January 27, 2016 -Where’d She Go Wednesday – Rosie Buzzelli

This is beloved Aunt Rosie at the Renzi Farm on Limestone Hill, PA. From Dominic Renzi’s notes on the back of the photo we know it was taken around 1947. I’ll add a bit more to what we know about Aunt Rosie later today. She is about 70 in this picture.

Most sources indicate that Rose Iacobucci Buzzelli was born in Italy in 1877. She is Custode’s older sister. She lived with Adriano and Custode George in Dunbar in 1910, but her marital status was not listed in the Census report.

She died in 1969 and is buried in Saint Rita’s Cemetery, Connellsville, PA.

RoseBuzella.LimestoneHill.1947

Thursday Tidbit – Photos of Italian Immigrants

Most of the pictures I use on this blog are ones that different family members have sent me. I have asked if it is okay to use them on the blog and everyone seems happy to share. I think my use of other pictures would be considered “fair use” under Section 107 of the US Copyright Act but I’m still learning the details of that. Check out this collection.

Lewis Wickes Hine was a photographer who used photographs to promote social change – changes in child labor laws and other working conditions for poor immigrant Americans. Most of his pictures are from New York but they still give you a feel for what things may have looked like when Nick George arrived in New York with his father in 1904.

It’s hard to imagine what this strange new world must have seemed like to our ancestors.

If the link above doesn’t allow you to search other pictures in the collection, just Google “Lewis Wickes Hine” and the second link should take you to the New York Public Library’s photography collection of his works which are available on line.

 

Where’d He Go Wednesday? John A. George

Time for a post about our extended Giorgio family. I have written a lot about the children of Custode and Adriano since that is the line my husband Rick descends from. Rick is the first born son, of the first born son, of Custode and Adriano’s first son – Frederick William George. So naturally, I’m somewhat partial to the stories that come from his line.

Adriano’s first son, Nicolas Vitus George, was born in Castel di Sangro, Italy on November 9, 1896. His mother, Marianna Frattura died about a week after he was born. Adriano came to America sometime within the next three years and by 1899 had married Custode Iacobucci in Pittsburgh. In 1904, Adriano went back to Italy and brought his son Nicolas back to Pennsylvania. Eight years later, Adriano returned to Italy to stay, but Nick remained in Pennsylvania. My guess is that he moved to New Castle shortly after his father left Dunbar. We know he was there by 1915 because he married Mary Giampaolo in October of that year.

I wouldn’t be writing any of this if it weren’t for the help I’ve gotten from Terry Colaluca and Irene Veri so I’m going to draw on some information from one of my early emails with Irene for today’s “Where’d they Go Wednesday Feature.”

Just to remind you about the youngest of the original Giorgio brothers who came to America, here’s a link to the post I wrote about Romualdo.

In an email from July 2013, Irene wrote:

“I remember an Aunt Dorinda George who lived on Cunningham Avenue and an Aunt Rosaria George who lived on Mill Street. Aunt Dorinda (Romualdo’s wife) had two sons, Nick and Louie and two daughters, Phyllis and Connie. Connie had a son Bobby (Cupido) who was my age . . . they moved to Illinois or Indiana after Bobby graduated and they have both died. Phyllis married Bud LeFevre and they lived in Virginia near Washington DC. They had children but I never knew them. Phyllis and Bud have both died.

Nick had two daughters, Dorinda (Nicholson) and Adele . . . they are both teachers and live in Boardman. Nick and his wife Rose have both died. They lived on Hazen Street right off Lutton Street. Dorinda has one son, can’t remember his name. Adele never married.

Louie was married to Clara and they had no children and they have both died.

I think there was also a brother named Johnny who I think was killed in the war. I vaguely remember that . . . just remember a picture of him.”

Every family historian should be as lucky as I am to have someone like Irene Veri with her great memory and her willingness to share her stories.

So John Amedio George, the third son of Dorinda and Romualdo George, is the subject of today’s post. Where did he go?

In addition to Irene’s recollection of seeing a picture of him and remembering that he was killed in the war. Terry Colaluca remembered hearing that one of the George boys died in the Philippines during World War II.

Searching records for “John George” is a tough task – Custode Iacobucci is much easier for obvious reasons. But knowing that John was from New Castle and died during World War II, I turned to Ancestry.com’s online version of the New Castle News.

The first search yielded 1,524 hits. But once I narrowed it down to the war years – I found this picture in no time

JohnAGeorge.1942

It might be hard to read the print but can you imagine that he died in December 1941 and the telegram announcing his death didn’t get to his family until March 1942? In today’s world of instant communication that seems hard to imagine.

Subsequent articles in the New Castle News make reference to John George attending St. Vitus Church and the stars on the church flag (representing men who served in the war) “already having two gold stars” representing those who had died in the war. Another article mentions Phyllis as the sister of John George – so I think we’ve got the right guy.

In addition to finding out about John George, the third son of Romualdo, here’s another tidbit about Louis A. George, Pasquale George’s son.NCN.7.14.1942.LouisAGeorge

The article that mentions Louis A. George, carries over to the next column with a reference to his cousin, the late First Lieutenant John A. George:

NCN.7.14.1942

Again – another clue that Lieutenant John A. George who died in the Philippines fighting with General MacArthur – was the son of Romualdo and Dorinda George.

My knowledge of WWII is woefully inadequate but an easy date to remember is the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. That prompted the US, who had been aiding the Allies but was not directly involved in the War, to enter the fray. It’s interesting that within less than three weeks, John A. George died in the Philippines.

In another poignant twist of fate, Romualdo died on December 15, 1941, just one week before his son John was killed in action. Poor Dorinda – although she didn’t know her son and husband died within a week of each other because she didn’t learn of John’s death right away, it must have been especially heartbreaking when she got the telegram in March 1942 telling of John’s death. He is buried in the American Cemetery in Manilla.

Perhaps branching out to the other Giorgio lines will bring in some new cousins who may even have more pictures. I’d give almost anything to have pictures of each of Ciro, Adriano, Pasquale and Romualdo and would love to compare their features.

Thanks Very Much Dominic Renzi!

Dominic.marksmanshipcompetition.1957I didn’t win last week’s Powerball $1.6 billion prize but when I opened my mail today I knew I had hit the Jackpot! Dominic Renzi sent me pictures of the family – actual – original photos of Lena (his stepmother) and other photos from the Renzi farm on Limestone Hill, PA. Also some photos of Dominic and his family, Bill Galand and Dominic when they worked at Fayette Bank and various articles about our famous cousin – the Baron Galand and his election into the Chef’s hall of fame.  A true treasure trove – and I am deeply grateful.

I will scan the photos when I get home so I can share them here. I might not be able to wait until Friday’s Foto Feature because I have got a picture from Dominic of beloved Aunt Rosie. Dominic had already mentioned that Aunt Rosie helped take care of the boys and was somewhat of a buffer between them and Lena.

So as I continue my newspaper searches and try to save everything I find so that I can find it again later, it seems a good time to share this picture and article about Dominic – which is just one of many attesting to his marksmanship skills. As scans of these newspaper pictures go, this one is better than most. Hard to believe this was taken 59 years ago.

I am always happy to receive pictures and I promise they will be shared here unless you ask me not to. But I hope you will agree that sharing our family photos here is the best way to reunite our famiglia.

Here’s the text to accompany the picture:

 

 

Obituary for Nick Renzi

NickRenzi.obit.15June1949Here’s the obituary for Nick Renzi. He spent two months before his death in St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh. This appeared in the Connellsville Paper on June 15, 1949.

I believe Nick was the only boy in his family and had four sisters. Articles like this are quite helpful in finding the married names of his sisters. It also tells us that one of them lived in Newark New Jersey.

 

Learning this helps put an earlier article in perspective. The article below was in the newspaper in November 1939. It was clear that a close relative of the Renzi family who lived in Newark NJ had died. By the last line in Nick Renzi’s 1949 obituary, which mentions that his sister Amanda Coccia “predeceded him in death,” I think it is safe to assume that she is the Mrs. Joseph Coccia who died in November 1939.CocciaFuneral.NewarkNJ.24 Nov1939