No, I’m not losing my mind. True – I did spend all day yesterday at genealogy class on DNA and since my brain is not science/math oriented, I felt like I was losing my mind. But when I got home we celebrated Mother’s Day and I was completely pampered and spoiled with a delicious dinner that Will prepared (I swear he and Harold Galand share some genes) with Sarah and Rick’s help, so I quickly recovered from the brain drain of the class. I was happy to spend most of today applying what I learned yesterday and trying to trace possible ancestors that are recommended based on DNA results. Tedious and frustrating, but I haven’t gone crazy yet.
About an hour ago I decided to work on what I need to know for the genealogy class I’m taking in Pittsburgh in July. I decided to create a detailed list of what I know and what I still need proof for – and of course, I started with Adriano.
One thing that always puzzled me was why I couldn’t find Adrian, Adriano, Andy or Andrew with his wife Christine, Custode or Christiana in the 1900 census. We know they were married in February 1899 in Pittsburgh and that their son Frederick William George was born in November of that year so they should show up in the census for 1900. But in several years of searching, the only census I’ve found them in was 1910 when they were living in Dunbar.
The thing about genealogy research is that you just have to keep at it. And you have to keep searching for things you already searched for and couldn’t find. So when I narrowed my “search” to the census reports with EXACTLY the last name George with Nationality of EXACTLY Italian and narrowed it to the counties surrounding Pittsburgh – I got 17 hits.
I wasn’t too excited and at first glance none of the names seemed to be Adriano and Custode. But I was interested in the entry for Derry in Westmoreland County because I knew that is where one of Custode’s brothers lived.
And look what I found
Henry George, who was born in December 1873 in Italy and is working as a day laborer is living with his wife “Christola” who was born in Italy in May 1881 and they have one child who is indexed in the Ancestry.com search function as Foredena. Sounds like Foredena would be a girl, but he is clearly identified as their son.
At first glance you wouldn’t think that is our ancestor but look again. Foredena is born in November 1899 in Pennsylvania and Henry and Christola have been married for one year – hmmm… seems to match the circumstances we know to be true for Adriano and Custode with their son Frederick. And in case you’re wondering, December and May also line up with Adriano’s and Custode’s birth months.
I was surprised that I didn’t find any Iacobuccis in Derry because I thought maybe Custode was living near her brother. But after I scanned several pages of the Census and only found four Italians, I looked a little closer at the names next to Henry and his wife. It seems that one Peter Bootsadle immigrated from Italy in 1897 with his wife Roseanna – also from Italy. Interestingly, they’ve been married 5 years but only immigrated 3 years earlier and they don’t have any children.
If you pronounce Bootsadle and try to make it sound Italian – it comes pretty close to Buzzelli – which we know to be Aunt Rosie’s married name. And it would make sense that Custode and her sister lived near each other even though in later years they had their differences.
So I’m pretty sure I’ve found Adriano and Custode in the 1900 census and as a bonus, Rosie and her husband, Peter Buzzelli. This record suggests that Rosie and her husband have been married for five years but immigrated to America three years earlier in 1897. This means I need to search in Italian marriage records to find them but it also means I have year to search for their arrival. Based on family lore, Custode may have come to America with her sister Rosie.
Even more telling about this record is the notation in the column heading “Citizenship.” Here are the instructions from the 1900 census for how to code Column 18 – Naturalization.
If the person is a native of the United States, leave the column blank. If he was born abroad, and has taken no steps toward becoming an American citizen, write “Al” (for alien). If he has declared his intention to become an American citizen and taken out his “first” papers, write “Pa” (for papers). If he has become a full citizen by taking out second or final papers of Naturalization, write “Na” (for naturalized).
The status of a married woman followed that of her husband so that is why nothing is indicated in the columns for Custode and Rosie. But I must admit I was surprised that Adriano was a naturalized citizen in 1900. I was also surprised that he listed his immigration year as 1893. If this date is correct, it means Adriano came to America before he married Marianne Frattura in Castel di Sangro on August 31, 1895. It was not uncommon for Italian immigrants to make several trips between Italy and America, but it is also possible that the date is in error.
As with most genealogical “finds” the information from the 1900 census raises more questions than it answers but I’m happy to have one more step along the timeline from when Adriano and Custode married in February 1899 to when they appeared in the 1910 Census in Dunbar.
These are the kind of days I LOVE!!!!