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!






4 thoughts on “So Many Exciting New Discoveries – Where do I Begin?!?

  1. You may have just cleared up a big mystery for me! I always wondered why Custode gave her second-born son, Uncle Gene, the Italian name Luigino. He was her only son to have an Italian name on his birth certificate. I was also curious as to why it was her second-born child and not her first-born. It was just illogical to me. Now I understand that it might be in honor of her second-born brother, Luigi Giovanni. He must have been a very special and favorite “big brother”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well this is very interesting. The three brothers we know that Custode had were Vincenzo (James), Luigi (Louis), Guiseppe (Joseph) and Antonio. Even though your father was named Joseph, he could have been named after brother Guiseppe. It makes sense that Luigino was named after Custode’s brother. I seem to remember finding his baptism record when Rick and I were at the Dunbar Historical Society office in 2013. His was the only one of the Giorgio children who we found baptism records for in the copies of the St. Aloysius Church records that were in the office that day. But it may be that the available records didn’t cover the later years or some other reason.
      I’ll be posting again soon but in my efforts to determine whether or not Custode had an older sister named Custode, I reviewed the birth records for every Iacobucci child born from 1858 to 1865 in Castel di Sangro.
      In the years 1862 to 1865 alone – there were at least 17 Iacobucci couples – who had probably close to 30+ children in that 3 year time period. LOTS of Iacobuccis in Castel di Sangro. WHEW. Also in that time period there was one other Iacobucci/Petrarca couple, a Iacobucci/Gasbarro couple, a Iacobucci/Iacobucci couple and two Iacobucci/Buzzelli couples (as in the name of Aunt Rosie’s husband.
      FASCINATING stuff!!!


  2. The story I heard was that his name was Luigi. In English, Louis. However , louigino is Italian for “llittle Louis. So when grandma would call him to come home, she stretched the Gino part. So, his friends started calling him Gene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty sure that on your father’s baptism certificate (in the Dunbar Historical Society office in a notebook that had copies from the St. Aloysius parish records) his name was listed as Luigino Antonio – which would actually cover two of her brothers! No sons named Vincenzo – her older brother who signed as her guardian when she married Adriano. Maybe she never forgave him for that!


What Can You Add to the Story?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s