Genealogical Tip – Talk to your oldest living relative – get all the information and family stories you can. You’ll have time to sort it out after they’re gone.
I’ve been blessed with many stories from older relatives on both my husband’s and my side of the family. Including my mother who is 82. In today’s tidbit I hope to give back to one of those relatives who has always wondered where in Italy his father was born.
Domenic Renzi grew up with the Giorgio relatives from the Dunbar/Connellsville PA area. He lived on the Renzi Farm on Limestone Hill and that is where Lena George moved in 1939 after she married Dominic’s father – Nick Renzi. Domenic knew that his father was born in Italy and came over as a young child.
Nick Renzi was born in 1895 and had one older sister named Rose. The rest of his siblings were born in PA. Nick’s parents were Domenico Renzi and Terese Vinci (sometimes Vinch or DiVinci) but none of the records I’ve looked at for them indicate their home town in Italy.
While perusing the PA birth certificates that are on line at Ancestry.com last night, I thought I would find one for some of Nick’s younger siblings since the records are digitized for the years 1906 – 1908 and Terese and Domenico were having children during those years. But I know from searching for other family members that the records are hit or miss and last night was no exception – no luck. Whether that is from lost records, mistakes in the digitization process or unreported births, I don’t know, but more often than not the birth record I’m looking for is not there.
But I did find the following record for the first child born to Carmine Renzi (37) and Rosina Corrado (26) born in Dunbar on 11 Jan 1908 and named Carmine Antonio Renzi. As you can see, Carmine the father is from a town that is hard to make out but with the aid of Google, I’ve determined it is Prignano Cilento – a town in Salerno in the Campania region in southwest Italy. It looks like it is on the coast.
I quick text to Dominic to see if he had any relatives named Carmine Renzi brought this response –
Strange – Dad’s brother was called Antonio Renzi and the 1908 could be Dad’s brother because Dad always said his brother was about 15 years younger. Boy – this could be because the farm was located in Dunbar – not the borough but the township.
From the parents’ names on the birth certificate – Carmine and Rosina – I’m pretty sure this is not the birth certificate for Dominic’s uncle Tony but if there is a family connection between Carmine and Dom’s grandfather Domenico (brothers maybe?) finding Carmine Renzi’s place of birth in Italy would be a could starting point to infer that Domenico was also from that town
I checked the Connellsville Daily Herald for the dates that Domenico Renzi and Terese Renzi died, and though I found these articles, they didn’t help much in determining where in Italy they were from:
But a bit more searching revealed this information from the Find-A-Grave website and though it’s not enough to conclude Prignano Cilento is where Nick Renzi was born, it’s a step in the right direction because it suggests that his mother Terese was from that town.
Here is the ship’s log for Teresa Renzi arriving in New York from Naples on 30 April 1895 with two children. It is hard to read the two year old’s name but Dominic confirmed that his father had an older sister named Rose. The 2 month old seems to be Nicolina (even though he is incorrectly identified as a girl) and if that child is two months old, he would have been born in February 1895.
Sure enough, three sources for Nick Renzi list his birth day as 12 Feb 1895. I’m confident that this is his arrival record. I think it is a good assumption (but not a 100% certainty) that he was born where his mother came from in Italy.
And one last bonus record – a place of birth, reported by Nick Renzi himself on his WWI Draft Registration: