Immigrant #5 ~ The Disappearing Antonio Ferraro

Immigrant Antonio Ferraro was the oldest child of Angelo Ferraro and Filomena Napolitano.   We don’t know when he got to America or when he left.  He abandoned his immigrant wife.  He was the first Ferraro in my great grandfather’s immediate family in America.   We don’t even know what he did for a living when he was here.   His common name makes the search for him all the harder.

I found his name appearing on five records in America:

  1. Angelo Ferraro’s 1903 ship manifest – because he is going to live with him in Brooklyn.
  2. Filomena’s 1904 ship manifest – because she is going to live with husband Angelo and son Antonio at 197 Navy Street, Brooklyn.
  3. The 1906 NYC Marriage Index, when Antonio marries Elisa Peluso, an immigrant from Palma Campania, Napoli.  She was only 19 when she married Antonio.  According to the 1905 Census, she and her sister worked to support the family, as there was no male head of the household.  Elisa worked at a silk mill.
  4. The June 3, 1937 Petition of Naturalization of Elisa Peluso.  Elisa stated she gained an Enoch Arden Divorce from Antonio in Brooklyn in 1920.  The law was enacted to allow a spouse to legally divorce a missing spouse after a specific amount of time so they could then re-marry.  In New York today, that is a period of 5 years.  His birthdate was listed as April 5, 1876.
  5. During an interview with a federal official in 1932, the brother of Antonio, my great grandfather, stated he had a living brother in Naples named Anthony.


A portion of Elisa’s Petition for Naturalization


We can assume that Antonio likely disappeared from Elisa’s life by 1915.  They no children.

I thought perhaps that Antonio followed Jerry Valerioti and my great grandfather to Ohio and Chicago, but I couldn’t find him there.  Still, I looked for the Americanized Anthony.  Nope.  His entry into the country remains a mystery.  If you look at the father of Angelo, he was named Francesco Antonio but went by Antonio and Antonio was likely named after him.  I searched for a Francesco Ferraro who came to America and none of them worked out to fit the age or time frame for Antonio.  Could he have gone by the name Frank?  It is a bit of a stretch…Tony?  Nope, that didn’t work either…

Lastly, if you would like to believe a family story that can’t be proved or disproved, he died in a monastery in Naples!

Next two immigrants: Anna Liesbeth (No last name known) and Augusta Eckebrecht


4 thoughts on “Immigrant #5 ~ The Disappearing Antonio Ferraro

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