this story nicely, to thank you, and post it on our sites, but the time...I'm too rushed to be eloquent at the moment. Anyway, you have my heart-felt thanks for your great work. 

This has been a very heartwarming experience for me. And it's not a unique story--Marlene had much the same experience when she contacted Jason a few years back, and I know many others have as well. 

SO, if your name is Galgano, I encourage you to subscribe to the Calitri-L list. Jason will receive the subscription request. Include some information about your ancestors, and ask Jason if he might have a link to your ancestors. I suspect that if your name is Galgano, and your family immigrated to the NY metro area, particularly Rockland County, White Plains, Hartford, CT, Brooklyn, or Montclair NJ, it's quite likely you are of Calitrani descent. You'll may meet near and distant cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends. I have.

What little I know about the Galgano surname...

Galgano is a Medieval name from Italy, though, in that era, the name was more like a given name than a surname

What I've read about Italian surnames is that they were
often adopted from Saints fairly liberally. There is some interesting stuff
about this here: