Iacobucci Family Research

I’m using a day off in the middle of the week because of a big Southern snow storm to dig a little deeper into my husband’s Iacobucci ancestors. His great grandmother, Custode Iacobucci George, was born in Castel di Sangro, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy on May 27, 1880. She immigrated to America with her older sister Rosie (Rosallia) when she was 16 years old, arriving in New York in April 1897. Their immigration papers indicate they were coming to visit an older brother named Vincenzo who lived in Brandeville, PA.

This post will identify the Iacobucci siblings I’ve discovered through my research and provide the basis for why I believe that their parents are Agostino Iacobucci and Filomena Petrarca of Castel di Sangro. If they are all the children of this pair, it would mean Filomena had her first child (Vincenzo) in 1861 when she was 23 and her last child (Custode) in 1880 when she was 42. Certainly possible, reproductively speaking. I have confirmed Filomena’s birth date as November 19, 1838 from Italian online records although I have not found her death date.

Using the immigration records for Custode and Rosie – we know that they are sisters. This fact is supported by the 1910 census in Dunbar PA when Rosie Buzzelli is listed as the sister-in-law to the head of household, Andrew George whose wife is identified as Christine. Rosie would have to be his wife’s sister because if she were the wife of one of his brothers (the other way she could be his sister-in-law) her last name would be George or Giorgio, not Buzzelli. Finally, since most of her grandchildren, who knew Custode as Christine, have fond memories of their grandmother’s sister Rosie, the relationship of Custode and Rosie as sisters has never been in doubt.

But let’s see what we know about their brothers and how we know they all have Agostino and Filomena as parents. Newspaper obituaries are a great source for identifying family relationships and marriage records often include the full name of the parents of the couple getting married, including the maiden names of their mothers. This is actually how we found Custode’s maiden name, way back in the summer of 2013 when our search began. We had only known her as Custode George or Christine George, but when we found the marriage records for her daughters Philomena and Lena in the courthouse in Uniontown, PA, we finally knew her maiden name was Iacobucci. I can still remember how excited we were to make that discovery on the last day of our week long genealogy vacation!


Vincenzo Iacobucci is the oldest of the Iacobucci siblings. He was born in Castel di Sangro to Agostino Iacobucci and Filomena Petrarca on June 8, 1861. His Italian birth records are available online and identify his parents and date of birth. Those names match the parents named on his death certificate from Derry, Pennsylvania dated November 18, 1943.

1943.DeathCertificate.Derry PA

We first learned of Vincenzo Iacobucci  when we got Custode’s marriage license and saw that Vincenzo Iacobucci was listed as her guardian and was considerably older than her. However, that record didn’t indicate their relationship and we wondered if he might be her uncle. Thankfully the immigration records for Rosie and Custode indicated they were coming to visit their brother Vincenzo.

The relationship is also confirmed by one of Custode’s grandchildren, Carole Ann George Johnson, who remembers visiting two Iacobucci sisters who lived in Derry, PA. Vincenzo had three single daughters living with him in the 1940 Census at 118 South Ligonier Street, Derry PA – Mary (41),  Ellen (30) and Margaret (27). It seems very likely that Vincenzo is Custode’s older brother and that Carole remembers visiting his daughters.


Joseph Iacobucci’s connection to his siblings is highlighted in his obituary that appeared in the New Castle News on June 6, 1942. After naming his wife and children who survived him he names two brothers:  Anthony of Akron, OH and James of Derry, PA and two sisters: Mrs. Christina George of Dunbar, PA and Rose Iacobucci of California, PA. JosephIacobucci.obit.8Jun1942.NCN.p2

According to the date of his birth listed on his death certificate (not shown) he died on his birthday – June 5th. He was 76 years old and had been in America for 55 years. This would make his immigration year 1887, which might be the earliest of any of the Iacobucci siblings. I’ve yet to find the immigration records for his older brother Vincenzo but maybe I should see if they immigrated together.

Joseph’s wife’s maiden name was Marianne Giampaolo, the oldest of three girls born to Fidenso Giampaolo and Angeline Gasbarro who were married in Castel di Sangro in February 1879.  Marianne and her next younger sister Amelia were born in Italy but their younger sister, Mary Frances, was born in Pennsylvania on May 3, 1898.

In 1915, Mary Frances Giampaolo married Nick George.  Irene Veri (their youngest daughter) and I have speculated that her parents may have met because Joseph and Custode were siblings. I can attest to the fact that there is no shortage of Gasbarro, Giampaolo, Iacobucci, Buzzelli and Petrarca unions in the town records of Castel di Sangro but I’m still puzzled by the connection to San Vito Chietino, where the Giorgio boys were from.


The connection to a brother named Anthony is found in Joseph’s obituary. I don’t think any of Custode’s grandchildren can confirm this relationship but Irene Veri remembers visiting relatives or knowing about relatives in Akron. (Help me out Irene – you always remember more than I do!)

I first learned of Antonio Iacobucci in the immigration records where I found Custode and Rosalia who immigrated in April 1897. I wrote about those records here: Day 4 GRIP – Exciting Discovery .  It was also in those records that I found Antonio Iacobucci arriving in October of 1897 and going to Pennsylvania to visit his sister Rosallia. At that time he was single but it turns out, he actually got married in Uniontown, PA about ten years later. Unlike his siblings, he always spelled his name with a “Y” instead of an “I.”

Here is the marriage license for Tony Yacobucci and Marianna D’Angelo from 1907. Although they were married in Uniontown, PA their residence at the time was Dunbar. Coincidentally this is where Custode was living at the time. This is an important connection because it helps link the Tony Yacobucci who shows up mostly in Ohio records to our line of the Iacobucci family. And notice the names of his parents: Agostine & Filomena. His age in 1907 would mean he was born in 1876, which would put him in between Rosie and Custode. 

We know that Tony stayed in Dunbar at least through 1909 because two of his children were born there – Frank Paul Yacobucci born in 1908 and America Michael Yacobucci born in 1909. Notice Tony’s job is listed as “beer agent” on his son Frank’s birth certificate. 

As an aside, the doctor who delivered Frank “W.W. Warne” was also the doctor who delivered Lena, Custode’s second daughter born in 1906.

I think we’ve got a fairly strong case that Vincenzo, Giuseppe, Rosallia, Antonio and Custode Iacobucci, were all the children of Agostino Iacobucci and Filomena Petrarca. The records that exist in Pennsylvania and Ohio provide strong evidence that they left Italy in the late 1800s and made America their permanent home. From Joseph’s obituary we know these are the siblings who survived him and he doesn’t mention any other siblings. There could be some who died before him but are not mentioned in his obituary.

The online records from Italy provide evidence of at least one other son born to Agostino and Filamena. His name was Luigi Giovanni and he was born on June 23, 1864. He isn’t mentioned in any of the records of his siblings in America and I’m curious to know more about him.

BirthRecord.LuigiGiovanni.23June1864There are several Luigi or Lewis Iacobuccis in Ohio records and trees on Ancestry.com but the ones I’ve explored so far are not the right age or have different parents. Lainie George McGreevy found an obituary for a Lewis Iacobucci who was born in Castel di Sangro and was a shepherd there before he immigrated in the early 1900s, but he was not the right age to be this Luigi Iacobucci. It is possible that if this son died as a child, his parents might have named a later born son Luigi but it’s curious that none of the none Iacobucci siblings’ obituaries refer to a brother named Lewis.

From the birth dates of the Iacobucci siblings we know about (1861 to 1880) we are left with an eight year gap between 1866 when Joseph was born and 1874 when Rosie was born. It seems likely that there were other siblings born during those years but whether they did not survive to adulthood or perhaps stayed in Italy, it may be hard to determine, especially since the online records for Castel di Sangro births end with the year 1865.

I’d love to hear from any Yacobuccis or Iacobuccis or Jacobuccis or even folks with the last name John, which happens to be another variation I’ve seen in some records.  Maybe some of the Ohio descendants of Anthony Yacobucci don’t even know about all your Pennsylvania relatives but if you happen to be reading this – don’t be shy about reaching out.


51st Anniversary of the Passing of Gene George

GeneGeorge.obit.30Dec1966It was on this day in 1966, that Gene George died unexpectedly at his home at 137 N. Tenth Street, Connellsville, PA. His obituary was on the front page of the Connellsville Daily Courier on Friday December 30th. According to his daughter, he died of a heart attack, which seems to be the cause of death for many of the George men – several as early as their mid-fifties. (Might want to note that for health conditions if you happen to share the Y chromosome!) This obituary gives a pretty good overview of Gene’s many accomplishments. But as with any obituary, it can’t really capture the significance of the deceased to his family and friends. Maybe this post will shed a bit of light on Gene George.


Gene and Joseph George.12.29.17

This is one of my favorite pictures and shows Gene (on the left) with his brother Joe. Family stories often recount fun times at Joe’s house in Midland PA where Sunday dinner was still a full Italian affair. They both look so happy in this picture, which I think was taken at Joe’s house in Midland PA. I love finding details about our ancestors in newspapers and historical records, but I love the personal recollections of family members who knew them even  more. There’s no shortage of accounts of what a generous, tolerant, kind and loving man Gene George was. Many thanks to Lainie McGreevy for sharing this picture. And happy belated birthday! In an interesting coincidence, Lainie McGreevy (Elaine B. George, second daughter born to Joe and Olive George) shares a birth day with her grandfather Adriano, which means that the anniversary of her birth is also the anniversary of the day Custode died. Oh the things we discover through genealogy.

Before I knew any of the George relatives we’ve found on this journey, I had an image of Gene as the dutiful son, living at home with Custode and Lena as late as 1938 according to the Dunbar City Directory. I thought he was a confirmed bachelor, perhaps even somewhat reclusive or maybe shy and awkward. Why else would he be living with his mother until he was in his mid-30s, I wondered? And his profession in the 1940 census listed as ” State Auditor” seemed to support this assumption of someone with an introverted personality. The stories from people who knew Gene reveal a different picture.

It turns out Gene married in 1938, a few months after he turned 36 (even though the age  on his marriage license in West Virginia is 34.) His wife, Annorah Riley, was born in England and came to America with her aunt and her sister after her parents died when she was a girl. Gene and Nora had two children, Robert Spencer (Bobby) born on April 28, 1940 and Carole Ann born on June 8, 1943.

Earlier today I tracked down this marriage license from Gene and Nora’s wedding in Hancock,West Virginia. Note that Gene’s age is listed as 34, but he was actually 36.MarriageLicense.19Feb1938

Gene was one of the first of Custode’s and Adriano’s children that Rick and I learned about when we visited the Dunbar Historical Society in 2013. Some of the baptismal records of St. Aloysius Church are copied in notebooks there and we found an entry for the baptism of Luigino Anthony George on January 12, 1902. This record confirms his birth date as December 18, 1901 and can be found in the St Aloysius Church Records labelled: B 847 Vol 248. Interestingly we did not find baptism records for any of the other children even though they all grew up in Dunbar.

Based on this information we know that Custode and Adriano moved to Dunbar sometime before January 1902 and most likely sometime before December 1901 when Gene was born. In the 1900 census they were living in Derry, PA with their son Frederick William and living next door to Peter and Rose Bootsaddle – an interesting phonetic spelling by the census taker for Custode’s older sister and her husband – Rosallia and Peter Buzzelli.

But I digress – because this post is about Gene L.A. George. The Gene obviously comes from Luigino but I love that in his later years, he paid homage to his full name by using L.A. as his middle initials – as evidenced in this newspaper clipping when he was running in the Democratic primary for County Commissioner. The field included 14 candidates and although he did well in Connellsville (third highest vote getter with 513 votes only 3 votes behind the leader), he was not successful in gaining a spot in the general election although I can’t seem to figure out exactly where he fell in the primary votes for the whole county.


Dominic Renzi has very fond memories of Gene, which help offset the less pleasant memories of Gene’s sister Lena, who married Dom’s father in 1939. After Nick Renzi died in 1949, it was Gene who finally got Lena to leave the Renzi home on Limestone Hill and paid for her to live in an apartment in Connellsville.

When Dom was living on Limestone Hill and renovating the old farm house, he went into town one day to meet Gene for lunch. Afterwards they were walking along the street and stopped beside a pickup truck. Gene made casual conversation and asked if Dominic like the truck. He said he did and Gene said, “Well, it’s yours.” Up to that point, Dom had been hauling the lumber and other supplies he needed for the renovation in the back of a sedan that had been modified by removing the rear seats. Interestingly Carole Ann remembers the truck but she never knew that her father bought it for Dom.

Dom was very close to Bobby, Gene’s son, who by all accounts was a talented high school athlete. According to Dom, Bobby quit playing football because Gene was a bit too invested in the game from the sidelines, often arguing with the referees and also “coaching” Bobby from the sidelines. If you assume that competitiveness has a genetic basis, as someone who lives with three Georges, I can vouch for the fact that it is alive and well in the George gene pool! (So for obvious reasons, I’m not looking forward to tonight’s Cotton Bowl between USC and OSU. Let’s just say we’ve got family members pulling for each team and somebody has to lose.)

So if anyone reading this would like to share some recollections of Gene George please leave a comment below.

Allow me to close with an interesting genealogical coincidence that has nothing to do with the George family but a lot of significance for me. December 29th also marks the passing of another special man, Charles Sedden Latham, Jr. better known as “My Buck.”

Nana and Buck were my maternal grandparents. Buck was actually my grandmother’s second husband but much more a part of my upbringing than my biological grandfather. Nana and Buck took care of me as an infant when my mother joined my father in Bremerton Washington – his naval assignment in early 1956. According to Nana, “Buck” was my first word.  Apparently they rushed me to the hospital because I was having trouble breathing and when I gasped and took a breath I hollered “BUCK.”

Nana and Buck were always a part of my life and provided a good example of what happy married life looked like. Buck did not die suddenly, in fact he was in the hospital for almost 6 weeks. Even though I was 17 when he died, and knew that his death (from emphysema) was inevitable,  is anyone ever “old enough” to lose someone they love? I think the hardest part was seeing my grandmother’s grief – I don’t think I had ever seen her cry before Buck’s funeral.

So here’s a happy picture of me and “my Buck” circa 1956.myBuck.1956Wishing everyone a healthy and happy New Year.

50th Anniversary of Custode Iacobucci George’s Passing

Fifty years ago Custode Iacobucci George died in Connellsville Memorial Hospital. She was 87 years old and she died on her husband’s birthday. Although he abandonned her in 1912, and she raised her children as a single mother,  I can’t help but think there was some significance to her death occurring on Adriano’s birth day.  I wonder what Custode would think about the recent interest in her life and the incredible legacy that she left behind?

Can you imagine leaving your home in Italy as a 16 year old girl in 1897 and travelling to a new country with your sister who was  only a few years older than you? Sure – your older brother was waiting for you but still – a long trip to Naples from your home in the mountains of central Italy and even longer on a ship to America.

In the past four years as I have learned about Custode, my husband’s great grandmother, I have been impressed with the life she created for herself and her children. There is not enough time in this post to do her justice but I will just close with a remembrance of  an incredible woman who influenced her children and without directly knowing it, her grandchildren. I think she would be very proud of the children of her children and their children’s children.

Rest in peace Custode and know that your memory lives on. custodeiacobuccigeorge-young

Christmas is Family Time

Here’s a Thursday Tidbit about some of the descendants of the original four Giorgio brothers who came to western Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino – a town on the eastern coast of Italy. It’s almost due east of Rome, just slightly to the north.

As I’ve been working on this “tidbit” for the last four hours, I understand why it has been so long since I’ve posted on this blog. In an effort to verify the facts that I have about each person, I get pulled in so many directions that I end up saving the draft and not coming back to it for awhile. I started this post well before Thanksgiving but hope to get it posted in time for Christmas.

It started as a laundry list of the descendants of the original four Giorgio brothers who arrived in western PA in the late 1800s to early 1900s. But as I worked my way through their 30 known children, it became apparent that this post was turning into more of a tome than a tidbit . So in the interest of getting something posted, with the supporting facts, and keeping it interesting (I hope) I’m going to focus on the children of Pasquale Giorgio. Born in Italy on May 20, 1877, Pasquale was the third youngest of the four brothers who came to PA. He seems to have outlived the other three brothers since his death certificate indicates he died in 1958. Although I still haven’t found the death certificate for Adriano who returned to Italy family stories suggest he died some time around 1951.

Between the four Giorgio brothers I can document 30 children but there could be more who died between the census years. From what I’ve discovered in searching the New Castle News and Pennsylvania death records, among those 30 offspring, there were seven children who did not survive to adulthood. Five of those seven children were Pasquale’s – four with his first wife, Maria Concetta Iavicola, who seems to have been known as Concetta,  and one with his second wife Filomena Ranieri. Both women died either during or shortly after childbirth.

Pasquale and Concetta were married on November 20, 1902 in San Vito Chietino Italy. This date is noted in the margin of the Italian birth records for Pasquale, which are online.

From the Pennsylvania birth certificate for their daughter Maria Dominica, who was born on June 1, 1906 in New Castle PA, we know that they’d had two children prior to her birth and one was living at the time. This is the basis for determining that one of their children was born and died, in the period from 1902 (marriage date) and 1906 (birth date of their third child.)

I found the death certificate of their son Vito, who was born in 1904 and died in 1907.  He would have been the child still living when Mary was born. Based on census records that indicate Concetta immigrated in 1904 and an indexed birth record for a Vito Giorgio born in New York, I’d speculate that Concetta was very pregnant on her journey to America.



There’s not enough information from this index to verify that this Vito Giorgio, born in Manhattan in April 1904 was in fact the son of Pasquale and Concetta, but the birth date fits the age of their son who died in New Castle in 1907 at the age of 3. It also fits with a census record that indicates Maria Concetta immigrated in 1904. Next research I need to do is to find her immigration records to see what they reveal.

Three healthy girls are born to Pasquale and Concetta in 1906, 1908 and 1910 before tragedy strikes again in 1913.

This death certificate for a stillborn child of Pasquale and Concetta born on April 13, 1913 is evidence of the third of their children to die. The child’s sex is not indicated on the death certificate.

And here’s the sad evidence of the death of the last child born to Pasquale and  Concetta – a death certificate for a premature daughter stillborn on January 12, 1914, almost nine months to the day of the stillborn child in April 1913.

Last child born to Pasquale and Concetta

But the more tragic even on that cold January day in 1914 (the newspaper reported a high of 12 degrees that day) was the death of Pasquale’s first wife, Concetta of complications related to childbirth.

Pasquale remarried in 1914 and immigration records show his return through Philadelphia PA with wife, Filomena Ranieri.  Pasquale and Filomena had four sons and one daughter named Concetta who was born in 1918. (As an aside, does anyone else find it interesting that the only daughter he had with his second wife, was given the name of his first wife?)

In January 1920, Filomena died of pneumonia, six days after giving birth to a son. That son survived, but their daughter Concetta, who was only two, died a month later on February 27, 1920. Family history as related by Terry Colaluca, granddaughter of Mary Giorgio Colaluca, indicates that the infant son born in January 1920 was given up for adoption (most likely a private adoption) because Pasquale could not take care of so many children without a wife. This child grew up as Louis Thomas Perfi and lived in Abingdon, Illinois for most of his life. In the 1930 census, he is the only child in the home of Angelo and Georgia Perfi living in Abingdon, Illinois a town 50  miles west of Peoria.  His father Angelo was born in Italy and his mother Georgia, who was 54 years old in 1930 was born in Nebraska.

Apparently Louis maintained his relationship with his biological brothers because his name appears in the newspaper report of a Giorgio family reunion held at Willow Lake in 1967.

New Castle News – Page 9 July 11,1967


I’ll close for now with a list of the children of Pasquale Giorgio who survived into adulthood. I’ll also add the names of their spouses and marriage dates if I know them. Of the seven children born to Pasquale and his first wife Concetta in the years from 1902 to 1914, three girls survived to adulthood. We do not know the sex of two of the children who died but we know that one was a son named Vito who died when he was three years old in 1907 and the other was a premature stillborn daughter born who died in January  1914 on the same day as her mother. The three surviving children, who lost their mother when the oldest, Mary, was only 7 years old were:

Mary George (1906 – 1993) who married Romeo Colaluca (1903-1965) in 1928.

Christine Marie George (1908-1985) who married Nicholas Benedict Panella (1906-1997), probably in 1929.

Vida Marie George (1910-2000) who married Egidio Sforza in 1939, based on the date of their marriage license.

The children born to Pasquale and his second wife, Filomena Ranieri who survived to adulthood were four boys



Victor George (1915-2004) who married Mary Cestrone (1916-1992)

Nick George (1916-1992) who never married

Louis Amedio George ( 1917-1994) who married Jean Camp of Mystic Connecticut some time before 1943 – more work to do but here’s the New Castle News article that provides the evidence of their marriage and the link to Pasquale.

And Louis Thomas Perfi (1920-2006) who was raised as the son of Angelo and Georgia Perfi, although I believe he was the last child born to Pasquale and Filomena Ranieri.

Stay tuned for a similar “tidbit” on the descendants of the other Giorgio brothers. If you happen to be the descendant of any of the people named in this post and have stories to share, please leave a comment.

The Doomed Horse Soldiers of Bataan

Thanks Irene for mentioning her new Facebook friend and cousin – John George, who has done a lot of George family history work. He recently visited the Philippines where Lieutenant John Andrew George, one of the first men from New Castle to die in World War II, was killed while trying to save his men. A whole chapter of the book is devoted to Lieutenant George.  Here’s a link to the book on Amazon.

Here’s a picture and some stories from the New Castle Newspaper of our famous relative.