Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surname Saturday -- FESSIA [with connections to Antonipieri, Felice, Pozzallo, Ciochetti]

Well today, I'll cover my second surname, from my mom's side of the family --- Fessia.
I haven't been able to trace back as far as I'd like, as it's Italian, and the records in the civil area only go back to 1867. But the LDS church has microfilmed the records from the main town I'm interested in, so I've been trying to fill in the blanks.

My lineage in this line is

3. Margaret Fessia --- Mom

6. Augusto Secundo Fessia -- My grandpa. Grandpa was born 1 April 1890 in Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy. He was sent to Lyon at the age of 11 ( according to Mom) to apprentice in silk weaving . His brother did dyes for the silk and Augusto worked with the design and machines. He served in the Italian Army and was in the Italo-Turkish War [guerra di Libia, "the Libyan war" September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.] He received a commemorative medal which my uncle had framed. The letter accompanying it stated ' il Soldato del 6 Reggimento Artiglierria de [da?] Fortezza". He emigrated to the US in 1913 to work in the silk mill in Utica NY. His younger sister Felicita and her husband, his younger brother Giovanni Battista (John) also came, but an older brother went to work in the beginning textile industry in Chile, and stayed there. Augusto married the widow Maria Antonetta (Tonina) Jacomina Teresa Antonipieri Felice in Utica 1 Jul 1917. He received his US naturalization in 1922. Grandpa was a very quiet reserved man. He had the most wonderful vivid blue eyes. He was diabetic and died 4 Jan 1968 of pancreatic cancer.

12. Giovanni Battista Fessia (b. 18 May 1847 Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy-- 1903 Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy). He married Margherita Anna Pozzallo ( 3 May 1866 Donato -- 28 May 1943 Utica, Oneida, NY) in Gaglianico. She later came to the US (12 Aug 1916- held for special inquiry!) to live with her children and grandchildren. There is a tale someone told me ( in my early days before I used proper citations!) that she was his second wife, and that when his first wife died, the children of that marriage went to live with her family in southern France. I have not been able to validate or disprove this tale, and that is one of my future tasks.

24. Pietro Fessia -- this is the furthest back ancestor.... unfortunately, his data is in the pile of unsorted research. I think that his wife's maiden name was Ciochetti. I will post more on him when I finish my 2010 GB Olympic task of filing and properly sorting!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Surname Saturday-- FAIRCHILD

Thanks to Randy and his wonderful blogging prompts, I may actually get my research info published at least in pieces! This is for Surname Saturday! I have lots of surnames, and will try to tackle them in the ahnentafel format so as to have some continuity. [ if you don't know what an ahnentafel is go here:]

For this first post, I'm going to choose FAIRCHILD, my patrilineal line. Based on my research, and that of many others, we can only trace the line back to JOhn Frederick FAIRCHILD, born 1800 in Athens (or Hudson) NY, although we have been trying to link back to the CT Thomas FAIRCHILD as several lines do.

I have a FAIRCHILD tree at, have listed lineage in the back (unaligned) section of Jean Fairchild Gilmore's books "Early FAIRCHILDS in America and their Descendants" and " More Fairchilds in America".

My lineage back is

1. Susan Jane FAIRCHILD [now Barry] moi!

2. Robert Edwards FAIRCHILD - my father (1923 Olean, NY- 1990 Phoenix, AZ) m Margaret Therese Fessia
He was a dentist, served in the Navy for 20 years, the army for 1 year out of college, attended University of Ohio and University of Buffalo [now SUNY Buffalo] and took us to live in 7 states and one foreign country! He had a wonderful sense of humor, was a patient and kind man whom I miss very much!

4. Victor Miller FAIRCHILD - ( 1895 Portville, NY-1958 Olean, NY)married Jennie Gertrude 'Jane' EDWARDS (1891 Merlin, Kent Ontario CAN-1974 Olean, NY).

Grandpa was also a dentist [ as were a couple of his non-Fairchild cousins]. He served in the US AEF in France in 1918. He died when I was only five, but I remember him also as kind and funny, so I'm sure that's where Dad got his sense of humor! He was an elder and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, and had a step mother as his mother died when he was only 2. He and his sister Marion and their cousin Daisy were the " orphans" and were mostly raised by their grandma and aunts. That will be the topic for another whole post in itself!

8. Fred William FAIRCHILD ( 1872 Belfast Allegany, NY - 1932 Portville, Cattaraugus, NY) married Lucy Gertrude MILLER.

Fred Fairchild was the entrepreneurial type. He was the owner of a Mercantile and president of the Portville Broom Company. He was the second of five sons, and he eloped with Gertrude to get married. She died in childbirth of their second child, and he later remarried. He was a pillar of the community, serving on the school board, volunteer fire dept., and other positions. He loved to camp and hunt, and pictures of his deer, bear and other hunting kills were shown and passed down in the family. Dad said there was a stuffed bear in the entry to his home, and I never knew if he was kidding or not!

16. James H(enry) Fairchild ( 1841 Rochester, NY - 1906 Portville, NY). married Roxey Rosalia 'Rose' PETTY

James was one of 11 children. He and 3 of his brothers served in the Union army in the Civil War. He served in company E of the 93rd NY Volunteers. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness, spent time in the hospital, and I imagine walked with a limp, although that's not mentioned any where. He owned and operated a shingle mill in Portville, was co-owner with 2 brothers of a patented washing machine, active in the Presbyterian church, local GAR post, and a man whose "word was as good as his bond" as stated in his obituary. It was his obituary among my grandparents' things that started me on this genealogical journey 35 years ago. I am very proud of him, and named my son James in his honor.

32. John Frederick B(ackus?) FAIRCHILD ( Jan 1800 Athens [or Hudson] NY - 1869 Belfast, NY) married Sally HOYT ( abt 1802 Catskill, NY- 1857 West Sparta, NY)

He was a cooper and worked on the Erie and Genessee Canals, hence the various stays in Rochester , Dansville, Belfast. He was orphaned at the age of three, lived with maiden aunts and uncle who mistreated him and he ran away. His mother was supposedly a Backus.

If anyone is descended from any of these persons, or knows of any info on the Fairchild name, or is a Fairchild male willing to take a genealogy DNA test, please contact me at barry.sf(at) and let's compare notes on the families involved. I am tired of this brick wall!