Thursday, November 09, 2006

Genealogist Has a Score to Settle

Matt Reynolds's great-grandfather came to America from southern Italy for the same reason so many of our ancestors came: to find and kill the burglar who had murdered his mother.

He chased the man across the Atlantic and west from New York City but the trail went cold in Cleveland, Ohio, and my ancestor hung up his gun.

He settled in Lyons, a small town near Rochester in upstate New York, where I grew up hearing about him from my mother.

I knew his name, Antonio Perri, and the date he was born, October 14, 1886.

Like many amateur genealogical sleuths these days, the Internet was the first place I turned to for more clues.

Yet I knew little more than the basics when I flew to Rome in September in search of long-lost relatives.

"Too bad you don't know the murderer's name," said my travelling companion, Steve Marra. "You could find his descendants and punch them in the nose." [Link]

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