And so begins the past …

Adriano Giorgio was born in San Vito Chietino, Chieti, Abruzzo Italy on 27 November 1871. He first came to Western PA in sometime around 1897, leaving behind a young son – Nicola – born to him and his first wife Marianna Frattura. Marianna Frattura was from Castel di Sangro, L’Aquilo, Abruzzo Italy. Marianna died a week after Nicola Giorgio was born in the fall of 1896. Baby Nick stayed in Italy while Adriano sought his new life in America. Adriano later brought Nick to the US in 1904. Passenger logs show the two of them arriving in New York on the ship named the “Roma” on 19 December 1904. The 1910 Census shows Nick, age 14, living in Dunbar with Custode and Adriano.

Soon after arriving in Western PA, Adriano met Custode Iacobucci who was born in Italy on 27 May 1880. We’re still searching for exactly where in Italy she was born (we suspect Castel di Sangro) or whether she and Adriano knew each other in Italy or met once they were both in western PA. We do know they married on 13 February 1899 in Pittsburgh.

A word about names. Accept the fact that it is going to get confusing. Italian convention is for the first-born son to be named after his father’s father. Adriano and Marianna followed this convention in naming Nicola after Adriano’s father – Nicola Nunziato Sabio Giorgio. Adding to the confusion for finding someone in a later generation is the fact that if four brothers all name their first son after their father, you’ve got four cousins with the same first and last name.

As if that didn’t make things complicated enough, we’re also dealing with the Americanized version of Italian names. So Adriano becomes Adrian or sometimes even Andy. Custode (which is a name I’ve loved ever since I came across it because it means someone who takes care of others) was never known by that name to her own grandchildren who thought her name was Christine. Just accept that it’s going to get confusing.

Many thanks to Lynnette George Burnett, who has graciously shared her grandparents’ wedding photo. Lynnette is the half sister of Rick’s father Fred. So in finding our past it looks like we’ve found part of our future – an aunt we never knew we had. We think aunts are awesome!

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