Adriano Giorgio was my husband’s great grandfather. He was born in San Vieto Chietino, Italy on December 27, 1871. Of the four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, he is the only one who did not stay in America. He left Pennsylvania in 1912, returned to Italy and married his third wife there in 1913.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Adriano married Marianna Frattura of Castel di Sangro, Italy in 1894 or 1895. Their only child – Nicola Vito Giorgio – was born in Castel di Sangro on November 9, 1896. A few weeks later, presumably from complications related to childbirth, Marianna died.
We don’t know much about Nicola’s early life. He spent at least his first seven years in Italy. Adriano came to western Pennsylvania sometime around 1896 or 1897 but we’ve yet to find his first immigration record. After getting established and having several children with his second wife, Custode Iacobucci, Adriano went back to Italy and brought his son Nick to Pennsylvania. Scroll down to lines 24 and 25 on the ship’s log to see that Adriano and Nick arrived in New York on December 19, 1904 on the S.S. Roma.
(And by the way – to illustrate why it is important to revisit your genealogical discoveries from time to time, I just realized that the person named at line 29 on this page – Nicola Scocciamarra – is coming to America to visit his uncle Ciro Giorgio of Dunbar PA. I need to revisit the family tree but my guess is that this would be the son of one of Ciro and Adriano’s sisters who stayed in Italy. This adds an important bit of information to help verify family connections that are indicated in the Italian genealogy records I’ve seen.)
Even though Adriano left Pennsylvania in 1912, (leaving behind Custode and their eight children) Nick stayed in PA for the rest of his life. His youngest daughter Irene has shared many recollections about her father. He sounds like a fun-loving guy. He worked hard, wrote songs and made wine in his basement. I would really love to taste some of Nick George’s homemade wine! Nick died in 1974 of stomach cancer.
Counting Adriano, his first wife Marianna and their son Nick – we’re at 3.
Nick married Mary Giampaolo who was born in Pennsylvania to parents who came from Italy. Nick and Mary had six children: Andrew, Frank, Anthony, Marian, Nick and Irene. I’m not up to speed on all of Nick’s children or how many times they married, so to keep our counting simple, let’s add one spouse for each of them, plus Nick’s only wife Mary, and we’re now at 16. (Coincidentally and supporting the idea that Italian immigrants were a close-knit bunch, Mary’s older sister was married to Guiseppe Iacobucci. They were both born in Italy but married in New Castle PA in on September 20, 1896.)
I do know that Irene Veri, Nick’s youngest daughter, is the only one of Nick’s children still living. I also know that she has an amazing memory and I am deeply indebted to her for sharing so many personal recollections. She is an amazing hostess, a devoted grandmother and SHARP as a tack!
At some point not too long after Adriano’s first wife died, he left Castel di Sangro, presumably leaving his young son Nick, with relatives. Although I’ve yet to find his original immigration records, by 1897 or 98, he was living in Pittsburgh. I have assumed that Adriano met Custode in Pittsburgh, but some family members heard that they came to America together. Whatever the case, they married in Pittsburgh in February 1899. Details of Marriage License
Adriano and Custode, who were sometimes known as Andy and Christine George, had at least eight children together. They settled in Dunbar, PA and began running a grocery store. Recent information from one of their grandchildren (thanks Christine!) suggests that they may have moved between Dunbar and New Castle in the early 1900s. Their second son Gene was born in Dunbar in December 1901 but their third son Joseph was born in New Castle, PA in 1903.
It is clear that by about 1910, Adriano and Custode were property owners of at least three lots in Dunbar. It is also clear that they were having financial difficulties. Shortly after forcing Custode to sign over all three properties to him, Adriano declared bankruptcy and left Dunbar for good. Custode Iacobucci – One Tough Lady!
From Custode’s testimony in the lawsuit and recollections of descendants, it seems that Adriano was afraid that people were out to get him. Perhaps this is why he returned to Italy but whatever the reason, he left behind a wife and eight young children. Custode deserves a lot of credit for raising them. Of all of the Giorgio descendants she is the one I would most like to visit with today. (I’ve heard she tended to favor her sons and grandsons and only remembered her granddaughters by which of her sons they belonged to, but I’d still like to spend an afternoon with her.)
Here are the names and birth dates of Adriano’s and Custode’s children born in America:
Frederick William George – November 12, 1899
Luigino (Gene) Anthony George – December 18, 1901
Joseph Lloyd George – July 19, 1903
Philomena (Phil) George – June 3, 1905
Lena Agnes George – November 21, 1906 (insert birth certificate)
Hubert Allen George – September 23, 1908
Lydia Lucia George – December 18, 1909
Victor Americus George – April 1, 1911
There is one other child born to Custode in 1912 – a son named Francis. There is some question whether Francis was Adriano’s son or whether Custode may have been a bit too friendly with one of the boarders. I don’t think there is anyone alive today who can answer that question with certainty but you view my take on the matter here.Who Was Jimmy Versace? I will add that more than one descendant has told me that they’d heard that Custode was unfaithful to Adriano.
With the exception of Lydia Lucia who died of scarlet fever when she was seven, all of Custode and Adriano’s children married. Adding one for Custode and 18 for the nine children with one spouse each, we’re now at 35 ! (Obviously Lydia Lucia who died when she was 7 did not marry, but since Fred married twice, it simplifies the math!)
I’ll add more details in another post but the grandchildren of Adriano and Custode bring our grand total for Adriano’s line to 54. I am happy to be in contact with at least one descendant from each of Adriano’s and Custode’s children, with the exception of Francis. I know that many of you are reading this post so don’t be shy about sharing what you know about your grandparents, parents, cousins and siblings.
So we’ve covered two of the four Giorgio boys plus their children and grandchildren and our count now stands at 75. I think it is pretty easy to see how the Giorgio family reunions in the 1970s and 1980s often had 100+ people in attendance.
Next week we’ll meet Pasquale Giorgio and explore his branch of the tree.