The Case of the Mysterious Birth Certificate: Part Two

Please read the original post first, here. This makes my head spin and it is beyond belief. This is why we stumble down rabbit holes and sometimes end up in a truly Alice in Wonderland experience. This is an unbelievable outcome and I still do not have the answer to my original question, but where it has led me is worth recounting.

Last night after posting the story I got to thinking about where to go for more information on Yolanda Rosa FRANCO. What I left out of the last post is that I happen to live in St. Helena and my across the street neighbor was born in the same year as Yolanda, so I decided to ask her and her sister if they remembered Yolanda. Yolanda would have lived here from 1921 to at least 1930 so they may have gone to school together. Neither of the sisters remembered Yolanda or the family. When I mentioned that they lived next to the BATTUELO’s on the Highway between St. Helena and Calistoga we honed in on where they lived and why they probably didn’t go to school together, thus didn’t remember Yolanda. Those living north of Bale Lane went to school in Calistoga. My neighbor’s father worked on the Lyman Farm which was across from the Old Bale Mill. The farm extended all the way to the Napa River and I would guess included what is now Battuelo Family Vineyards plus the land to the West all the way to Highway 29. She said that this was a very large farm growing all sorts of produce all year around. There was a railroad adjacent so produce could be easily loaded and shipped. My guess is that Yolanda Rosa FRANCO’s father, Giralamo, worked on this farm as he is listed on the 1930 census as a laborer on a farm.

Bale Grist Mill between St. Helena & Calistoga

But here is where it got more interesting. My neighbor’s mother’s maiden name was FRANCO!!! So the younger of the sister’s asks me, “do you know where Giralamo FRANCO was born?” No but I will do some more research. So I do a search on Family Search for Giralamo’s parents: Giovanni FRANCO and Rosa ODELLA. That yielded the Marriage certificate for Giralamo that I had already found, but also the birth records of 3 other sons born to Giovanni FRANCO and Rosa ODELLA. And where were they born? In the same tiny village as my neighbor’s mother Giuspina FRANCO, namely Murialdo, Savona, Liguria, Italy. The brothers were Giralamo born in 1886, Carl Lorenzo 1888, Luigi 1892 and Pietro in 1894!

So let me recap. My great grandmother Mary Lulu PADEN MOSIER wrote a diary in which she kept a birth certificate for a Yolanda Rosa Giralamo (which I discovered is really supposed to Yolanda Rosa FRANCO). I have no clue as to why she has this birth certificate for a child born in St. Helena when she lived in San Francisco. My search led me to her parents Marriage certificate and the correct name and then the 1830 census in St. Helena. And then to a conversation with my 99 and 97 year old neighbors. Which in turn led to their mother a FRANCO who came from the same village in Murialdo, Savona, Liguria, Italy, which currently has about 800 residents (in the extended area). My neighbor said that many of the sons of families from Murialdo immigrated to the Napa Valley, many to work on the Lyman Farm.

Murialdo, Savona, Liguria, Italy (Google Map)

The immigration sponsor of my neighbor’s father (immigrated in 1911) was an ODELLA who was likely the same ODELLA family as Rosa ODELLA wife of Giovanni FRANCO, Grandparents of Yolanda Rosa FRANCO whose birth certificate is in my great grandmother’s diary. Also please note on the above map the hamlet of Odelle from which I would guess the ODELLA family takes its name. So what a very small world it is indeed! So this little rabbit hole has led me to my neighbors and a connection I could never in a million years would think possible. So thank’s Lulu for providing me this very interesting diversion. Why she had Yolanda’s birth certificate? I still don’t know but the new found connection, to my neighbors of 30+ years, I am enjoying immensely.

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved.

4 Comments on “The Case of the Mysterious Birth Certificate: Part Two”

    • Yes and given that my neighbor is soon to be 100 years old…too many coincidences. And I could not figure out why I could not let go of this when I knew there was no relationship to my family!

      • I am a great believer in ‘Ancestral Memory’ we are drawn to a place or an object for no logical explanation and given the ages of your neighbors this would never have happened had they passed away earlier

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