Who was Massimo?

Let me introduce you to Massimo Hazeltine Pisani. Massimo is my 2nd great grandfather in my maternal line. Massimo and I have a love/hate relationship…he loves to hide from me and I HATE it! The picture below was taken at the Pisani house in Govans, Baltimore City, Maryland (year unknown).  The location of the house was close to the intersection of York Road and Winston Avenue.

Original photo in possession of Barbara L Henry.

Massimo was born in 1847 in Tuscany, Italy and immigrated to the United States in about 1858.  He was a fruit dealer in Baltimore City, Maryland until the early 1900s.  He married a German immigrant (Rosa Margarethe Epple) in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1871 and they had 5 children.
I believe that he had at least one brother, Egisto Pisani b. abt 1843.  Egisto served in the Civil War. He may have also had a brother named Antonio b. abt 1830.
If anyone has any Pisani ancestors that lived in Baltimore in the 1800s-1900s (there were not many), please let me know.  Maybe we can piece this family together.

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

I think when anyone starts researching their family history they have hopes of being related to someone famous. As of yet I have found no famous or historically important ancestors in my tree. I’m fine with that. Famous or not, I have ancestors that have come to this country to start a new life, helped establish churches, helped form communities, and defended our country, all important contributions.
My direct line is made up of mostly working class folk, including more than a handful of farmers. I also have several blacksmiths (who later became wheelwrights), bakers, fruit dealers and candy makers (oh, those Pisani caramels).
Whether or not I ever stumble upon a famous ancestor, I am still proud that I come from a line of (mostly) hard working people just trying to make a living.

Where to Start?

For me, starting a genealogy blog is a little like starting genealogy research.  I have lots of different ideas for my posts, just like I had lots of ancestors that I wanted to find out about.

So as not to make the same mistake I made with my research, let me take a deep breath, not get ahead of myself and introduce you to “Aunt Barb’s Papers”, and well, Aunt Barb.
Why “Aunt Barb’s Papers”?
When my niece Courtney was younger and I just started researching, I couldn’t seem to be around any of my family without showing off a print out of something I found, a census record, a death certificate or a newspaper article.  She started making comments such as “here comes Aunt Barb and her papers”.  Well, not so long after, Aunt Barb’s papers helped Courtney with a school assignment (although I supplied her with far more information than was needed for her assignment).
So who is Aunt Barb? 
Although I have been doing research on my family for 10 calendar years, I still consider myself a beginning amateur genealogist.  I am a casual researcher, putting in about 10 hours a month.  I have about 9,000 individuals in my tree but many without reliable sources because when I started I wasn’t very good at recording where I got my information.  So now I’m trying to go back and correct my rookie mistakes.

So, I hope that you will enjoy following along with me on my journey.