Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Tree

Kenny Dee
James Dee Jr.
                          Michele - Maria - Vincenzo - Giacomo - Anthonino - Francesco - Vincenza
                              Di Dia     Di Dia     Di Dia       Di Dia         Di Dia         Di Dia         Di Dia
                              B1880     ????       B1878      B1888         B1896        B1885        B1892
                                                          D1915      D1953         D1936
                                                       James Dee - Chris Dee - Tony Dee
                                       \             \          |                 |                 |               /                /

                                                   GiovanBattista Di DiaMaria Donato
                                                           1850-1892              1852-1933

Connecting with Di Dia's in Marsala

Here lately I have been connecting with alot of Di Dia from Marsala on Facebook. I was told that Di Dia is a very common surname. But how common is it compare to those in America name "Smith"? I truly believe that it's not as comman as some folks believe and that all the Di Dia are related somewhere down the line. If they just took the time to do the research. So I will be doing this blog in both Italian and in English and I will be posting some photos that I have collected over the year from other family members and friends.

Qui ultimamente sono stati la connessione con un sacco di Dia da Marsala su Facebook. Mi è stato detto che Di Dia è un cognome molto comune. Ma quanto è comune si confronta con quelli nel nome America "Smith"? Credo davvero che non è come comman come alcune persone credono e che tutti la Dia Di sono legate da qualche parte giù la linea. Se hanno solo preso il tempo di fare la ricerca. Così sarà fare questo blog in entrambi italiano e in inglese e invierò alcune foto che ho raccolto nel corso dell'anno da altri membri della famiglia e gli amici.

Photo #1 - This photo was sent to me by Daniele Di Dia in Marsala. He said "This was my great grandfather's brother but we don't know his name. Instead my great grandfather's name is GiovanBattista Di Dia. This photo was taken in America and mailed to his family back in the 1920's". After showing this photo to my father James Dee Jr. he believes this to be his grandfather, my great grandfather Giacomo Di Dia. But we need more proof of his identity.

Foto #1 - questa foto è stata inviata a me da Daniele Di Dia a Marsala. Ha detto "questo è stato il fratello di mio bisnonno, ma non sappiamo il suo nome. Invece il nome di mio bisnonno è GiovanBattista Di Dia. Questa foto è stato presa in America e spedita alla sua famiglia indietro nel 1920". Dopo aver mostrato questa foto di mio padre James Dee Jr crede questo per essere suo nonno, il mio bisnonno Giacomo Di Dia. Ma abbiamo bisogno di più prova della sua identità.

Photo #2 - This photo was provided to me by Mary Hancock Brock the photo is that of Antonino Di Dia also known as Tony Dee from Knoxville, Tennessee. It's has been verify by his son John Richard Dee of San Jose, California that Antonino Di Dia were brothers of Vincenzio Di Dia also known as James Dee, and that of my great grandfather Giacomo Di Dia also known as Chris Dee. All three brothers were the sons of GiovanBattista Di Dia 1850-1892 & Maria Donato 1860-1933.

Foto #2 - questa foto è stata fornita a me da Mary Hancock Brock la foto è quella di Antonino Di Dia anche noto come Tony Dee da Knoxville, Tennessee. È ' stato verificare da suo figlio John Richard Dee di San Jose, California che Antonino Di Dia erano fratelli di Vincenzio Di Dia, anche conosciuto come James Dee, e quella del mio grande nonno Giacomo Di Dia conosciuto anche come Chris Dee. Tutti e tre i fratelli erano figli di GiovanBattista Di Dia 1850-1892 & Maria Donato 1860-1933

Photo #3 - Was mailed to my father James Dee Jr. in 1978. Not much information given about who the people are in the photos other that they are family inside the family owned store. The letter came from a town called Strasatti, just outside Marsala. Two other letters came with this photo. Michele Di Dia and Dina Di Dia.

Foto #3 - è stato spedito a mio padre James Dee Jr nel 1978. Non molte informazioni, dati che le persone sono nelle altre foto che sono di famiglia all'interno della famiglia circa l'archivio di proprietà. La lettera proveniva da una città chiamata Strasatti, appena fuori Marsala. Due altre lettere è venuto con questa foto. Michele Di Dia e dia. Di Dina

Photo #4 - Dina Di Dia?

Photo #5 - Michele Di Dia?

Photo #6 - Vincenzo Di Dia also known as James Dee & his wife Anna Corso
Foto #6 - Vincenzo Di Dia, anche conosciuto come James Dee & sua moglie Anna Corso

This photo was provided by Raymond Hogle husband to Mrs. Urso Family.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Made it to Sandusky!

Well the family and I made our way to Sandusky, Ohio, where I have meet up with the other "Dee's" in our family. I have learn that there are only 3 living second cousins of the Dee. My father James Dee, his cousin James Dee in Sandusky, my aunt Margaret. There is 2 living Dee's first generation living in Knoxville, TN and San Jose, California. Marcella Dee and John Richard Dee. I have recently made contact with Marcella and she is 91 years old. I was surprise how well she sound for being 91 years old. She was a firecracker! Hope I can meet up with her soon too. Here's a small family reunion that we had at James Dee house in Sandusky.

Of course my son had to show out. But it was nice to met dependents of the Di Dia Family. James Dee has been to Marsala acouple of time, and he really wants me to make the trip there too. I just got to get the funds together to make it happen. Anyone got about 5K laying around? :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Di Dia in Marsala

Well I might have found distant relatives in Marsala. The research is still on going via Facebook. It seems that Di Dia is a common last name in and around Marsala, but all the Italian surname databases really doesn't detect that name, but don't be fooled by this though. Some database software out there has to have 3 or more letters before it will detect and since the name starts off as "Di" so you might have to take out the space and add it as one "DiDia".

I will be leaving to Sandusky, OH this coming July. I will be meeting my great-grandfather brother Vincenzo side of the family. I really need to get my records inline before my departure. I let you all know how it went, so stay tune!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well I have located another distant Italian family member Bertolino. The Bertolino's immigrated to the U.S. in 1906. Michele Di Di (my great uncle) married to a Maria Bertolino. Now it's unknown why Maria and her husband came to either live or visited her brother Benadicto Bertolino. Benadicto stayed in the Boston, Mass. area it seems that the men all worked in the fishery. I do know that Michele Di Dia did in fact enlisted into the World War I Draft. So this might mean that he did plan on living here, but he and his wife return back to Marsala, Sicilia, and this is known because of letters that have been written to my father James Dee after the passing of my grandfather James Dee Sr., back in 1973. So a new chapter has been written, and I am glad that I was able to find some living Bertolino's. The funny thing about this is that in my teen years, I have lived up in the New Hampshire area and could have ran into these folks with all the visit I have made to Boston. I have past this information onto my other family that currently live up there, hopefully one of them will drop by for a sweet Ciao!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Facebook and your family tree

I have started a Italian Family Tree Facebook check us out! Also want to mention this desert to you all. It so Ummmmmmmmy!

Pignoli Cookies

Yield: 2 DozenPrep Time: 10 minsCook Time: 25 mins
A perfect addition to any holiday cookie tray, these delicious traditional cookies will be a hit with family and friends alike.

1 (8 oz) Can Almond Paste
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
2 Medium Egg Whites, Lightly Beaten
8 Ounces Pine Nuts
Extra Powdered Sugar To Finish

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper, or use silicone linings.
Place the pine nuts in a bowl.
In a food processor, break up the almond paste into small pieces, and pulse with the two sugars and the flour.
Once the mixture is finely ground, begin to add the egg whites a little at a time, just until the dough comes together.
Depending on the humidity, or the size of your egg whites, sometimes you may need all of the egg whites, while other times you won't.
Using a spoon and slightly wet hands, scoop a small spoonful of the dough, and place this into the bowl of pignoli.
Roll the cookie arround until it is lightly coated, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet.
Continue forming the cookies in this manner, placing them 2 inches apart on the baking pan.
Bake the cookies 20 to 25 minutes, and then cool.
Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Family Tree Update

Even though I haven't been working on my family tree lately, I just wanted to tell you all that I will still be updating my blog. So with that out of the way. I have decided to add a memorial page for my great-grandfather Giacomo Di Dia aka Chris Dee on, I've also added one for his brother Vincenzo Di Dia aka James Dee. A short bio has been added to Chris Dee, since I have the primary information on him. I have asked another family member to write the bio on James Dee. I hope to have more bio information on them both, once I heard back from a couple other folks related to the family. Check back soon!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Not Related to Chef Boy-Ar-Dee

But wish I was! As a kid I loved eating Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. I always wonder if I was related, but found out that Chef Boy-Ar-Dee was actually made from a man named Ettore "Hector" Boiardi. He decided to name his product "Boy-Ar-Dee" to help Americans pronounce his name. The same must of happen with our last name Di Dia to Dee. I was also told it was due to Italian discrimination. It makes me think about the time when people were discriminated because of skin color, and sex discrimination. I couldn't believe that the nationality of a person would be a reason to discriminate. But I truly believe that there would even be reverse discrimination. I have known people that wouldn't even serve thier food to people of certian nationally, but Itilians loved to serve their food, and were very proud to show it off. Pasta was the main reason for this. Adding pasta to meats and vegitables dishes, was something new in America. Maybe that is why I am so addicted to pasta! Please visit Hector Boiardi

Saturday, January 5, 2013


It's funny how I continue to work on my family tree and how many KINS I have in the Sandusky, Ohio area. The names are getting longer and longer every week I work on my family tree. I am getting to think that Ohio is the main area of Italian immigrants, you would think New York or New Jersey would be the main hub for Italians, but I am think that Ohio was the largest Italian immigrants. As I sit here I am watching Tommy Boy, a 1995 movie starting Chris Farley and David Spade. The movie is hosted in the city of Sandusky, Ohio. Ohio was the leading automotive parts and I have found records of some of our family members working in the automotive industry, even though most of them were barbers or shoe makers. The newest family member that has been added to the family tree "Farrar". In the next day or two I will list all those that have direct connection to the Italian Family Tree.