Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

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