About This Project

This research project commenced in 1991 and continues to this very day. I wrote an article many years ago for a short-lived family newsletter that provides a good background on the family historian and this project in particular. Would you like to read more?

Unorthodox Approach to Research

With this project I took a very unorthodox approach, which will make some normal family historians' heads spin. But why be normal? Instead of starting the research from myself and filling in what I knew and then working backwards, each generation at a time, I had a better way.

My family name (Girimonti, and variants) is not very common around the world. The rarity of the family name is actually a blessing! This has allowed me to scour numerous sources and extract everything that was bearing reference to the family name.

What this amounts to is a virtual box of thousands of puzzle pieces--each puzzle piece is a person. When is the last time you put a puzzle together? How many pieces did it have? 250? 500? 1000? 5000? This family history puzzle currently has close to 5000 pieces. What complicates matters is that I do not have any idea what the final picture is supposed to look like! And you thought that 1000 piece puzzle you did years ago was a killer...

How do we normally go about putting a puzzle together? We look at the piece, compare it to the picture on the box and place it in an approximate place on the table where it should go. We then find other pieces that fit with those. But in this research there is no picture to compare to, so how can I know what fits with what? The information about the events provide the clues. Information such as the date of the event, the birth dates of the people involved, the names of others who took part in that event, and so on. As I continued analysing the information I had amassed, I was able to start linking pieces together in certain chunks. These chunks are the branches of the family. I have created many of these branches up to now.

Isn't it great when you have these chunks of puzzle pieces that fit with other chunks? Now you have merged two chunks to form one larger chunk. As you do so, the image of the puzzle starts to become more apparent. That is exactly what I am doing with each of these branches. As I uncover further details on individual people, I am able to merge branches together. This is the most exciting part of what I am doing at the moment. The goal is to eventually eliminate all the branches because the location of every single person within the tree will be known.

Has this unorthodox approach to research paid off? Absolutely! In the traditional approach I would never have gained so much data so quickly, as roadblocks with individual people would have halted the project.


About the Family Historian

So...you want to know all about the family historian, eh?

Great! Here are a couple of links about me that might give you a bit of an insight: