Documental Unearthings Weekend: Carmen Ferraro’s Traveling Opera Business


1924 United States Passport Application Photos


Chicago, Youngstown, and New York – The paper trail left behind in America by Carmine Ferraro has been incredible.  If I could only find an obituary!  Anyhow, the documents and records I find have to be shared with family.  So today I share a few.

From what I can approximate in these documents and based on the birthplaces of his seven youngest children, Carmen Ferraro was an opera singer in a traveling troupe in what may have been a period of approximately ten years around 1915-1925.  We all knew he was a traveling opera singer already but we didn’t have the actual specifics.  After his naturalization in Chicago, Carmen moved his family to New York, then to Ohio, back to New York, then to Chicago around 1918, back to Ohio, then on again to New York, and finally back to Chicago again in 1927 where wife Helen passed away.

Below is his 1918 World War I draft registration card from Chicago.  Note his present occupation written as GRAND OPERA SINGER and business address written as TRAVELS.


The back of this draft registration card gives a short physical description of our great grandfather:

World War I.2.PNG

Below are the two pages of his 1924 passport application, the original passport in question being in possession of his living family today.  He needed this passport to visit Europe with his traveling opera troupe on a tour and my grandfather got to travel with him.


Page 1

See that he stated, as we know, that his father Angelo Ferraro was born in San Prisco, Italy.  Take a look too to see that he stated he was going to Europe for the  following purpose:  Professional Business for Metropolitan Grand Opera House, Metropolitan Opera House, New York City.  He was going to visit Italy, France, and England for business.

I would like to draw your attention to the name of the  individual on the second page of this application.  Michael Ciocco.  He was a naturalized citizen like Carmen and was stating that Carmen was who he said he was and he had known him for 15 years.  Michael was the husband of Gelsomina, Carmen’s sister.  He was born Michele Ciocco in Guardialfiera, Campobasso, Italy and according to other paper records we have obtained, Michael Ciocco was involved in Carmen’s related opera businesses for a long time.  On this paper he states he is his business representative. 


You can read great grandfather’s physical description in 1924 at the top of this second page


Carmen in Naples on the tour


There are many many more documents and certificates pertaining to my great grandfather that must be shared in the future here!

Finally, I am looking for any descendants of Michael Ciocco and Gelsomina Ferraro.  Feel free to leave a comment or email at

Or just drop an email if you are my relation and want a better copy of these documents! Have a great weekend.


Next – Brick Wall Wednesday!








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