Thanks Irene for mentioning her new Facebook friend and cousin – John George, who has done a lot of George family history work. He recently visited the Philippines where Lieutenant John Andrew George, one of the first men from New Castle to die in World War II, was killed while trying to save his men. A whole chapter of the book is devoted to Lieutenant George. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon.
I spent a good part of the long weekend exploring the names of San Vito Chietino, Chieti, d’Abruzzo, Italy. Or perhaps I should say – the names that were prevalent in the records of that town that also showed up in New Castle, PA.
The four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to America in the late 1800s – Ciro, Adriano, Pasquale and Romualdo (who went by Romeo) were born in San Vito Chietino, Italy between 1865 and 1879. The oldest and youngest – Ciro and Romeo – married girls from their home town (or nearby in the case of Ciro.) The two middle Giorgio brothers married girls from a small town in the mountains of Abruzzo – Castel di Sangro. (Coincidentally each of them had two wives from Castel di Sangro.)
The connection between the two towns is still an unsolved mystery but this post will focus on some of the people from San Vito Chietino that I’ve gotten to know by reading both the Italian birth records and news stories from the New Castle News.
A quick look at the birth, marriage or death indices for San Vito Chietino always yields a high number of entries for the names – Altobelli, Bianco, Cupido, Flamminio, and Veri. Probably next in terms of frequency are names like Chiarini, Ciampoli, Filippo, Giorgio, Iarlori, di Nardis and Pace.
In conversations with Irene Veri, I remember the name Bobby Cupido. Hmmm… safe bet that his father might have been from San Vito Chietino so I started my weekend research project with the goal of learning more about the Cupido family.
Irene remembers going to school with Bobby Cupido in New Castle – they were only a year apart in age. Her mother, Mary Giampaolo George, was good friends with his mother, Concetta George Cupido. Concetta and Mary’s husband Nick George, were first cousins. Concetta was the oldest daughter born to Romeo George and his wife, Dorinda diFrancescantonio, another name from San Vito Chietino – (SVC).
Sure enough, the SVC birth records for 1896 show that a Benedetto Cupido was born on November 6th to a Vito Cupido, age 50 and his wife Teresina Croce Cupido. I can’t make out her age from the birth record of her son Benedetto, but I can tell that Vito’s father is deceased. Following Italian naming convention, it is likely that Benedetto, was their first son.
Sure enough in the ten-year marriage index, I found a marriage record for Vito Cupido and Teresina Croce. They were married on May 6, 1892 (or thereabouts). From this record I can see that Teresina is 31 in 1892 which would make her 34 or 35 when Benedetto was born. Given the ages of the bride and groom, 31 and 50, I wonder if either of them might have been married before.
In the New Castle News records that span a period of about 50 years, from the 1920s to the mid-1970s, there are quite a few mentions of a family named Paul and Mary Cupido who married in 1925. I’m curious to see if I can make a connection between Paul and Benny Cupido, but after hours of research my best guess is that they may be cousins but were probably not brothers.
The obituary for Paul Cupido who died on December 24, 1970 in New Castle lists his birthplace as San Vito Chietino and identifies his parents as Frank and Teresa Giovanelli Cupido and he identifies two brothers, both in Italy at the time of his obituary. Their names are Nick and Rocco.
And what about Benedetto Cupido? We know from his birth record that that his father’s name was Vito. Benny Cupido married Connie George in October 1929 in New Castle PA. He would have been about to turn 33 and Connie would have been 20. For a short time after they married in 1929, it appears that Connie lived in Peekskill, New York with Benny where he was working as a carpenter. Here’s their entry from the 1930 Census.
But by 1934 when their only son Robert Vitus Cupido was born in New Castle PA on March 31st, the New Castle News reports the address of Mr. and Mrs. Benny Cupido as 503 Uber Street. But I can’t help but wonder if Benny was ever there, or if Connie had moved home without her husband?
The 1940 census shows Concetta Cupido and her son Robert, living inNew Castle with her parents Romeo and Dorinda George at 1008 Cunningham Street. The 1940 census for an area just outside of Blairsville, PA shows a “Penny” Cupido (who is the right age to be Benny) living in the home of his sister-in-law, Anna Cupido, a 42-year old widow. His address in 1935 ( a great feature of the 1940 census) was New Castle, Pennsylvania. It seems quite likely this is our Benny and his marital status is M for married.
An interesting thing about the family living with Anna Cupido at 402 First Avenue is that the four oldest children (ages 17-13) listed as her sons and daughter, have the last name Iezzi. Then there is a six year old Lena Cupido and an infant son, Joseph Cupido. It seems likely that Anna Cupido was married to Iezzi before she married Benny Cupido’s brother.
This 1940 census record helps explain why the 1942 draft record for Benny Cupido in Baltimore Maryland, lists Anna Cupido at 402 First Avenue, Blairsville, PA as someone who would always know his whereabouts. It doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t list his wife Concetta who was alive and well and living with her parents in New Castle. It would suggest that although Benny and Connie remained married they were estranged from one another.
There are several immigration records for Benny Cupido. WOW – that man made quite a few trips back and forth between Italy and the US. In fact, it appears he died in Italy because the social security death index lists his last known address as the US Consulate in Italy.
And what about Bobby Cupido after his years as a high school football star and all round athlete? The New Castle News was full of articles about his athletic prowess, starting as early as elementary school. He was quite the football star but also played basketball and baseball. An article from the New Castle News in August 1952 reports that Robert Cupido would attend Youngstown University.
His marriage license from Falls Church VA in 1956 indicates he married a woman named Sally Nitz who was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 1, 1956. It’s interesting that Robert’s aunt Phyllis George LaFever was living in the Washington DC area at that time. It makes me wonder if that might have been the reason he moved there.
At some point Robert Cupido and his wife Sally Ann moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, presumably because her family lived there. Here’s a picture of Sally Ann Nitz from her high school yearbook in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1951.
Irene Veri remembers that Connie Cupido and her son Bobby “moved away” but she doesn’t know when or why. She thinks that Adele George, who grew up in the same house as Bobby might know. Adele if you’re reading this I’d love to hear from you.
We know that in May 15, 1971, Connie Cupido was still living in New Castle because an article honoring the employees of St. Francis hospital on that date, lists her as an employee who had worked at the hospital for at least 10 years.
Yet by June 22, 1972, it seems that when it was time for his 20th high school reunion, Robert Cupido was someone who’s address was unknown. I suspect that at that time he may have been living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It turns out that his wife died at the very young age of 40 in 1974 so I wonder if they moved back to be with her parents because she was ill.
Twelve years later, Robert Cupido, still living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died.
And five years after that, in 1991, his mother, Concetta J. Cupido, who was still living in Milwaukee Wisconsin died.
So that’s what my weekend research told me about the Cupido families from San Vito Chietino. Interestingly, when I discovered the marriage record for Dorinda and Romeo it turns out that Dorinda’s mother’s maiden name was Cupido.
Today would be the 122nd anniversary of Adriano and Marianna, parents of only one child, Nicola Vitus Giorgio (aka Nick V. George). The notation in the left margin of the record copied below memorializes this event. This is the first page of the official birth records of Adriano Giorgio, which are from the town of San Vito Chietino in the Province of Chieti. Just under his name – “Adriano Giorgio” it is noted that
” 31 Agosto 95 spojo (he married ?) Frattura, Marianna . . . ”
I think most of what follows is the signature of the official who made that notation but it is possible that the “Att 35” is a reference to the marriage record where more information about their marriage could be found. Presumably a similar notation appears in Marianna’s birth record.
Italian marriage records – processetti or allegati – contain an incredible amount of information including the birth certificates of the bride and groom as well as consent to the marriage from both fathers. If the father of either spouse was deceased, the death certificate of that father would also be included, which would contain information about the parents of the deceased person. This can often provide information about family names going back to the 1700s – a genealogist’s dream come true!
I know I’ve wondered about this before but how did Adriano Giorgio, from the town of San Vito Chietino on the east coast of Italy, end up in the mountains of central Italy getting married to Marianna Frattura? It’s an important mystery to solve because it lays the ground work for his subsequent marriage to Custode Iacobucci, who is also from that small mountain town. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Custode may have been related to Marianna Frattura.
If Marianna Frattura and Custode Iacobucci knew each other, we can assume from what we know about Custode’s immigration date (April 1897) that she was in Castel di Sangro on August 31, 1895 when this marriage took place as well as the next November when Nick was born and his mother tragically died within a week of his birth.
A big thank-you to Wilberta Illig diVincenzo who provided the following translation from the official birth record for Adriano Giorgio – born on 27 December 1871 in San Vito Chietino, Italy.
The the year 1871, the 31st day of December, at the town hall at the hour of 9 am Before me, Luigi Dazio, assessor of the town of San Vito Chietino, Circondario of Lanciano, Province of Abruzzo Citeriore, delegate of the functions of the Civil State Officer by act of the Mayor of 13 October last, properly approved and appeared
Nicola Giorgio, son of deceased Romualdo, age 34, a tailor living in this town, who presented to me an infant of the male sex, and who declared him born the 27th of the current month at the hour of 6 pm by his wife, Filomena Pace, daughter of Vito, living together at the home where they reside in this town, to whom he declares to give the name Adriano.
This statement is made in the presence of Temistocle Olivieri, son of Giuseppe, age 42, a coffeehouse keeper, and Camillo Iavicoli, son of deceased Rosario, age 40, a sexton, both living in San Vito Chietino, witnesses chosen by the declarant, and after reading this record and recording it in the two registers, they were unable to submit with me and with the declarant, their signatures, because they were illiterate.
So now we know that Adriano’s father was a tailor and Custode’s father was a shepherd. From the record, which is not copied above, it does appear that Nicola Giorgio signed his name (I might be wrong about that but I think it is his signature) even though the two witnesses he brought with him were illiterate.
The notations in the margin reference Adriano’s two Italian marriages – one in 1895 to Marianna Frattura from Castel di Sangro and one in June 1913 to Maria Flamminio, of San Vito Chietino.
Maybe I’ll see if I can find the marriage records for Nicola Giorgio and Filomena Pace.