Searching for Aunt Rosie

The sunny blue sky outside makes it a little harder than yesterday to take the day off and do Ancestry research. It’s also the day Rick and I have agreed that it’s time to DE -DECORATE from Christmas – (sigh) we both love how our house looks when it is decorated for Christmas. And let’s face it, unless you’re one of those people who has your naked Christmas tree out by the curb on December 26th, does anyone really have as much fun taking down Christmas decorations as they do putting them up?

I did spend a little time  this morning searching Pennsylvania death certificates for Buzzelli because I’m still trying to find Aunt Rosie’s child who died at a young age and her husband Peter. Other than her last name, the only thing we know about Rosie’s marriage is from Carole Ann who mentioned that Rosie had been in an abusive relationship and had some permanent damage to one of her arms from an injury inflicted by her husband. Carole Ann also knew that Rosie had a child who had died at a young age. She thinks there was something wrong with the infant because it (she doesn’t know whether it was a girl or a boy) cried a lot.

Here are the results of this morning’s search. There were 96 death certificates for people in PA with the last name of Buzzelli in the years from 1906 – 1964. But only one Peter who had a wife named Sally Antinerelli, which I’ve copied below. It is unlikely he could have been Rosie’s husband who remarried because this Peter would have only been 18 in 1900 and the census for Peter and Roseanna Bootsaddle list their ages as 28 and 26, respectively. That’s a pretty significant discrepancy in age.


We don’t know when the “Roseanna and Peter Bootsaddle” from the 1900 census parted company. It is possible that they had a child who was born and died before 1906, which is the earliest year for the online birth and death records. It is also possible that Peter died before 1906, which is why we can’t find his death certificate.

We do know that a “Rosa Botsella” is living with Adriano and Custode in Dunbar in 1910 but the census doesn’t indicate her marital status or how many children, if any, she has. It does give her age as 35 and indicates that she is a servant in a private home. If you can enlarge the image below, Rosie is listed 12 names up from the bottom of the page and is identified as the sister-in-law of the Head of Household – “Andrew George.”


So again, we come up empty handed in our search for Aunt Rosie’s past. So I’ll just close with a picture of her holding Richard Galland, the youngest son of Philomena (George) and Anthony Galland.


And one more picture from Domenic Renzi’s collection of Rosie at the Renzi farmhouse on Limestone Hill. Domenic remembers Rosie living at the farm when Lena came to live with them (beginning in the fall of 1939) and remembers her as being very kind and loving. She provided a buffer between Dom and his brother Eugene and their stepmother Lena George. Dom also remembers driving to the farm to take Rosie to church, even after he had moved away.


It looks like the dress in this second picture might be different but the apron seems to be the same as in the picture with Richard. Since we know Richard Galland was born in March of 1943, we can get an approximate date of when these pictures were taken – probably summer 1943. Given her birthdate of 2 Mar 1877, Rosie would be 66 years old in this picture (although some sources suggest she was born in 1874 or 1875). She died on 19 Apr 1969.


Lainie McGreevy sent me the picture of Aunt Rosie’s funeral card but I’d love to here from anyone who remembers attending her funeral. Does anyone know where she was living when she died in 1969?

From other information about Aunt Rosie, her birthdate could be as early as 1874 (her age was listed as 23 in the immigration records of her arrival on 2 Apr 1897) or 1875 (her age was listed as 35 in the 1910 Census).

Well, I’ve procrastinated long enough and now really must get to work.



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