Thursday Tidbit – Photos of Italian Immigrants

Most of the pictures I use on this blog are ones that different family members have sent me. I have asked if it is okay to use them on the blog and everyone seems happy to share. I think my use of other pictures would be considered “fair use” under Section 107 of the US Copyright Act but I’m still learning the details of that. Check out this collection.

Lewis Wickes Hine was a photographer who used photographs to promote social change – changes in child labor laws and other working conditions for poor immigrant Americans. Most of his pictures are from New York but they still give you a feel for what things may have looked like when Nick George arrived in New York with his father in 1904.

It’s hard to imagine what this strange new world must have seemed like to our ancestors.

If the link above doesn’t allow you to search other pictures in the collection, just Google “Lewis Wickes Hine” and the second link should take you to the New York Public Library’s photography collection of his works which are available on line.



Friday Foto Feature – Custode’s Boys

Custode's Boys

Custode’s Boys

This is one of my favorite photos. Not surprisingly, there’s likely to be some uncertainty about exactly who is who in this picture. It would help to know when it was taken. My guess is around 1920 – 1925. Any ideas from family photo enthusiasts who might be reading this blog?

And true to what several female descendants of Custode have noted, the girls didn’t seem worthy of a photo. It seems she had a preference for boys including her sons and grandsons and according to Irene Veri, she tended to remember her granddaughters by which son they belonged to rather than their names.

Here’s what I’ve pieced together (from various sources) as the birth dates of Custode’s children, in order from oldest to youngest starting with Fred who was my husband’s grandfather.

  1. November 19, 1899 – Frederick William George
  2. December 18, 1901 – Luigino Anthony George – Gene (who later went by Gene L.A. George, which I think is a great way to honor his given name plus it sounds so Hollywood!)
  3. July 19, 1903 – Joseph Lloyd George
  4. June 3, 1905 – Philomena George – Custode’s first daughter
  5. November 21, 1906 – Lena (whose birth certificate lists her name as Angelina Ida George, her father as Andy Georgia and mother as Custode Yacobucci. Her marriage license application lists her name as Lena Agnes George.
  6. September 23, 1908 – Hubert Allen George
  7. December 13, 1909 – Lydia Lucia George (who died on September 17, 1916 of scarlet fever)
  8. April 1, 1911 – Victor A. George (does anyone know what the “A” stands for? In the 1920 census there was a child listed as Americus that was the right age to be Victor, but I’ve never heard whether or not that was his middle name.)
  9. 1912, probably late in the year – Francis George (I haven’t been able to find his birth date yet.)

Okay – if this doesn’t get folks talking I’m not sure what will! Whose who in today’s Foto Friday???

I’m Italian Too!!!

So most of you Giorgio descendants know that I’ve been doing this blog to capture my husband’s story and it has been so much fun researching his ancestors because we knew so little about them. And getting to know our Giorgio kin was the best part of 2013 and 2014.

You  might also know that while Rick had been eager to have his DNA tested I figured I knew what mine would be (100% European and mostly English) so what was the point of spending $99 on that.  But when ran a special just before Christmas and I could save $20 I figured – “well, why not?”

I was all set to spend most of last night catching up on my book for this month’s book club meeting which is on Thursday night (1/8/15) when I made the mistake of checking emails and learned:


That was it for Miss Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightly.

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the map to reveal my Ethnicity Estimate and saw the following percentages:

30% Europe West (which includes Germany where my maternal grandfather’s grandfather immigrated from in 1850 so no surprise there)

28% Ireland (the concentric circles over this area include most of England, but the greatest concentration was over Ireland – a bit of a surprise)

26% Scandinavian (That was a surprise but I’ll chalk it up to marauding Vikings who made lots of visits to England back in the day)

7% Italy/Greece (Big Surprise and I’m excited to learn more)

5% Iberian Peninsula (another mystery)

2% Great Britain (really?!? – 2%)

1% Finland and N. Russia (sure, why not?)

I’m still deciphering the results (it’s complicated) and even though I’m sure that the primary purpose of these tests is to make money for the companies doing them, I’m excited to find out more about the 88 DNA matches likely to be at least a 3rd to 5th cousin of mine. I’m hopeful that they will be willing to share information. And I’m really hoping I find the Italian connection.