Date of Arrival
DECEMBER 21, 1905
Age on Arrival
Port of Departure
My grandfather, Francesco Valdina, was born in Fiumedinisi, Messina, Sicily in 1900. He came to America in 1905 through Ellis Island with his mother and brothers and sisters. His father, Antonino Valdina, arrived in 1903 from Nizza di Sicilia and had settled in New York in preparation for the arrival of his family. My grandfather served in the Calvary during WWI and worked hard throughout his life. He raised a wonderful family but never returned to Sicily.
In October, 2003 I was the first person in my family to make the return trip. The ferry ride from the mainland to Messina was very emotional. I thought of my grandfather and his family boarding a ship and leaving everything behind and experienced a strong sense of homecoming. Exploring my "roots" was a very rewarding experience.