This week I was lucky enough to interview my aunt and 91-year-old grandmother about our family. They told me several stories about my great-grandmother Tina, great-grandfather Raoul and my great-great-grandparents Ernesto and Adele.
Adele was born in Verona, Italy (home of Romeo and Juliet), married Ernesto De Forcade at 17 or 18, and had two children, Marie and my great-grandfather Raoul.
Ernesto built railroads, and he was involved with the construction of the first railroad in Naples. The family moved to Naples during that period. When Raoul was eight, Ernesto traveled to Brazil to build a railroad, and he died suddenly.
Adele was still young, so she remarried. Her second husband was an attorney who spoke ten languages and travel extensively, even to the U.S., which wasn't very common at that time. He adored Adele and adopted Raoul. He purchased two apartments in Naples and a home on Capri for the family. These homes are still in our family to this day.
Adele died when my grandmother was four years old. Although her second husband was her senior, he died in 1936 when my grandmother was 16. My aunt described him as a bit of a health freak who chewed each bite of food 33 times. He also documented everything very thoroughly. My family live in the apartments that he purchased all of those years ago, and they have found boxes and boxes of his papers.
In the picture below, I see my father in Ernesto, his namesake, and I see my cousin Elena in Marie. Although my grandmother heavily favors her mother, I also see Adele in her features.