It’s amazing what you can learn about your family history in just 30 minutes with the free Ancestry database at Mentor Library.
I found out that my great-grandfather Gaetano “Thomas” Mangione was born on July 7, 1890, in Licata, Sicily. He landed in New York City on March 17, 1906, aboard the Prince Adalbert. He married Crocifissa “Bessie” Vecchio on April 28, 1917, in Cleveland. (She had emigrated from Licata in 1914 aboard the Dante Alighieri.) They named their son after his father, Andrea Mangione, and their first daughter after his mom, Francesca Amato. The other daughters were named Amelia “Mamie” and Assunta “Susie.”
They lived on East 38th Street and then Ensign Avenue in Cleveland. He worked as a fruit vendor to support them, according to the federal census.
It was Susie who later met Richard Lea, the son of Howard Lea and Gertrude Kling, who had a kid who had kid who uses the library database to research his family.
And you can learn about your family history too!
You can use the Ancestry database for free when you visit any of the Mentor Library branches. You can access it on the Databases page in the Research & Tools section of our website. (Unlike most of our digital services and databases, you do need to use a Mentor Library computer to access the Ancestry database.)
You don’t need to know much to get started on the Ancestry database—a name, somewhere that person lived and it helps to know his or her approximate birth year. (And, frankly, if you don’t know your great-grandfather or great-great-mother’s birth year, it usually only takes a single search to find out.)
Ancestry then searches through millions of public records for information about him or her: census and immigration information, birth/marriage/death certificates, and more. Not only can you view these documents, but you can email them to yourself and your family members.
You’ll never know what you don’t know until you look. (The Dante Alighieri!)
And it’s free with your library card. So come to Mentor Library and start searching!