Thursday Tidbit – Pennsylvania Marriage Records

Today’s tidbit comes from a genealogy site that I follow by email – 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. 


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.


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?




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.

Pasquale Giorgio – The Family Headcount Continues

Pasquale Giorgio was born in San Vito Chietino, Italy on May 20, 1877. He died on November 17, 1958 in Wayne County, PA at the Farview State Hospital where he spent the last 21 years, 8 months and 11 days of his life.  Perhaps more than any of his brothers’,  Pasquale’s story illustrates the difficulties and heartaches that were part of the immigrant experience. Continue reading