Some 60 years ago, my brother, Ernie, and I began to assemble a collection of photographs of our family. Included were shots taken by our father, Cholly Lehrer, and others of our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins in the Matacia and Lehrer families.
At the start of the present century I became interested in the history of the personages in our photographic record, and, in conjunction with my brother and our cousins Evelyn, Joe-Joe, and Maria Matacia, I started to uncover the background of our relatives. Additional input from Sister Marie Concetta’s Genealogy of the Papania Family and from communications with Kathy Matacia of the Cincinnati branch of the Family made for new discoveries into the Matacia heritage. My work with Father Anthony Delisi on the 1542-48 Baptismal records in Termini-Imerese, Sicily added special depth to the project.
In recent times, I have been able to collect even more historical information regarding our family members from sources now available on the Internet. These sources include the US census reports, the Social Security Death Index, Ellis Island Arrivals, along with baptism, birth and death certificates. When PRONI went online, the most-difficult information of all to locate, regarding Irish ancestry, immediately became available to the millions of descendants of those hardy souls who emigrated to the US and beyond during the era of Irish Potato Famine.
On this site, it is my desire to present a compilation of my research into the rich history and times of the Matacia family of Charlottesville VA, of the Lehrer Family of Atlantic City, NJ, and of our many related families. The primary groupings surveyed on this site include the following which are listed with their country of origin:
ITALY: MATACIA, DEMMA, PAPANIA, PACE, DiGIOVANNI, CULOTTA, LaSCOLA, SANTOSTEFANO, VISCONTI, RE, RUSSO, MATRACIA
GERMANY: LEHRER, BASH
IRELAND: BLOOMER, HOWLEY, DUFFY
POLAND: PIEJAK, BONAR, LEWANDOWSKI
Although the information here is not complete in every way, it is my hope that family members will fill in the gaps by way of comments to these posts.