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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 email@example.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)