Monday, 24 August 2015

Laudadio Teglio

I first met my Teglio ancestors that August 14th in 1962 when I met for the first and only time my great great aunt Elsa Finzi, who was making her customary annual visit to my grandfather on his birthday. It was the day when I interviewed her about her family and recorded in outline her memories of them all, though with very little in the way of anecdotes or memories. In particular she mentioned that her maternal grandfather was Laudadio Teglio of Genova (Genoa), but nothing more about him, except that he had many children. I was impressed then by his puritanical forename - 'Praise God' - and wondered about it. Many years were to pass before I was to discover more. In fact, it was the booklet I wrote in 1996, entitled simply 'My Mother's Story', and dedicated to my younger daughter Esther, that opened up that whole area of exploration. This happened when I eventually placed the booklet on the internet, and over time I was contacted by my distant cousin Anna Aragno in New York, and later by another distant cousin and fellow descendant of Laudadio Teglio, Guy Hassid in Paris. The booklet also became the core of the book "Trieste' by the Croatian author Dasa Dirndic.

It was my cousin Anna Aragno who provided me with some wonderful photographs of Laudadio and his wife, and who shared happy memories of her grandmother, my great great aunt Elsa, but it was also the internet that revealed so much more. A search produced a surpring link to a museum in Polperro, Cornwall, and the discovery that my ancestor Laudadio had a son who had settled and married in Plymouth. He was the brother of my great great grandmother Emma Teglio, daughter of Laudadio, and I was so surprised when I discovered, thanks to my cousin Guy Hassid in Paris, that our lives had overlapped, she dying when I was three or four years old. 

Emma Finzi, née Teglio, my great great grandmother
Guy provided me with more wonderful photographs, and a detailed family tree, that corroborated that produced by Enzo Falco in the States. Enzo and I recently almost made contact again, but frustratingly the initial reestablishment of contact led nowhere. Enzo must have been the first person to contact me when I put my booklet on the internet, and his researches were invaluable.
Laudadio Teglio of Modena and Genova

Thanks to these various contacts I have a much better picture of this branch of my family, though at the moment I have some confusion about individuals. I made a presumption that Laudadio must be a very rare forename, as indeed it is, but not in this branch of my family. In accordance with Jewish tradition names are repeated, so that I have found a Laudadio Teglio born in Modena round about 1750, and a Laudadio Teglio of Modena whose daughter Teresita of Turin died at Auschwitz during the Second World War. I am also confused as to whether the garbaldino Laudadio Teglio, son of Ottavio Teglio and Rosa Uzielli, was my ancestor, or his cousin. A photograph of the garibaldino Laudadio Teglio bears no resemblance to my ancestor of the same name.

Much information will be available in the extensive Jewish archives of Modena, held at the synagogue there. Unfortunately the Modena State Archives which also hold much information have been closed for sorting and relisting for many years, well beyond what was expected.I shall try to contact the synagogue archives in Modena, and hopefully they will be more helpful than their colleagues here in Trieste, who have proved worse than useless, in fact they have been obstructive. The registers of births and deaths alone would help elucidate the various branches of the Teglio family. Research in Italy is frustratingly slow and difficult to achieve, it feels a century behind what is available in England in Germany.

The book ' Le Comunità ebraiche a Modena e Carpi' has recently come into my possession and is a tantalising hint of the resources that should be available, and of life for my ancestors in the Jewish ghetto at Modena. Published in 1999, it shows the lack of progress that has been made in Italy to allow access to the wonderful sources that exist.

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