Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Magic of DNA Testing and Never Giving Up

A long time family mystery of Francisco Baccelli was finally solved on December 16, 2014 with an old time photo and a DNA test. This was truly a Christmas miracle.  

I have been researching my Baccelli line for a very long time. I pretty much exhausted all records in the U.S.A and did a lot of research on Italians in Sacramento. I was pretty sure that not only did Francisco come from northern Italy, but from Lucca, Italy. It was just weird that there was another Baccelli that appeared in Sacramento right before my great grandfather died. They were the only two Baccelli’s in the Sacramento area.

All the records I obtained on Francisco’s associates all came from Lucca, Italy, but I just couldn’t find the link for Francisco. I searched many church records in some towns in the Lucca area, but wasn’t able to find Francisco. I tried all kinds of research strategies and even got very creative with my research. I ended up finding all 13 children that Francisco and Inez had.

I came across some old photos of Francisco’s children. One, in particular had a very distinct look which stood out. I then came across an online photo of another Baccelli tree that just happened to have a photograph that looked identical to Francisco’s son. After making contact with the Baccelli tree owner he agreed to DNA testing. After several months of waiting the results finally came in and he was a match. Knowing that his Baccelli ancestors were from Lucca, Italy a search was conducted in the same township where his ancestors were from and Francisco’s baptismal record was found and down came the wall and the line was moved back to the late 1600s.

This wouldn’t have been possible without that old time photo and DNA testing. I want to thank my new found cousin, John for taking the DNA test and for having that particular photo online. I also want to thank my other cousin, Danny for checking the microfilm for the township in Lucca and pulling the baptismal record and for helping get Francisco’s line moved further back. I also want to thank my second cousin, Elwood Greer for giving me those old photos and especially my brother, Brent for doing a DNA test.

Never give up on an ancestral line you want to solve. You might have a strong brick wall, but with patience and creative research you can knock that wall down. It took me and many of my older family members many years of research and now the wall has finally fallen.