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January 27, 2014

Success! Grandson Found for Sam Gentile WW2 Letters

Success! Grandson Found for Sam Gentile WW2 Letters
Readers may recall my previous post WW2 Soldier's Letters Found - Need Help Returning Them to Family about letters from Canadian soldier Sam Gentile to his family in 1945.

I was able to track down various obituaries for the family of Sam and Mary Gentile who came from Italy to Canada in the early 1900s. 

From these records as well as census records online on , and burial records on FindAGrave, we could put together a family group for the children of Sam and Mary.

  • Winnifred Gentile d. pre 2003 married Andy Venier
  • Sam Gentile Jr. 1913-1983 married Margaret
  • Josephine Gentile d. pre 2003 married Sam Peckett
  • Rose Gentile d. pre 2003 married Harold Lott
  • Vince Gentile1930-1984
  • John Joseph Dominic Gentile 1925-2009 married Dorothy O'Keefe 1925-1993
  • Peter C. Gentile 1919-2003
Jared and I determined that it was almost certainly Sam Jr who wrote the letters in 1945. And the hunt was on. Canada 411 provided us with contact names and addresses of some of the grandchildren of Sam and Mary Gentile.

On Sunday I received an email from Kevin Gentile, a firefighter living in Kitchener Ontario. Kevin informed me that his grandfather Salvatore (Sam) Gentile was the writer of the letters! It seems Sam sent them to his parents during his time stationed in England in WW2. 

Kevin graciously provided me with a detailed family outline from Sam down and gave me permission to post an update here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog. But for privacy reasons I will not divulge names of Kevin's siblings. Kevin has 3 young children and is excited to connect with his grandfather's letters. 

I have put Jared and Kevin in touch and am waiting to hear the result of their phone conversation! Thanks again to readers who jumped in to help reunite these WW2 letters with a descendant.


Sassette said...

This is awesome news Lorine! Thank you so very much for taking the time to search this out and help find the family. I am so thrilled to know that these letters will be going 'home' :)

Jacqi Stevens said...

Such wonderful news! But certainly a lot of work! Glad you were able to connect with family and reunite them with their relative's letters from that historic time period. Thanks for posting your find and the journey to it's conclusion, Lorine.

Anonymous said...

I live in Orillia. A friend living in Windsor told me about the Gentile letters. I worked for the same employer as John, Dorothy Gentile and their daughter Lynn. Lynn (now deceased) married Mike Price (from Orillia) and I believe they had children. To my knowledge, Mike is co-owner of The Bike Stop in Orillia business phone number: 705)325-2453.

Megan Lott said...

Hello, my name is Megan Lott and I am actually the granddaughter of Rose Gentile and Harold Lott. My father is named Peter and is one of the later sons of the two. I would actually love to know who to contact for information or images of these letters as a gift to my father on fathers day. I know I am about 6 years late but I am now of age and interested in this information. Please let me know where I could reach out.