Family History News

April 7, 2013
It's been several years since I've updated the site and finally I'm found some time to get back to it!  Firstly, my sincere apologies to those who have sent me emails from the main page without receiving a reply.  Bad form on my part, but I neglected to access that email account for long periods of time, and have finally started to wade through a backlog which also includes a raft of spam.  If you don't hear from me, please don't be discouraged and please feel free to send me a reminder email which will surely prick my conscience into productivity.
Three other things to report:
1) I've just updated to version 10 of the Reunion software which now includes the option of family tree views by clicking on the little tree icon tree icon
in the Family Card pages. 
2) The visit counter on the main page hasn't functioned for the last year or so when my site hosting service migrated to a new server.  I've finally fixed this but restarted the count at 0 unique visits, negating the 1000's of visits over the past 9 years or so.  Oh well ... fresh beginnings.
3) The most exciting bit of news (for us, anyway) is the recent acquisition of the Burt family album dating back to the 19th century with a few annotations by Marion Burt in the early to mid-20th century.  This amazing time capsule confirmed a number of family connections in the Burt and Barrow lines in England and Australia that had previously been only postulated based upon circumstantial evidence. 
   Finally, there have of course over the years been a number of passings and births, the agony and the ecstasy of any family story.  These items will remain in our hearts, and I won't be chonicling these joys and sorrows on this page. Instead, entries in this News section will be confined mostly to items pertinent to genealogy, historical discovery and website development.

February 8, 2009
The research into the 18th century New Brunswick pioneer roots of Carolyn's family received a huge boost with the release in December of the Winter 2008 issue of Generations, the Journal of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society.  Firstly, genealogist Rick Crume wrote an article naming the German town of origin of Charles Jones (aka Johann Carl Schantz) who came to the New World in 1749.  Secondly, and perhaps most profoundly, Les Bowser reported his discovery of the names of the captain and ship that brought the first Monkton Township settlers from Philadelphia in 1766.  This ship, the Lovey, could perhaps rightly be dubbed "Moncton's Mayflower".  Although preceded by the First Nations people of the region, the Acadians who were so infamously ousted in 1755, and then English military installations, the passengers of the Lovey established the first successful longterm civilian settlement on the Petitcodiac River in what was eventually to become modern day Moncton, New Brunswick.  This will be a fascinating find to the many thousands of descendants from this shipload of early inhabitants -- perhaps the time has come for the "Lovey Society"!  ;-)

Oct 10, 2008
Our relative Dominic Moore is doing Toronto proud in his second season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dominic Moore

August 9, 2008
The 41st Annual Di Paola Family Picnic was held at Carmen and Raffaela's horse farm.  The rain failed to dampen the spirits or the burgers of the many folks who braved the elements.

DiPaola 2008 picnic
Di Paola Family Picnic 2008

July 20, 2008
The 7th Annual Valenti Family Picnic took place at Boyd Conservation Area on July 13th, organized by Sonny Valenti and Maria Rosa Valenti.  The weather was excellent, as was the company and the Bocce!

Valenti Picnic 2008

As well, an updated pdf file of the Valenti Family Tree booklet has been posted in the Downloads section of the website.  This secton is password protected to respect some folks' request for privacy. Email me for access.
Heads up: The 41st Annual Di Paola Family Picnic will be held this year at Carmen's farm on August 9th.

May 31, 2008
On May 3, Rob DeMarco and Cindy Campbell were married in the exotic location of Negril, Jamaica, largely attended by immediate family members which in this family still means a whole lot of people!  We wish them all the best in their future together.

Rob and Cindy

The week before, the groom's parents, Frank and Mary (Valenti) DeMarco, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with great success.
Heads up: The 7th Annual Valenti Family Picnic will be held at Boyd Conservation Area on Sunday, July 13th, 2008.

December 29, 2007

I'm trying to expand upon the unending sideways distal shoots of the Givan family tree in New Brunswick -- i.e. the descendants of the 1766 Pennsylvanian German settlers to Moncton and environs, Karl Schantz (Charles Jones), Jacob Treitz (Trites) and Matthias Sommer (Somers), and the 1783 English settler to the Little River area, Robert John Colpitts.  (This will take some time due to their prolific nature...)  Sources include,, The New Brunswick Archives and various helpful cousins and researchers via email.  All email comments, additions, discussions are welcome.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

August 18, 2007
Because some are uncomfortable with their information being available on the internet I've changed the privacy filter settings on the program so that the webpages now show no info on people thought to be still living and born after 1915.  Now just their first initials and last name will be seen.  Spouses and people missing birthdates slip through this filter so please let me know if you're not filtered but wish to be.  I pondered this for some time and although now it's not as fun or useful for cousins to look each other up and figure out how we're all related, it seemed best to ensure that everyone was comfortable.  Once I figure out how, I intend to add a separate password protected site for people to download unedited reports in Word or gedcom formats, for those who need the full family tree data (and with a family as big as ours you really need that to keep things straight!).  This may also encourage people who otherwise may have been shy to email their updated and corrected info for the family database.

August 17, 2007
The 40th Annual Di Paola Family Reunion Picnic was held at Carmen and Raffaela Di Paola's farm on Saturday, August 11.  Carmen and Raffaela's hospitality and Maryann Di Paola's fabulous organization ensured all 127 attendees a great time.

Di Paola 2007 Picnic
Di Paola Family Picnic 2007

July 14, 2007
Richard Valenti kindly sent this photo from the 6th Annual Valenti Family Picnic held on July 8 (which I unfortunately missed while in Europe).

Valenti picnic 2007
Valenti Family Picnic 2007

However, while in Europe I took this picture in San Filippo del Mela, Sicily of the old abandoned Valenti homestead at 427 Corso Garibaldi, where Paolo and Maria raised their 8 children a century ago.  In front are grandchildren Rose Cardillo and Josephine Scalzo (who returned to Canada in time to attend the picnic noted above!)

Valenti homestead
Valenti homestead

While in Sicily we also had a great visit and dinner with many cousins at the home of Stefano and Maria Italiano in Bastione, near Santa Marina, right near the place where the old group Valenti photo from the 1930's seen at the bottom of this page was taken. 
While in Europe I saw quite a few places of genealogical interest to both sides of our family including Kiel in Germany,  Gioiosa Ionica in Calabria, San Filippo del Mela in Sicily and the National Archives in London, England (with Paris and other cities thrown in for fun!)

May 12, 2007
The website received a visual facelift today since I've updated the genealogy software.  I've changed the background colours to complement the colour scheme of the new family web cards generated by Reunion version 9.

Aug 23, 2006

I've corrected the numbering of the Di Paola annual picnics mentioned below based on info from Doris Harrison who says: "It seems that after much debate and discussion, and picking the brains of all those "old" people (LOL) the FIRST picnic was August of 1968. That would make next year's picnic in 2007 the 40th annual picnic event (since one counts the first picnic as number 1).  Sue DiPaola and her daughter Maryann are adamant about tracking EVERYONE down for next year's picnic."

Aug 20, 2006

On Saturday Aug 19 there occurred one of the most important weddings in the Valenti/DiPaola family on this side of the pond, between Mike Valenti and Barbara Neff.  Michael has long occupied a central role in the clan with his open-door policy on Spadina Road, welcoming relatives for decades and providing a home away from home.  Many hundreds of relatives and friends congregated at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to celebrate his union with Barbara and to wish them all the joy they deserve in their life together in British Columbia.


May 21, 2006
Mark Moore, one of our relatives on the Valenti/DiPaola side, has written an impressive tome on the current state of Canada's national pastime (hockey, for those who weren't sure) with a cogent analysis on how to improve it.  It's called "Saving the Game" and is published by McClelland and Stewart.  More can be read about it at  As both a Harvard graduate and an NHL draftee, Mark knows well of what he speaks!

May 12, 2006

Upon request I added a 'Downloads' section to the web site for obtaining gedcom or other useful files.  Let me know of any genealogy related files that you would like to see here.

August 13, 2005
The 38th Annual Di Paola Family Picnic
took place at the lovely farm of Brian and Barb Crawley, near Guelph, Ontario.  It was a perfect day with intermittent cloud cover to break the heat and a short gentle rainfall punctuated by a beautiful full double rainbow.  Photos are pending.

Thanks to all who provided some additional names, dates, etc. for the family tree.  Keep it coming!

July 10, 2005
The 4th Annual Valenti Family Picnic was held at Boyd Conservation Area in Vaughn north of Toronto.  This year's gathering was attended by three visiting relatives from Sicily.  Pietro Valenti (grandson of Francesco Valenti) with his wife Pina were there as well as Domenico Campo (son of Giuseppa Valenti Campo).

Valenti Picnic 2005
Valenti Family Picnic 2005

October 18, 2004
Here are identified the individuals in the following Scibilia family photo (thanks to Maria Scibilia Italiano and Rose Campo Cardillo).

Francesca's Family numbered photo
Scibilia Family - Bastione near Santa Marina, 1949

1) Giuseppe Scibilia (1907-1989) - husband of (2)
2) Francesca Valenti/Valente (1912-1965) - wife of (1); 3 through 9 are their children
3) Pina Scibilia
4) Carmelo Scibilia
5) Nina
6) Salvatora Scibilia
7) Filippo Scibilia
8) Esterina Scibilia
9) Maria Scibilia
10) Maria Laspada (dates unknown) - mother of (1)
11) Filipo Scibilia (dates unknown) - father of (1)

Click here to see a larger copy of the above photo without the numbers (104 KB).

October 9, 2004

1) There are some updates to the identification of individuals in the circa 1937 extended Valenti family photo below, thanks to Maria Scibilia Italiano in Sicily.  She believes the photo was taken at her mother's house in Bastione near Santa Marina.
2) Also there is a new mystery.  In Sicily, there appear to be two different spellings for our Valenti family.  Paolo Valenti (1856-1940), son Francesco, and daughter Carmela are all spelt 'Valente' with an 'e' in the cemetery while the public office (anagrafe) is said to spell it with an 'i'.  If anyone can shed further light on the 'true' spelling, 'Valenti' or 'Valente', please e-mail me with your comments. Thanks.

August 14, 2004   
The 37th Annual Di Paola Family Picnic took place at Dr. McLean Park north of Toronto.  Unfortunately I had to miss it.  If anyone has some photos please e-mail them.

July 7, 2004
I've now updated the database and website with the family data provided at the Valenti picnic.

July 4, 2004
The 3rd Annual Valenti Family Picnic, organized by Santino Valenti and Maria Rosa Valenti, was held at the Boyd Conservation Area in Vaughan, north of Toronto on Sunday, July 4th.  A good time was had by all in beautiful surroundings.  Despite the weather forcast, the day was beautiful until about 5:30 when the skies opened up with a deluge of rain amid thunder and lightning, announcing an end to the festivities!  Many thanks to all the relatives who provided much information with which I'll be updating the database.  One group venture was a good attempt to identify all the people in an old family photo estimated from circa 1937.  Below is the outcome of this exercise.  Please look it over and e-mail any comments, corrections or theories.

Numbered Photo
Family group photo believed to be at the Scibilia home in Bastione, near Santa Marina circa 1937

1) Paolo Valente/Valenti (1855-1940) - patriarch
    1a) Maria Di Paola (1866-1959) – matriarch, wife of Paolo (1)
2) Francesco Valente/Valenti (1891-1953) - son of Paolo (1) and Maria (1a); husband of Fortunata Di Paola (2a)
    2a) Fortunata Di Paola (1885-1952) - wife of Francesco Valenti (2)
    2b) Orazio Valente/Valenti (b. 1927) - son of Francesco (2) and Fortunata (2a)
3) Antonina (Valente/Valenti) Bella (d. 1953) - daughter of Paolo (1) and Maria (1a)
    3a) ?Salvatore Bella (b. 1886) - husband of Antonina Valenti (3)
    3b) Concetta (Bella) Iarrero (1912-1970) - daughter of Antonina (3) and Salvatore (3a)
    3c) a child of Concetta (3b)
4) Giuseppa (Valenti) Campo (1899-1976) - daughter of Paolo (1) and Maria (1a), wife of Antonino Campo (4a)
    4a) Antonino Campo (1894-1973) - husband of Giuseppa Valenti (7)
    4b) Domenico Campo (b. 1921) - son of (4) and (4a)
    4c) Maria Campo (b. 1926) - daughter of (4) and (4a)
    4d) Paolo Campo (1928-2004) - son of (4) and (4a)
    4e and 4f) Paolina Campo (b. 1932) and Giuseppina Campo (b. 1936) - daughters of Giuseppa (4) and Antonino (4a) - probably in that order but not sure which is which
5) Giuseppe “Pepi” Valenti (1907-1995) - son of Paolo (1) and Maria (1a), husband of Maria Fassi (5a)
    5a) Maria Fassi (1914-1992) - wife of Giuseppe Valenti (5)
    5b) Paul Valenti (b. 1935) - son of Giuseppe (5) and Maria (5a)
6) Francesca (Valente) Scibilia (1912-1965) - daughter of Paolo (1) and Maria (1a), wife of Giuseppe Scibilia (6a)
    6a) Giuseppe Scibilia (1907-1989) - husband of Francesca Valente (6)
    6b) Maria Scibilia (b. 1935) - daughter of Francesca (6) and Giuseppe (6a)
    6c) Filipo Scibilia - father of Giuseppe Scibilia (6a). 
(He and his wife are also identified by the fact that they appear in another photo (104 KB) of a family grouping of Giuseppe Scibilia and Francesca Valenti with their kids.)
    6d) Maria Laspada - mother of Giuseppe Scibilia (6a)
7) Antonino Di Paola (1880-1962) - brother of Maria Di Paola (1a)
    7a) Maria Pizzurro (1887-1971) - wife of Antonino Di Paola (7)
    7b) ?son of Antonino Di Paola (7) and Maria (7a) - Francesco? Giuseppe?

Click here to see a larger copy of the above photo without the numbers (140 KB).

There is some controversy as to whether or not there is any blood relationship between Maria Di Paola (matriarch) and Fortunata Di Paola (2a). Fortunata was the aunt of Anna Carmela Di Paola who earlier came to Toronto and married Antonino Valenti (the one son of Paolo who was missing from the above photo)... any suggestions?

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Site maintained by Norman Franke. Last modified on April 7, 2013