All Is Well – Except Trovando needs more FB Likes!

I hope everyone will bear with me as I learn the ins and outs of using social media in tandem with the blog. Contrary to my earlier concern (scroll down if you want to see what the problem was) it seems things are working just fine; Trovando blog posts are showing up on the Trovando FB page and not my personal FB page – Meraviglioso!

If you enjoy what you’re reading be sure you’ve visited Trovando’s FB page and liked it. You can also share posts from the blog on your personal FB page (either from the blog itself or the FB page.)

And now that Trovando has a FB presence – tell me what you’d like to see more of. I will be adding photos and copies of  documents that relate to our family history. If you send me some stories I’ll share them too. Better yet you can add your own as Irene Veri did. It will show up in the side bar of the FB page under the heading “Posts to the Page.”

Quick Test

It seems my post last night appeared on FB as posted by me (Kalen Kingsbury) instead of Trovando Famiglia. The whole point of creating this page was to post as “Trovando” so I’m making a quick post to see what went wrong.

Favorite Mountain Spot

Happy Monday! Looking forward to our long weekend in the mountains beginning on Thursday.

Adriano Giorgio – The Giorgio family head count continues!

Adriano Giorgio was my husband’s great grandfather. He was born in San Vieto Chietino, Italy on December 27, 1871. Of the four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, he is the only one who did not stay in America. He left Pennsylvania in 1912, returned to Italy and married his third wife there in 1913.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Adriano married Marianna Frattura of Castel di Sangro, Italy in 1894 or 1895. Their only child – Nicola Vito Giorgio – was born in Castel di Sangro on November 9, 1896. A few weeks later, presumably from complications related to childbirth, Marianna died.

Lines 24 and 25 show Adriano and Nick Giorgio

Lines 24 and 25 show Adriano and Nick Giorgio’s Arrival in New York in December 1904

We don’t know much about Nicola’s early life. He spent at least his first seven years in Italy. Adriano came to western Pennsylvania sometime around 1896 or 1897 but we’ve yet to find his first immigration record. After getting established and having several children with his second wife, Custode Iacobucci, Adriano went back to Italy and brought his son Nick to Pennsylvania. Scroll down to lines 24 and 25 on the ship’s log to see that Adriano and Nick arrived in New York on December 19, 1904 on the S.S. Roma.

(And by the way – to illustrate why it is important to revisit your genealogical discoveries from time to time, I just realized that the person named at line 29 on this page – Nicola Scocciamarra – is coming to America to visit his uncle Ciro Giorgio of Dunbar PA. I need to revisit the family tree but my guess is that this would be the son of one of Ciro and Adriano’s sisters who stayed in Italy. This adds an important bit of information to help verify family connections that are indicated  in the Italian genealogy records I’ve seen.)

Nick George's Death Certificate

Nick George’s Death Certificate

Even though Adriano left Pennsylvania in 1912, (leaving behind Custode and their eight children) Nick stayed in PA for the rest of his life. His youngest daughter Irene has shared many recollections about her father. He sounds like a fun-loving guy. He worked hard, wrote songs and  made wine in his basement. I would really love to taste some of Nick George’s homemade wine! Nick died in 1974 of stomach cancer.

Counting Adriano, his first wife Marianna and their son Nick – we’re at 3.

NickandMaryGeorge.1915

Wedding Picture – Nick George and Mary Giampaolo 1915

Nick married Mary Giampaolo who was born in Pennsylvania to parents who came from Italy. Nick and Mary had six children: Andrew, Frank, Anthony, Marian, Nick and Irene. I’m not up to speed on all of Nick’s children or how many times they married, so to keep our counting simple, let’s add one spouse for each of them, plus Nick’s only wife Mary, and we’re now at 16. (Coincidentally and supporting the idea that Italian immigrants were a close-knit bunch, Mary’s older sister was married to Guiseppe Iacobucci.  They were both born in Italy but married in New Castle PA in on September 20, 1896.)

I do know that Irene Veri, Nick’s youngest daughter, is the only one of Nick’s children still living. I also know that she has an amazing memory and I am deeply indebted to her for sharing so many personal recollections. She is an amazing hostess, a devoted grandmother and SHARP as a tack!

At some point not too long after Adriano’s first wife died, he left Castel di Sangro, presumably leaving his young son Nick, with relatives. Although I’ve yet to find his original immigration records, by 1897 or 98, he was living in Pittsburgh. I have assumed that Adriano met Custode in Pittsburgh, but some family members heard that they came to America together. Whatever the case, they married in Pittsburgh in February 1899. Details of Marriage License

Wedding Photo 1899

Wedding Photo 1899

Adriano and Custode, who were sometimes known as Andy and Christine George, had at least eight children together.  They settled in Dunbar, PA and began running a grocery store. Recent information from one of their grandchildren (thanks Christine!) suggests that they may have moved between Dunbar and New Castle in the early 1900s. Their second son Gene was born in Dunbar in December 1901 but their third son Joseph was born in New Castle, PA in 1903.

It is clear that by about 1910, Adriano and Custode were property owners of at least three lots in Dunbar. It is also clear that they were having financial difficulties. Shortly after forcing Custode to sign over all three properties to him, Adriano declared bankruptcy and left Dunbar for good. Custode Iacobucci – One Tough Lady!

From Custode’s testimony in the lawsuit and recollections of descendants, it seems that Adriano was afraid that people were out to get him.  Perhaps this is why he returned to Italy but whatever the reason, he left behind a wife and eight young children. Custode deserves a lot of credit for raising them. Of all of the Giorgio descendants she is the one I would most like to visit with today.  (I’ve heard she tended to favor her sons and grandsons and only remembered her granddaughters by which of her sons they belonged to, but I’d still like to spend an afternoon with her.)

Here are the names and birth dates of Adriano’s and Custode’s children born in America:

Frederick William George – November 12, 1899
Luigino (Gene) Anthony George – December 18, 1901
Joseph Lloyd George – July 19, 1903
Philomena (Phil) George – June 3, 1905
Lena Agnes George – November 21, 1906 (insert birth certificate)
Hubert Allen George – September 23, 1908
Lydia Lucia George – December 18, 1909
Victor Americus George – April 1, 1911

There is one other child born to Custode in 1912 – a son named Francis. There is some question whether Francis was Adriano’s son or whether Custode may have been a bit too friendly with one of the boarders. I don’t think there is anyone alive today who can answer that question with certainty but you view my take on the matter here.Who Was Jimmy Versace?  I will add that more than one descendant has told me that they’d heard that Custode was unfaithful to Adriano.

Lydia Lucia dies of Scarlet Fever at age 7

Lydia Lucia dies of Scarlet Fever at age 7

With the exception of Lydia Lucia who died of scarlet fever when she was seven, all of Custode and Adriano’s children married. Adding one for Custode and 18 for the nine children with one spouse each, we’re now at 35 ! (Obviously Lydia Lucia who died when she was 7 did not marry, but since Fred married twice, it simplifies the math!)

I’ll add more details in another post but the grandchildren of Adriano and Custode bring our grand total for Adriano’s line to 54. I am happy to be in contact with at least one descendant from each of Adriano’s and Custode’s children, with the exception of Francis. I know that many of you are reading this post so don’t be shy about sharing what you know about your grandparents, parents, cousins and siblings.

So we’ve covered two of the four Giorgio boys plus their children and grandchildren and our count now stands at 75. I think it is pretty easy to see how the Giorgio family reunions in the 1970s and 1980s often had 100+ people in attendance.

Next week we’ll meet Pasquale Giorgio and explore his branch of the tree.

Trovando Famiglia has a Facebook Page

As part of my recent WordPress course – Blogging 201 – I’m learning a lot of great and useful techniques. I’m learning to extend my “brand” by using other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

So this morning I created a Facebook page for Trovando Famiglia – the family history blog that captures all we’ve learned about our Giorgio ancestors from San Vito Chietino, Italy. I hope it will inspire dialog, allow more people to read about and contribute to the family stories and perhaps even reach more relatives we haven’t met yet, maybe even some relatives in Italy!

I am flattered that several Giorgio descendants have expressed appreciation for my efforts over the past 18 months to capture the details of the Giorgio family story. There is only so much I can glean from the public records so it really is your stories that add the rich and vibrant detail that make this blog interesting. Don’t be shy – add your piece of the puzzle by leaving a comment in the comment box at the very end of this post or on Facebook.

Add your missing piece!

Add your missing piece!

One thing I’ve learned over the past two years of conducting genealogy research. There will be discrepancies in anyone’s family story. Sometimes the “official” records get it wrong. Sometimes two people observe the same event or hear the same story and remember it differently. I am always happy to hear from anyone who has a different take on something I’ve written here. I will always try to indicate a source for the “facts” that I recount but there are definitely times when I speculate on a certain things.

Later today I will continue the series I started last Sunday on the descendants of the four original Giorgio boys. In case you missed it here’s a link for that post. 21 and counting We left off at 21 after counting Ciro and Rosario’s children and their spouses and children. Today we’ll boost that number substantially when I write about Adriano and Custode.

Ciao for now.

21 and Counting!

So I just spent the better part of the day writing a post that is very similar to one that I wrote in April about Ciro Giorgio and his family. I think that is a sure sign that I need to create a better system for knowing what I have and haven’t written about.

But since it’s complete now and there’s a chance that a new post will reach new readers which might bring in more cousins – here goes. My goal is to complete a “head count” of the number of known descendants from each of the four original Giorgio boys who came from San Vito Chietino, Italy to western Pennsylvania in the late 1800s.

We’ll start with Ciro, the oldest son of Nicola Nunziato Sabatio Giorgio and Filomena Pace. As far as I know, Nicola and his wife never came to the US but their four sons who survived to adulthood did. Except for Adriano who later returned to Italy, they all stayed in and around western PA. Nicola and Filomena show up in one other Ancestry.com tree which is owned by Anthony Joseph Buzzella. Without digressing too much, I’ll just mention that Buzzella or Buzzelli was the married name of Custode’s sister Rose, who was listed as a widow and lived with Adrian and Custode in Dunbar, PA when the 1910 census was taken. Although our Rosie doesn’t show up in the Buzzella tree, the tree has several “branches” emanating from Castel di Sangro, which supports the assumption that Custode Iacobucci was born there.

Ciro Giorgio was born in San Vito Chietino, Italy in March 1865 (some sources say the 12th, others the 18th). His wife, Rosario Lance was born in “Lanciano Pro di Chuta” on May 20, 1875. Lanciano is about 7 miles inland from San Vito Chietino and has a colorful history.

Ciro and Rosario married in Lanciano on February 4, 1892. By 1896, they’d had at least one child – Josephine who was born in Lanciano on March 19, 1896. Ciro would have been 31 when she was born, which is much older than most of the Giorgio boys when they had their first child. According to Rosario’s petition for naturalization filed in 1940, Ciro entered America for the first time on April 27, 1896, which means he must have left for America just a few weeks after Josephine was born.  Rosario and Josephine did not arrive until February 23, 1901. Imagine what almost 5 year old Josephine must have thought about that trip!

Ciro worked for the B&O Railroad and lived in New Castle, PA. I always thought it was interesting that his first American born son, Pasquale, was born in Connellsville on November 1, 1903 and I speculated that Ciro and Rosario may have been staying with Adrian and Custode in Dunbar when they first arrived in the US. I thought this because Custode’s and Adrian’s second child – Gene – was born in Dunbar in December 1901. We found his baptism record in the Dunbar Historical Society’s office in 2013 (in a copy of St. Aloysius Church’s baptism records) and know that he was baptized on January 12, 1902. I was puzzled why none of their other children were baptized there but I chalked it up to inconsistent record-keeping.

Last night I learned from Christine George, who is the youngest of Joseph George’s three daughters, that her father (the third son of Adrian and Custode) was baptized (and presumably born) in New Castle, PA at St. Vitus Church. The sponsors on the baptism certificate were Pasquale Giorgio and Concetta Iavicola. Joseph Lloyd George was born in July 1903, which makes me wonder whether or not Custode and Adrian would have moved back to Dunbar by November of that same year, when Ciro’s and Rosario’s first American born son, Pasquale, was born. So adding these bits of information together creates a picture that suggests there was quite a bit of movement between New Castle and Dunbar for at least two of the four Giorgio boys.

So here’s what we know about Ciro and Rosario and their children:

  1. Ciro and Rosario had four children; two girls and two boys. Their names and birth dates are: Josephine (19 Mar 1896); Pasquale aka Patsy (1 Nov 1903); Anna (21 Oct 1905) and Vito (24 July 1909). Anna and Vito were born in New Castle, PA.
  2. Ciro worked for the B&O railroad and was successful enough to own his own home by 1920. His wife Rosario died in that house at 932 South Mill Street in 1959. In 1920, their oldest daughter Josephine who was a widow lived with them with her four children (Elena, Umberto, Anna and Mary). That would have been 10 people living there.
  1. Josephine married Nick Bucci on August 26, 1922. It appears he had a daughter named Mary from a previous marriage because in the 1930 census, their household consisted of: Mary (age 12 and listed as daughter) along with the following Gianni children listed as stepchildren: Helen (16), Albert (14), Anna (12) and Mary (10). They lived at 930 S. Mill Street right next door to “Rose George” and her children Patsy (26), Anna (24) and Veto (20) who were all single.
  1. Nick and Josephine had one son together – Walter Bucci – who showed up in the 1940 census as an 8 year old which means he was born around 1932. By 1935, Nick and Josephine had moved to 436 Lutton Street, which is not too far from Mill Street.  According to Irene Veri, the youngest child of Nick George (who you will learn more about next week) Helen and Anna Gianni (Josephine’s daughters from her first marriage) never married and neither did Walter.  After Josephine died, Walter built a house where he lived with Helen and Anna.
  2. Ciro died of pancreatic cancer on January 13, 1926. Pennsylvania Death Certificates are wonderful things – they really help confirm familial relationships and other important details.

    Ciro.DeathCert.1.13.1926

    Death Certificate for Ciro George

I think it is time for a head count. So far I’ve introduced Ciro and Rosario and their four children which brings us to 6. Once you add Josephine’s two husbands and five children, we’re up to 13.

Let’s continue with Ciro and Rosario’s remaining three children.

Pasquale, who was born in Connellsville in 1903 was still single and living at home in 1930. He also worked for the “steam railroad” as a car repairman. On September 16, 1930, Patsy married Mary Dominick. They had two children; Rose Marie born in 1931 and Raymond born in 1934. By 1935, Patsy and Mary and their two children had moved to Youngstown, OH and Patsy was an inspector for the B&O railroad.

Anna was the third child born to Ciro and Rosario and according to Rosario’s Petition for Naturalization she was born on October 25, 1905 in New Castle, PA. (Not to be confused with Anna, the daughter of Josephine who was this Anna’s niece). I am pretty sure that Anna never married (and neither did her niece which is why I often get confused about which Anna I’m talking about) and lived with her mother Rosario in the family home at least until her mother died in 1959 and perhaps until her death in 1973. I think I need to check the real estate records for that house, although I’ve also learned from Irene Veri that the house was torn down at some point.

Vito was the youngest of Ciro’s children and he also worked for the railroad like his father and older brother. He married Helen Pionati on August 2, 1934 and they remained in New Castle throughout their life. (Another point of confusion – this Helen is Vito’s wife – not the Helen who was Josephine’s oldest daughter – Vito’s sister which leads to another niece/aunt source of confusion for me.) They had four children, Gerald (aka Jerry), Veronica, Linda and Helen (yep – another Helen). Jerry and his sister Linda have commented on this blog and we’ve been in touch by email. I’d love to hear more of your recollections about your parents and grandparents.

Death Certificate for Rosario George

Death Certificate for Rosario George

Rosario Giorgio died on November 18, 1959 of a heart attack. She was 86 years old. Imagine the changes she saw in her lifetime from her birth and marriage in Italy in the late 1800s to her death in Pennsylvania in 1959! She had to file her own petition for naturalization because Ciro died before he completed the process of becoming a citizen. She gained citizenship in 1940. From her petition for naturalization we know that at age 69, she was 5 feet tall, 210 pounds and had brown eyes and gray hair.

So here’s the headcount for Ciro and Rosario and their descendants:

Ciro & Rosario – 2

Josephine, two husbands and five children – 8

Pasquale and his wife Mary and their two children – 4

Anna, who never married – 1

Vito and his wife Helen Pionati and their four children – 6

Next week, we’ll count the descendants of Adrian and Custode in the same manner.

PS – I added information to this post on Wednesday July 22, 2015 thanks to Irene Veri’s careful reading and email.THANKS IRENE!  I can’t tell you how much it helps to hear from people who knew the people I’m writing about. And just for the record – I am happy to capture any recollections, family stories and other details that anyone cares to share. If you would rather email or write me directly instead of commenting on this blog – you can do that at kalenkingsbury@gmail.com or through the good ole US Postal Service at 2405 Veranda Lane, Greensboro, NC 27455. (AND needless to say I would LOVE copies of any pictures, documents or other records anyone is willing to share)