I just can’t stay away from the Giorgio’s for long. The recent contact from Jerry George and Linda George, children of Vito Giorgio, the youngest son of Ciro and Rosario Giorgio, prompted me to focus this post on Ciro and his descendants. Most of my contact until now has been from descendants of the two middle Giorgio brothers – Adriano and Pasquale.
If you read my earlier post on the four Giorgio brothers who came from San Vito Chietino, on the eastern coast of Italy in the region known as Abruzzo, you know that Ciro was the oldest son and the trailblazer. He married in Italy before he came to America. His wife’s name is often listed in English documents as Rosario Lance but should probably be spelled Rosaria. For ease of reference in this post I will just call her Rose. Most of the dates I use in this post are from the papers she filed to become an US citizen in 1940 – 15 years after her husband Ciro died. He had filed the initial papers before his death, but didn’t complete the process so Rose did not become an US citizen until 1940. According to her death certificate, she died at home at 932 South Mill Street in New Castle, PA at 7 a.m. on November 18, 1959 of a heart attack. She was 86 years old. Vito Giorgio signed the death certificate as informant.
Let me digress for a minute to describe (in a very simplified way) the process for becoming an US citizen in the early part of the 20th century. The first paper an immigrant filed was called a declaration of intention to become a citizen. There was a waiting period of three years before the immigrant could petition the court to become a naturalized citizen, which required another filing. Usually the husband filed and once his citizenship was granted, it extended to his wife and children, regardless of where they were born. This is sometimes called, derivative citizenship. Of course, the children born here were citizens at birth. Prior to 1922 women did not have to petition for citizenship separately from their husbands; minor children and women got their citizenship when their father/husband completed the process. One of the most interesting (and to me, very wrong) things I learned doing this research is that if a woman born in America married an immigrant who was not a citizen, she actually lost her citizenship until he completed the process to become a citizen. These laws changed at some point but I know that did happen to Mary Giampaolo who married Nick George. Mary was born in PA but lost her citizenship when she married Nick, until he completed the process to become a naturalized citizen.
Anyway – it was a complicated process with rules that changed over time but the benefit to people like me trying to piece things together 100 years later, without first-hand accounts, is that the paperwork immigrants filed provides a lot of information. Some of the later declarations even have pictures but I haven’t found any for the Giorgio’s.
According to Ciro’s Declaration of Intention, filed on September 21, 1923 in Lawrence County, he was 58 years old at the time, working as a laborer. He had a fair complexion, was 5’ 10” tall and weighed 200 pounds. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He states his birthday as March 12, 1865 and his birth place as San Vito Chietio, Italy. He first arrived in the US on April 27, 1896. Unfortunately, Ciro died on January 13, 1926 before he could file his Petition for Naturalization. This means that Rose, his wife, and Josephine, their daughter born in Italy in 1896, had to file their own paperwork, which is what Rose did, or gain citizenship through their husband’s application. I haven’t researched that yet for Josephine.
Some genealogy sources suggest that the information on these forms tends to be extremely accurate because an immigrant seeking citizenship wouldn’t take a chance on the application being denied by providing false information. Still, it must have been difficult for someone who immigrated as a child (like Irene’s father Nick George) to remember the date he arrived, the name of the ship and so on. This could be especially hard if the parent had died or returned to Italy by the time the minor filed his or her papers. I imagine it also could have been a difficult process, to complete the necessary forms and comply with the complicated waiting period rules, if one didn’t speak or write English.
From Rose’s Declaration of Intent, filed on April 24, 1940, we learn the following names and birth dates of her children and where they are living when her declaration is filed.
1. Josephine Bucci born March 19, 1896 in Italy, now living in New Castle, PA
2. Patsy born November 1, 1903 in Connellsville, PA, now living in Youngstown, OH
3. Anna born October 21, 1905 in New Castle, PA, now living in New Castle, PA
4. Vito born July 24, 1909 in New Castle, PA, now living in New Castle,PA
My task for last night was to list the names, birth dates, marriage dates and death dates, if I had them, of all of Ciro’s and Rosario’s children and their children. I included spouses too, when I knew them. In the list below – all names preceded by (1) are spouses or children of Josephine; (2) of Patsy (who I’m guessing was named Pasquale); (3) of Anna and (4) of Vito.
So here goes:
(1) Josephine – Born in Italy on March 19, 1896. Died in New Castle on November 11, 1974.
(1) Dominick Gianni (Josephine’s first husband who I’m guessing died between 1918 and 1920 but I haven’t found his death certificate). Josephine was listed as a widow in the 1920 census and her youngest child was Mary Gianni, was born in 1919)
(1) Nick Bucci (Josephine’s second husband) They married on August 26, 1922. At that time Josephine had four children from her first marriage and based on the 1930 census, it looks like Nick had a daughter named Mary from his first marriage. According to the note I got from Jerry George, he thought a lot of his uncle Nick and says he was a really good man.
(2) Pasquale Giorgio – Born in Connellsville, PA on November 1, 1903, which makes me wonder if Ciro and Rosaria were visiting Adriano and Custode who were living in Dunbar at the time. Died in Youngstown Ohio on November 2, 1993. From Census records and confirmed in Jerry’s note, Patsy moved to Youngstown in the early 1930s. He worked for the B&O Railroad as did his younger brother Vito.
(2) Mary Domenick – Patsy’s spouse (Thanks to Irene Veri for confirming her maiden name and also for letting me know that she was your mother-in-law’s sister.) Needless to say there are quite a few Mary George’s in the family and probably outside of the family so it is easy to get confused without using their maiden names.
(3) Anna Giorgio – Born in New Castle on October 21, 1905. From the 1940 census report and Rose’s application for citizenship, it looks like Anna was still living at home with Rose in 1940 and had not married. She would have been 35 at the time and Jerry remembers that his father Vito helped take care of his mother and sister. To add a bit of confusion to the mix though, there is a family tree on Ancestry.com that appears to list Ciro and Rosaria’s children and suggests that Anna married Giacomo Saienni had five children and eventually moved to Delaware – but I think that is not our Anna. (I also think some trees seem to confuse New Castle, PA and New Castle, Delaware.) So she’s my current – relative of interest but for now, I’m going with the theory that she never married and did not have any children. (Thanks again to Irene for confirming Anna never married – I’ll have to let that family tree know they may want to change their information!)
(4) Vito Giorgio – Born in New Castle, PA on July 24, 1909 and died in New Castle, PA on October 8, 1968. His death date is after the digitized death records (as is Custode’s) but I know from Jerry’s note that he died just four months before Jerry’s first son Vito was born. It is similar to Ciro dying before Jerry was born but in that case it was several years before Jerry was born since Ciro died when Vito, his youngest, was only 16. I don’t know Jerry’s birth date, but from Census records, it seems to be later than 1940.
(4) Helen Pionati – Not sure where she was born or when she and Vito married although they are living at 118 ½ Division Street in New Castle in the 1940 census and they do not have any children yet. The 1940 Census has a neat feature of asking where the person lived in 1935 and in their case, they were living in the same place. Since Vito is living at home with his mother Rose and his siblings Patsy and Anna and is single in 1930 – I’m guessing he and Helen married some time between 1930 and 1935.
Well – the list I made last night is longer ( I still need to get to the second and third generations) but I also need to get to work! (I mean – the job that I get paid to do.) So in case you lost track – we just accounted for Ciro and Rose and 8 Giorgios, Giannis, Buccis and Pionati’s – and there’s lots more where that came from – so stay tuned.
Jerry confirmed the George family reunions with 100 to 150 people, as both Irene and Terry had mentioned, so I’m sure there are some more folks out there who want to see their Giorgio relatives accounted for on Trovando Famiglia. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if that is easier than commenting on this blog.