Tuesday Tidbits – All About March

I’m enjoying a quiet week at the beginning of what will be a busy month. I’m trying to organize the research I need to do when I go to Charlottesville VA on March 18th. My book club buddies and I will be attending the Virginia Festival of the Book from March 18- 20th. Three days of author talks and programs and for me, a full day of research at the courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, where my maternal grandmother’s ancestors lived from the late 1700s through the 1800s.

The line I descend from moved to Richmond VA during the Civil War. I’m pretty sure my great great grandfather James Albert Powell married the nurse who took care of him after he was wounded at the battle of Drewrey’s Bluff during the Civil War. In any event, there are almost as many Powells with the names of Samuel, Elizabeth, Henry,and Benjamin as there are Giorgios named Pasquale, Nick, Louis, and Mary.  Add to that confusion that women were often still giving birth to children at the time their first children were having their own – so grandchildren can sometimes be mistaken as children and vice versa.The only way to be sure is to find original documents at the local sources.

After I get back from Charlottesville, I have one week before Easter and on Easter Monday Rick and I drive to New Jersey to meet Dominick Renzi. Get ready Dominick – we can’t wait to meet you! It will be fun to learn more about the Giorgios and Renzis of Dunbar, PA and see pictures of the family – especially the Renzi farm on Limestone Hill, PA.

After visiting Dominick, Rick and I head in to NYC for a four day visit. Our adult children, Sarah and Will, will fly up on Thursday (3/31) and join us for their first trip to New York. One of their friends, Bennett Sullivan, a very talented musician,  is on Broadway in Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s musical Bright Star. What better way to experience your first Broadway play than to see someone you grew up with on stage?!?

Tomorrow is a super big day. No -not because of Super Tuesday – thank goodness my genealogy habit distracts me from politics! Tomorrow is important because the “countdown” for the Genealogy Research Institute in Pittsburgh registration for July classes hits ZERO at Noon EST. The wait is over and I can register for a week long class on Researching Italian Ancestors.

GRIP.countdown.3.1.2016

I can’t wait to learn how to find the information buried in Italian vital records to help us take the Giorgio Iacobucci families further back. If I get in the course I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the week of July 18th and at the end of the week Rick will drive up and we’ll do some more research, meet some more cousins and repeat our visit of three years ago that started us down this incredible journey.

Yeah – pretty exciting for a quiet start to a busy month!

January 27, 2016 -Where’d She Go Wednesday – Rosie Buzzelli

This is beloved Aunt Rosie at the Renzi Farm on Limestone Hill, PA. From Dominic Renzi’s notes on the back of the photo we know it was taken around 1947. I’ll add a bit more to what we know about Aunt Rosie later today. She is about 70 in this picture.

Most sources indicate that Rose Iacobucci Buzzelli was born in Italy in 1877. She is Custode’s older sister. She lived with Adriano and Custode George in Dunbar in 1910, but her marital status was not listed in the Census report.

She died in 1969 and is buried in Saint Rita’s Cemetery, Connellsville, PA.

RoseBuzella.LimestoneHill.1947

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.

 

New Cousin Contact

Since North Carolina finally got some of the white stuff I’m home today and taking a bit of break from work to get caught up on some genealogy. Unfortunately – the white stuff we got was not the predicted 4-6 inches of snow (my mother in Richmond got that) but about 1 inch of snow and 1 inch of sleet on top of it. Thankfully – no ice damage and no power outages for us. The cold temps, which are getting even colder as the week goes on, mean that the snow and sleet aren’t going anywhere so school could be out for awhile. In fact, we just got word that schools are closed tomorrow.

On February 12th I had a great phone call with Carole Ann George Johnson, daughter of Gene and Nora George. Carole Ann and Rick’s father were first cousins (their fathers were brothers) although they never met.  Rick’s father Fred did not keep in touch with his father’s side of the family (his parents divorced when he was young) so it was great to have Carole’s first-hand accounts of Grandma (Custode/Christine) and other family members.  The list of George cousins is growing!

Also last week, I got a wonderful email from Irene Veri with some of her recollections of her family, especially her father.  Nick George was Adriano’s first son, born in Castel di Sangro, Italy to Marianna Frattura and Adriano Giorgio in 1896. Although I still haven’t found Adriano’s first arrival in America, I know he was here by April 1898 because the ship’s log for his younger brother Pasquale indicated that he was coming to visit his brother Adriano. We also know he was here on February 14, 1899 when he married Custode Iacobucci in Pittsburgh.

It seems likely that Adriano made several trips between the US and Italy one of which was to bring his son Nick back to live with him in Dunbar PA. Adriano (age 32) and son Nicola (age 8) were passengers on the SS Roma that sailed from Naples and arrived in New York on December 19, 1904. Interestingly, Nick’s recollection of his arrival date, as indicated on his Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen filed on September 17, 1919, was that he arrived in New York on the 15th day of February in 1903.

By the 1920 census (but I would guess well before then) Nick was living in New Castle, Pennsylvania and he was a laborer in the tin mill.  My guess would be that he moved to New Castle about the time Adriano left Custode, which would have been May 1912.  Nick would have been 15 years old and might have moved to New Castle where he might have lived with one of his uncles and worked in the tin mill. (More about the tin mill in a future post.)

Nick George and Mary Giampaolo were united in marriage by Reverend N. De Mita on November 11, 1915. This is the date on the bottom of their marriage license that was on file in the Lawrence County courthouse but Irene’s parents celebrated their anniversary on October 30th.  It may be that the priest certified multiple weddings that had occurred over several weeks using the same date. Mary’s mother Angeline signed the consent for her to marry Nick since she was only 17. As an interesting research note, I found a copy of their marriage license on someone else’s page on Ancestry.com.

NickandMaryGeorge.1915

Mary Giampaolo and Nick George November 1915

Nick and Mary had six children and Irene Veri is their youngest child. Irene provided this picture of her parents on their wedding day. Rick and I had the pleasure of meeting Irene, two of her daughters and one grandson when we made our family history research trip to Pennsylvania in July 2013. When we visited Irene and Terry Colaluca, who is responsible for us ever finding our George family, we didn’t know Custode’s maiden name.  We learned it a few days later when we visited the courthouse in Uniontown, the county seat for Fayette County. If we had known it when we met Irene, we might have realized the connection – one of Irene’s aunts – Marianne – was married to a Joseph Iacobucci. Though I haven’t figured out how Custode might have been related to Joseph, it seems likely there was a connection.

Dream Reader – Where are You?

My assignment in the online blogging course I’m taking is to write a post to my dream reader. So here goes.

Nobody said your reader has to be alive – so it’s probably not a secret that my two dream readers are Adriano Giorgio and Custode Iacobucci Giorgio.  Learn more about them here:https://trovandofamiglia.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-custode-iacobucci-george/

So many things in my life that I am grateful for would not be here if not for these two – starting of course with my husband and children. So here’s what I’d love to know from each of you.

Adriano – Where did that red hair come from?

Wedding Photo 1899

Wedding Photo 1899

Okay I know you can’t tell that it’s red from the black and white picture but that’s what I’ve heard.

Custode – How did you raise  nine children after Adriano left you in 1912 when every census report indicates that you were a single head of household with no occupation?

Adriano – Did you really go to Argentina (another family story) before you went back to Italy? Did you have a third family there?

Custode – Why did you show preferential treatment to your grandsons (a story I’ve heard from two reliable sources) sending them money on their birthdays when you could barely remember the names of your granddaughters, usually referring them by which of your sons they belonged to?

The question I’d really like to ask both of you is why I can’t find any record of your divorce? I’m starting to think that maybe you never got divorced. Perhaps you decided to go your separate ways – Custode living in Dunbar PA until her death in 1967 and Adriano in Italy, with a new wife who he married in June 1913.

The handwritten genealogy from the Giorgio’s in Italy references Adriano’s first wife Marianna who died in childbirth (in Italy) in 1896 and the woman he married in Italy in 1913, but makes no reference to Custode and the nine children born to him in America between 1899 and 1912.

So those are just a few questions I have for my dream readers – or anyone else out there who might have some ideas about what happened more than 100 years ago.  Maybe someone remembers hearing something from your grandparents about these two at one of the family reunions. Maybe you met them or knew some of their children. Maybe you’re a descendant of Adriano living in Italy, wondering the same things about us that we’re wondering about you.