My story is a rather tragic, heartbreaking and perplexing one. My great grandfather, Agostino Maccario came to Pietermaritzburg South Africa in 1901 as a railroad construction worker from Vintimille Italy, son of Carlo Maccario. He spent time living in Durban and Pietermaritzburg n this period. He subsequently met my great grandmother and had 8 children with her, 3 of which died very early on and he bought a farm and became a winemaker living with her. All of the children, my grandmother included assumed his surname and all were given Italian names. I have obtained records and affidavits relating to this. Unbeknown to my grandmother and the family, my great grandfather had another family in Italy. A common law wife and 7 other children.
I have records in my possession, which I just got hold of today, in which my great grandfather made a formal application for his common law wife and children from Italy to come and live with him in South Africa in 1901. The request from the Italian Vice Consul refers to him as being an Italian citizen. The irony behind this is that at least 3 of the childrens names listed in this document from his common law wife are exactly the same as those given to the children he had in South Africa, my grandmother included. The names listed in the request are as follows at the time of of request, 12 November 1901:
What is strange that this request also bears the name of another Italian trying to bring his family over. They were probably friends. The other name was Carlo Garbini. The list of names for his request were as follows:
Guilia Garbini Antonio Garbini Maria Garbini Pietro Garbini Luigi Garbini
From 1917 onwards my great grandfather started suffering mental problems and my grandmother and her siblings were sent to an orphanage due to his inability to care for them. Because my grandmother and her siblings were classified as coloured (mixed race) their paternal mother was not permitted to care for them due to her being black and the laws not permitting this sort of thing. My great grandfather was then committed to an asylum in Pietermaritzburg in 1918 until his death there in 1922
In over twenty years, my great grandfather did not send for any of the members of his other family nor did any of them ever hear from him again in that time. I have a letter in my possession from one of his sons, Jerome Maccario who was in Menton France at the time of writing 4th January 1922 requesting information on his by then deceased father. I have official documentation in the form of old lawyers, court, consulate and embassy records to corroborate the story above. I would really like to get in touch with Maccarios from this region or who may know of the names listed here or make recommendations on what I can do to piece this sad story together. It would give myself and both families a sense of closure. Thank you for taking the time to read this.