Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

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