To Whom It May Concern: This letter is in regards to a genealogist named, Raffaella Matera. I can not believe what an awesome job she did researching my family. She not only went back one generation, but several. I was very impatient. She kept reassuring me that all it takes is time. The person that she was in contact with was only one person, and I needed to be patient. She said she heard much music while waiting on hold to find out information for me. I asked her if she knew the words by now. We laughed. She has been professional, pleasant, and extremely trustworthy. I paid her all up front once I got a feel for who she was. I was not worried. I sent her a Western Union check instead of a Money gram. That was a big mess. She handled it with grace and dignity. She did this all in a relatively quick amount of time. My grandmother was an orphan. She even did a difficult research on an orphan in 1892. Unbelievable. She speaks constantly of people she was in touch with. My family is traveling to Italy in October. I look forward to meeting her, and thanking her in person for being such a great genealogist, and great interpreter of the English language. Sincerely,
P.S. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions for me. Sat, 16 Apr 2005 14:56:40 -060
Last year I wrote a query on the Italian Genealogy Forum asking for help and advice in researching my husband's family, Arceri and Quenqua. I had been researching the Arceri/O'Chery name for over 15 years and had not found very much information. I received responses from several people, two of which are Suanj and Riccardo. Riccardo offered to go to Trapani, Italy .... There he found many records, requested copies, translated the italian into english, and made a very nice booklet of his findings and mailed it to us. My husband and I were thrilled to receive these records. I highly recommend these people to do your italian research. Even though I have never met these researchers, in my opinion, they have been very reliable, honest, and trustworthy.
Raffaella ................You are very quick and thorough! Thank you so much again............... Barb Straley martedì 12 aprile 2005 18.34.54
In my quest to find my roots I can't thank SUANJ enough. There are many times that I have come to a full stop, but she is always there to give help and advice. Thank you for the professional support SUANJ. George WoodworthUnited Kingdom, North Wales Dom Mag 01, 2005 3:34 am
How can I thank you enough SUANJ? you have helped me for over a year, and always shown yourself to be very knowledgable, and patient...and this trned into very good reslts for me! I am so glad to have you help me, and to have gotten this far in my quest to learn of my ancestors.Once again, thank you so much SUANJ, and Im sure I speak for this whole site , since you have helped us all tremendously. Vito Fellicciardi, New York ,USA Dom Apr 24, 2005 6:27 pm
Raffaella(suanj) I am so excited!! Thank you so much, Raffaella. You are wonderful. ........Again, thank you with all my heart. Lisa BeckmanOakley, CA Thu, 16 Jun 2005 22:29:10
After many inquiries to Talamello over a period of several LONG months, to which I never recieved a reply... ....I myself had to hire a researcher. Given Suanj's vast knowledge and her credibility here at Italian Genealogy, I hired her in May and recieved the birthacts of both my Nonni and Nonno today!!!!!! She went one step further and personally called my cousins there in Italy!! As it turns out, one of them has pictures of Nonni and Nonno when they last visited in 1955, and they would like to have pictures sent to them of myself, my children and the remaining elders!!!! After many months of anxiety......I have a happy ending!!!!!!! DeLisa Dorelle , Washington, Illinois 61571-1806 U.S.A
Hi Suanj I thought that I needed to write to you and thankyou for your information regarding my father. I went to Aviano and met up with him he was really pleased and overwhelmed that I had found him and he accepted me as his son we look so much alike it was brilliant it has been an emotional roller coaster but with a very happy ending Thankyou so much I would not have met him if you had not given me the information. Martin & Jean UK Sat, 30 Jul 2005 14:21:36 +0100 Hi Suanj I have attatched a photo of me and my father Thankyou again kind regards Martin Martin & Jean UKSat, 30 Jul 2005 16:05:05 +0100 Suanji you are truly wonderful. I am in Aviano again to stay with my father I want to spend as much time as I can with him.I am here to celebrate my 40th birthday and what a way to spend it but with my father. You have made many people happy but most happy is my father and me. I cannot begin to thankyou enough you are a special kind of person and there is not many people like you THANKYOU again. x x x Martin & Jean UKLun Ott 24, 2005 1:17 am
Raffaella: I just want to thank you again, so very, very much. You are wonderful. JoAnnesabato 30 luglio 2005 15.43.28
About Torna a Surriento italian song right english translation.. Hello Raffaella Thank yu for the effort you have done on the translation, I could kiss you, well hug yu anyway being an acceptable guy thing lol I’m singing the song, well half of it, and explaining the meaning behind the song I was told by friends that the history behind the song is….. Two brothers got together and composed it, because of one of the officials was visiting Surriento, trying to draw attention to the fact that the area was run down and needed attention does that sound right to you? I’m in new Zealand, where are you? MICHAEL BOOTH singer tenor New Zealand martedì 14 marzo 2006 3.39.56
OVER THE MOON IN POZZILLI FINDING MY GENTILE FAMILY, THANKS YOU SUANJ
I have just returned from visiting Pozzilli, the place where my Grandfather and Great Grand Parents were born. I visited the local church, the streets where they lived, raised there families and met with my distant cousins. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t have met up with SUANJ.
Many of you may be aware that I have been searching for my ancestors for the past 4 years. During that that time I have posted messages on numerous forums seeking help and advice on an issue which seemed to be a lost cause.
I met up with SUANJ on ItalianGenealogy.com about two years ago, who along with other Genealogists gave me valuable advice. I think SUANJ recognized my determination to find my ancestors and without hesitation she adopted my cause.
In the initial stages she helped me to discover the facts about my ancestors in the United Kingdom going back to 1891. This wasn’t an easy task as my Grandfather Girolomo Gentile married his first wife as John Taylor in Leeds.
From a brief conversation I had with my Grandmother when I was very young, I thought she said my descendants came from a place called Piginisco outside Naples. Picinisco was suggested, but this wasn’t the case and the disappointment started to set in. It now looked as though I would never find them as I had no other information to offer to any researcher.
I was told by SUANJ not to despair, have hope and faith and somehow we would succeed. After some thought SUANJ came up with a strategy of targeting all the most likely places. This took a lot of time and effort sometimes emailing, faxing and writing letters to many places sometimes 3 or 4 times before we received a reply.
Finally Isernia replied and advised us there were people who fitted the profile of my ancestors who were born in Pozzilli. SUANJ had a friend who worked in the area and she arranged for her to collect the information. It took about a week to be posted and then emailed to me, this was the longest week of the 4 years wait. When the information came it was all as Isernia had described, there was proof information which hadn’t been provided to Isernia, also another significant factor which for me proved that these were my relations and this was indeed my grandfather. Soon after he married Anne Taylor in Leeds as John Taylor and moved back to Chester with his own community he reverted to his own name Girolomo Gentile. Whenever his name was signed or appeared on documents it was spelt Girolomo and not spelt Girolamo the usual way and here we had his birth act registered some many years after he was born with the Exact spelling
In a matter of a short while we have gone back 7 generation and I am sure we will find information that will take us back further. We are still gathering information and verifying it as we proceed, but with the contacts we have and the assistance of our new found distant relations, it should not be too difficult to map out a really accurate family,
For me this is a dream come true and I can’t thank SUANJ enough. For her it’s a great achievement and she should be complimented on the success by all the Genealogists on the wonderful site ItalianGenealogy.com
Raffaella, You did a very good job with it and I thank you very much. thanks again for getting these important documents for me. You provide an awesome service for the Italians who no longer live in the old country. Matthew MATTHEW MCMILLAN Ohio, USA, Tue Jul 11 02:46:45 2006
I have had with great desire to find my Italian roots and have been searching for my grandfather Marcello Violissi for many, many years. When I contacted Raffaella, I found her to be quite the professional as she has found many documents including military documentation that I had no idea of and the 2 entries into the United States from Italy. She is very patient in translating documents from Italian to English. As stated, this was a difficult search considering my grandfather was an abandoned infant. Rafaella is a very persistent woman who has a very big heart and cares very much about what she's doing. I can't express enough as I'm still trying to digest all this.
Hi Raffaella! Yes, I received the documents! .......... Thank you so much for all your work! It is wonderful having so much information I never even knew was out there. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Susan GeelChatham, NY, U.S.A. Dec 30 13:49:24 2006
My very dear Raffaella, I have received all the papers from you and I must say that this overwhelms me so much-you did so much for me-I can never repay you for what you did ....And again -after 66 years on and off trying to put the pieces together-the puzzle is finished and I have YOU to thank for a job well done, because of your fortitude and intrigue for genealogy you have made a successful ending to Nestore Gerbeville. Angela R. VARSNewport ,Rhode Island, USA Mon, 29 Jan 2007 21:46:25
I picked up the documents from the post office yesterday. Thank you so much! I'm sure if it weren't for you, it would've taken me ages to get them myself, as my Italian is rather poor and I'd probably have difficulty drafting a letter. Plus, you're local, so it was even better.
I would definitely recommend you to anyone (although I'm the only person I know who's doing this ;)... .....There aren't many people like you who would help a total stranger on the internet, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you finding the ship manifests, etc., when I first posted on italiangenealogy.com . You're wonderful I'll keep you updated on my progress Take Care, John John FRUSTAGLIO-New Rochelle,New York , USA-Tue, 27 Feb 2007 12:05:43
Dear Raffaella, I am sooooooooooooo pleased with your work. If there is anything I can do to help you either here in the USA or give you a recommendation let me know. In this day of so much internet fraud going on it is nice to see that there are still legitimate people doing business. You have earned every penny and again I am very pleased. Best to you and your family, Love Karen Karen F NERO-Kingman, Arizona , U.S.A.Sun, 25 Mar 2007 01:49:37
Raffaella, I received the birth Act today - many thanks. It's great confirming Loretos date of birth and all the other information you've provided. I can't thank you enough. Mike Tamburrini, Scotland, UK- 7 giugno 2007 21.05.48
Raffaella, I have been wanting to write you for a while. Thank you so much for all of your help. My sister and I are so grateful and excited about all of the information we have come to discover. Words cannot express how I feel.... We received the documents.. :) Thank you. :) Have a great day and thank you again. Valerie GIACINTO- USA Wed Jun 27 05:15:48 2007
Dear Rafaella ! Thank you so much for your patience ( Pazienza ! ) with the Sicilian civil commune. I know this was a difficult search as it took me many months of searching just to come up with the small amount of information I could provide you. I feel as though you have brought some closure and wholeness to my family as we now know there is no D'Anna family in the last few generations. All the names our family heard though out the years are now coming together. I will definitely recommend you to anyone needing research, you are wonderful! Big Hugs and Kisses, Marlene Rinella-Caredio-Morgan Hill, California, USA Thu, 28 Jun 2007 08:00:22
Hello Raffaella, Well, what can I say, you never cease to amaze me - so you have found our man - he was like an eel but you were like a shark!! I hope you are well Raffaella and thank you for all your attention. take care, Francesca CorrattaLiverpool, UK 6 aug 2007, 12:06
Hi Raffaella Thanks again for your help and excellent communications! Best, Don Don MURO- Saint James, New York, USA Wed, 29 Aug 2007 06:55:33
Hi Raffaella....What great news, you surprise me ................... Don Saccomonto Illinois, USA Sat Aug 11 2007
After 3 months with only the name of the wife's deceased father to work from ( even the surname was incorrect) and 50 years since his death this lady Raffaela worked a miracle in eventually tracing the grave where he is laid to rest .She is a caring and professional person and my wife and I thank her for the generous time and attention she gave to this personal matter - our heartfelt thanks Raffaela, Nory and Sandy Ireland Nory and Sandy Ireland -Dundee, Scotland, UK- Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:30 am
CARISSIMA RAFFAELLA. GRAZIE, GRAZIE, GRAZIE, HAI ALLEVIATO LA MIA RICERCA DI 100 ANNI LUCE, ERA DA MOLTO TEMPO CHE CERCAVO NOTIZIE SUL MIO AVO. È PROPRIO IL MIO NONNO PERCHÉ TUTTO COINCIDE. IO SONO APPASSIONATO DI STORIA E SAPERE LE ORIGINI DELLA MIA FAMIGLIA MI DÀ MOLTA EMOZIONE E ADESSO HO ANCHE LA CERTEZZA CHE SONO ITALIANO. ADESSO DEVO CERCARE DOVE È NATO E PER QUESTO HO BISOGNO DELLA FOTOCOPIA DEL SUO PASSAPORTO CHE SICURAMENTE È NEGLI ARCHIVI DEL PORTO DI LIVORNO. COSÌ IO POTRÒ SAPERE DI DOVE È ESATTAMENTE E CONOSCERE LA STORIA DEL PAESE. FORSE ABUSO DELLA TUA GENTILEZZA , MA TI VOLEVO CHIEDERE ANCORA QUALCHE FAVORE: OSSIA A CHI MI DOVREI RIVOLGERE PER SOLLECITARE UNA COPIA DEI DOCUMENTI CHE SUPPONGO ESISTANO PRESSO IL PORTO DI LIVORNO E POI A QUALE CHIESA IO DOVREI SCRIVERE PER RICHIEDERE IL CERTIFICATO DI NASCITA DI MIO NONNO. CARA RAFFAELLA NON HO PAROLE PER DESCRIVERE LA MIA FELICITÀ, TE NE SONO VERAMENTE GRATO E ANCH’IO MI METTO A TUA DISPOSIZIONE PER QUALSIASI NOTIZIA DALLA BOLIVIA. UN CARO SALUTO ENRIQUE NERI Cochabamba – Bolivia 3-giu-2008 0.51 P.S. PENSA SARÒ IO DALLA BOLIVIA A RACCONTARE AI MIEI CUGINI DI LONTANA PARENTELA LA STORIA DELLA NOSTRA FAMIGLIA E SENZ’ALTRO CITERÒ ANCHE RAFFAELLA.
I highly recommend enlisting the services of Raffaella for genealogy searching. I had hit a brick wall in the search for my great-great-grandparents from Italy. Raffaella was able to locate both of my ancestors and get their documents for me. She went well above and beyond and traced my relatives back to my great-great-great-great-great-grandparents (born in 1729 in Padula, Italy. She was able to provide a tree tracing 7 generations back from multiple comunes in Italy. It was absolutely incredible. I have been sharing her research with my family in the United States and they are all amazed. In addition to the delivering the certificates I requested it has been an absolute pleasure emailing with her. She has shared stories and information from Italy that have been priceless. If you need any assistance with research in Italy I would highly recommend Raffealla. Alex CowanSydney-Australia Thu Aug 14 04:16:48 2008
Dear Raffaella: You are surely accomplished. Congratulations. And thank you for all of your help. Affectionately, Maria Grazia- Australia-30/11/2008
I received the birth acts today. Thanks so much!!! I absolutely could not have gotten the birth certificates of my great grandparents from Italy without Raffaella! She not only made all the neccessary applications and phone calls in Italy, but when we discovered that the information my family had recorded included wrong place names, dates, etc., she was able to dig deeper and come up with all of the correct names, dates and places - despite having to follow a shaky trail from town to town in Italy, trying to find the exact location of the documents, which had been shuffled around in various political and administrative changes in the late 19th century. Throughout the process, she kept in constant contact, alerting me immediately as to the status of the search and any new information she discovered. She also gave me tons of extra family information that she discovered along the way at no extra charge. She didn't ask for payment until she had completed the whole search and had furnished PDF proof that she had the documents in hand. And the fees she required are probably the cheapest you can find. You would be crazy to entrust your Italian genealogy search to anyone else!
Hi, Rafaella, I received the certificate today. Thank you very much! Buone Feste! Sandford Forte-Palo Alto, CA, USASat Dec 20 09:13:24 2008
Last year I needed help locating my Grandfather's birth certificate, in Sicily. Raffaella created a small miracle, because I had exhausted all other avenues. Thank you Raffaella, for your professionalism; for your rapid and thorough research skills; and, for your dedication to service and making your customers happy. You're the best! Sandford Forte-Palo Alto, CA, USA 8 sep 2009, 02:03
Raffaella Matera has done an excellent job of locating a birth certificate and a marriage certificate dating from the mid nineteenth century in the Campobasso region. She was very thorough in her research and prompt in her responses and mailings. She provided not only the necessary certificates, but much additional information as well. I would highly recommend her. John LaPorta Connecticut, USA 11 February 2009
Hi Raffaella You are brilliant!!!! Pat Rutter England, UK 4 March 2009
Raffaella: Wonderful. Thanks so much. All best. Laurie J. Churchill Las Cruces, NM USA 19 march 2009
Rafaella, If you were here now I would hug you!!! You have no idea how much this means to me. For so many years I have wondered about the Italian side of my family and you have given me this information and it means so much to me. Thank you so very much. Julie Churchill Louisiana USA 21 may 2009, 22:1
Raffaella—good news, I received a copy of Giuseppe’s birth certificate. Thanks for your help! Warren Zaffuto Florida USA 28 May 2009 00.12
Raffaella-Thank you!!!! Vanessa B California, USA 2 july 2009, 17:57
Raffaella-I can't even find the words to thank you. How much do I owe you? Thank you so much. I am in shock. I have talked to my brothers and they can't believe it. Thank you Thank you Thank you. Janice St. GemmeUSA 6 aug 2009, 19:38
Raffaella, Ho appena ricevuta la tua busta. Grazie tantissimo, sono molto contenta! Danielle Gonçalves Pinheiro Sao Paulo, Brasil 20 aug 2009, 22:25
My name is Pete Costanzo a Private Investigator in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. I contacted Raffaella, alias the Great Suanj, over a year ago to ask if she would assist me in locating any documentation whatsoever on my Paternal Great-Grandparents Giovanni and Maria Raffaella Costanza who emigrated to the America in the 1880’s. The only information I had was the name of 2 towns in Southern Italy and other information given to me by my Uncle and Cousin. My original intention was to visit the town when I found out which one it was on my visit to Italy in July, 2008. Well, I’m here to tell you I’ve had some hard cases in my day but never one that was this hard to crack. All documents I found in the U.S. indicated they were from “Italy” with no elaboration on exactly where they were from! The fact that there were so many Giovanni Costanzas who emigrated in that time frame added an additional element of confusion to the search as we couldn’t separate out my Great-Grandfather with any certainty. I’d just about given up when Raffaella’s persistence paid off recently when she located a Marriage extract which indicated they were both from a town called Francavilla Sul Sinni, Potenza, in the Basilicata Region! If not for Raffaella’s diligence, persistence and professionalism, I’m quite certain I would never have located where my Great Grandparents were from in Italy. I heartily commend and recommend Raffaella to anyone who finds themselves in the same boat as I was in my quest! God willing, my Family can now visit Francavilla Sul Sinni next Spring and meet our long-lost Cousins!! It’s a dream come true for us. As a Professional Investigator myself, I know a great investigator when I see one and Raffaella is one of the best I’ve ever met in my career God bless her!! Pete Costanzo Las Vegas, NV, USA 21 aug 2009 19.06
Raffaella, Thanks so much for being so professional, so FAST, so reasonable and so nice :-) I will stay in contact with you if that's okay and I will keep you informed of the progress I make toward Italian citizenship. ….Thanks again Raffaella. Carl Carl Semencic New York, NY, USA 18 oct 2009 14:16
Thanks so much…. David Green Pennsylvania, USA 11 nov 2009 15:15
Dear Rafaella-- That is great! Thank you so much!! Suzanne BrownNJ, USA17 nov 2009, 16:51
Raffaella We are ever grateful to you for this valuable information for our family. Perhaps we shall ask you to find something else in the near future. Louisa Tingblad-USA 30 nov 2009
Raffaella, Hope your OK...you have been wonderful and I am very fond of you. My cousin says thank you... Sheryl Deauville -California, USA-30 mar 2010
Hi, Raffaella The certificates have arrived! Thank you so much Laurie_Pennsylvania, USA 26 jun 2010
Dear Raffaella, I received your letter yesterday on returning home from work…… Thanks so much again for your help. Regards, Vito Rossi -London.UK 3 july 2010
Raffaella.... Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Joe Manusia- California, USA 11 aug 2010
Thanks Rafaella, that is great. McGowan - United Kingdom 21 sep 2010
Suanj, You were an excellent help in Italy! Mille Grazie! Joe Zurlo-USA sep. 2011
Raffaella The certificates arrived on Saturday. Thank you so much for all you help in finding them. I don't know how I would have gotten them without you. You did a tremendous amount of research and I can not thank you enough for your time and effort. ......... Again, I can not thank you enough for all that you have done. Thank you Brad Brad Meyers-OH, USA 26 Sep 2011
Hi Raffaella, Thank you soooooooooooooooooo much (grazie)! Roberta Shepherd- NY, USA-28 Oct 2011
Hello Rafaella, Thank you again for your kind help with this! Tom W.- USA 26 Mar 2012
Dear Raffaella … I wanted to thank you very much for your help. Don Mazzone – Australia 21 Apr 2012
Thank you again for all your help.You were incredibly fast and good! J. Caruana USA 26 jun 2012 You have been so great through this process! Thank you for all the help. The translations were really awesome. J. Caruana USA 18 sep 2012
Raffaella Grazie mille. Sono molto grato per tutto il vostro aiuto. Daniel PaolilloUK 30 Nov 2013
Cara Raffaella, voglio esprimerti la mia gratitudine per il tuo ottimo lavoro di ricerca. L'origine dei miei nonni paterni è sempre stata un gran mistero per me fino ad oggi, visto che nel mio Paese mancava la documentazione. Adesso manderò queste informazioni a tutti i miei parenti in Salvador, Costarica e Guatemala. Ti ringrazio ancora e ti mando tanti auguri di Buone Feste, sperando di poter continuare la nostra collaborazione anche in futuro per trovare altre informazioni su questo caso. Roberto BracamonteCentral America 14 Dec 2013
Raffaella, Thank you for you services! I appreciate what you are doing for me. I am excited about the next project. Sam AllevatoCalifornia, USA21 Dec 2013
Raffaela, To begin with I would like to thank you for your prompt reply. I had almost lost hope of finding these certificates. That was so fast! I really appreciate it. Michelle Colombo Brazil 4 Jan 2014
Raffaella Thank you, i could not have done this with out your help. Ron Julio USA 8 Jan 2014 Thank you so much for everything, this means a lot to me and my family. There is no way we could have done this without your help. I truly appreciate all of your efforts with finding our family history in Ripabottoni and the extra efforts with finding the maps of the area. Ron Julio USA 11 Jan 2014
Dear Raffaella Thanks again for all your help. Grazie! Respectfully, Tom Tom D’Angelo, Michigan, USA 24 jan 2014
Hi Rafaella, Wow, this is so great! Thank you so much for all of your help. Katie MillerCalifornia-USA11 Apr 2014
All received, thank you very much. Mark WallaceUSA 9 Jun 2017
Hello Raffaella, thank you for the latest information … I now know my great grandparents names on my grandfather's side which I did not know before. I appreciate it very much.Thank you, again, you do very good work and have been very helpful.