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I was born at Lutheran General Hospital (Now Advocate Lutheran General) Park Ridge, IL in 1970, the first-born son of Frank Santoro and Victoria Matz. We lived in Portage Park, Chicago, IL until July 1977 when we moved to Algiers, New Orleans, LA. We lived there until 1984 and then my father's job took us to the Atlanta, GA area. We lived in Roswell, GA and I graduated from Marist School in Atlanta in 1988..
I was a band nerd in high school and wanted to become a band director like my mentor. So I started attending Loyola University in New Orleans, LA, studying music education. Over Thanksgiving break in 1989, my parents died in an automobile accident. I had given a nice girl a ride home from New Orleans and her family took me in. I lived with them in Lilburn, GA and began attending Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, majoring in Accounting (on the theory that I was good at math, and therefore would be good at accounting). I moved to an apartment in Stone Mountain, GA in 1990, and then bought a house in Lawrenceville, GA. I graduated from Georgia State with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1993. I liked tax, so I started work on a Master of Taxation degree at Georgia state and received that degree in 1996. I moved to a house in Lake Claire, Atlanta, GA that year, started working for a global accounting firm, and received my CPA license in 1997.
I kept up my music chops (I am a tuba player) by participating in various community bands and ensembles, with the occasional paid gig. In January 1998 I joined the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable, whose mission is to bring the gift of music to those who don't know they need it. The membership secretary (aka "Roster-Meister") was a cute saxaphone player named Sarah Evans who went out of her way to make me welcome, and ensured there was a delay in my phone number being added to the band's automated calling list so that she could personally call me and inform me of upcoming gigs. One night I gave her a motorcycle ride from practice to our regular watering hole and back, and a whirlwind romance got under way. Our third date was basically a weekend in Charleston, SC at the Spoleto Festival, where the band performed in several "unofficial" appearances. I knew that Sarah, a theology school graduate, would be moving to Missouri in July to take a new job as a United Methodist pastor, so we agreed to try a long-distance relationship.
I visited Sarah in her new digs later in July, and we got engaged shortly after. We married in 1999 in Kirkwood, MO (near St. Louis) and I moved in with her in Kirksville, MO (not near St. Louis), a town of about 17,000 and the largest metropolis for 90 miles in any direction. Kirksville was a bit of a culture shock for me as the smallest place I had ever lived previously was New Orleans. I worked part time with a local CPA firm and taught accounting classes at Truman State University (one of many claiming the informal moniker "Harvard of the Midwest"). Small-town life was too much for us (probably more for me than for her) and we sought a move. We moved to Midway, just outside Columbia, MO, in 2000. I had a testicular cancer scare in 2004/2005, with some surgery and chemo and more surgery but have been "clean" since 2006.
In 2007 we adopted a son and Sarah decided to go on family leave, so we needed to find a new place to live. So I picked up a job with my old global accounting firm and we moved to Albany Park, Chicago, IL in 2008. In 2010 I started work with Uncle Sam and am currently employed there.
After a couple of years of living the condominium life and navigating Chicago Public Schools, we decided we needed a change so we headed for the nearby suburb of Skokie, IL, where we have lived since 2015. I keep myself busy by refereeing soccer games when the weather is nice around here (April - October).
I've worked on genealogy off and on starting in the early 1990s but really got back into it over the past couple of years. I love my Italian and Polish roots and hope I can keep making my tree deeper and wider.
I started indexing the civil records for my paternal grandfather's hometown of Modugno, in Bari. I've set up a website to share the results, which are being continually updated. I am one of the leaders of the Italy Project here and also help moderate some Italian genealogy groups. I have probably researched/indexed/translated more than 10,000 Italian and Latin language records over the past couple of years, so if you need help, let me know!.
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Frank is 26 degrees from Ferenc Liszt, 34 degrees from Frédéric Chopin, 34 degrees from Johannes Brahms, 36 degrees from Clara Schumann, 37 degrees from Fanny Hensel, 45 degrees from Jean Sibelius, 27 degrees from Edvard Grieg, 25 degrees from Richard Wagner, 30 degrees from Antonín Dvořák and 19 degrees from Kathie Forbes on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.