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Joe Polatti (Giuseppe Paoletti), Texas
Posted by: Gaylon Polatti Date: August 03, 2001 at 15:09:17
  of 17

Hi, folks.

Being a librarian, I've worked with many, many genealogists whom I thought were gently mad for trying to track down a story based on a crumb of information. The gods love irony, however, and I guess it's my turn to look for stories.

Joe Polatti was my grandfather (1898 - 1975), about whom I know very little. He apparently told nothing about his life or family to my dad.

After arriving at Ellis Island, he went from Giuseppe Paoletti to Joe Polatti (alternately spelled "Piolatti" on a WW2-era identification card he was issued).

I have an envelope from Maria Paoletti in Monsampaolo del Tronto to him dated 1938. No letter inside, of course. Maria was, I think, his mother--my uncle, while in the USAF in Europe, took advantage of a Red Cross service to hunt up his family. They bundled him up on a train, then a bus, to "a little village on top of a mountain" where he met lots of Paolettis who were kin of some kind. Of course, he spoke no Italian, and they spoke no English. While there, he was shown a grave for Maria Paoletti, whom he said was his grandmother. He didn't tell me the story until the end of his life and really couldn't recall anything more.

From another envelope, I know that my grandfather corresponded with Frank Rossi in Chicago in the 1950s. Rossi...now there's an easy name to try to track down in Chicago! :)

Sometime between arriving in America and 1938, my grandfather settled in Gregg County, Texas, between Longview and White Oak, where he raised a family and lived the rest of his life. He died in Kilgore, Texas.

The EllisIsland.org folks have an entry for a Giuseppe Paoletti who arrived on the "Giuseppe Verdi" on 27 May 1920. Paoletti is listed as being 20 instead of 22, but my grandfather didn't really know how old he was. My dad told me that when my grandfather applied for Social Security, the SSA folks tracked down some record for him which showed he was born in 1898, which made him six years older than he thought he was.

Anyway, I think the Verdi entry is my grandfather, because that Paoletti listed his home town as "Monsampolo" and said that he was going to join his uncle, Franco Rossi, then of Barre, Vermont.

Those are my few little crumbs. If anyone has information, I'd love to hear from you.


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