Christmas is Family Time

Here’s a Thursday Tidbit about some of the descendants of the original four Giorgio brothers who came to western Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino – a town on the eastern coast of Italy. It’s almost due east of Rome, just slightly to the north.

As I’ve been working on this “tidbit” for the last four hours, I understand why it has been so long since I’ve posted on this blog. In an effort to verify the facts that I have about each person, I get pulled in so many directions that I end up saving the draft and not coming back to it for awhile. I started this post well before Thanksgiving but hope to get it posted in time for Christmas.

It started as a laundry list of the descendants of the original four Giorgio brothers who arrived in western PA in the late 1800s to early 1900s. But as I worked my way through their 30 known children, it became apparent that this post was turning into more of a tome than a tidbit . So in the interest of getting something posted, with the supporting facts, and keeping it interesting (I hope) I’m going to focus on the children of Pasquale Giorgio. Born in Italy on May 20, 1877, Pasquale was the third youngest of the four brothers who came to PA. He seems to have outlived the other three brothers since his death certificate indicates he died in 1958. Although I still haven’t found the death certificate for Adriano who returned to Italy family stories suggest he died some time around 1951.

Between the four Giorgio brothers I can document 30 children but there could be more who died between the census years. From what I’ve discovered in searching the New Castle News and Pennsylvania death records, among those 30 offspring, there were seven children who did not survive to adulthood. Five of those seven children were Pasquale’s – four with his first wife, Maria Concetta Iavicola, who seems to have been known as Concetta,  and one with his second wife Filomena Ranieri. Both women died either during or shortly after childbirth.

Pasquale and Concetta were married on November 20, 1902 in San Vito Chietino Italy. This date is noted in the margin of the Italian birth records for Pasquale, which are online.

From the Pennsylvania birth certificate for their daughter Maria Dominica, who was born on June 1, 1906 in New Castle PA, we know that they’d had two children prior to her birth and one was living at the time. This is the basis for determining that one of their children was born and died, in the period from 1902 (marriage date) and 1906 (birth date of their third child.)

I found the death certificate of their son Vito, who was born in 1904 and died in 1907.  He would have been the child still living when Mary was born. Based on census records that indicate Concetta immigrated in 1904 and an indexed birth record for a Vito Giorgio born in New York, I’d speculate that Concetta was very pregnant on her journey to America.

 

 

There’s not enough information from this index to verify that this Vito Giorgio, born in Manhattan in April 1904 was in fact the son of Pasquale and Concetta, but the birth date fits the age of their son who died in New Castle in 1907 at the age of 3. It also fits with a census record that indicates Maria Concetta immigrated in 1904. Next research I need to do is to find her immigration records to see what they reveal.

Three healthy girls are born to Pasquale and Concetta in 1906, 1908 and 1910 before tragedy strikes again in 1913.

This death certificate for a stillborn child of Pasquale and Concetta born on April 13, 1913 is evidence of the third of their children to die. The child’s sex is not indicated on the death certificate.

And here’s the sad evidence of the death of the last child born to Pasquale and  Concetta – a death certificate for a premature daughter stillborn on January 12, 1914, almost nine months to the day of the stillborn child in April 1913.

Last child born to Pasquale and Concetta

But the more tragic even on that cold January day in 1914 (the newspaper reported a high of 12 degrees that day) was the death of Pasquale’s first wife, Concetta of complications related to childbirth.

Pasquale remarried in 1914 and immigration records show his return through Philadelphia PA with wife, Filomena Ranieri.  Pasquale and Filomena had four sons and one daughter named Concetta who was born in 1918. (As an aside, does anyone else find it interesting that the only daughter he had with his second wife, was given the name of his first wife?)

In January 1920, Filomena died of pneumonia, six days after giving birth to a son. That son survived, but their daughter Concetta, who was only two, died a month later on February 27, 1920. Family history as related by Terry Colaluca, granddaughter of Mary Giorgio Colaluca, indicates that the infant son born in January 1920 was given up for adoption (most likely a private adoption) because Pasquale could not take care of so many children without a wife. This child grew up as Louis Thomas Perfi and lived in Abingdon, Illinois for most of his life. In the 1930 census, he is the only child in the home of Angelo and Georgia Perfi living in Abingdon, Illinois a town 50  miles west of Peoria.  His father Angelo was born in Italy and his mother Georgia, who was 54 years old in 1930 was born in Nebraska.


Apparently Louis maintained his relationship with his biological brothers because his name appears in the newspaper report of a Giorgio family reunion held at Willow Lake in 1967.

New Castle News – Page 9 July 11,1967

 

I’ll close for now with a list of the children of Pasquale Giorgio who survived into adulthood. I’ll also add the names of their spouses and marriage dates if I know them. Of the seven children born to Pasquale and his first wife Concetta in the years from 1902 to 1914, three girls survived to adulthood. We do not know the sex of two of the children who died but we know that one was a son named Vito who died when he was three years old in 1907 and the other was a premature stillborn daughter born who died in January  1914 on the same day as her mother. The three surviving children, who lost their mother when the oldest, Mary, was only 7 years old were:

Mary George (1906 – 1993) who married Romeo Colaluca (1903-1965) in 1928.

Christine Marie George (1908-1985) who married Nicholas Benedict Panella (1906-1997), probably in 1929.

Vida Marie George (1910-2000) who married Egidio Sforza in 1939, based on the date of their marriage license.

The children born to Pasquale and his second wife, Filomena Ranieri who survived to adulthood were four boys

 

:

Victor George (1915-2004) who married Mary Cestrone (1916-1992)

Nick George (1916-1992) who never married

Louis Amedio George ( 1917-1994) who married Jean Camp of Mystic Connecticut some time before 1943 – more work to do but here’s the New Castle News article that provides the evidence of their marriage and the link to Pasquale.

And Louis Thomas Perfi (1920-2006) who was raised as the son of Angelo and Georgia Perfi, although I believe he was the last child born to Pasquale and Filomena Ranieri.

Stay tuned for a similar “tidbit” on the descendants of the other Giorgio brothers. If you happen to be the descendant of any of the people named in this post and have stories to share, please leave a comment.

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Thursday Tidbit – Pennsylvania Marriage Records

Today’s tidbit comes from a genealogy site that I follow by email – Genea-Musings.com by Randy Seaver. Randy’s site has a lot of practical advice and its often the first place I learn about new records. I’m always happy when records are digitized and come on-line but even more so when the new source might have information about my family.

 The new collection doesn’t contain marriage records from all of the counties in Pennsylvania. Notably absent are ones for  Lawrence and Fayette county, where most of the Georges and Iacobuccis would have married (unless they eloped to West Virginia!)

There are records for Philadelphia. I remembered that Pasquale George and his second wife, Filomena Ranieri arrived in Philadelphia in August 1914. The ship’s log indicates they were married and I always assumed they got married in Italy. But a quick search of the new database reveals that they also got married in Philadelphia on August 22, 1914. 

pasqualegiorgioand-filomena-ranieri-marriagecert-1922

There are quite a few nuggets of information in this affidavit for a marriage license.  

1.      Confirmation that Pasquale’s first marriage ended with the death of his wife, in New Castle, one year prior to this marriage. His first wife was Concetta Iavicola. She actually died on January 12, 1914, from complications of childbirth and her daughter was stillborn.

2.      Confirmation of Pasquale’s birth date as 20 May 1877. This is consistent with most other sources for his birth date.

3.      Confirmation of Pasquale’s parent’s names: Nicola Giorgio and Filomena Pace.

4.      New information that Pasquale’s mother was dead in 1914 but his father was still alive and working as a laborer in Italy. This will make it easier to find information on Filomena Pace in Italian records because we now know she died before 1914.

5.      Confirmation that this was Filomena Ranieri’s first marriage.

6.      New information that Filomena Ranieri’s birth date is 30 September1890, which makes her 13 years younger than Pasquale. Not that unusual for many of the marriages I’ve seen, which makes the 9 year difference between Adriano and Custode seem small by comparison.

7.      New information that her mother’s maiden name was Di Sandra, her father’s first name is Nicola and her father was a stone mason in Italy.

8.      New information that Filomena’s residence was a detention house. WHAT? 

I’m not sure what that means exactly but now I have a new mystery to solve. Maybe this means she was temporarily detained by immigration when she arrived in Philadelphia, possibly for a day or two if there was any sign of illness.  

Or does it mean that she was in a detention house before she left Italy? And what exactly is a detention house? A quick google search for “detention houses early 1900s Italy” didn’t yield any useful results.

 My next step might be to look at some other immigrants’ marriage license affidavits to see how often detention house is listed as someone’s residence. Or to Google – Philadelphia – Detention House 1914.

Where’d They Go Wednesday – Pasquale George

For the past three years as I’ve searched the stories that accompany the four Giorgio brothers who came to western PA from San Vito Chietino, Italy, Pasquale George has captured my attention. So finding his picture was almost as exciting as when we discovered Custode Iacobucci’s maiden name.

I’ve wondered what Pasquale looked like and last night, thanks to a picture provided by Pasquale’s granddaughter – Phyllis Duffy – I found out. Here is his picture that hangs on her wall.

Pasquale.6.21.16

And here is a cropped close-up that I made from this picture of Pasquale, with one that of Adriano Giorgio his brother. Hmmm… the quality isn’t great so it’s not too easy to compare the two but what do you think – could the men in these pictures be brothers?

Pasquale.croppedAdriano.6.22.16

 

 

Thursday Tidbit – Pasquale’s Estate

Pasquale Giorgio’s name was sometimes spelled Georgia and sometimes Georgio. He worked for the B&O railroad in New Castle, had two wives, 12 children (5 who died as infants or children) and a lot of heartache in his life.

Today’s tidbit is the screen shot from my search for “Pasquale Georgia” in the New Castle News. After his death in 1960, it looks like his son Victor was the administrator of his estate. Pasquale Georgia.estatematters.1960 What doesn’t show up in this screen shot is a quiet title action that Victor George filed as the Administrator of his father’s estate. Beginning in the 1920 census, Pasquale was listed as owning his home at 109 Home Street. The house was the site of many parties and gatherings as indicated by various newspaper articles in the NCN. Apparently, by the time 1960 came around, someone other than Pasquale’s family, was claiming ownership of the home – or may have had a claim of ownership. This can occur for many different reasons, sometimes because of a technical error in how the deed was recorded or a neighbor’s fence or driveway that is too far over the property line, but in order for the estate to have clear title to sell the property, title issues had to be cleared up. From that article I learned that Pasquale’s deed to the property was dated 1919.

Now I have something new to investigate when we visit New Castle, PA this summer. I remember the people in the clerk’s office being very friendly and helpful and our time there on our last visit much too short. I’m looking forward to a return trip to where our Giorgio journey began.

The Blogosphere is a Wonderful World!

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading this – that I am completely obsessed with learning anything that will help me with genealogy research and internet search techniques. One of the reasons I started this blog was in hopes of finding new Giorgio relatives who might happen upon it and get in touch with me. That has happened – but not as much as I’d like. The other reason, of course, is to share what I learn with the other Giorgio descendants.

Of course, I am a neophyte when it comes to blogging but I usually take a WordPress class every month or so and they are so informative and FREE! The primary message in all of the classes, and perhaps, the primary reason they offer these classes – is that you must build your community of fellow bloggers. You read their blogs, they read your blogs, maybe if you like what you read you “follow” them and if they like what you write, they follow you and so on. Before long your “following” grows and the advantage is that your blog starts to reach more people.

That all takes a sizable time commitment (which means time away from genealogy research and cleaning house – tsk)  but I’ve tried to get better about doing that. Today – that effort has paid off immeasurably as one of my fellow Blogging 201 classmates sent me a message about finding Concetta GIorgio’s death certificate after he read my post yesterday.

Yes - Concetta died from complications related to childbirth!

Yes – Concetta died from complications related to childbirth!

I’ve got so much more to say and my lunch hour is so very short. I’ve seen a lot of spellings for Giorgio but never – G-i-o-s-g-i-o.  It makes sense because the indexers of records are transcribing script and it is certainly true that a hastily written “r” in cursive can look like an “s” – but I’d never thought about searching for Giosgio in the death certificates, or anywhere else for that matter. Who knows what else I might find with this new information! Thank you axehandles!

I surmised yesterday that Concetta’s death – almost 9 months to the day from the death of her still born child on April 13, 1913 – was unlikely to be related to childbirth since I assumed it would have taken awhile for her to get pregnant again. Guess I was wrong. This leads me to another observation none too kind toward Uncle Pasquale – “My god man – have you no mercy!” Your wife Concetta has already lost two children, is taking care of three others under the age of 7, has a stillborn child on April 13, 1913 and one day shy of nine months later, pregnant again, not only loses the child but also her life. Give it a rest Uncle P! (I might have to rethink my choice of you being the relative I’d most like to meet after Custode!)

I realize I’m viewing history with the eyes of a woman who grew up with all the benefits of birth control and women’s rights – so it’s not really fair to judge their behavior – but the frequency with which both of Pasquale’s wives became pregnant (and who, might I ask, is the common denominator in both cases?) leaves me astounded and somewhat perplexed.

Last child born (dead) to Pasquale and Concetta.

Last child born (dead) to Pasquale and Concetta.