Another Cousin Found !

Jamie George from California has found the Giorgio family blog. His grandfather Victor, was the first son born to Pasquale Giorgio and his second wife, Filomena Ranieri. Jamie’s father was named Pasquale but went by Pat. When we first met Terry Colaluca, I remember her saying that 2011 was a bad year for her, because she was very close to her uncle Pat and he died just four months after her father died.

Most of the pictures and posts have been about the direct descendants of Adriano and Custode Iacobucci. My husband Rick is the grandson of their first son – Frederick William George who was born in Pennsylvania in 1899. I am so thankful for meeting so many of you and for you sharing the pictures you have of our family.

I would love to find someone who has pictures of Pasquale Giorgio, with either of his wives and their children. I’ll be spending a week in Pittsburgh this summer and I’ll have my portable scanner with me so if you’ve got any photos you are willing to share – please let me know.

You can read more about Pasquale in this post from last summer.

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.

NickandMaryGeorge.1915

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.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Custode Iacobucci George

I continued to be surprised at how many people are into genealogy and the number of creative and informative blogs available for people trying to capture their family history.  This post is in response to an idea posted on a blog entitled “No Story Too Small” that encourages other bloggers to post a story each week about an ancestor. In my case it might only be 37 ancestors since I’m not starting until April 21st but that’s still a good start.

Custode Iacobucci, my husband’s great grandmother, seems like a good person to start with. She was born in Italy on May 27, 1880 and immigrated to western Pennsylvania in 1886 or 1887. She lived in Pittsburgh with a guardian named Vincenzo Iacobucci, but exactly what relation she was to him is unclear. He signed the consent to marriage form when she married Adriano Giorgio on February 14, 1899 and identified her as his ward. My guess is that he was her uncle or older brother.

Wedding Photo 1899

Wedding Photo 1899

Sometime before December 1901, Custode and Adrian moved to Dunbar PA with their young son Frederick William George, where their second son, Luigino Anthony George, “Gene” was born on December 19, 1901. They had six more children and all but one of them, Lucia Lydia, lived to adulthood. Lydia died of scarlet fever in 1916 when she was 7 years old and is buried in the St. Aloysius church cemetery in Dunbar.

After the 1910 US Census when Adrian was listed as head of household in Dunbar with Custode, their children and Custode’s sister Rose Buzzella, Adrian, who sometimes went by Andy, disappeared. Custode George shows up in Dunbar in the 1920, 1930 and 1940 US Census reports but Adrian is not on the list. To make it more complicated, in the 1920 and 1940 Census Reports, Custode is identified as widowed, but in the 1930 census she is listed as married.

In May 2013, my husband found a third cousin when he had his DNA tested (her great grandfather was Adrian’s brother, Pasquale). We visited her in July 2013 and met other relatives, including one of Custode’s granddaughters who remembers visiting her in Dunbar although she knew her as Christine. We knew we were on the right track but there were still so many mysteries.

The last stop on our week-long ancestry trip to western PA was the courthouse in Uniontown, county seat for Fayette County, the county where Dunbar is located. Since two of Custode’s and Adrian’s daughters lived to adulthood and married, we were able to find their marriage licenses and that was how we finally discovered Custode’s maiden name – Iacobucci. All references to Custode before these used the last name of George. We also found Custode’s will, which provided information about the property she owned and the names of her children. The will was made in 1966, just one year before she died.

Perhaps the most interesting find was the record of a 1912 lawsuit that Custode brought against Adrian in an effort to keep their house after he abandoned her. Adrian and Custode ran a grocery/general store in Dunbar. They also owned property, one piece in her name, one piece in his name and one piece in both their names. According to Custode’s testimony, in February 1912 Adrian forced her to sign over her interest in the properties to him so that he was the sole owner. He threatened to kill her if she refused. In May 1912, Adrian left Dunbar and went to New Castle, PA where his brother Pasquale lived. The court in New Castle entered a judgment note in favor of Pasquale to collect $3,000 that Adrian “owed” him. (Coincidentally the value of the three properties just happened to be $3,000.) The court issued an order to the sheriff in Fayette County to force the sale of Adrian’s properties to satisfy the note. This would have forced Custode and her children out of their home but Custode brought a law suit to stop the forced sale. She claimed the note that Adrian issued Pasquale was fraudulent. Although she lost the case on a technical point (the court in one county doesn’t have the right to second guess another court’s decision) she got some help from an unexpected source when Adrian filed for bankruptcy.

In the bankruptcy action, Adrian’s creditors tried to foreclose on the properties he owned in Dunbar. Since this action was in the county where Custode lived she was finally able to have her day in court and got to keep two of the three properties. As far as the records go, Adrian never returned to Dunbar. Family stories suggest that he may have gone to Argentina and started a new family there. Other accounts indicate that he returned to Italy and died there around 1950. Custode stayed in Dunbar and provides a good example of what one determined woman can accomplish when she’s willing to fight for what is rightfully hers.

Where’d They Go Wednesday -Adriano Giorgio

I’ve noticed other blogs have a theme for their posts that provide structure for both the writer and the reader. At the risk of being a bit too cute, I’m going to give it try. So Wednesday’s theme is — Where’d They Go?

It is fitting that the first mystery involves Adriano Giorgio (1871 – ?). We don’t know when he died because after showing up in the 1910 Census in Dunbar, Pennsylvania, he never appears on any subsequent US Census Reports. This would suggest he was no longer living in the US and left some time between 1912 and 1920.

Here’s what we know about Adrian:
1. He has brothers who came to the US in the late 1800s. Ciro came before him or with him and some came after him. The ones we know include Ciro (1865-1926), Pasquale (1878-1958), Romulado (1881 – 1941). They all lived in and around New Castle, Lawrence County, PA although Adriano spent time in Dunbar, PA, which is southeast of Pittsburgh in Fayette County.

2. His first wife, Marianna Frattura, died a week after giving birth to their only child, Nicola Giorgio, in Castel di Sangro, Italy in the fall of 1896. Sometime between fall of 1896 and February 1899 Adriano came to the US and met and married Custode Iacobucci. They ran a grocery store and owned property in Dunbar, PA. What we don’t know is whether or not Adriano and Custode knew each other in Italy or met after they arrived in western PA.

3. In May 1912 he left Dunbar, abandoning Custode and their 8 children. There is no evidence to suggest that he ever returned. This information (the date and the number of children) comes from Custode’s affidavit in a 1912 lawsuit that she brought to avoid being evicted from the home that she and the children lived in.

4. There is some suggestion (both from the lawsuit and from what living relatives remember) that Adriano went to South America when he left Dunbar in 1912.

5. He probably died in Italy sometime in the early 1950s. This is based on Irene Veri’s recollection that her father (Nick George) was going to take her to Italy to meet her grandfather Adrian when she was about 15 years old. They never made the trip because they got word that Adrian had died.

That’s what we know – so where did he go? Please, please, please – if you have any information, ideas, stories or things you even vaguely remember hearing, make a comment to this post in the box below marked – Leave a Reply. Since I think there is a pretty big Giorgio famiglia out there, please let me know if you think you are related to Adriano and share whatever information you have about him.