Greetings to all readers and subscribers of “Through the Byzantine Gate”. After a long, hot summer it’s good that Autumn is here. We’ve resumed our weekly research and discussion sessions. There will be many, many more chapters to the Muro and Serrapede family history forthcoming.
To accommodate our work and travel schedules the frequency of posting will change. We’re moving to a twice monthly posting rather than a weekly posting. This provides more time to proofread and tweak the drafts created in the past. My Uncle and I are roughly 6 months ahead in our progress.
As we near the 1940s, the availability of Federal Census records ends. With the end of available census records a change in our approach is needed. The question under consideration is how to move the narrative forward and keep our readers engaged. We intend to continue looking at the story from the family perspective as well as the bigger picture. It is our purpose to always provide a take-away for the reader.
To this end my Uncle and I will use Brooklyn and New York City newspaper articles to provide documentation as much as possible. We also plan to weave more family stories, memories and anecdotes into the narrative as the post-1940s era enters the story. This moves our blog away from strictly genealogical research and into the realm of memoir. It should be an interesting mix. We’re thinking of an episodic format so that each posting will be self-contained. It will be, we hope, like dropping in for a visit and experiencing the flavor and atmosphere of what our neighborhoods, schools, and social life were like. They helped shape our lives and move us into the mainstream. Our community and locale will become a character in the family story, too. Italian-Americans of the 2nd (Uncle Sammy) and 3rd (me) generations grew up in an atmosphere that held the saying “My neighborhood is my world.” to be true. The Italian-American experience has changed as 3rd and 4th generation descendants have moved away and assimilated into the greater American culture.
Something is gained and something is lost in this transition that is not always possible to label “good” or “bad”. We, the descendants, have greater opportunities and personal freedoms than our ancestors did. That all comes with a price. We hope by featuring our neighborhoods and the places we loved, along with our family stories, you will get a sense of what that place and time were like. It is a lifestyle and culture that no longer exists. It deserves to be remembered as much as our ancestors for the lessons we can learn and apply to our lives today.