Margaret (Peggy) Cimijotti Walsh
Photo: Margaret (Peggy) Cimijotti Walsh (Priv.Arch.G.O.Cimiotti)
(by Peggy Cimijotti Walsh)
My father`s family has been a source of fascination for me for as long as I can remember. My grandfather, father, and his brothers and sisters had been prominent in the circus world for several decades before I was born. The Great Depression put an end to their circus days, but not to many stories about the adventurous circus life. Although the brothers eventually went on to other interests, my three aunts, Annie, Honey and Tudy, kept the memories alive and always remained hopeful that they would return to the circus business someday. I, too, wanted to be a part of this life.
However, my father and mother decided to move out West when I was 5 years old, eventually settling in Reno, Nevada where my father obtained work in the construction trade. My two brothers were born in Reno.
We returned to Iowa and farming for two years (1948-1950). My father suffered a serious job related injury, but as soon as he recoverd, we returned to Reno. During the time on the farm we were given one of the circus horses, and my father taught me how to ride bareback. (We had no saddle!)
We made many trips back to Iowa for vacations, and I kept in contact with my aunts. None of them ever married. Tudy died at the age of 29 of pneumonia. She died in Nevada when she came to be with my father during his illness.
Eventually, I attended the University of Nevada and graduated with a degree in Business. I worked in Las Vegas for two years with the State Welfare Department, and went on to obtain a Master Degree in Social Work from the University of Hawaii. It was there I met my husband, Jerry.
Being a Marine Biologist, Jerry traveled to many exciting places, and often I accompanied him. After retirement we decided to move to Northwestern Arkansas, where the scenery is beautiful, the weather moderate, and the people friendly.
I began to rekindle my interest in my family. I kept hearing about various members of the family and decided it was about time someone put things in some semblance of order, so that we could tell who was related to whom. So, I started a Descendants` List. I had been told stories from various members of the family for years, but none of them seemed to jibe, and no one seemed to know why the two branches of the family spelled the name differently (Cimmiyotti and Cimijotti). On top of that I was told that it was an Italian name, but there were nor y`s or j`s in the Italian language. No one seemd to know exactly where my grandfather and his brother immigrated from, although many different stories abounded.
In the midst of all this confusion, I was introduced, by letter to Sr. Alice. She was the granddaughter of my great uncle, and lived in a convent in Iowa. Eventually I made a trip to see her and learned a great deal about the family. She introduced me to her second cousin, Maryal Schultz, with whom I exchanged information.
A miracle occured when Maryal discovered that we had a living relative in Germany, Günter Cimiotti, who, not only was involved in extensive family research, but also spoke English and was willing to exchange information with us!
Since that time all sorts of doors have been opened, and I have learned of Jean Claude Cimiotti in Australia and hundreds of other family members all over the world. We communicate by e-mail in seconds from thousands of miles apart. It reminds me of the Biblical passage where it tells of the coming together of the four winds.
For every answer there seems to arise more questions. I foresee this quest extending into the indefinite future. Who knows where it will lead?
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