Archive for the ‘World War I’ Category

My Family’s 100 Year Relationship with France

December 21, 2014

This year I have come to realize that after Poland and Italy from where my ancestors emigrated, France is the country with whom my family has the longest and closest relationship. 

Our family’s relationship with France extends over almost 100 years.


1918: Philip Lovetere serves in France

uniform
Philip Lovetere in France.

98 years ago in 1918, my maternal grandfather Philip Lovetere was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 64th Infantry Regiment, 14th Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

On September 23, 1918, Philip and the 7th Infantry Division landed at Brest, France.

By the end of September until the end of the war on November 11, he was deployed to the front where he served in the Marbache and Puvenelle Sectors in Lorraine, north of Nancy on the west bank of the Moselle River.


1920: Angela Giordano travels from Sicily to New York City by way of Marseilles and Cherbourg

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Angela Giordano’s passport photo.

96 years ago in 1920, my maternal grandmother Angela Giordano traveled by train from her home in Sicily to Cherbourg by way of Marseilles.

Among her memories of a young single woman traveling alone was her fright of the Arabs of Marseilles.

On December 31, 1920 in Cherbourg  she boarded the U.S.S. Finland for the United States.

She took a train from New York City to Chicago where she met and married Philip Lovetere.


1944 – 1945: Felix A. Cizewski serves in France

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Felix A. Cizewski in training in 1943 just prior to his deployment to France.

In 1942, my late father Felix A. Cizewski was drafted and assigned to Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Army Service Forces.

70 years ago on July 25, 1944, he landed at Utah Beach and was initially stationed at Tamerville, France. He also served in Valognes and Cherbourg before the battalion was sent to Paris. There he suffered frostbite.

In January, 1945 after recovering from frostbite he suffered in Paris, he was transferred to the 45th Signal Company, 45th Infantry Division in Petersbach, France approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of where he future father-in-law Philip Lovetere served 27 years earlier

From January until March, 1945, Felix served in Baccarat, Lunneville, Castle Stanislaus, and Sarreguemines, France.

On March 17, 1945, the 45th Signal Company crossed in Nazi Germany.

In 1945 Felix left Europe from Le Havre.

In 1947 he married Philip Lovetere’s and Angela Giordano’s oldest daughter, Ennina Maria (Anna Maria ) Lovetere, my late mother.


2014: Leonard H. Cizewski and Cheryl A. Robinson return to Normandy to Honor Felix’s Service

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Cheryl and Leonard at the Tamerville memorial. 

Photo by Julie Waldner.

In May 2014, Felix’s son and Philip and Angela’s grandson Leonard and his wife Cheryl A. Robinson traveled to Tamerville for the dedication of a memorial to those who liberted anad served in Tamerville, including the 3110th Signal Service Battalion.

sign500pixelhPlaque honoring the 3110th and other units. 

Click on the image for a large PDF of the plaque.


2014: Genetic Cousins Leonard and Daniel Meet

cousinsGenetic cousins Leonard Cizewski and Daniel Ewenczyk.

Pnoto by Cheryl A. Robinson

In June, Leonard and Cheryl traveled to Paris where we met Leonard’s genetic cousin Daniel Ewenczyk.

From their DNA work, Leonard and Daniel discovered within the last 350 years in Eastern Europe their Slavic and Jewish families met and they share a common paternal ancestor.


Passing as French in the United States.

Anna Marie (Lovetere) Cizewski shared two stories of our maternal family passing as French to avoid prejudice and housing and job discrimination against Sicilian immigrant families.

In the 1920s Philip and Angela wished to move out of the crime and poverty of Chicago’s Italian ghetto.

In a neighbor founded by French-Canadians, they found an Lithuanian immigrant family who would rent to them. The owners and my grandparents agreed that they would tell the neighbors they were of French ancestry.

During WWII, Italian-Americans were being denied jobs.

Again, my mother said that when asked she would say she was of French ancestry.


Could my family’s relationship with France be even older?

My Sicilian family’s oral history claims French ancestry.

History and DNA confirm a close relationship between Sicily and France, especially Normandy.

Normans first arrived in Sicily about the year 999 and ruled it until 1139.

DNA studies of Sicilians suggest that at least 7% to 10% of our DNA could originate in northwest Europe such as Normandy.

Our family reflects the heterogeneity of the Sicilian DNA:

Some of my ancestors have traditional southern Mediterranean features:
Filippo%20Lovetere[1]
Maternal great-grandfather Filippo Francisco Lovetere.
Others may have features that could be French:
mom19circlec[1] My mother Anna Maria Cizewski (nee Ennina Maria Lovetere) who passed as French to get jobs denied to Italian-Americans during WWII.

The majority of DNA of Sicilians is from the people of Europe, Asia, and Africa around the Mediterranean.  Possibly Norman and  sub-Saharan African DNA is also present.

The diverse DNA of Sicily confirms that we are all of one human family.


Links, sources, and more information:

Philip Lovetere (7th Infantry Division) & World War I

Angela (Giordano) Lovetere’s Immigration

Felix A. Cizewski & World War II

Differential Greek and northern African migrations to Sicily are supported by genetic evidence from the Y chromosome Cornelia Di Gaetano, Nicoletta Cerutt et. al, European Journal of Human Genetics (2009) 17, 91–99; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.120; published online 6 August 2008.

Sicilian Peoples: The Normans by L. Mendola and V. Salerno.


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Fn

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Grandfather Lovetere’s WWI Division History Now Available Free Online

November 11, 2014

In Observance of Armistice Day & the 100th anniversary of WWI

In WWI Philip Lovetere, my late maternal grandfather, served in Company C, 1st Battalion, 64th Infantry Regiment, 14th Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

He served in the Puvenelle Sector on the west bank of the Moselle River.

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A free online digital edition is now available of Philip Lovetere’s divsion:

History of the Seventh Division, Compiled by Captain Edgar Tremlett Fell (1927).


uniform[1]

Undated photo of Philip Lovetere in France.


Philip Lovetere is not mentioned in the book.

Philip Lovetere  could neither read nor write Italian or English so he personally did not write letters. If someone wrote them for him, none have survived.

However, what his unit experienced, at times at the company level, are discussed.

That is the basis for the detailed chronology on my family history site:

Philip Lovetere & World War I

This is a model for how families can learn their ancestor’s story by following the movements of their ancestor’s unit.


Embedded copy on family history webiste:

History of the Seventh Division, compiled by Captain Edgar Tremlett Fell (1927).

The University of Michigan’s copy was digitized by Google and made available by the Hathi Trust Digital Library.


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-DX

94th anniversary of Philip Lovetere in Domèvre en Haye, France on Armistice Day November 11, 1918

November 10, 2012
Domèvre en Haye, France in 1915

Domèvre en Haye, France under German occupation in 1915, three years before Philip Lovetere and the 64th Battalion arrived in November, 1918 shortly after its liberation.

Domèvre en Haye

Undated photo of Domèvre en Haye, France. Appears to be post World War 1. Rubble has been cleared from the streets and vegetation has returned.

My grandfather Philip Lovetere served in Company C, 1st Battalion, 64th Infantry Regiment, 14th Infantry Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division.

In late October, 1918, the 7th Division was in reserve behind the front. On November 8, 1918, the 7th Division was ordered to return to the front for a resumption of the offensive against the Germans.

By November 10, the 64th Regiment had reached Domèvre en Haye, France. On the morning of November 11 they were ordered to halt in anticipation of the armistice to begin a few hours later at 11 am.


Philip Lovetere & World War One

Domèvre en Haye, France.

In 1900

Today


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