Here, in Vinni's own words, is the story of his search for his father's family [my clarifications in brackets]:
My search for you all started with only a very few clues. My name was Mallozzi, the pigeon racers called my father Al, my family once lived on Wilson Street in Stamford, and my grandfather's name was Vincenzo. (I did not know what his last name was). That was it!
So, I first called my oldest [half] brother, Tom, who lives in Stamford. I asked "Do you know anyone with the name Mallozzi?" He said, "That name is like Smith. There are hundreds in this town." Then I asked, "Tell me about Wilson Street." "That is across town. It's where all the Italians live." he said. "Yeah, it is, huh?" I replied. "Why do you want to know that?" I replied, "I will tell you sometime."
I then called the CIty of Stamford. They were VERY helpful. Much more than I had hoped. I had been snooping around on Ancestry.com and found a Mallozzi family that lived at 83 Wilson. The lady in vital records told me that Mary and Filippina were the last Mallozzis that lived there. The house was then sold after they passed.
With this name Filippina I was able to verify a family with 7 children. One's name was Amalio. Amalio. Al. This had to be a match! The head of the household was Vincenzo. The mother's name was Alessandra. I instantly fell in love with those names and the folks who owned them. I was 90% sure this was my family. Those that came before me. The excitement really began to build.
One night on Thanksgiving my brother's wife, Nancy, called me and said she found an Amalio Mallozzi in the google search. It was your article you had written about Mary and Amalio. I thank God for you Clair! How would I have found any of you if it were not for your article? Think about it. There are no remaining, related Mallozzis. I would have had the Ancestry.com info and that would be it. I would not have received the pictures, poetry, songs. stories, and guitar.* Thank you Clair and God bless you!
You know what happened after that. I did not want to upset anyone's life, but I could not wait to email you and get a response. You and Bill [son of Amalio's sister, Delia, thus Vinni's cousin] were so wonderful in your reply. Nothing like what I had feared. I backed off for decades of starting a search because I really did not think anyone would want to hear it or want to meet me. During my search to find you I had the phone slammed down in my ear a few times because I had the wrong Mallozzi residence.I would even contact anyone with the last name on Facebook, but none of them answered me. I totally understand and felt sorry for those folks I bothered.
When you started sending me pictures I would immediately send them to my sisters. They were 9 & 10 when they last saw my family. But they both picked Amalio from those wedding pictures every time. Janet even described Gennaro [Amalio's older brother] to me and how he would fall asleep in his chair by the window. OK! Now I am about 95% sure I have the right familia.
Either you or Bill gave me Lori T's [granddaughter of Amalio's sister, Frances] email. I wrote to her and gave her my #. She called me right away. I told her what I knew about my father and told her the pigeon racers called him Al. She said her father raced pigeons with him. She asked her father and he verified indeed that all the racers called him Al. I was pretty darn sure now, I had the correct person. Funny how this one little clue was the one that made me so sure that Al was indeed Amalio.
This is when I asked Bill if he would take the DNA test with me. That [waiting for the results] was the longest 8 weeks of my life! One day while driving down the freeway I asked Nancy, "What am I going to do if these folks are not my family?" She replied, "You are going to apologize and keep looking." The relief and fulfillment was nearly indescribable when the results came back. Now I knew 100% where I came from and who I was.
I was and still am Vincenzo, son of Amalio. It is hard to explain what that feels like and why it is so important. I don't expect others to understand. but I can tell you that it is a fantastic feeling!
P.S. After sleeping on it, there is one more clue my mother told me about Al. He played the accordion. That was another biggie that I asked everyone about him.
* ...pictures, poetry, songs, stories, and guitar. More about these, coming in Part 4 (to be published soon).