Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I reordered the film for San Potito from 1866-1899 because I had some loose ends I needed to clear up. I didn't find everything, but I found a lot.

Maria Navarro, my 3G grandmother and the wife of Filippo Brandi, died on 25 Oct 1882 at the age of 58. Her son Vincenzo was already in America by that point; I wonder how he heard about it.

Maria's mother (my 4G grandmother), Pasqualina Melillo, was someone I hadn't made any progress on. Well, I found her death record; she died on 27 Jul 1874 in San Potito. Her death record says she was born in Gioia Sannitica, which would explain why I had been unable to find a marriage record for her and Giuseppe Navarro. I'll have to order the relevant film for Gioia eventually to find the wedding record. The death record actually gets her last name wrong, giving it as Merillo, but it also says she was the widow of Giuseppe Navarro, so I know it's the right person. Her parents' names are given, which is new; her father was Giovanni Melillo, and her mother Angela del Santo, my 5G-grandparents. I'll want to check that against the marriage record when I find it, particularly since Pasqualina's last name is wrong. Who knows what other mistakes they might have made? Finally, the death record says she was 71 years old when she died. I had figured her birthdate based on other records to be some time between 1803 and 1806, so that sounds right.

Finally, my 3G grandfather, Domenico Rapa, died on 19 Dec 1895, at the age of 76. Other than that, there was nothing really new in his death record.

That leaves two 3G grandparents who I haven't found death records for, Maria Pietrosimone, born 1 Aug 1819, and Filippo Brandi, born 31 May 1818. There's one later film for San Potito that covers 1900-1910, so assuming they were still living in San Potito, I should be able to find their death records there (unless, of course, they lived to be more than 91 or 92 years old).

Death Records

Posted at 4:50:15 PM Link to this entry


Friday, March 15, 2002

Last roundup post on the baptismal records; next week, I'll add some other recent discoveries from the late 1800s, then post a revised chart to make it all clear.

Angiolo Pietrosimone, my 4G-grandfather, was born on 11 Feb 1786, according to the 1802 Census. I found his baptismal record and confirmed that. The baptismal record shows that his full name was Angiolo Felice Domenico Antonio Pietrosimone. From his death record, I knew that his parents were Giovanni Pietrosimone and Vittoria Masuccio. I had also found their death records, which told me that Giovanni's father was Agostino Pietrosimone, and that Vittoria's parents were Michelangelo Masuccio and Anna Maria Paterno. And finding Anna Maria Paterno's death record told me that her parents were Giuseppe Paterno and Camilla Simonelli. I had already made a lot of progress on this line.

The 1802 Census shows Giovanni's birth date as 28 Dec 1753, and sure enough, there he is in the baptismal records. His mother is listed as Angiola Coluccio, my 6G grandmother. That was new. I also found a lot of records for siblings of Angiolo, as well as of siblings of Giovanni, but they don't shed a lot of additional light on things.

The 1802 Census appears to give my 5G-grandmother Vittoria Masuccio's age as 31, which would indicate a birth year of 1871, but didn't give a birth date. The 1806 Census gave her age as 41, which would indicate a birth date of about 1765, and her death record indicates a birth date of about 1762, which makes me think the 1802 Census was just wrong. I found a baptismal record for Teresa Vittoria Masuccio, born and baptized on 3 Oct 1761, which fits with the death record nearly perfectly. It gets the name of her mother slightly wrong, listing it as Anna Maria Perotto, but given that this was her first child and that she wasn't originally from San Potito, and that all future children with Michelangelo Masuccio were shown with her last name as Paterno, I think that the name here is a simple mistake.

I found a number of siblings for Vittoria. She was the eldest born to Michelangelo Masuccio and Anna Maria Paterno, who had children as late as 1784. The baptismal record for her sister Judicta Violanta listed grandparents as well, so I now know that Michelangelo's parents, my 7G-grandparents, were Ambrogio Masuccio and Violanta di Lello. The were both dead by the time Judicta was born on 14 May 1779.

As I explained in a previous post, Michelangelo might be my 7G-grandfather as well. The 1802 Census shows that Anna Maria Paterno was his second wife, and there was a series of children born to a Michelangelo Masuccio and Teresa Fattore between 1741 and 1755, and the first child born to Michelangelo and Anna Maria was named Teresa Vittoria, which is a circumstantial pointer to the idea that they were the same person, but I haven't proven it yet. I need to find some indication of who the parents of the Michelangelo married to Teresa Fattore was. Bill Sennello tells me the church in San Potito has marriage records, so maybe a marriage record for Michelangelo Masuccio and Teresa Fattore from around 1740 exists and can clear this up.

Baptismal Records

Posted at 5:19:35 AM Link to this entry


Wednesday, March 13, 2002

I went to the New York Public Library last week. Among the items I found there were a number of maps of Caserta, Italy. The library had 1:100,000 scale military maps dating to World War II, produced by the U.S. Army Mapping Service. Unfortunately, the area my family comes from just happens to be at the intersection of four maps, but I've put together a mosaic of three of those maps that show San Potito Sannitico, Piedimonte d'Alife, Gioia Sannitica, Seppiciano, and Calvisi, all comune or frazioni where my family come from, as well as Faicchio and San Lorenzello, where Laura's family come from. You can kind of see the joins, but what the heck. One interesting thing is that to the south and west of San Potito are a number of labels with family names that I recognize from San Potito and, in some cases, from my own ancestors, such as Sanillo (on the left edge of the map about halfway down), Seccia, and Campochiaro.

I've also posted individual close-up maps of San Potito and Piedimonte d'Alife, where my Brandi family comes from, Faicchio, where Laura's great-grandfather Filippo Saracco comes from, and Sessa Aurunca, birthplace of Laura's grandfather Luigi Lombardo.

One thing that's nice is that the library also has maps of these areas at a much closer 1:25,000 scale, although unfortunately, they don't keep those on-site. But the reference numbers for those maps are the same as those for these larger maps, with extra numbers to denote which quadrant of the larger section is covered. You have to order those, then the library will get them from off-site within about a week. I'll have to ask them if I can just order the maps over the phone and have them sent to me.


Posted at 7:37:52 PM Link to this entry


My 4G-grandmother Nicoletta Matteo was the source of some confusion for a while. That's because some records referred to her as Nicoletta, and others referred to her as Maria Cecilia. I finally found compelling evidence that they were the same person back in November. I've now got additional evidence that I feel seals it. The 1802 Census shows Nicoletta living with her father Giuseppe Matteo and his second wife Marta Contenta, and gives her birth date as 29 May 1791. Looking through the baptismal records, I see that on that date, Maria Cecilia Matteo was born, the child of Giuseppe Matteo and Francesca Riccio. Bingo! Giuseppe's father Giovanni was dead by Nicoletta's birth, as was Francesca's mother Maria.

Nicoletta's mother Francesca Riccio had been a tough nut to crack, because she died even before the 1802 Census, let alone the civil records from the Mormons. But Nicoletta's baptismal record was the breakthrough here, showing that Francesca's parents were Deodato Riccio and Maria Clemente Piteo. I wasn't able to find a baptismal record that I can definitively assign to Francesca, although there is one for a Maria Comepta (?) Riccio born on 18 Apr 1771 that seems likely to be her. For one thing, the date is consistent with Nicoletta's birth date of 29 May 1791, when Maria Comepta/Francesca would have been 20 years old. For another, Maria Comepta is the only daughter I've been able to find born to Deodato Riccio and Maria Piteo.

I found three brothers for Maria/Francesca: Nicola, born 11 Nov 1765, Pietro Filippo Francesco, born 29 Jan 1776, and Giuseppe, born 5 Mar 1780. On Giuseppe's baptismal record, I found the names of his (and Francesca's) grandparents, my 7G-grandparents. Deodato Riccio's father was Fabio Riccio, and his mother was Hieronyma Sanillo. Both were dead by the time Giuseppe was born. Maria Clemente Piteo's father was Nicola Piteo, and her mother was Portia Farina. Nicola was dead by 1780, but Portia was still alive.

Maria Clemente Piteo, my 6G-grandmother, was born on 13 Oct 1746 and baptized the following day, according to her baptismal record. The record only gives the names of her parents, which I already had. But I found records for her five brothers (Casimiro, Giuseppe, Carlo, Gennaro, and Angiolo), and on the record for Giuseppe, born on 7 Feb 1736, it mentions that Nicola Piteo's father was Casimiro Piteo, my 8G-grandfather. Nicola and Portia's first child, Casimiro, was born on 24 Sep 1733, which would mean they were likely born before about 1715 and possibly much earlier, and that Nicola's father Casimiro was likely born before about 1697 and possibly much earlier, if one assumes that people generally didn't have children before they turned 18, which is generally borne out by the records. So that's another ancestor in Italy traced back to the late 17th century. I haven't yet found a record for Nicola.

Deodato Riccio, my 6G-grandfather, was born on 27 Mar 1740, and baptized the following day. I found five sibling for Deodato, born between 1730 and 1746: Michelangelo, Potito, Maria Celestina, Angiola Maria, and Stefan. None of their baptismal records contained any additional information about grandparents.

Nicoletta's father Giuseppe Matteo was born and baptized on 30 Nov 1768, according to both the 1802 Census and his baptismal record. As I found earlier in Giuseppe's death record from 1844, his parents were Giovanni Matteo and Maria Masuccio, information that was confirmed by his baptismal record. Giovanni and Maria had eight children between 1762 and 1780: Angiola, Maria Concetta, Vincenza, Giuseppe (my ancestor), Serafina, Vincenzo, Simone Giovannbatista, and Felice. On Felice's baptismal record on 12 Dec 1780, I found the names of his grandparents. Giovanni's father was Gennaro Matteo, my 7G-grandfather, and his mother was Cecilia Lombardo, my 7G-grandmother. Maria Masuccio's father was Michelangelo Masuccio, my 7G-grandfather, and her mother was Teresa Fattore, my 7G-grandmother.

Maria Masuccio was born on 26 Apr 1741 and baptized the following day. Her full baptismal name was Maria Angela Cecilia Masuccio. The baptismal record confirms her parents' names as listed on her son Felice's record.

Here I run in to an interesting situation. I already have a Michelangelo Masuccio as my 6G-grandfather, married to Anna Maria Paterno. Michelangelo and Anna Maria had ten children between 1762 and 1784. In the 1802 Census, Michelangelo was already dead, but Anna Maria was listed as his second widow, meaning that he had clearly had an earlier wife. Was that wife Teresa Fattore? If so, Michelangelo Masuccio would be both my 6G-grandfather and my 7G-grandfather. In the line with Anna Maria Paterno, Michelangelo's parents are Ambrogio Masuccio and Violanta di Lello. Michelangelo and Teresa Fattore had six children between 1741 and 1755, so there's no overlap between the two sets of children. Interestingly, Michelangelo and Anna Maria's first child, born 3 Oct 1761, was baptized Teresia Victoria, which may be a sign that the two Michelangelos are indeed the same person. Incidentally, that Teresia Victoria was my 5G-grandmother, Vittoria Masuccio. But none of the baptismal records for any of Michelangelo's and Teresa's six children mention the name of one of Michelangelo's parents, which would allow me to tie the two together. I would need to see a Census record from some time after 1761 or so to see if Michelangelo and Teresa's children are living with Michelangelo and Anna Maria, or a marriage record for Michelangelo and Teresa ca. 1740 that shows who Michelangelo's parents are, or maybe a marriage record for Michelangelo and Anna Maria some time between 1755 and 1760 that might mention that Michelangelo was the widower of Teresa Fattore. Absent something like that, I can't prove that Michelangelo is simultaneously my 6G- and 7G-grandfather.

I haven't found a baptismal record for Giovanni, so I don't know when he was born, but I did find records for four siblings born between 1736 and 1747: Lucia, Angiolo, Filippo, and Domenico Matteo. It's possible that the Angiolo listed here is actually Giovanni, because his middle name is Giovanni, and his birth date is the same year (1741) as that of his future wife, but I can't prove this.

Lots of new information there; before I got the baptismal records, I had the names of Giuseppe Matteo's parents, Giovanni and Maria Masuccio, but no information about them. I had nothing about Francesca Riccio aside from her name.

Baptismal Records

Posted at 3:23:39 PM Link to this entry


Tuesday, March 12, 2002

I found a page that has a picture of what appears to be a relative of mine. My first cousin three times removed, Antonio Brandi, was apparently the head of a brass band in nearby Gioia Sannitica in the 1930s. At least that's what Babelfish would have me believe. Antonio's picture is the first on the page.

I was looking for information about Melillos in Gioia Sannitica, because that's where my 4G grandmother Pasqualina Melillo was born, according to her death record. I didn't make a copy of it yet, but she died in San Potito on 27 Jul 1874 at the age of roughly 71, and her parents were Giovanni Melillo and Angela del Santo, presumably also of Gioia Sannitica. Looks like I've got another village to start researching, although with a birthdate of sometime between 1803 and 1806 for Pasqualina, I don't think I'm likely to find much there, since the civil records that the Mormons have don't start until 1809.

Posted at 5:37:25 PM Link to this entry


Thursday, March 7, 2002

We got some new records in the mail yesterday from the state of New Jersey.

First was a much better copy of Philip Saracco's death certificate that the one I printed from microfilm at the state archives in Trenton. It doesn't say anything different from what I've already described, but it's much easier to read, so I've replaced the scan I had here.

Second was a death record for Franceschina (De Rosa) Saracco. She died on 2 Jan 1958, and was buried on 7 Jan 1958. It lists her parents as John De Rosa and Lucy Nanerelli. There's really nothing new on this that we didn't know aside from the burial date, but it's nice to have the documentation.

Last was a death record for Sisto Pantano. He died on 29 May 1952 and was buried on 2 Jun 1952. We knew the burial date, but not the death date. It gives his birth date as 19 Aug 1865, but the year is a typo; it should be 1885. I can tell this because the certificate properly gives his age as 66, which agrees with his age on Census records and his ship's manifest. Most exciting here are the names of his parents, which we did not have. His father was Vincent (presumably Vincenzo) Pantano, and his mother Flavia Bricca. It also says that Sisto was a US citizen, so presumably his papers are out there somewhere, and since he came to the US in 1907, they should be those wonderful information-packed post-1906 naturalization papers. We'll definitely have to look for those.

Death Certificates

Posted at 11:03:41 AM Link to this entry