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The Calabrian Magazine is proud to present profiles of members and contributers to Il Circolo Calabrese egroup.

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This months biographies include:

Bill Girimonti, who makes the Il Circolo Calabrese egroup possible.

and me, Mike Mangiaruca, who volunteered to create this page and therefore became one of the guinea pigs for the inauguration of the "Bios Page". Being the courageous soul I am, I'll go first.

A special "Thank You" goes to Mary Leto Pareja for creating the interview.

Michael Francis Mangiaruca

or should I say Michele Francesco Mangeruca

1.  What is your name and where do you live now (city or state not
street address)?
I currently reside 5 miles from Logan, Iowa USA

2.  Where did you grow up?
I was born in Seattle, Washington. Spent my youth in Omaha, Nebraska. Graduated from high school in Las Vegas, Nevada and when I grow up next year I will probably still be living here in Iowa

3.  What do you or did you do for a living?
After getting out of the Navy, I mined flagstone in No. Arizona, I was a stagehand in Las Vegas for some time and then an over the road truck driver for a number of years. For the past couple of years I have helped my neighbor farm and driven one of the local school bus routes. I just had back surgery number three in September and the doc says I shouldn't be playing with trucks, buses and tractors anymore so it is time for a new occupation I guess (any job offers ???)


4.  Anything else you'd like to share about your background (schooling,
family members, travels)?
My background hmmmmm, I was probably the black sheep of the family. I am married, 45 years old. I have a 27 year old daughter and a three year old grandson. I also have a son who will turn 18 in April. Driving Semi allowed me to visit every state in the continental US. I plan on making a trip to visit newly discovered relatives in Italy this coming September. And I am trying to teach myself Italian.

5.  What prompted your interest in genealogy?
My father, my son and I were the only three people I knew of with the surname Mangiaruca, and that turned out to be incorrect. Add my natural curiosity and the extra time off work and there you go.


6.  How long have you been researching your family history (in general
and Calabria specific)?
Started in January of 1998.


7.  What major surnames and towns are you researching in Calabria?
Right now I am concentrating on Mangeruca, Ramondino, Comandei. The towns of Africo (RC) and S.Stefano D'Aspromonte.


8.  What other genealogy research topics are you interested in (e.g.,
other countries, other surnames)?
Marotta from Sant'Agata Li Battiati (CT) Sicily and the Stenvers surname from the Netherlands and Germany.


9.  What is your biggest success story in Calabrian genealogy research?
I probably hit the jackpot on "Luck" in my research. I only found 6 people in Italy with the surname "Mangiaruca" so I wrote to all 6. One of the women that received my letter lived on the same street in the same town as my great aunt's son and she gave him the letter. He and his son made a family chart and sent it to me. Thus I discovered the correct spelling of my surname and over 50 relatives in Italy with the first six letters that I sent back in January.


10.  What do you consider your biggest challenge in doing Calabrian
genealogy research?
Patience


11.  What is the best tip you have for other Calabrian researchers?
Patience


12.  Tell us something about your immigrant ancestor from Calabria.
What prompted them to leave Italy?  Where did they go?  Were they with
(or going to, or sending later for) family?
Something I would like to know also.


13.  Have you ever found any "long lost" relatives still living in
Italy?  Tell us about the first time you contacted them.
I have found relatives in Italy and Australia, several with email. It has been a rewarding and emotional experience. It brought an indescribable joy to be able to visit with these family members after all these years of not knowing they even existed.


14.  Do you have stories about Calabrian communities in the United
States or Canada (or elsewhere) that you would like to share?
No good stories.


15.  Would you like to share your e-mail address or home page URL?

mangeruca@bigfoot.com

Mangeruca genealogy: http://members.tripod.com/~mangeruca

My catchall site: http://members.xoom.com/mangeruca

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William Girimonti

1.  What is your name and where do you live now (city or state not
street address)?
Bill Grimonti.  I currently live in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

2.  Where did you grow up?
I grew up in New York City (Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx and later
moved to Brentwood, Long Island at the age of 17)

3.  What do you or did you do for a living?
I just finished a nine year career in the U.S. Air Force as an Avionics
Technician (Aviation Electronics).  I worked on nearly all of the Air Forces aircraft to include: MH-53J "Pave  Low", C-5 "Galaxy", C-141 "Starlifter", C-17 "Globemaster", KC-135 "Stratotanker", A-10 "Thunderbolt", B-52 "Stratofortress", KC-10 "Extender" and others.

I currently work for Lockheed-Martin Aeronautical Systems on the C-130J
"Herciles II" and F-22 "Raptor" programs.

4.  Anything else you'd like to share about your background (schooling,
family members, travels)?
--Attended the Bronx High School of Science
--Achieved a degree in Avionics
--Currently working toward a degree in Software Engineering.

I have three brothers and one sister, of which I am the eldest.

My travels have been thoroughly extensive.  There are very few places I have not been.  The military kept me on the road almost constantly.  My favorite place had to be Japan.  I lived there for two years and I was never happier.

5.  What prompted your interest in genealogy?
My parents were divorced when I was two years old and managed to lose contactwith each other. As a result, I never knew my father while growing up. After I joined the military, I decided to try and find him. I did some research and found him shortly after. Once we met and he started explaining the family, I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of family members, so I set out to catalog everyone so I could get an understanding of who these people were and how they were related to me.  Since 1990, I have continued to do so and have now learned more about the GIRIMONTI family (and all variations thereof) than any one else in the world.  Am I satisfied??  No way. . .I do not know a single genealogist who ever is.

6.  How long have you been researching your family history (in general
and Calabria specific)?
Since 1990.

7.  What major surnames and towns are you researching in Calabria?
Surnames: GIRIMONTE, GIRIMONTI, and IERIMONTE
Towns: Caccuri (KR), Castelsilano (KR), San Giovanni in Fiore (CS), Rogliano (CS), Scandale (KR), Verzino (KR), Casabona (KR) and Zinga (KR)

8.  What other genealogy research topics are you interested in (e.g.,
other countries, other surnames)?
I also am researching the surnames: GIRAMONTI, and (DI) GIRAMONTE from northern Italy (Provinces of: Toscana and Veneto)

9.  What is your biggest success story in Calabrian genealogy research?
To me, finding anything of relation to the GIRIMONTE family is touted as a great success, but none is greater than any other.  The most successful thing must have been conspiring with Marco Scavo to found "Il Circolo Calabrese."
While it is not directly related to my own research, it has met with remarkable success in giving those with an interest in Calabria, a voice and a forum in which to discuss things of importance to Calabria.  Not only does that include genealogy, but the history, culture, and language as well.  The group has managed to help quite a few achieve a better understanding and appreciation of Calabria.

10.  What do you consider your biggest challenge in doing Calabrian
genealogy research?
The biggest challenge is having patience with the vital records offices in Calabria when making vital record extract requests.  Many times, they are so overloaded that it takes months before a reply is tendered.  Many of which never get answered at all.  The only way to forgoe the wait is to visit the town directly, in person, to do the research.  I am known quite well in San Giovanni in Fiore (CS) that they give me free reign with the records to peruse at my leisure, while they take care of the normal day to day operations of the
office.  This alone has saved me a lot of time and aggravation.

11.  What is the best tip you have for other Calabrian researchers?
Make an effort to learn some basic Italian.  It will more than pay off when it comes time to read vital records to gain information on the people you seek. It will help you communicate with relatives that may still reside in Italy who may posess information which may be of importance.  More importantly, it gives you a greater understanding of the culture and a greater respect for the way of life.

12.  Tell us something about your immigrant ancestor from Calabria.
What prompted them to leave Italy?  Where did they go?  Were they with (or going to, or sending later for) family?
My great grandfather, Francesco Girimonti arrived in New York from Zinga in April of 1903 on the ship named:  Archimede.  He was 18 years old and came to the USA solely to retrieve his brother Guglielmo and bring him back to Italy, by request of his parents.  In the process of pleading with his brother to return to Italy, he met a young woman named Maria Argenti and quickly fell in love with her.  He then re-thought his "mission" and decided to stay in
"L'America" himself.  A year went by and a third brother, Ernesto, came over in order to retrieve the two who preceded him only to succumb to the vast opportunities that were much more apparent than in Italy.

13.  Have you ever found any "long lost" relatives still living in
Italy?  Tell us about the first time you contacted them.
I guess they were ALL long lost.  I have visted Italy eleven times in the last nine years and made it a point to concentrate on research when I had the chance.  Every tuesday I made the drive into Calabria from Brindisi (I was working at the NATO base).  Each time, I visited one or two towns, depending on my agenda, and visited the Municipio of each of the towns I am researching.  In almost every instance, the archivist explained that I still have some family left in the town.  They usually set up a meeting within minutes of my arrival with that family.  As with the hospitality of most Calabresi, I was immediately invited over to thier home for coffee which eventually extended to dinner.
During this time, I would interview them and learn as much as I could about their part of the family.  The whole time this is taking place, I am typing into my laptop computer (which was a novelty to them).  There are so many family members that I met this way.  I always left with a wealth of information and a feeling of belonging.  I have not felt that way about much of anything before.

14.  Do you have stories about Calabrian communities in the United
States or Canada (or elsewhere) that you would like to share?
No stories

15.  Would you like to share your e-mail address or home page URL?

E-mail: 
Bill@Girimonti.com
URL:
http://www.girimonti.com/girimonti

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