Grandpop’s Parents ~~~ Filippo Marcella and Elisabetta Rossi and Their Large Family~~~


Little is known of these forebears. Relying on Italian civil records, descendants can picture a little bit of their lives, their ancestors, and who they might have been in Abruzzo. The great great grandson of Cinziarosa Ciarma, Filippo Marcella* was born September 19, 1844 Trosciano, Farindola, Pescara, Abruzzo to Massimo Nicola Marcella, a contadino, farmer, and Maria Carolina Colangeli, a filatrice, spinner, and was baptized the next day at San Nicola di Bari. Atto di Nascita He was their fourth child and their oldest son – just 1 of their 10 children. Even though his parents had two sets of twins, he was not a twin.

At some point after all of Filippo’s siblings were born and the death of his grandfather Giuseppantonio Marcella in 1855 in Casebruciate, Farindola, Massimo Nicola and Maria Carolina moved their small farm from Trosciano, Farindola to Casebruciate, Farindola for reasons unknown. One theory is land.

A contadino like his father, Filippo married his first wife, Mariantonia Lacchetta, the daughter of Filippo Lacchetta and Maria Salzetta on December 6, 1871 at age 27. Filippo and Mariantonia, or Antonia, lived in Casebruciate, Farindola where Filippo likely inherited land from his father.

Filippo and Antonia had 11 children, some of whom didn’t survive to the toddler years. They were:

  1. Carmela Marcella – October 10, 1872 – November 2, 1873; died at age 1
  2. Cesidio Marcella – April 26, 1874 – August 1875; died at age 1
  3. Maria Grazia Marcella born February 14, 1876 at #18 Casebruciate
  4. Donato Marcella born and died January 28, 1881 in Casebruciate; died same day
  5. Baby Boy Marcella, called nato morto Marcella, born January 4, 1882 in Casebruciate; stillborn
  6. Andrea Marcella born September 2, 1883 – no proof he survived to adulthood
  7. Carmine Marcella born May 20, 1885 in Casebruciate
  8. Raffaele Marcella born April 4, 1886 at #65 Casebruciate
  9. Pasqua Marcella born January 6, 1888 in Casebruciate – June 22, 1964, Farindola
  10. Filomena Marcella born December 16, 1889-March 4, 1963, Farindola, married Domenico DeVico
  11. Serafina Marcella born November 28, 1892 in Casebruciate

Unfortunately, at least 5 of Antonia’s children didn’t make it to adulthood. She passed away shortly after the birth of Serafina on April 21, 1893.



Filippo was left with a lot of small children to care for when his first wife died. In November of 1893, Filippo, 49, married Elisabetta Rossi, 26. Elisabetta was the daughter of Giuseppantonio Rossi from neighboring Penne, Pescara, Abruzzo and Anna Antonia Ricci from Castiglione Messer Raimondo, Teramo, Abruzzo. Elisabetta herself was born in Bacucco (Arsita), Teramo, Abruzzo, as you can see from the birth record attached to her marriage documents. Allegati di matrimonio

Elisabetta came from a Rossi line of Pennesi contadini that could write, as evidenced by the Penne civil records found here on Antenati. Specifically, in this 1830 Atto di Matrimonio.


Signatures of Domenico Rossi and Blasio Della Briccioso

Elisabetta’s grandfather and great grandfather wrote their own names on a marriage record at a time that most peasants didn’t know how to write and didn’t really need to know how to read. They often signed important records with a sign of a cross and the clerk or official register wrote their name for them.

In 1895 Filippo, then 50, celebrated the birth of his first child with Elisabetta. Cesidio.

Elisabetta’s four children to Filippo:

  1. Cesidio Marcella, February 11, 1895 Casebruciate – July 1, 1980 United States.  Atto di Nascita
  2. Maria Domenica Marcella, November 30, 1896 in Casebruciate
  3. Antonia Marcella, May 10, 1898 in Casebruciate
  4. Antonio Andrea Marcella, October 16, 1900 in Casebruciate – November 10, 1983 in Montebello di Bertona, Pescara, Abruzzo

That is 15 total for Filippo. All of these records were found here.

In 1916, their son Cesidio had to report for military service and served time in the trenches at the Austrian front. While he was gone, in April, 1916, his father Filippo passed away at #137 Trosciano, Farindola, the home of a nephew, making Elisabetta Rossi a widow at age 49.

Their Surnames

Elisabetta Rossi had black hair, not the red like her last name implied and not the reddish brown of her oldest son. Rossi apparently comes from the Latin Rossius and was used by the Romans to describe those with red hair according to Cognomi Italiani. Sometimes the clerks in Farindola write it as Russi.

Blasio Della Briccioso’s surname has changed since 1830. It is now written as Labricciosa.

The surname Marcella is a feminine form of the surname Marcello. Marcella or Marcello stems from the old Roman (Latin) for small Marco or Marcellus. It is possible that Marcella originated from a strong female ancestor. Factually, this branch of the Marcella name is traced to at least the early 1700s in Farindola, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy to a Domenico Marcella that was born 1750 or earlier. Individuals with that surname older than Domenico, such as Luca Marcella, Anastasio Marcella, Serafino Marcella, Francesco Marcella, and Maria Marcella, were dying in Farindola and its frazioni around the same time as he. We can then guess that people with the surname were probably there at least before 1700. Also, because of the number of Domenico Marcellas in Farindola marrying women with the surname Del Priore, it is difficult right now to trace all of his children.

According to Cognomi Italiani, if you read the section for Marcello here, Marcella is in the same Latin root as Claudia, i.e. Marcellus, Claudius, etc. It also says there are traces of the surname since medieval times. Marcella is rare and because the old walled mountain villages in Abruzzo prospered in relative peace and seclusion, it could have possibly existed only in a tiny pocket of Pescara near Farindola until the 20th century. Because of the industrialization of Italy, Marcellas moved to seek jobs outside of Abruzzo.

You can read more about Abruzzo surnames here, Abruzzo here, and about Farindola here.  Also, the town that originated our Rossi line, Penne here.

*If you are descended from Cesidio Marcella, Filippo Marcella was his father. If you are descended from Domenico Marcella – husband to Maria Carmina Basilavecchia, or Maria Giustina Marcella – wife of Panfilo Zenone, Filippo was their sibling.  The search continues for the reason his parents moved across town in the early 1860s…


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