Monday, 30 May 2016

I would be

Revealing my Roots
Researching the origins of my family

My family is from many different countries, but mostly Europe. My family members originate from Italy, Whales, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Native Canadian. For this blog post I will be focusing on my maternal roots from Italy since I have the most information available about this side of my family. Originally I had believed that my maternal family was only from Ireland, but after interviewing family members I discovered that many of them believe that our family had immigrated twice originally from Italy to Ireland to Canada.   

My family that originated in Italy was my great great grandfather. He moved from Italy in the mid 1800’s to Ireland and my great grandfather moved from there to paulgrave, Ontario in the early 1900’s to Orangeville Ontario.  

A map showing the location of Italy and Ireland in relation to each other.  Also showing the
locations of where my great great grandfather traveled to and from.

It was originally believed that my maternal roots came from Ireland, but after interviewing my mother it is highly likely that my great great grandfather was actually from Italy. I also interviewed my grandfather and agreed that it was very likely based on my mother’s maiden name, the customs of my family, as well as the physical characteristics that majority of my family has.
In my interview with my mother she stated “I think that our family was from somewhere other than Ireland before they moved to Canada” (Treble) she believed this because majority of my family share characteristics of people of Italian descent. After doing more research I discovered that my family shares a lot characteristics with people from the south of Italy “our family all have dark hair, eyes, and tanned skin. Also it looks like all of our family has bags under our eyes” (Treble) which a lot of Italian people do. After more investigating I discovered after asking our family doctor that the reason my family has these dark skin marks under our eyes is because our veins actually sit very close to our skin (Davenport). This means that the dark skin under our eyes would be genetic and not caused by a lack of sleep, stress, or any other causes.        
Italian dude.jpg

Italian chick.jpg

These Images demonstrate the typical physical Italian Characteristics. A tanned complexion, dark hair, and eyes. As
Well both pictures demonstrate the “bags” under both the man
And the woman's eyes most likely caused by veins sitting
Close to their skin.  

After researching life in Italy in the 1800s I discovered that it was very likely that my great great grandfather left Italy because of the Franco-Prussian war, which ended in 1871 (Ancos). The Franco-Prussian war started in 1871, which was around the time that my grandfather was thought to have left Italy. Also it was estimated that approximately 550 000 Italians left Italy between 1869 and 1871(Irial). The reason that so many Italians left was in huge part due to the war that was occurring in this time period. Based on this information I find it very likely that my great great grandfather did leave Italy in this time period to travel to Ireland in order to escape living in or having to join the war.

If I were to live in Italy right now I feel that my life wouldn’t be bad and i would have a pretty content life although my life would probably be better were I am now, Canada. Majority of Italians have modern cars, can afford expensive car insurance, and people are able to go out, eat, and drink well (Roe).In Canada more people feel as if they are more secure, have a higher life satisfaction, and are generally more healthy based on a survey conducted by OECD  Better life index.  Although if I were to live in Italy during the mid to late 1800s then life would be very different. 1870 was the year that Rome was officially taken over in the Franco-Prussian war, which means the quality of life in Italy at this time would have been very poor. Due to the fact that you would have lost many loved ones fighting the war, and the other effects war has.     
italy vs canada.jpg

In Italy the unemployed youth rate is at 44.2 percent Compared to Canada which has an employment rate of 13.4 percent as of march 2016. Although I have a job now it is very likely that I would have been able to get a job at a much younger age and with greater ease when I was looking for one based on the employment rate of each country. I feel that this would be good for not only me but other youth my age as well. Many of my friends, who do not have jobs, feel bored and that they have nothing to do. I believe keeping youth busy is a good thing to do because it provides youth with something productive to do, become more responsible,and gives them a sense of belonging. All of these things would contribute to a better quality of life for youth.
                                                                                               Quality of life in Italy compared to Canada
(Canada is the dashed line)

In Italy classes for secondary education are
typically smaller than those in Canada. Italy
typically has a class of 10 to 20 pupils while Canada has classes of around 30 students. Since Italy has a smaller class average  it is much easier for Italian students to get more extra help, and more one on one work meaning it is more likely for them to be successful in school.

Furthermore Italy has a health plan and recognizes health care as a right just like Canada does. If I were to live in Italy my health care would be relatively the same. In Italy health care is given to anyone regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, or economic status according to international living. This is a right given to anyone just like in Canada.

Based on the information I have collected I believe that my quality of life in Italy would be worse than if I was to live In Canada, although it would not be bad by any means and I would likely be happy, and feel secure. I am glad tho that my ancestors were able to relocate themselves from Italy to Ireland to eventually Canada and I admire their bravery in doing so in search of a better life.   


     Anco. "Life in Italy." N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016. 

   Google. Google Maps. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. 

   Personal interview. 20 May 2016. 

   Personal interview. 20 May 2016. 

Totaro, and Vasarri. "Italian Youth Employment Rate Rise."
     N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016. < 

Understanding Italy. "Italian Educational System." Understanding Italy. N.p., 
     n.d. Web. 30 May 2016. < 



  1. Wow, this is really cool. I'm glad you moved to Canada, life seems better here then compared to Italy, although life in Italy seems more relaxed. I didn't realize the health care is the same as it is in Canada, which is quite interesting, but I'm glad they give the same health care without judgement. This was really interesting to read about your family history! :)

  2. This is really interesting Jesse! Both of our families are from Europe and moved around because of the war. The smaller classes in Italy would probably be better and there would for sure be more successful students. I think it's really cool how you figured out your maternal roots are actually from Italy and the fact that you did extra research to confirm that. It's great that you can learn a lot about both places!