By Kristin Adolfson
Many years ago we were contacted by Massimo Nevi, who lives in Parma, Italy. He had found our website and was interested in exploring the family genealogy and finding perhaps that we were distant relatives! Someone mentioned that perhaps the cousin Nonno went to stay with in Alsace Lorraine just before coming to America might be this family. Nonno didn’t mention the cousin’s name, but ‘he had cousins everywhere’.
In November of 2002 I planned a trip to Milano to visit a friend of mine who was living and working there at the time. I also scheduled in a trip to Parma to meet our new relatives. I met Massimo, his sister, mother and grandmother. They had me over for a wonderful lunch and then Massimo took me around Parma, showing me some of the buildings and art that it is known for. They were truly generous people, and it was a treat to meet other Nevis in Italy!
“Now I tell you more about my family. Me and my father were born in Parma. I have a sister younger (Cecilia). I was born in 1971 and Cecilia in 1973. My father Maurizio Nevi (1939-2002) was a surveyor. He died on the 3rd of February. He didn’t have brothers. My grandfather Armando Nevi (1913-1991) was born in Montechiarugolo between Parma and Reggio, in the province. My ancestors were in the province and sure Raffaele Nevi was a cousin, near or far of my grandfather. He had a sister Mafalda (died in 1987) and Altiero, died in the II World War. My grandfather left that little land because he passed his childhood in a boarding school and than he found to work in the center of Parma. His parents died when he was a baby and he didn’t know them: his mom for an illness and his father during the I World War, As you can notice, my grandfather lost his dad in a war and his brother in the second. His brother died during a battle on the sea, a bomb hit his ship and he stayed 12 hours clung to a wreck. But the water was really cold, it was on the 1st of December, and he died. It happened between Calabria and Sicilia. His grave is there. He received the military cross of war.
His father, Guerrino Nevi, died when he was 34. There is a momument in Parma with the name of some soldiers and you can find also his name:but…..with a error! They wrote “Neri” instead of “Nevi”. “Neri” is more common in Italy and often people ask me: “Neri? Is it right??” “No, Nevi”. He had 2 sisters Arduina Nevi (1883-1910) who died falling down from a balcony and Ercolina Nevi who died in 1949. She lived in Germany.
The oldest name that I know of my family is Elzeviro Nevi, the grandfather of my grandfather, but I don’t have news about him.
The Istituto Italiano di Genealogia has a document with date 1157 a. d. , and this is the oldest documents about Nevi family. Nevi are the among 300 people from Genova who signed a document of alliance with the king William I of Sicily. According to my grandfahter the surname exist from 1090 a.d., but there is not documents about this. You have to know that until 1200-1300 a.d. only the most important families had a surname and Nevi were a considerated family. The institute told me that they had a coat of arms that it recognized, existing before the surname. Then they told me that they were divided in many trees ( Nevi are presents in 83 places, in Italy, for the most part in Rome and around Parma, Mantova, Cremona). “Nevi” means “Snows” , but in that period in Italy, the language was latin. So I think that it doesn’t come from “Snow.””