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.