Adriano Giorgio – The Giorgio family head count continues!

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.

Lines 24 and 25 show Adriano and Nick Giorgio

Lines 24 and 25 show Adriano and Nick Giorgio’s Arrival in New York in December 1904

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.)

Nick George's Death Certificate

Nick George’s Death Certificate

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.


Wedding Picture – Nick George and Mary Giampaolo 1915

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

Wedding Photo 1899

Wedding Photo 1899

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.

Lydia Lucia dies of Scarlet Fever at age 7

Lydia Lucia dies of Scarlet Fever at age 7

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.


Custode Iacobucci’s Last Will and Testament

Custode’s Last Will and Testament was made on September 30, 1960 in Dunbar, PA, which is where she lived her whole life after moving there from Pittsburgh in 1900 or 1901. We know she was in Dunbar by 18 December 1901 because her second son, Luigino Anthony Giorgio (Gene) was born there. The witnesses to her will were Anastasia Panone and Mary Alice Frazier. Although there is no way to know for sure whether these were Custode’s friends or witnesses in the lawyer’s office, I’m willing to bet that Anastasia was Custode’s friend. (Hmm… maybe I should check the 1940 census for Dunbar to see if any Panone’s lived near Custode.)

It is a very simple will with four paragraphs that provide as follows:

1. All her debts and funeral expenses and those of her last illness should be paid.
2. Her real estate on High Street in Dunbar and all personal property located in that house should be conveyed to Philomena George Galand, absolutely. (Philomena was her oldest daughter who according to relatives, lived in the house referred to in the will and probably took care of Custode in her later years.)
3. Her real estate located at 128 Connellsville Street in Dunbar together with all personal property in it should be sold and the proceeds divided evenly among her following children in equal shares: Gene George, Joseph George, Francis George and Lena George Renzi.(These were Custode’s only children alive in 1960 when Custode made her will.)
4. That Gene be appointed Executor of her estate.

Custode.tombstone.7.2013According to the social security index, Custode George was born on 27 May 1880 and died in December 1967. I have conflicting information whether the day of her death was the 27th (her half birthday) or the 28th (Adriano’s birthday) but either way, if her birth date is correct she would have been 87 1/2 years old when she died.

On February 26, 1968, Joseph and Lena signed an affidavit stating that Custode had died on December 27, 1967, that Gene, who had been named executor, was dead at that time and that they did not know the address of Francis George. I’m not sure why Philomena did not also sign the affidavit but I suspect it was because it was only Lena and Joe who were to benefit from the remainder of Custode’s estate since Philomena got the house.

On April 9, 1969 the three living children of Custode; Philomena, Lena and Joseph, renounced their right to administer the will and appointed William Galand (Philomena’s oldest son) as the administrator. An inventory of the property governed by the will placed a value of $1,500 on the real property at 128 Connellsville Street and a value of $0 on the estate’s personal property, which, I’m guessing had already been distributed by agreement among the siblings.

If there’s anyone reading this who knows of something that may have been passed down from Custode, I’d love to hear about it. If you’d rather contact me directly than leave a response on this blog – you can email me at

Proof Positive!

As college acceptance time winds down, I’m sure there are still a few people waiting to see if their envelope is thick or thin. I was happy to get a THICK envelope yesterday from the Department of Court Records Allegheny County, Pittsburgh PA.  About a week ago I submitted an online search request for Adrian’s and Custode’s marriage license. Yesterday it arrived.

No matter how many times I find confirmation of birth dates, marriage dates or other personal details about someone there’s nothing quite like seeing the original document that provides the proof (or in this case a copy of it).  Seeing Custode’s and Adrian’s handwriting somehow makes them more real to me.  And of course there are always a few tidbits of new information in such documents.

First of all – Custode has beautiful handwriting – although the “I” in Iacobucci looks more like a “G” so the name looks like “Gacobucci.”  Adrian’s writing looks a bit more practiced, but is also very clear and legible.  Adrian’s name on the marriage license is spelled “Adriano Giorgio.”  He lists his occupation as laborer and he notes that his earlier marriage (no names given) was dissolved by death. Their address is listed as 37 Washington Street, Pittsburgh, PA.

The license also provides birth dates for Adrian and Custode.  True – this is their report of their birth dates so not as good as the original birth record from Italy would be but good enough for our purposes.  Adrian was born on 27 December 1872 and Custode was born on 27 May 1881. So when they married, Adrian was 26 and Custode was 17.  Interestingly, Custode died on 27 December 1967. I wonder if she was thinking of Adrian on her death bed?

Included with the record was a document entitled “Consent to the Marriage of a Child or Ward” and it was signed by Vincenzo Iacobucci. The relationship between Custode and Vincenzo is not stated but he was probably her brother or uncle because he is identified as her guardian and she as his ward. Later marriage licenses provided more details including the maiden names of the bride’s and groom’s mothers, but in 1899 the form was not so detailed.

St. Peter's Church, Pittsburgh, PA

St. Peter’s Church, Pittsburgh, PA

And finally, as we prepare to celebrate Easter, it is fitting that the last document in the file is the certificate signed by the priest who performed their marriage ceremony on February 14, 1899 at St. Peter’s Church in Pittsburgh. His handwriting is a bit hard to read but I think it is Rev Tittus Lagosia or Lagoria.

So there we have it – not that we had much doubt. Proof positive that Adriano Giorgio and Custode Iacobucci began their married life in Pittsburgh PA on February 14, 1899.