In the two and a half years since our search began in 2013, I have often heard the family story that when Adriano Giorgio left Dunbar in May 1912, he went to South America. Argentina has frequently been mentioned as the likely place that he went and perhaps raised another family.
One of the source documents I’ve used for the background of the Giorgio boys was provided by Terry Colaluca who got it from someone in San Vito Chietino, Chieti, Italy a few years ago when she was researching our ancestors. The original Giorgio boys started out in San Vito Chietino on the Adriatic Sea (hence the name Adriano) and were likely to have had a connection to the sea. This document is obviously missing a few important details (like Adriano’s marriage to Custode and the eight children they had together in Pennsylvania) so we can’t take it as the absolute truth, but it does shed some doubt on the idea that he went to Argentina. Or would suggest that he didn’t stay in South America for very long.
According to this Giorgio family history (written in Italian) Adriano was married to Marianne Frattura around 1895 and Nicola Vito Giorgio was born in Castel di Sangro and Marianne died soon after his birth. The next marriage that is recorded for Adriano is his marriage to Maria Flamminio in June 1913 in Castel di Sangro. Obviously this doesn’t tell the complete story or I wouldn’t be writing this and you (other Giorgio cousins) wouldn’t be here to read it.
Since we know from the testimony in Custode’s lawsuit that Adriano was last seen in Dunbar in late May 1912, it seems unlikely he could have gone to Argentina, had another family there and married someone back in Italy just over a year after he left Dunbar. Unlikely but not impossible. He did get around.
So what do you think – how many of you reading this blog who are descendants of Adriano Giorgio (and I know there are a lot of you out there) heard that he went to South America? Did anyone ever hear whether he returned to Pennsylvania – even for a brief visit? And what about the idea that he was escaping from members of the Black Hand Society and barely got out of town alive because he refused to give them a cut of his grocery store business?
I know that Irene’s father and some of her older brothers visited Adriano in Italy. I’d love to know what they remember about those visits. The family tree from Terry doesn’t show any children born to Adriano and his third wife Maria but it didn’t really go that far down the line so it’s not impossible.
There are certainly a lot of mysteries surrounding Adriano Girogio – maybe we should contact Mary Tedesco the founder of Origins Italy and host of Genealogy Roadshow. Never heard of her? Check out her interview here. I didn’t know there was a National Association of Italian American Women!
But let’s gather all the information available to us before we take that step. Don’t be shy – leave a comment of what you’ve heard and who you heard it from. Oh how I wish Aunt Phil and Aunt Lena didn’t burn all of Custode’s belongings – who knows what information might have gone up in smoke that day?