Ciro Giorgio’s Children

I just can’t stay away from the Giorgio’s for long. The recent contact from Jerry George and Linda George, children of Vito Giorgio, the youngest son of Ciro and Rosario Giorgio, prompted me to focus this post on Ciro and his descendants. Most of my contact until now has been from descendants of the two middle Giorgio brothers – Adriano and Pasquale.

If you read my earlier post on the four Giorgio brothers who came from San Vito Chietino, on the eastern coast of Italy in the region known as Abruzzo, you know that Ciro was the oldest son and the trailblazer. He married in Italy before he came to America. His wife’s name is often listed in English documents as Rosario Lance but should probably be spelled Rosaria. For ease of reference in this post I will just call her Rose. Most of the dates I use in this post are from the papers she filed to become an US citizen in 1940 – 15 years after her husband Ciro died. He had filed the initial papers before his death, but didn’t complete the process so Rose did not become an US citizen until 1940. According to her death certificate, she died at home at 932 South Mill Street in New Castle, PA at 7 a.m. on November 18, 1959 of a heart attack. She was 86 years old. Vito Giorgio signed the death certificate as informant.

Let me digress for a minute to describe (in a very simplified way) the process for becoming an US citizen in the early part of the 20th century. The first paper an immigrant filed was called a declaration of intention to become a citizen. There was a waiting period of three years before the immigrant could petition the court to become a naturalized citizen, which required another filing. Usually the husband filed and once his citizenship was granted, it extended to his wife and children, regardless of where they were born. This is sometimes called, derivative citizenship. Of course, the children born here were citizens at birth.  Prior to 1922 women did not have to petition for citizenship separately from their husbands; minor children and women got their citizenship when their father/husband completed the process. One of the most interesting (and to me, very wrong) things I learned doing this research is that if a woman born in America married an immigrant who was not a citizen, she actually lost her citizenship until he completed the process to become a citizen. These laws changed at some point but I know that did happen to Mary Giampaolo who married Nick George. Mary was born in PA but lost her citizenship when she married Nick, until he completed the process to become a naturalized citizen.

Anyway – it was a complicated process with rules that changed over time but the benefit to people like me trying to piece things together 100 years later, without first-hand accounts, is that the paperwork immigrants filed provides a lot of information. Some of the later declarations even have pictures but I haven’t found any for the Giorgio’s.

According to Ciro’s Declaration of Intention, filed on September 21, 1923 in Lawrence County, he was 58 years old at the time, working as a laborer. He had a fair complexion, was 5’ 10” tall and weighed 200 pounds. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He states his birthday as March 12, 1865 and his birth place as San Vito Chietio, Italy. He first arrived in the US on April 27, 1896. Unfortunately, Ciro died on January 13, 1926 before he could file his Petition for Naturalization. This means that Rose, his wife, and Josephine, their daughter born in Italy in 1896, had to file their own paperwork, which is what Rose did, or gain citizenship through their husband’s application. I haven’t researched that yet for Josephine.

Some genealogy sources suggest that the information on these forms tends to be extremely accurate because an immigrant seeking citizenship wouldn’t take a chance on the application being denied by providing false information. Still, it must have been difficult for someone who immigrated as a child (like Irene’s father Nick George) to remember the date he arrived, the name of the ship and so on. This could be especially hard if the parent had died or returned to Italy by the time the minor filed his or her papers. I imagine it also could have been a difficult process, to complete the necessary forms and comply with the complicated waiting period rules, if one didn’t speak or write English.

From Rose’s Declaration of Intent, filed on April 24, 1940, we learn the following names and birth dates of her children and where they are living when her declaration is filed.

1. Josephine Bucci born March 19, 1896 in Italy, now living in New Castle, PA
2. Patsy born November 1, 1903 in Connellsville, PA, now living in Youngstown, OH
3. Anna born October 21, 1905 in New Castle, PA, now living in New Castle, PA
4. Vito born July 24, 1909 in New Castle, PA, now living in New Castle,PA

My task for last night was to list the names, birth dates, marriage dates and death dates, if I had them, of all of Ciro’s and Rosario’s children and their children. I included spouses too, when I knew them. In the list below – all names preceded by (1) are spouses or children of Josephine; (2) of Patsy (who I’m guessing was named Pasquale); (3) of Anna and (4) of Vito.

So here goes:

FIRST GENERATION

(1) Josephine – Born in Italy on March 19, 1896. Died in New Castle on November 11, 1974.
(1) Dominick Gianni (Josephine’s first husband who I’m guessing died between 1918 and 1920 but I haven’t found his death certificate).  Josephine was listed as a widow in the 1920 census and her youngest child was Mary Gianni, was born in 1919)
(1) Nick Bucci (Josephine’s second husband) They married on August 26, 1922. At that time Josephine had four children from her first marriage and based on the 1930 census, it looks like Nick had a daughter named Mary from his first marriage. According to the note I got from Jerry George, he thought a lot of his uncle Nick and says he was a really good man.

(2) Pasquale Giorgio – Born in Connellsville, PA on November 1, 1903, which makes me wonder if Ciro and Rosaria were visiting Adriano and Custode who were living in Dunbar at the time. Died in Youngstown Ohio on November 2, 1993. From Census records and confirmed in Jerry’s note, Patsy moved to Youngstown in the early 1930s. He worked for the B&O Railroad as did his younger brother Vito.
(2) Mary Domenick – Patsy’s spouse (Thanks to Irene Veri for confirming her maiden name and also for letting me know that she was your mother-in-law’s sister.) Needless to say there are quite a few Mary George’s in the family and probably outside of the family so it is easy to get confused without using their maiden names.

(3) Anna Giorgio – Born in New Castle on October 21, 1905. From the 1940 census report and Rose’s application for citizenship, it looks like Anna was still living at home with Rose in 1940 and had not married. She would have been 35 at the time and Jerry remembers that his father Vito helped take care of his mother and sister.  To add a bit of confusion to the mix though, there is a family tree on Ancestry.com that appears to list Ciro and Rosaria’s children and suggests that Anna married Giacomo Saienni had five children and eventually moved to Delaware – but I think that is not our Anna. (I also think some trees seem to confuse New Castle, PA and New Castle, Delaware.) So she’s my current – relative of interest but for now, I’m going with the theory that she never married and did not have any children. (Thanks again to Irene for confirming Anna never married – I’ll have to let that family tree know they may want to change their information!)

(4) Vito Giorgio – Born in New Castle, PA on July 24, 1909 and died in New Castle, PA on October 8, 1968. His death date is after the digitized death records (as is Custode’s) but I know from Jerry’s note that he died just four months before Jerry’s first son Vito was born. It is similar to Ciro dying before Jerry was born but in that case it was several years before Jerry was born since Ciro died when Vito, his youngest, was only 16. I don’t know Jerry’s birth date, but from Census records, it seems to be later than 1940.

(4) Helen Pionati – Not sure where she was born or when she and Vito married although they are living at 118 ½ Division Street in New Castle in the 1940 census and they do not have any children yet. The 1940 Census has a neat feature of asking where the person lived in 1935 and in their case, they were living in the same place. Since Vito is living at home with his mother Rose and his siblings Patsy and Anna and is single in 1930 – I’m guessing he and Helen married some time between 1930 and 1935.

Well – the list I made last night is longer ( I still need to get to the second and third generations) but I also need to get to work! (I mean – the job that I get paid to do.) So in case you lost track – we just accounted for Ciro and Rose and 8 Giorgios, Giannis, Buccis and Pionati’s – and there’s lots more where that came from – so stay tuned.

Jerry confirmed the George family reunions with 100 to 150 people, as both Irene and Terry had mentioned, so I’m sure there are some more folks out there who want to see their Giorgio relatives accounted for on Trovando Famiglia. Feel free to email me directly at kalenkingsbury@gmail.com if that is easier than commenting on this blog.

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Another George Cousin Discovered

A rainy Sunday morning gives me the perfect excuse to add a long overdue entry to this blog but first an observation.  As a parent of two children, I’ve always tried to make sure I give them equal time and attention. Obviously at different times one or the other needs more or less attention than the other but over time I think it tends to even out. With two kids and two parents, that is not too  much of a challenge, especially as they become adults and grow increasingly independent.

Now take that concept but apply it backwards to the exponentially growing list of ancestors and you understand my dilemma. I never feel that I’m giving my ancestors enough attention – someone is always being neglected.  It would be hard enough if I were just tracing my direct ancestors on both my mother’s and father’s side but of course, the way I got started on all of this was because of our search for my husband’s George relatives. So that expands to Rick’s ancestors on both parents’ side and then of course, identifying and learning about the siblings of our direct ancestors (“collaterals” In genealogy lingo) and soon there are about 200 or more people that I’d like to learn more about and you see how easy it is to get overwhelmed.

I’d already been feeling like I was long over due for a post on this blog when I got Linda George’s comment last night. Linda is our most recently discovered George cousin – one of four children of Vito George who was the youngest son of Ciro Giorgio and Rosario Lance. Ciro was the oldest and first of the Giorgio brothers who came from Italy to western PA in the late 1800s – early 1900s.

So I went back to the ancestry.com tree to fill in the information about Linda and her siblings and decided to searched “Vito George” born in PA in 1909 (Linda’s father) to fill in more details. In that search, I made a new discovery – a death certificate for a 3-year old Vito Giorgio who died in New Castle PA on June 21, 1907.  The death certificate doesn’t have his birth date but his parents are Pasqualle Giorgio and Concetta Yavicola (which is sometimes spelled – Iavicoli or Iavicola). So not the Vito George I was looking for but that is so often how it works.

Earlier this year when the Pennsylvania birth certificates for 1906-1908 were released on Ancestry.com, I was intrigued to learn that Mary George, who in the 1910 and 1920 census reports was listed as the oldest child of Pasquale, was identified on her birth certificate as the third child born to Concetta Iavicola – Pasquale’s first wife. The birth certificate also indicated that of the three children born, only two were living in 1906. After finding Vito’s death certificate this morning and seeing that he died in 1907 when he was 3 years old  we know he was the other child living when Mary was born, but we still have another mystery to solve – who was the other child born to Concetta and Pasquale. All we know is that the child died before June 1, 1906 (Mary’s birth date). It would be helpful to find the date of Concetta and Pasquale’s wedding because that would narrow down the time frame for his or her birth.

I’m glad our George cousin list is growing and I’d encourage everyone to keep sharing your stories. If anyone wants to add your remembrances or stories of the George family – you can leave a comment but I can also fix the settings on the blog so that you can contribute your stories directly as a blog entry.

I’m gonna go ahead and get this posted but later today I’ll try to upload Mary’s birth certificate and Vito’s death certificate. He died of stomatitis, which is described as ulcerated sores in the mouth and throat, caused by the herpes simplex virus and marked by a high fever. It is something that would be easy to treat today. He is buried in St Vitus cemetery in New Castle so my guess would be that their other child may be buried there too.