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 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.

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.)

Our Family Tree Roots are Getting Deeper!

Rick and I are always excited to hear from our Giorgio famiglia but especially last week when Irene George Veri wrote that she’d found another relative. Not just any relative mind you, but one who’s been doing genealogy research since the 1990s! No surprise – it didn’t take long for me to call our new “cousin” Wilberta Illig DiVincenzo.

In light of what follows, it’s funny that Irene began her email to me almost apologetically by saying that she’d found a relative on her mother’s side . . .  “but don’t despair . . . this may bring us a lot of information about Custode” (understatement of the year!)

Irene’s mother, Mary Giampaolo was about 16 – 18 years younger than her older sisters Marianne (1880 – 1945) and Amelia/Emilia (1882-1955). Both of her older sisters were born in Castel di Sangro, Italy and emigrated to Pennsylvania in the late 1880s with their parents.  Wilberta’s mother Angeline (born in 1920) was the youngest daughter of Amelia, whose married name was Mariani.

The reason Wilberta would have information about the Iacobuccis is because her grandmother’s older sister Marianne Giampaolo married Joseph Iacobucci. Joseph is Custode’s older brother and he lived in New Castle so perhaps in some of her research Wilberta may have accumulated some information about the Iacobucci family.  Just maybe – if we’re lucky – it’s possible – you never know.  Just maybe she’ll be able to provide new information about our family. Just maybe . . . she might.

Ummm. . .  boy howdy did she!

Thanks to our phone call last night and Wilberta’s willingness to share her records,  I now have a copy of the Italian marriage record of Custode’s parents – Agostino Iacobucci and Filomena Petrarca. They married in 1857 in the church of Santa Maria in Castel di Sangro – a church that is miraculously still standing! (Most of Castel di Sangro was destroyed when the Nazi’s skedaddled at the end of World War II.)

So other than being incredibly excited that Rick and I might one day be able to see the church where his great great grandparents were married, I was equally excited to see that our grandmother Custode was named after her father’s mother – Custode Carlone Iacobucci – who worked as a spinner in Castel di Sangro, Italy in 1857. I have always loved the name Custode so of course I think it is cool that our Custode was named after her grandmother. I’m also excited to have a new name to research – Carlone.

Italian marriage records have a lot of information about the families of the bride and groom. In addition to listing the groom, Agostino’s profession – a shepherd, and age (25) we learn that his father Guiseppe Iacobucci was also a shepherd.  We don’t learn as much about the bride’s family because both of Filomena Petrarca’s parents were dead when she married (at age 19) which in and of itself adds a bit of sadness to the story.  We do learn their names – Nicasio Petrarca (her father) and Barbara Buzzelli (her mother).  Aha – didn’t have to go too far back to find the Buzzelli connection. This might explain why Rosallia Iacobucci’s first husband was Peter Buzzelli.  It was not unusual for second cousins to marry.

So I’m beyond excited to extend our family tree a generation further back.  When I mentioned to Wilberta that Adriano’s first wife was from Castel di Sangro and was named Marianna Frattura – she recognized the name and said she had some Fratturas in her family tree.

Rick has commented on this before but isn’t it interesting that all three of Adriano’s wives were from Castel di Sangro, a small mountain community mid-way between his town of San Vito Chietino on the Adriatic and Naples, on the Mediterranean. I’m curious if there was some family connection between the two towns or if he was just passing through when he met his first wife. The mountain scenery must have agreed with him because it seems to be the last place he called home. Alas – he still holds so many secrets but I’m not giving up.

Yes Irene – you were quite right to suggest that Wilberta DiVincenzo might be able to provide some information about the Iacobuccis. Quite right indeed!

Many, many, thanks to both of you.

The brides parents names are on the last two lines. You know they are deceased by the “fa” and “fu” that precede their names. The letter in Nicasio that looks like a cursive “f” is actually a lower case “s” back then.


Thursday Tidbit – Our Family Poet – Nicholas Vitus George


In a recent email I mentioned to Irene George Veri that I wish I could have met her father. I usually form an idea of what a person is like (rightly or wrongly) from what I read in the old newspaper accounts about that person. Everything I’ve read about Nick George reveals a kind and loving man whose family and community were of primary importance to him.

Irene mentioned that her father used to dictate song lyrics to her and she would write them down and mail them back to him. This was a way of documenting the date the song was written for copyright purposes. I wonder if Irene still has any of those lyrics?

When I came across this poem, published in the New Castle News on March 29, 1969, I could hardly wait until March to post it.

Based on last night’s torrential rains and thunderstorms here in Greensboro, NC and the predicted dip to low temps in the 20s this weekend (after a ‘wacky’ month of early spring) I’d say Nick captured the vagaries of March weather perfectly.

More New Cousins!

Last week I got a message from Irene Veri that she ran into her cousin Adele George at dinner. Adele is the youngest of two daughters born to Nicholas Anthony George and Rose Colaluca. Nick was the oldest son of Romualdo Giorgio – better known as Romeo.

Romeo was the youngest of the four Giorgio brothers who came to Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino, Italy. He arrived in New York on March 23, 1904. The ship’s log indicates he was coming to visit his brother Adrian in Dunbar PA and that he had never been to America before. It also indicates that Adrian paid for his ticket. The log also indicates he was married at the time of his arrival but he travelled without his wife Dorinda.

Romeo and Dorinda settled in New Castle, PA, which is where all of the Giorgio brothers lived and raised their families (except for Adriano). The New Castle News is chock full of articles about Nicholas or Nick George, Louis George, Patsy George and Victor George. The trick is keeping them straight and remembering which one was born to which of the original Giorgio brothers.

Nick George at 307 Lutton Street is Irene’s father, who was Adriano’s first son, born in Castel di Sangro, Italy where he lived for the first 8 years of his life. His mother Marianne Fraturra died a week or two after giving birth to him.

Nick Anthony George at 1010 Hazen Street is the first of Romualdo and Dorinda Giorgio’s  three sons. Nick was born in New Castle in on December 13 or 14, 1907 (different sources show different dates). Nick was a state champion wrestler and wrestling coach at the New Castle YMCA. Nick joined the Army in World War II (two years after his younger brother John George died in the Philippines).

There are other Nick George’s from New Castle, PA and some are not Italian which makes things more complicated, but I’ll hold their stories for another day.

In fact, there were 518 “hits” when I searched for “Nicholas George” in the New Castle News and most of them were about these two Nicks and their wives, who were both active in social clubs in New Castle and frequently hosting events at their homes.

I’m hoping this article from the 1932 New Castle News will generate new information from someone who knows how the different names fit into the George family. It is about a George Family Reunion held at the Algoma camp. The text is transcribed below.

September 7, 1932 – New Castle News p.3 – George Reunion

A reunion of 57 relatives of the George families took place at the Algoma camp on Monday where a delicious dinner and corn roast was enjoyed. The dinner was served by Mrs. Josephine Bucci, Mrs. Nicholas George, Mrs. Dan Chiarini and Mrs. Benny Cupido.  

Games and swimming were the main features of the day, with Nick George in charge of events. Swimming race for the single men was won by Louis George; married women’s 50-yard dash was won by Mrs. Romeo Colalucca with Mrs. Benny Cupido coming in second; single girls 50 yard dash was won by Miss Mary Bucci with Miss Vida George coming in second; married men’s 50 yard dash, Pasquale George, Nick Bucci, Nicholas George and Nick Chiarini; (notice they don’t say who won) single men’s race, Louis Felicetti of Pittsburgh and Vito George; married men and single girls race won by Miss Lauretta Campoli of Pittsburgh; small girls race by Minnie George; climbing trees won by Vito Iarlori, card games won by Nick Panella and Constantine Campoli of Pittsburgh.  

Out of town guests were Mr. & Mrs. Patsy George of Youngstown, OH, Mr. & Mrs. Campoli, Mr. & Mrs. August Freda, Misses Lauretta, Jeannette and Concetta Campoli, Messrs Louis Felicetti, Fior Campoli all of Pittsburgh and Mrs. Benny Cupido of Peekskill, NY.

Some of these names – Bucci, Colaluca and Cupido are familiar and I know which branch of the George tree they belong to. Some, like Chiarini are familiar but I don’t recall how they fit into the family (I bet Irene does though!) And some of these names – Campoli, Felicetti and Freda are not and all familiar and really spark my curiosity. When I saw “Campoli” I thought it was a misspelling of Giampaulo (Irene’s mother’s maiden name) but when I saw it in another article I realized it was a name I hadn’t seen before in connection with any of the George family stories.

Mrs. Josephine Bucci is the oldest daughter of Ciro and Rosaria Giorgio. Her first husband died at a young age leaving her a widow with four children. Those children go by Gianni. She remarried Nick Bucci and they had one son – Walter Bucci. She, like Nick George (Adriano’s son) was born in Italy in 1896.

Mrs. Romeo Colaluca is Mary George, the oldest daughter of Pasquale Giorgio and his first wife, Concetta Iavicola who died in childbirth in 1914. Terry Colaluca remembers spending time with her grandmother Mary and also recalled there was another George/Colaluca connection, which turns out to be Nick George and Rose Colaluca.

Mrs. Benny Cupido is Concetta (Connie) George, the oldest daughter and second child born to Romeo and Dorinda Giorgio. She was born in New Castle in 1909.

But I’m always more interested in new names so the three families from Pittsburgh have piqued my curiosity. So I have a research task for this weekend, which is nice because it is supposed to rain tomorrow and turn cold on Sunday.

The other interesting name in the article above is Vito Iarlori. Iarlori is the married name for two of the Giorgio sisters who remained in Italy when their brothers Ciro, Adriano, Pasquale and Romualdo made their way to America. I’d seen an immigration record earlier that indicated a young Iarlori male was coming to America (in the 1920s I think) to visit his uncle. So Vito Iarlori is another interesting angle to explore. Being the best “tree climber” at the family reunion in 1932 suggests that he was young so whether this is the same Iarlori who immigrated or perhaps his son, is something I need to explore further.

Adele George and her sister Dorinda – the daughters born to Nick George and Rose Colaluca are the new cousins I began writing about in this post but as you can see there are quite a few more waiting to be discovered.

Would love to hear from anyone who might know more about these new cousins.

Here is the obituary for Romeo George who from the New Castle News – Tuesday December 16, 1941


St. Vitus is a church in New Castle – likely a typo for San Vito Chietino where he was born


Here is the obituary for his oldest son Nicholas Anthony Georgenicholasageorge-obit-part1-p-3ncn-1nov1976