Happy Anniversary to Adriano Giorgio and Marianna Frattura – Married on this day in 1895

Today would be the 122nd anniversary of Adriano and Marianna, parents of only one child, Nicola Vitus Giorgio (aka Nick V. George). The notation in the left margin of the record copied below memorializes this event. This is the first page of the official birth records of Adriano Giorgio, which are from the town of San Vito Chietino in the Province of Chieti. Just under his name – “Adriano Giorgio” it is noted that

” 31 Agosto 95 spojo (he married ?) Frattura, Marianna . . . ”

I think most of what follows is the signature of the official who made that notation but it is possible that the “Att 35” is a reference to the marriage record where more information about their marriage could be found. Presumably a similar notation appears in Marianna’s birth record.

Italian marriage records –  processetti or allegati – contain an incredible amount of information including the birth certificates of the bride and groom as well as consent to the marriage from both fathers. If the father of either spouse was deceased, the death certificate of that father would also be included, which would contain information about the parents of the deceased person. This can often provide information about family names going back to the 1700s – a genealogist’s dream come true!


I know I’ve wondered about this before but how did Adriano Giorgio, from the town of San Vito Chietino on the east coast of Italy, end up in the mountains of central Italy getting married to Marianna Frattura? It’s an important mystery to solve because it lays the ground work for his subsequent marriage to Custode Iacobucci, who is also from that small mountain town. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Custode may have been related to Marianna Frattura.

If Marianna Frattura and Custode Iacobucci knew each other, we can assume from what we know about Custode’s immigration date (April 1897) that she was in Castel di Sangro on August 31, 1895 when this marriage took place as well as the next November when Nick was born and his mother tragically died within a week of his birth.



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!





Tuesday Tidbit – Antonio Iacobucci

Ever since the course I took in Pittsburgh in mid-July, I love to use the Italian website to search for arrival dates. This site compiles information from other records (including US immigration records and records from South American countries.)

Last night I started going through the information I have on the Iacobucci siblings who came to the USA in the late 1800s. In birth order (I think) they are Vincenzo (1861), Guiseppe (1866), Antonio (1875), Rosallia (1877) and Custode (1880). Since I’m not working from Italian birth records, the birth dates above are speculative and subject to variation based on who was responding to the census taker or providing information for a marriage or death certificate.

Today I’m taking a closer look at Antonio Iacobucci from Akron Ohio but I want to point out two things about the records I found on Custode and her older sister Rosie. The ship’s manifest, which is written in cursive, is subject to interpretation but may often be misindexed for that reason. Rosie is sometimes listed as Rosalba but I think her given name is Rosallia (the i is close to the l and looks like a b). Custode is listed as Custodia and though it is rarely a name she used here – I think that is probably her given name.

Interestingly when I searched the Italian website for Antonio Iacobucci, I got 10 hits. All but one of them was coming to the US, the other one was going to Argentina. Based on the age that I have for Antonio from other sources, I took a look at several entries and believe that this link provides the information on our Antonio.

For a quick summary of what you’ll find there, Antonio’s occupation is listed as weaver and his town of origin is Castel di Sangro, l’Aquila, Italy. His final destination is Pennsylvania and the person he is coming to visit is his sister, Rosalba.

Antonio was 22 years old when he arrived in New York on October 7, 1897, six months after his sisters arrived in April that year. We often think about what it must have been like for the immigrants who came to start a new life in America. As a mother, though, it is hard not to think about Maria Petrarca Iacobucci and how she must have felt watching three of her children leave within six months.

Where’d They Go Wednesday – The Buildings of Castel di Sangro

My knowledge of World War II history is abysmal. For that matter, so is my knowledge of the first half of the 1900s. That’s an added benefit of doing genealogy now – I’m filling in gaps in my general knowledge of history.

It turns out that Castel di Sangro – most likely the home of Custode Iacobucci before she came to America – was held by the Germans during WWII. If the Italian genealogy source is correct, it is also where Adriano Giorgio was living after he left Dunbar and  where he married his third wife – Maria Flamminio – in June 1913.

If our estimate of when he died is correct (early 1950s) he would have been in Castel di Sangro during WWII. Given his birth date of 1871, he would have been too old to fight for Italy during WWII but he would have lived there during the German occupation.

Which means he would have experienced this after the Germans were forced out by the Allied Forces Eighth Army. This picture appeared in Pittsburgh newspaper on January 2, 1944. The fighting around Castel di Sangro occurred in late November 1943.

Castel di Sangro.1945

I wonder how our ancestors who were from Italy felt when they saw their home town in ruins? There were plenty of Georges and Iacobuccis who joined the American Armed Forces and fought for the Allies so I know our ancestors were proud Americans willing to fight for their new country. Most of those young enough to fight during WWII had probably never been back to Italy, but for those older relatives who grew up there, I imagine this would have been a heartbreaking sight.

One Search is Over!

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve been searching for anything I can learn about Custode Iacobucci George, my husband’s great grandmother. Many of you have shared wonderful stories and memories that help us understand what she was like.

We’ve come a long way in the three years since Rick first discovered his great grandmother’s name on the World War I draft registration card for his grandfather. It took another 18 months and a trip to Pennsylvania before we learned that her maiden name was Iacobucci and that she had a sister named Rose.

But other details continue to elude us.  Was she raised in a convent in Naples where she learned to read and write before she came to America? Or was she from Castel di Sangro, the home town of many other Iacobuccis and Buzzellas that show up in several family trees on Ancestry.com? We know that Rose Buzzella was her older sister and lived with her and Adrian in Dunbar in 1910. We also know that a Vincenzo Iacobucci signed Custode’s marriage license as her “guardian” but the license didn’t indicate their relationship. Older brother – maybe an uncle???

From a death certificate for Vincenzo Iacobucci we learned that his father’s first name was Augustine. This is how we learned that Vincenzo and Joseph Iacobucci were brothers (probably). I wondered if Custode and Rose might be their sisters but without being able to find their death certificates I couldn’t make the connection by matching their parents’ names.

As I was scouring some online records today trying to learn more about Custode’s youngest child – Frank who was born in 1912 or 1913, I decided to search for Custode one more time in the Connellsville Daily Courier.  A search for her name yielded nothing. But then I decided to check the newspaper for the day she died. Maybe I’d find her obituary and maybe there’d be some good information in there. Maybe something like this:


I’ve read about breaking through a “genealogical brick wall” before but I never experienced what it felt like until today! The first link to connect Custode and Rose to Vincenzo and Joseph. The first link to the Iacobucci family that is well-documented on other public family trees, that do not include Custode and Rose. There’s still a lot of work to do, but discoveries  like this are what keep me going.

And as for Frank (who seems to be even more elusive than his mother) look what else I found in Custode’s obituary:


Hollywood – here we come!!!