Did you know there’s a Lincoln High School in Vincennes, Indiana?

What a rookie mistake I made with last week’s post about Gerald George! It’s tempting to delete it but just in case someone who is learning how to “do genealogy” is reading this blog – I want to use my mistake as an example of why you can never be too careful when following those “shaking leaf hints” on Ancestry.com. (And for all my George relatives who haven’t responded to my question about which person in the photo looks like “Gerald George” because none of them do – right you are!)

It can be frustrating when your search for a relative doesn’t generate anything beyond an indexed birth record and a few newspaper articles that indicate a family relationship. It can be tempting to grasp for whatever “hint” appears without following the most important rule of analyzing all sources.

So even though Ancestry.com generates a “hint” that a picture of Gerald George is in the Lincoln High School Yearbook in 1951, and even though the relative you’re searching for was in high school in 1951, and even though Ancestry.com identifies a yearbook as being from Lincoln High School in Midland PA – don’t accept that information as true until you’ve carefully analyzed your sources.

You’d be surprised at the number of indexing mistakes I’ve found on Ancestry.com so I should have examined things more closely before making my post last week.  There are indexing mistakes in the way newspapers are referenced (the New Castle News is off by a month), indexing mistakes that put the wrong header at the top of record and indexing mistakes that result in a yearbook from Vincennes, Indiana being identified as a yearbook from Midland, Pennsylvania.oops.yearbook mistakeSo imagine my surprise today when I decided to examine the yearbook more closely to see if I could find another picture of Gerald George. I started scrolling from page 1 of the document and look what I found at page 4.

Yearbooktitle page.1951







So it’s back to the drawing board of methodically sifting through what we know and don’t know about Frank George and his son Gerald George. But first I need to delete this information from the George family tree on Ancestry.com so that others don’t repeat the same mistake I made.  And then I need to “report” the mistake to Ancestry so they can index the record properly. Just think how happy all the people searching for relatives from Vincennes, Indiana will be when they get a shaking leaf hint on Ancestry.com!

So be sure to check your sources and don’t get taken in by the “shaking leaf.” Of course, if you do have  relative named Gerald George who lived in Vincennes Indiana in 1951 – you might want to take a look at my earlier post because I may have found a picture of your relative!


Francis “Frank” George

It’s time to make a concerted effort to gather all that we know about Custode’s youngest child and see if we can figure out what became of him.  We do not know his birth date, although from his age in census reports for 1920, 1930 and 1940  we know he was born in the last half of 1912 or the first half of 1913. This is also consistent with Custode’s testimony in the summer of 1912 that she and Adriano had eight children (Francis was not born yet – Victor, born in 1911 was their youngest.)

Here’s a newspaper report about Francis managing his brother’s store in Midland PA. The article says the store was in Middleton but we know it was in Midland. This article was in the Connellsville Courier on May 29, 1930.  Francis would have been 17 years old – which seems very young to be managing a store. But that fits with Victor George’s description that Uncle Frank was very smart.

Francis shows up in the 1930 census for Dunbar, but in a very interesting location – 39 lines down from Custode and adjacent to James Versace. This location in the 1930 census, coupled with “family stories” that Custode had a child with one of her boarders – has always made me suspicious of whether or not Vincenzo “James” Versace might be Francis George’s father.

If Vincenzo Versace had not been hit by a train in 1931, we might have found out whether or not he and Custode had a relationship. We know that he was single when he died in 1931, that Custode claimed his body (still, in my opinion, a very intimate act) and that he lived in a little house on the property of Custode George. I suspect this is the house that was behind Custode’s house where her daughter Philomena lived with her husband Tony and where they raised their three sons – William, Harold and Richard.

I am gonna go out on a limb here and state that contrary to “family stories” and contrary to what I once thought, I do not believe that Frank was Jimmy Versace’s son. I believe that he was the last of nine children born to Custode and Adriano George. I believe that Custode was never unfaithful to Adriano.

You might be thinking – “well, I guess we’ll never know.” BUT. . . there is a way to confirm this.

If I could find a male descendant of Frank who was willing to take a DNA test, his Y chromosome would match the Y chromosome of any male descendant of any of Adriano’s sons. The known male descendants, still living, who carry Adriano’s Y chromosome are any grandsons or great grandsons of Nick George’s sons, my husband Rick George, our son, Will George, Rick’s cousin Rick George (son of Fred George’s second son, Richard), any sons of Fred’s son James George, any sons of Gene George’s son Robert George, any sons or grandsons of Victor Americus George. Lots of Y-chromosomes out there – any volunteers?

We know that Frank George had a son name Gerald and I’m pretty sure I found his birth record on Ancestry.com. He was born in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1937.

So the important question is whether or not any of Frank George or Gerald George’s male descendants are reading this and whether or not you’d like to see if you are a Y-match to my husband.  If you are, we can rest assured that Francis George, was the last child born to Adriano and Custode George.

If a known male descendant of Frank or Gerald George doesn’t match the others, it does not necessarily prove that Adriano was not Frank’s father because there are other women in the chain who could have been unfaithful. This would create what is known in genealogy lingo as a case of “misattributed paternity” – aka – the mother was foolin’ around.

I’ll close this post with one last bit of evidence and a request that any Giorgio descendants reading this please leave a comment.

Here is a picture from the 1951 Lincoln High School year book. Lincoln High School was in Midland PA and thanks to the HS yearbook collection on Ancestry.com we know that someone in this picture is Gerald George – the son of Frank George.  Unfortunately, the names beside the picture in the yearbook are in alphabetical order rather than by row,  so we can’t know for sure who in this picture is Gerald George.

But I’d love for anyone who might have an eye for George family traits to weigh in on who in this picture is most likely to be a George. Heck, if someone ever met Gerald George or remembers what he looked like, I’d really love for you to weigh in on this question. Or maybe you see a resemblance to his father Frank George.

 Someone in this picture is 14-year old Gerald George, son of Frank George. Who do you think it is?

So Many Exciting New Discoveries – Where do I Begin?!?

Let’s start with a heretofore unknown brother of the Iacobucci siblings from Castel di Sangro, Italy who came to western Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Previous posts have documented the relationship and birth order of the five who came to America – Vincenzo (1861), Giuseppe (1866), Antonio (1876), Rosallia (1877) and Custode (1880). The gap between Guiseppe and Antonio would suggest there were other siblings but none of them were ever mentioned in the obituaries for these five. Perhaps they died when they were young or perhaps the American siblings didn’t mention their siblings who stayed in Italy in their obituaries. There’s also enough of a gap between Vincenzo and Guiseppe and sure enough – that’s where I found Luigi Giovanni Iabobucci.

Unfortunately the records of births, marriages and deaths that I’ve been looking at on line end with 1865. So I should probably write to Castel di Sangro and get a copy of Custode’s birth record and a few other important documents – like maybe a death certificate for Adriano Giorgio or a copy of his marriage records – his 1894 or 1895 marriage to Marianna Frattura and his 1913 marriage to Maria Flamminio. Yes – I really should.

But something was bothering me about Custode having the same name as her paternal grandmother, especially since she was born so long after her parents married (23 years.) If her family followed the traditional naming convention, their first daughter would have been named Custode after Agostino’s mother. It was not uncommon for families to give children the same name as an older sibling who died so my hunch was that Custode had an older sister named Custode but unfortunately, I have not been able to verify this from the online records.

But while I was searching for an earlier daughter named Custode – I did find this:


Italian birth records are fascinating to me and very uniform. Within a few days of a child being born, someone who had witnessed the birth had to go to the town hall and report the date, time and place of the birth and names, ages and professions of the parents. (Maybe they even had to take the child – it seems I remember that from my class last summer but I’m not sure.)  Sometimes the father would appear but in all of the records I’ve seen for the Iacobucci family, it was the ostetrice or midwife who reported the birth.

This birth record is from 1864. You don’t actually get to the name of the child until the middle of the page, which is near the bottom of the clip above since I cut it at about the middle of the document.

Here’s a translation of the document:

In the year 1864 on the 25th day of June at the hour of 14 (2:00 in the afternoon) before me, Pietro Ruggiero Sindaso (?) an official of the Stato Civile of Castel di Sangro in the District of Sulmona, Province of Aquila, appeared Cassiadora Frabotta, age 52, occupation midwife, living in Castel di Sangro, who presented to us a male, which we have recognized, and she declared that the same was born of Agostino Iacobucci, age 30, occupation shepherd, living in Castel di Sangro on San Leonardo Street and of Filomena Petrarca, age 24, occupation spinner or seamstress, living in Castel di Sangro on the 23rd of June in the house of ….. (HELP!) it looks like  efsi couragi.

(Cugino would be cousin so maybe the handwritten part says they lived at her cousin’s house.)

And now for the important part – The same has further declared the name of the newborn to be Luigi Giovanni.

Good stuff – huh!  The part I cut off gives the names and signatures of two witnesses who were either at the birth or in this case – are witnessing that the midwife confirmed the birth to them. Interestingly, both of the witnesses were shoemakers. I do know that sometimes the same witnesses signed many official documents, first of all, because they could write and secondly, because they were near the town hall.

The right hand column gives the details of baptism of little Luigi – indicating that the parish priest returned the report sent by the town officials. It would have been completed after the necessary records came back. It can get confusing with so many dates but again – near the bottom just before the name, it says the sacrament of baptism was administered on the 25th of June.

I also found the following record for Vincenzo which is in a slightly different format because I found it in the baptism book not the birth records books.  Lots of records – gotta love it! I should go back and get his record that looks like the one above but interestingly on the record for Vincenzo,  Agostino and Filomena were living at the ancient square “Piazza Antica.” How cool is that ?!? Pretty cool if you ask me!





Breaking News!!!

I love the fact that I am so immersed in the lives of our ancestors from more than 100 years ago that when I get NEW information – I feel it warrants a news bulletin. You know – the type that runs across the bottom of your TV screen when a tornado or blizzard is on the way.

This will be a short post because I am extremely tired from staying up late for the past three nights trying to read Italian handwriting and put together the Iacobucci family lineage from all the wonderful new sources that Wilberta provided.

I have also been in touch with someone who has a tree on Ancestry.com with  a lot of information about some of our ancestors.   The important NEWS FLASH is from information she provided which is that the name FLAMMINIO – is not a name from Castel di Sangro but is found in San Vito Chietino. So I want to quickly correct my earlier statements that it is interesting that all three of Adriano’s wives were from Castel di Sangro. It seems that his last wife was not.

See -I told you it would be short. Hope to fill in more information this weekend.

Rick George’s Fourth Great Grandparents’ Marriage Record

Record #14 in the Archivio Di Stato L’Aquila Stato Civile (1809-1865), Registro Degli Atti Di Matrimonio No. 1383, Communedi Castel di Sangro, Anno 1830.  http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it/v/Archivio+di+Stato+di+LAquila/Stato+civile+della+restaurazione/Castel+di+Sangro/Matrimoni/1830/1383/004961707_00403.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=0

Here we have the 1830 marriage record for Guiseppe Iacobucci and Custode Carlone – the parents of Agostino Iacobucci and grandparents of our favorite ancestor – Custode Iacobucci.

I’m grateful because not only did Wilberta send me the link to be able to read the records on line, but she also sent a translation of the important information.

Guiseppe Iacobucci, 29, a shepherd, son of Romualdo Iacobucci, a shepherd and  Lucia Di Sciullo, a spinner (gotta do something with all that wool your shepherd husband brings home!) promises to marry Custode Carlone, 26 (wow – only a 3-year age difference -one of the closest I’ve seen) daughter of Guiseppe Carlone (deceased) and Elisabetta Rosatozzi.

So there you have it – something further back than 1857 – thanks to Wilberta’s mastery of Italian records and language, the foresight of the civil servants in Italy who kept such records and the wisdom of whoever made the push to get these records online.

As you can see from the title of the book (1809 – 1865) we can probably find official records to take us back one generation further but you can see that it is definitely a weekend project. Even the par that is typed and easy to read is in Italian and then you have the handwriting which has to be deciphered. Take a look at Elisbetta Rosatozzi. In case you having trouble finding it – it is on the left hand page and begins at the end of the third line up from the paragraph that begins with “I qualialla presenza …”

The handwritten word at the end of that third line which looks like “Elida” is actually “Elisa.” Dropping down a line you continue with her name “betta” which is actually easy to read. But I can assure you that without Bert’s help I would never have gotten “Rosatozzi” out of the next word which looks like Vodatozzi to me.

What in the world is going to happen in the next few generations who can’t even read modern script?


So it looks like my husband descends from a long line of shepherds, and he is delighted to know this. And our daughter who still carries the name Elisabetta as her middle name – Elizabeth – thinks its pretty cool to share a name with her 5th great grandmother. And our son, who has been texting me about all of these discoveries this evening, seems genuinely impressed and had dubbed me a genealogy Genie. High praise in my book – I’ll take it!

And as for my new favorite female ancestor – Elisabetta Rosatozzi?  I just like the sound of her name. Rosa Tozzi! (emphasis on the zz). It sounds like rosy toesies which is so darn cute. Too bad I translated it and found out that tozzi means “stocky.” So instead of an ancestor with cute little rosy toes, she was probably just round and red.

Once again – I’ll take it! It still sounds neat – (especially when you emphasize the zz.)