State Representative Paul Donato stands in his office at the Massachusetts State House and motions toward the framed drawing of the Italian Home nestled onto one of the room’s bookshelves.  “Second window on the right on the second floor,” he says, moving closer and touching the image of the Home’s main building. “That’s where I…

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For Janet D’Agostino Boivin and others like her, tools like Ancestry.com have made it easier to research a family’s genealogy – and come to a better understanding of a parent’s childhood journey that included a stay at the Italian Home. Janet’s mother Mary Ranieri (or Maria, as she is listed on the 1930 census that…

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A catastrophic flu swept across the world in 1918, killing 675,000 in the US in a few weeks and 25 million worldwide. It struck young adults between ages 20-40 particularly harshly, orphaning thousands of children and spreading rapidly in immigrant communities like Boston’s North End, where hardworking people lived in extremely close quarters. Enter Fr.…

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