Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Friday, November 30, 2001

Michele Rapa and Nicoletta Matteo, my 4G-grandparents, were as far back as I had gotten on that line in April. I had rough birthdates for both, but that was about it. I had found a marriage record, but it was for Michele Rapa and Maria Cecilia Matteo, which confused me. I detailed the confusion here in my entry for April 14, 2001. In short, I suspected that Nicoletta and Maria Cecilia were in fact the same person. The marriage record shows the bride's parents as Giovanni Matteo and the late Francesca Riccio. When I found a death record for Nicoletta Matteo, it also gave her parents' names as Giovanni Matteo and the late Francesca Riccio. As detailed in April, I found a number of children whose parents were Michele Rapa and either Maria Cecilia or Nicoletta Matteo. The key here was son Marcellino Rapa. Marcellino's birth record on 10 Nov 1822 gives his mother's name as Maria Cecilia. But his death record on 29 Apr 1863 gives his mother's name as Nicoletta. Bingo! One person, two different names given for his mother. I believe this is a crucial link in tieing the two names together. It's clear now that Maria Cecilia and Nicoletta are one person. I don't know why some of the records show her as Maria Cecilia, but there you go.

Nicoletta's death record showed that she was the wife of Michele Rapa, and that she died on 3 Oct 1842 at the age of 50. She worked as a peasant farmer, and her parents were Giuseppe Matteo (5G-grandfather) and the late Francesca Riccio (5G-grandmother). I was unable to find a death record for Francesca Riccio anywhere, which made me suspect that she died before records began in 1809.

When I got the 1802 Census from the Sennellos, I looked for Nicoletta and her brother Nicola, and found them living with their father Giuseppe and his second wife, Marta Contenta.

[ 1802 Census for Giuseppe Matteo, Marta Contenta, and family ]

So in fact, Francesca had died before 1802. The Census details which children were the progeny of Giuseppe and his first wife and which came from the second marriage. Nicoletta was the eldest, born on 29 May 1791 (and in fact, the marriage record for Michele and Maria Cecilia/Nicoletta says that she was the "maggiore", or eldest surviving child of her parents). Daughter Carmela, previously unknown, was next, born 2 Apr 1794. Son Nicola Matteo was born on 12 Sep 1796, and he was the last child born to Francesca Riccio. The next child in the family was Giacomo Matteo, born to Giuseppe and Marta Contenta on 18 Dec 1800, so Francesca clearly died between 12 Sep 1796 and early 1800. The other child born to them by 1802 was Giovanigiuseppe, born 23 Sep 1801.

As for the parents, Giuseppe was born on 30 Nov 1768, the son of the late Giovanni Matteo. Marta Contenta, the stepmother, was born in Sepicciano, so an exact birthdate isn't available in the Census, but she was 27 in June, 1802, so her birthdate would be about 1774-5. Her father, still alive at the time, was Filippantonio Contenta.

Knowing now that Giuseppe had remarried and that his wife was Marta Contenta, I was able to pinpoint his death record. He died on 5 Aug 1844 at the age of 75 (the death certificate says 78, but that doesn't add up). He was the son of the late Giovanni Matteo (6G-grandfather) and the late Maria Masuccio (6G-grandmother). I see no entry for Maria Masuccio in the 1802 Census, so it's possible that she was dead by then as well. That's all I know about Giovanni and Maria is their names. Hopefully I be able to find them in the church records when I get my hands on them and find out a little more.

In the course of my research, I had also found two other children of Giovanni and Maria. Vincenzo Matteo (6G-uncle) was born about 1767, and when he died on 17 Aug 1837, he was married to Antonia di Chello. Serafina Matteo (6G-aunt) was born 15 Feb 1772 according to the 1802 Census, was married to Nicola Pietrosimone, and died on 24 Feb 1837.

As for Michele Rapa and his family, I've found a fair amount too. His death record from 22 Jul 1854 says he was the widower of Nicoletta Rapa, and the son of the late Antonio Rapa (5G-grandfather) and the late Angiola d'Amato (5G-grandmother). His son Domenico (my 3G-grandfather) was one of the people who reported the death to the mayor. Michele and his first wife, Rosa di Palma, were married on about 17 May 1810 and had three children before she died on 25 Aug 1816.

I went to the Census to find Michele and his parents.

[ 1802 Census for Antonio Rapa, Angiola d'Amato and family ]

Sure enough, he's there, living with Antonio Rapa and Angiola d'Amato. The Census gives Michele's birthdate as Christmas Day, 25 Dec 1780. His older sister Annantonia Rapa was born 4 Oct 1775 (and died 24 Apr 1845, the widow of Pasquale Grasso, according to my research). His younger brother Giuseppe Rapa was born on 22 Aug 1791, or at least it looks that way; the last digit of the year is tough to read. (He died 19 Nov 1868 in San Potito.) Sister Annamaria was born on 26 Oct 1796 (and died 12 Nov 1868, a week before her brother Giuseppe). And sister Vincenza was another Christmas baby, born 25 Dec 1798 on her brother Michele's 18th birthday.

Antonio Rapa, the father, is listed as having been born 25 Jan 1759, the son of Domenico, who was still alive. His wife, Angiola d'Amato, was born 19 Oct 1755, the daughter of Andrea, also still alive.

I can't find my scan or paper copy of the death record of Antonio Rapa, but it was fascinating. It wasn't entered in the book in it's normal format; rather, it was appended at the end of the book, and noted that the mayor of Piedimonte informed the mayor of San Potito that Antonio Rapa of San Potito had died on 20 Sep 1816 in the "casa di detenzione", which I interpret to mean jail. I'm dying to know what my 5G-grandfather was doing in jail at the age of 57 when he died. Sounds like maybe I've found a black sheep. :-)

That death record lists his parents as Domenico Rapa (6G-grandfather) and Cecilia Missere (6G-grandmother). I found one sister of Domenico's, Maria Rapa, whose death certificate on 22 Apr 1822 shows her to be the wife of Angiolo Leggiero. Finding them in the 1802 Census gives Maria's birthdate as 21 Jun 1753. So Domenico and Cecilia must have been born no later than about 1735.

Antonio's wife Angiola d'Amato survived her husband by quite a few years. I was surprised to find her death record almost forty years later. She died on 17 Jul 1846, still listed as the widow of Antonio Rapa, at the age of 90. She was born in San Potito and had worked as a peasant farmer, although hopefully not at the age of 90. Her parents were Andrea d'Amato (6G-grandfather) and Pietronilla Izzo (6G-grandmother).

Back to the Census once more.

[ 1802 Census for Andrea d'Amato and Pietronilla Izzo ]

We find Andrea and Pietronilla living together, with what appears to be their son the priest, Don Tomaso. There was actually more people under this, but it was unclear to me at the time I scanned who they were, so for now I'm just showing these three. Andrea, the son of the late Giovanni d'Amato (7G-grandfather), was born on 1 Dec 1732. That would mean that Giovanni must have been born no later than, say, 1714. Pietronilla, daughter of the late Ambrogio Izzo (7G-grandfather) didn't give an exact birthdate, but was 62 years old in 1802, putting her birthdate at about 1740. That means Ambrogio would have been born no later than about 1722.

I haven't found a death record for Pietronilla Izzo. Perhaps she died between 1802 and 1809. I've found a death record for an Andrea d'Amato, but it's not clear that it's the right one. This Andrea died on 4 Jan 1817 at the age of 84, which would place his birthdate in 1732, which fits. But he's listed as the husband of Pietronilla Riccio, not Izzo. I need to look through marriage records to see if I can find a marriage record for Andrea d'Amato and Pietronilla Riccio that lists him as the widower of Pietronilla Izzo. It also lists his parents' names as Giovanni d'Amato and Nunzia Coluccio. It's quite conceivable that the wife's last name on the death record is a mistake; there don't seem to have been too many women named Pietronilla in San Potito. So I think it's likely that this is my 6G-grandfather, but I don't consider it proven yet. If this is him, then Nunzia Coluccio would be my 7G-grandmother.

I think I've made an awful lot of progress on this line, pushing back two and three more generations since April.

Death Records

Marriage Records

Here's a chart showing Nicoletta Matteo's ancestors, and another one showing Michele Rapa's ancestors to wrap all this up into an easily-digestible form.

Posted at 5:13:33 PM Link to this entry


Giuseppe Navarro, my 4G-grandfather, was someone I knew very little about when I did my charts back in April. I've since pushed this line back three more generations.

In April, I knew that Giuseppe was born around 1802 and that he and his wife, Pasqualina Melillo, were married some time before 14 Sep 1824, when their first daughter, Maria Navarro (my 3G-grandmother) was born. I still don't know when they were married, but I've found Giuseppe's death record, and he died on 11 Mar 1853. The death record shows his parents as the late Angiolo Navarro (5G-grandfather) and the late Rachele Manzo (5G-grandmother). It lists his profession as "macelliere", which I think means butcher.

[ 1802 Census for Navarro-Manzo family ]

When I looked at the 1802 Census, I found Giuseppe living with his parents. His name is given here as Giuseppe Nicola. He was born on 17 May 1801. (It is of course possible that this Giuseppe died shortly after the Census and my Giuseppe is another person. The Sennellos have an 1806 Census that should answer this question eventually.) His mother's name was given as Maria Rachele Manzo. I think this was where I finally realized that "Maria", when given as the first part of a two part name like this, is quite often ignored and is there really only for holy protection. :-) Angiolo was born in Sepicciano, which is a frazione of nearby Piedimonte d'Alife, and was 38 years old in 1802, which would place his birth date at around 1764. His father was the late Davide Navarro (6G-grandfather).

Maria Rachele is listed as Angiolo's second wife, and was born on 20 Feb 1781, so she was only 21 years old at the time. I don't know who Angiolo's first wife was yet. Maria Rachele was the daughter of Domenico Manzo (6G-grandfather), who was still living in 1802. Unfortunately, they don't give the mother's name on the Census, so I needed to prove that the Domenico Manzo in the Census was the right Domenico Manzo. So I looked for Maria Rachele's death record. I found it on 15 Aug 1813. She was 32. The record gives her parents' names as Domenico Manzo and Marianna Altieri (6G-grandmother), both still living in 1813. Maria Rachele worked as a peasant farmer.

So I went back to the Census and found Domenico Manzo and Marianna Altieri.

[ 1802 Census for Manzo-Altieri family ]

It said that Domenico Manzo was the son of the late Carlo Manzo (7G-grandfather), worked as a peasant farmer, and was born on 11 Dec 1751. Marianna Altieri, whose father was also named Carlo and also deceased by 1802, was born in Piedimonte d'Alife, and was 42 in 1802, putting her birthdate at about 1760. They had three daughters still living with them. Vincenza was born 2 Mar 1785. Angelarosa was born 30 Mar 1796. And Maria Luiggia was born 10 Apr 1799.

I went back to the death records, and I found Marianna Altieri, who had lived to the ripe old age of 80. She died 20 Mar 1841. That roughly matches up with a birthdate of about 1760. She was the widow of Domenico Manzo, so I knew I had the right person. Her father was the late Carlo Manzo (7G-grandfather) of Piedimonte d'Alife, and her mother the late Rosina Santomassimo (7G-grandmother), also of Piedimonte.

I haven't found a death record for Domenico Manzo yet.

Searching the death records of Piedimonte d'Alife, I found Marianna's sister Rosa Manzo, who was born about 1768 and died 17 Jun 1814. That makes her my 7G-aunt.

As for Angiolo Navarro, my 5G-grandfather, I've found a death record for someone with that name, but I'm not sure it's the right one. This Angiolo died 27 Aug 1830, and was the husband of Prudenzia Seccia. Given that Rachele died in 1813, when he was about 49 years old, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that he remarried. I need to look for a marriage record between 1813 and 1830 to show that the Angiolo Navarro who married Prudenzia Seccia was the widower of Maria Rachele Manzo before I know if the Angiolo on this death record is my Angiolo. The record gives his father's name as the late Davide Navarro, so that matches, but doesn't prove that it's the right one. His mother was the late Maria di Muccio of Piedimonte, so she may be my 6G-grandmother. Unfortunately, I don't have the film of the earliest marriage records at the Family History Center; I missed a deadline and they went back to Salt Lake City. So I'll have to wait to reorder that film before I know if this is the right Angiolo Navarro.

Death Records

Here's a chart showing this section of the family, picking up where the old one left off with Giuseppe Navarro and Pasqualina Melillo. Incidentally, I've made no progress at all with Pasqualina. Near as I can tell, she died after 1870. So I'll need to reorder the late films to find her death record, which will tell me who her parents were. I suspect she may be from another town, because I haven't been able to find a marriage record for them, so it occurs to me that maybe they married in her hometown. The death record, once I find it, should tell me whether my hunch is on the right track there.

Posted at 12:51:31 AM Link to this entry


Thursday, November 29, 2001

I was going to do some more about what I found in the 1802 Census, but I realized that I never laid the groundwork for that. I haven't covered all the things I've discovered in the San Potito death records for the early 19th century. It's too much to do in one post, so I'm going to try to break it down and compare it to the last full update I did, back in April with the relative chart for my great-grandfather, Ralph Brandi Sr.

In that chart, I had a little information about my 4G-grandparents Daniele Brandi and Giovanna Cancello. I had found their marriage date, and with that, the names of their parents. Since then, I found a death record for Daniele. He died on 28 Nov 1827 in San Potito at three in the afternoon. He was forty-three years old. It confirms that he was the husband of Giovanna Cancello, and the son of the late Giacomo Brandi and Maria Vittoria Meola. Maria was apparently alive and living in Piedimonte d'Alife at this time.

I knew that Giovanna Cancello's parents were Dionisio Cancello and Mariantonia d'Orsi, and that they had both died by the time Daniele and Giovanna married on 10 May 1810. In the 1802 Census, I found that Giovanna was born on 8 Jul 1783. Giovanna was living with her parents for the 1802 Census, so they were both alive as of 5 Jun 1802, the date of the Census. (I haven't yet found a death record for Giovanna.) Dionisio was the son of the late Pasquale Cancello, and was 66 years old as of the Census, placing his birthdate in about 1736. That means his father Pasquale, my 6G-grandfather, was born probably no later than about 1718, and possibly much earlier. Dionisio was born in Calvisi, not San Potito, so his exact birthdate isn't given.

[ 1802 Census Record, Dionisio Cancello and family ]

Mariantonia d'Orsi (my 5G-grandmother), on the other hand, was born in San Potito. The Census gives her birthdate as 16 Oct 1745. That means her father, the late Pasquale d'Orsi, would have been born probably no later than 1727. The Census mentions two siblings of Mariantonia's. Brother Giovanni Antonio was born 9 Apr 1776 and worked as a peasant farmer. He died 3 Jun 1814. Brother Pietro was 19 years old in 1802, which would mark his birthdate around 1783, except that Giovanna was born in 1783, so he was probably born in 1782, sometime between June and October. He married Beatrice Iasimone, and died 10 Jan 1834.

Death Records

Here's a chart showing this section of the family, picking up where the old one left off. I would like to include the charts within these pages, but they're just too wide.

Posted at 11:25:29 PM Link to this entry


Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Well, it took looking through the passenger lists frame-by-frame because the frame number in the transcript was wrong, but I finally found Laura's great-great grandmother Anna Magliocchetti's passenger record. The transcript says that she's on frame 397, but really, the first page is at frame 254 and the second page is at frame 253 of roll 1247. I couldn't have found it without Stephen Morse's alternate Ellis Island search interface. And looking at the scan, they've got her name as Anna Magliocchetti, not Magliocelatti as in the transcript.

The list shows a number of people from Alatri, most interestingly, three children of Anna, one of whom appears not to have made the trip after all. There was a fourteen year old daughter who didn't come. It's difficult to read her name, because it's crossed out. Then there's an 11 year old son, Giacinto Minnocci, and a 5 year old daughter, Rosa Minnocci. Anna herself was apparently 49 years old. She was not able to read or write. They were all travelling to Paterson to join Vittorio Minnocci, Anna's husband and Laura's great-great grandfather, living at 38 Cross Street in Paterson. Anna gives her closest relative back home as Felicia, so there's a name we didn't have before, and one that recurs in the family a generation later. Anna was 5 feet, 5 inches tall.

There's also a Flavia Minnocci from Alatri on the same page. I can't read her husband's name. They were going to New York. In fact, at least half the page was from Alatri.

Posted at 8:51:33 PM Link to this entry


Tuesday, November 27, 2001

During my week off (the week of Thanksgiving), one of the things I did was go to the library at Rutgers to do some city directory and census research on Laura's family. They've got not only the federal censuses, but also the New Jersey state censuses, which were taken at ten year intervals on the fives. The ones I was interested in were mainly the 1905 and 1915 censuses, because most of Laura's relatives (except Filippo Saracco) arrived after the 1895 census. I also looked at the 1910 federal census.


In 1905, I found Filippo (Philip) Saracco and his wife, Franceschina, living at 22 Camden in Paterson, in the same house as Franceschina's brother and sister-in-law, Raffaele De Rosa and Giuseppina (Josephine), Franceschina and Raffaele's sister Mariantonietta, and their parents, Giovanni (John) De Rosa and Lucia (Lucy) De Rosa, nee Nannariello. It took me a few looks at this census to notice that Mariantonietta and the parents were listed there; at first I thought all the people under Raffaele were his and Giuseppina's children until you get to the entry for Philip Saracco. It was only after I got home from the library that I noticed that everyone else was there as well.

Raffaele's birthday is shown as March 1879, but since his birthplace is shown as New Jersey, I take that with a grain of salt. He is listed as the owner of the house at 22 Camden, so I guess his work as a watchmaker was going well, since he had only been in the country for six years or so at this point. Josephine's birthdate is given as September 1880. They're both listed as being able to read, write, and speak English. Son John's birthdate is given as December 1889, which would be when his father was ten years old, so that's clearly wrong, especially since his age is given as five in 1905. His sister Lucy's birthdate is given as January 1900. The birthdates given on the 1915 census are a little more consistent. Daughter Colomice(?) has her birthday in July 1902, son Anthony in January 1905.

Then come the parents. Lucy (Lucia), on line 97, has her birthdate shown as September 1856. She'd been in the country for three years in 1905, and could neither read nor write, nor speak English. John (Giovanni) has his birthdate shown as March 1853. He had been in the country for five years, and had submitted his first papers to be naturalized. He could read and write, but couldn't speak English. It would be interesting to find if he was naturalized before or after 1906, since that's when the naturalization papers get interesting and have lots of information on them.

The last person listed in this household has a name that's tough to decipher. It looks like Henriette or something; the ending is what clued me in to think that this is almost certainly Mariantonietta, and that the census taker just misheard. In fact, given the inconsistency in dates and such, I wonder if perhaps the entire entry for the Raffaele De Rosa household wasn't given by the Saracco household members, who may not have known exactly when everyone was born. Anyway, this person, likely Mariantonietta, was born in March 1883 in Italy, had been in the country for two years, could read and write, but could not speak English.

The second household at this address is the Saracco household, and they're listed as renters. Line 100 on the first page of 1905 census records is Philip Saracco, born in October 1870, which is consistent with the date on his tombstone. He had been in the country for 13 years at this point, consistent with the passenger list of his arrival in 1892. He was already naturalized in 1905. He could read, write, and speak English.

The entry for this family continues on the next page with wife Frances Saracco. Born in October 1881, also consistent with the Saracco tombstone, she had been in the country for five years in 1905, and could read, write, and speak English. Their first child is shown as Joseph, born in January 1904; this is clearly a mistake, and should be Josephine, since that's roughly when Aunt Jo was born (she was actually born in December 1903). Son Sebastian was born in March 1905.


The entry for 22 Camden in 1910 is interesting. Raffaele and his family are gone, apparently moved to 56 Market (consistent with the city directories of the period, and the location of his jewelry shop). Their portion of the house is now occupied by a "Rosie Cracco", a 31 year old widow. I wonder if this isn't Philip's sister, and the name actually Saracco. Rosie worked as a ribbon picker, and had two children, both born in New York. There were also three boarders in this part of the house, Louis and Margaret Martino and Patrick Russo.

The other part of the house still contained Philip and his wife Frances, and John and Lucy. Philip was 39 in 1910, again consistent with a birthdate of October 1870. He and his wife had five children at this point, but curiously, none of the children are listed in the household. Philip is shown as having arrived in America in 1890 and having been naturalized. He was working as a loomfixer, and could read and write. Frances' name is given as Frances De Russo, a reasonable corruption of De Rosa. She was 28 years old, again, consistent with a birthdate of October 1881 as shown in the 1905 census. Philip and Frances had been married for seven years in 1910, so they got married in late 1902 or early 1903, consistent with the birth of their first daughter in December 1903. They'd had five children, all still living at this point. Frances' arrival in America is given as 1900, and she had submitted papers for naturalization. This is interesting; those papers could be worth going after. She was at home and could neither read nor write.

John De Russo (Giovanni De Rosa) was 55 years old in 1910, but this seems to be an approximation. He and his wife had been married 32 years at this point, which is consistent with the 1878 date given for their wedding on Jason Coffman's web site. They had had three children, all still living. John worked as a machinist in 1910 in a "loco works", presumably where they made locomotives. The 1910 city directory shows him working for Cooke Works. I guess his previous trade as a blacksmith was not as viable by 1910. He could neither read nor write. Wife Lucy De Russo (Lucia Nannariello De Rosa) is shown as 50 years old in 1910, and could neither read nor write.

Raffaele De Rosa is shown, oddly, as Frank De Rose, at 56 Market, where his jewelry store was located according to the city directories of the time. He was 30 years old at this point (an approximation, I think), and had been married for 11 years. He had come to America in 1899 and had already been naturalized. He could speak English, but could neither read nor write, which isn't consistent with the 1905 entry, and seems a little odd for a shop owner. He's listed as the proprietor of a jewelry store. Wife Josephine is shown as 28 years old. It appears she had had seven children, only five of whom were living in 1910. The children were John, age 10, Lucy, age 9, Columba, age 7, Tony, age 5, and Armondo (?), age 3.

The Pantanos make their first appearance in the census in 1910, having arrived in America in 1907. The family of Sisti (sic) Pantano is shown at 38 Cross Street. Sisto was 24 years old, and he and wife Felicia had been married for 3 years at the time of the census. They had both immigrated in 1907, and Sisto was an alien at this time. He worked as a laborer doing odd jobs, and work must have been good, because he wasn't out of work at all during the previous year. Wife Felicia is shown as being 21 years old, and having had two children, both surviving. Both Sisto and Felicia could read and write. Their two children in 1910 were Giovanni, Laura's grandfather, and Adele. Giovanni was 2 years old, and Adele was 8 months old as of April 1910, which would place her birthdate around September 1909. Sisto's brother Tito was also living with them. Tito was 19 years old and single and had also immigrated in 1907. He also worked odd jobs, but with less success than Sisto, as he was out of work for 16 weeks in 1909.


Raffaele De Rosa and family were still living at 56 Market in 1915. Raffaele's birthdate here is given as September 1878, and he was 36 years old. He had been in the country for 16 years at this point, and had been naturalized, which had also been true in 1910. He could read, write, and speak English. Wife Josephine's birthdate is given as November 1881, and she was 33 years old. Oddly, since in other censuses she's shown as having come over at roughly the same time as Raffaele, she's shown as having been in America for 14 years. That appears to be wrong; now that I know that Raffaele was a watchmaker and a jeweler, I can pick out which Raffaele is the right one from the possibilities at Ellis Island, and it appears there that they came to America together on The Palatia, arriving in New York on 10 June 1899. In this census, she could read, write, and speak English. Son John's birthdate is given as August 1899, 15 years old. Daughter Lucy's birthdate is given as February 1901, age 14. Both are shown as attending public high school. Daughter Columbia's birthdate is shown as April 1903, 12 years old. Son Tony was born October 1904, age 10. Son Edwin (the "Armondo" of the 1910 census?) was born December 1906, age 8. Columbia, Tony, and Edwin are shown as attending public grammar school. Daughter Alvera was born April 1911, age 4. And son Ernest was born January 1912, age 3.

I didn't find John and Lucy in 1915 yet. The 1915 and 1916 city directories show Giovanni De Rosa working as a blacksmith's helper and living at 22 Camden. Unfortunately, the microfilm of the 1915 census at Rutgers was cut off before it got to 22 Camden; I saw the surrounding streets, but no Camden.

The Saraccos are shown under another creative spelling in the 1915 census. Philip's name is given as Paul, and the last name is shown as Cirrocio. But it's them nonetheless. They're living at 38 Cross, which, interestingly enough, was where the Pantanos had been living in 1910. Philip ("Paul") was shown born in November 1869, age 45. He'd been in the country 20 years and was still working as a loom fixer. They were renting. Wife Frances is shown with a birthdate of June 1883, age 32, which is not what she was listed as in the 1905 or 1910 censuses. She'd been in the country for 14 years as of 1915. Children are Josephine, born December 1902 (that's a year off), Sebastian, born February 1904 (not possible with Josephine being born two months earlier), Lucy, born February 1907, Della, born March 1908, John, born August 1909, and Arthur, born June 1911. All except Arthur are shown attending School Number 23.

I didn't find the Pantanos in 1915 yet, but I did find Felicia's parents. Vittorio Minnocci and family are shown living at 36 Ellison. Vittorio's birthdate is given as November 1860 and his age as 55 (he would be 54 with that birthdate at the time the census was taken, but never mind). Vittorio had been in the country eight years at this point, and was still an alien. He worked as a grocer and could read, write, and speak English. Wife Anna was born in December 1863 and was 52 years old (more sloppy math). She had been in the country six years and could neither read nor write, nor speak English. Son Arthur is shown with a birthdate of July 1894, age 21. He's shown as single, but the next entry is Vienna, who was his wife. I don't know, maybe they weren't married yet. Vienna, also shown as single, was born September 1895. They had both been in the country for six years. He was a silkworker, and she worked in the flax mill. Both could read, write, and speak English. Daughter Rose brings up the rear, with a birthdate of February 1903, 12 years old. She was attending public Grammar School Number 23.

Still to find: Pantanos in 1915, Minnoccis in 1910, Giovanna and Lucia De Rosa in 1915, and the actual census records for all in 1920 (I have the soundexes for some, but not the actual censuses). Also, Filippo Saracco in 1900 and 1895.

Census Records

Posted at 3:50:38 AM Link to this entry


Friday, November 23, 2001

On Thanksgiving Day, we visited the cemeteries where Laura's grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. On her mother's side, they're all buried very close to each other in Calvary Cemetery in Paterson.

[ Saracco headstone, Calvary Cemetery, Paterson NJ ]

The Saraccos have a large headstone with graves and engravings on both sides. The front lists Laura's great uncle John, 1909-1993, and his wife Madeline, who is still alive and living in Florida dancing up a storm. There's Laura's great uncle Arthur Saracco, 1911-1975, and Betty, who I think is his wife, 1911-1976. Also in the front are Laura's great grandmother, Franceschina (De Rosa), listed as 1881-1958, and great grandfather, Philip, 1870-1932. The 1933 and 1934 Paterson city directories say that Philip/Filippo died on 16 Feb 1932. Laura's great aunt Vic told us that Franceschina died on 2 Jan 1958; we've sent to Trenton for her death certificate. One of Franceschina and Philip's daughters is also buried in the plot, Lucy V. Veronelli, 1909-1930.

On the back of the Saracco headstone, Laura's great uncle Sebastian, 1905-1970, and his wife Angelina, 1905-1965, are buried, as are Laura's great aunt Jo, who we had made arrangements to talk to shortly before she died, 1903-2000, and her husband, Andrew Polombo, 1898-1982.

[ Masucci headstone, Calvary Cemetery, Paterson NJ ]

Francheschina's sister's family is buried nearby. Mariantonietta (De Rosa) Masucci, 1883-1967, is buried with her husband Giuseppe, 1872-1952, and their sons Anthony, 1909-1986, and Roland, 1917-2001.

[ Pantano headstone, Calvary Cemetery, Paterson NJ ]

The Pantanos are right behind the Masuccis. Laura's great-grandfather Sisto Pantano, 1885-1952 and her great-grandmother, Felicia Minnocci, 1887-1981 (otherwise known as "grandma-on-the-hill") are buried there. I called the cemetery a week or two ago when we were sending away for death certificates to find out when he died; they didn't have that in their records, but they did tell me he was buried on 2 Jun 1952. Laura's grandparents John Pantano, 1908-1976, and Adele (Saracco), 1908-1978, are buried in the same plot, as is Lisa Pantano, 1959-1963, the daughter of John's brother Louis. Louis, 1913-1977, and his wife Mary, 1910-1993, are buried right next to the main Pantano plot.

Afterward, Laura's father took us to the cemetery where his parents are buried in Fair Lawn.

[ Lombardo headstone, Fair Lawn Memorial Garden, Fair Lawn NJ ]

They don't have a huge monument or anything, rather one of the stones placed right in the ground. We had a hard time finding the grave. As it turned out, when the groundskeepers raked the leaves in the cemetery, they raked them right over the Lombardos' grave. The grave is about 30 feet to the left of a pine tree behind the house as you enter the graveyard. If I had a GPS, I'd be able to say exactly where it was. :-)

It's hard to read everything the stone says in the picture, but I wrote it down: "Lombardo / In Loving Memory / Albana / 1903-1975 / Luigi / 1894-1982".

We didn't see graves for Laura's great-great-grandparents, Vittorio and Anna Minnocci (who I think are buried in Calvary Cemetery) or John and Lucy De Rosa (Giovanni De Rosa and Lucia Nannariello), who Laura's mom thinks are probably buried in Totowa. Maybe next time.

Posted at 10:07:16 AM Link to this entry


Thursday, November 22, 2001

I got a very interesting package in the mail today. Larry Sennello sent me a copy of the 1802 census for San Potito Sannitico. I suspect that it's what was called a "Stato della Anime", or "State of the Souls", the church census that was supposely done every year in Italian villages. In any case, whatever it is, it's worth its weight in gold. It's got a ton of information: family relationships, birth dates going back well into the 1700s that aren't available in the Mormon records, names of fathers and whether the father was still alive in 1802, birthplaces for people from places other than San Potito, street names, occupations.... It's just an incredible source, and I see my relatives all over it.

[ 1802 Census entry for Angiolo Navarro and Maria Rachele Manzo ]

This, for example, is the entry for my 5G-grandparents, Angiolo Navarro and Maria Rachele Manzo. Angiolo came from Sepicciano, a nearby comune (village) which was a frazione of Piedimonte d'Alife (that is, they were administered as part of the larger town, although with their own identity), so they don't give his exact birth date, but he was 38 years old in 1802. He worked as a peasant farmer, and his father, Davide, was already dead in 1802. Maria Rachele was born on 20 Feb 1781, and was Angiolo's second wife. Her father, still living, was Domenico Manzo. And their son, Giuseppenicola, was born on 17 May 1801. Giuseppenicola was my 4G-grandfather.

[ 1802 Census entry for Domenico Manzo and Marianna Altieri ]

About eight houses down L'Arbore street, Maria Rachele's parents lived. Domenico Manzo, my 6G-grandfather, the son of the late Carlo Manzo, worked as a peasant farmer, and was born on 11 Dec 1751. His wife, Marianna Altieri, the daughter of the late Carlo Altieri, was born in Piedimonte d'Alife, and was 42 years old in 1802. Incidentally, I found Marianna's death record in the San Potito records. She died on 20 Mar 1841 at the age of 80. Between these two records, it appears she was born around 1760-61. Her death record lists her parents as Carlo Altieri, as shown on the census, and Rosina Santomassimo. That makes Carlo and Rosina my 7G-grandparents.

[ 1802 Census entry for Antonio Rapa and Angiola d'Amato ]

Meanwhile, over on L'Cantole street, Antonio Rapa and Angiola d'Amato, my 5G-grandparents, were raising a family, including my 4G-grandfather, Michele Rapa, who was born on Christmas Day, 25 Dec 1780. Antonio, the son of Domenico Rapa, worked as a carpenter (falegname), and was born on 25 Jan 1759. His wife Angiola d'Amato was born on 17 Oct 1755. Daughter Annantonia was born on 4 Oct 1775; son Giuseppe on 22 Aug 1791 (maybe; that last number is pretty indistinct); daughter Annamaria on 26 Oct 1795; and daughter Vincenza was another Christmas baby, born on 25 Dec 1798.

[ 1802 Census entry for Andrea d'Amato and Pietronilla Izzo ]

Angiola's parents, Andrea d'Amato and Pietronilla Izzo, my 6G-grandparents, were living on La Torello. Andrea, a peasant farmer, son of the late Giovanni d'Amato, was born on 1 Dec 1732. Pietronilla, daughter of the late Ambrogio Izzo, was 62 years old in 1802, placing her birth date at about 1740. Giovanni and Ambrogio are therefore my 7G-grandfathers.

There are more family members in this census, but it's getting very late. I'll post some more about what I've found in the census later. This sample should give an idea of how much information was in this package. I'm really grateful to Larry and his brother Bill, who have also transcribed the whole census to make it easy to find people.

Posted at 2:05:04 AM Link to this entry


Thursday, November 1, 2001

I found a web site that appears to contain a catalog of the contents of all the archives in Italy. Of course, it's all in Italian so it's not terribly easy for me to read. The catalog is available as PDF files for each province, or as a searchable guide. For San Potito, I found the following items in the archives:

Posted at 6:04:14 PM Link to this entry