On this day 124 years ago in Farindola, Italy, Elisabetta Rossi married Filippo Marcella. They were the parents of my great grandfather Cesidio.
Elisabetta Rossi was born in 1866 in Valleceraso, Bacucco, Teramo, a neighboring town, to Giuseppe Antonio Rossi and Anna Antonia Ricci.
Her parents had moved to Farindola before the marriage of their oldest child, Elisabetta. Elisabetta’s father was originally from Penne, Pescara, having been born there. I was able to trace back to 6th great grandparents in the Rossi line born around 1740 in Penne. Giuseppe’s father Domenico was literate and I have a few of his signatures saved. The one below is from his son’s marriage to Elisabetta’s mother, Anna Antonia Ricci, in Bacucco in 1865.
Anna Antonia Ricci was born in Castiglione Messer Raimondo, Teramo. However her parents were also born and married in Penne, Pescara. I was able to trace the Ricci back to the mid 1700s in Penne too, to another set of 6th great grandparents. The Ricci married a member of the Delle Monache family through which I was able to trace to a set of 7th great grandparents born around 1700. They were Anastasio Delle Monache and a lady named Lorenza.
My great great grandmother Elisabetta Rossi was the oldest child and had at least 7 siblings: Antonio, Palma, Domenico, Maria Carmina, Giovanni, Anna Domenica, and Girolamo.
Elisabetta married Filippo Marcella, a man who was a widower, and also 23 years older than she was. Coincidentally, I noticed on the birth records of Filippo’s children to Elisabetta that his age somehow decrease with each record!
Filippo was born in 1844 in Trosciano, Farindola, Pescara to Massimo Nicola Marcella and Maria Carolina Colangeli. Through miracles of modern Google Earth, this is a clipped image of Contrada Trosciano in Farindola.
Filippo’s first wife was Maria Antonia Lacchetta, the daughter of Filippo Lacchetta and Maria Salzetta. Maria Antonia had passed away in April of 1893 and Filippo Marcella was left with small children to raise. We don’t know the circumstances of her death but she had given birth to at least 11 children in 20 years. Some of the children didn’t survive a few days or past infancy.
Filippo’s children with Maria Antonia were: Carmela (died in infancy), Cesidio (died in infancy), Maria Grazia, Donato (died in infancy), Bambino (stillborn), Andrea, Carmine, Raffaele, Pasqua, Filomena, Serafina.
Elisabetta’s first born was my great grandfather Cesidio. Her other children were Maria Domenica, Antonia Vincenza, and Antonio Andrea.
Filippo Marcella was the fourth of ten children. He had two sets of twin sisters. The first set passed away in their childhoods. He also had a brother that passed away in his childhood. The siblings that survived to adulthood are as follows: Maria Giustina, Maria Giuseppa (midwife)*, Domenico**, Nicola (Antonio), and the second set of twins Serafina and Maria Domenica.
Filippo’s ancestry, so far, has been traced back to the early 1700s. His father’s ancestors were born in Farindola to at least that point in history. His mother’s ancestors encompass at least three midwives, not including his sister, and a line traced to Montebello di Bertona. Filippo passed away at #137 Trosciano, Farindola in 1916.
*Maria Giuseppa married Panfilo Zenone. This is one way we are related to the Zenone cousins.
**Domenico is the sibling of Filippo through which we are related to the Romagna cousins and again to the Zenone cousins.
Antenati San Beniculturali – Archivio di Stato di Pescara (Farindola, Penne, Montebello di Bertona)
Archivio di Stato di Teramo records on Family Search (Bacucco (Arsita) and Castiglione Messer Raimondo)
Penne, Pescara ~ On this day in 1821 my 5th great grandparents Bartolomeo Massimo Antonio Desiati “Cacciatore” from Penne, Pescara and Angela Emmanuela Sacchetti Muffitti from Castelli, Teramo, were married in Penne. As far as records go, it was a strange marriage. Look at all of those last names confusing the situation. He was 59 and she was 32.
I found that someone in Penne must’ve made an error on a previous record two years prior. When my 5th great grandparents had my 4th great grandfather Sabatino in1819the civil records officer wrote that Emmanuela was: sua moglie legitima=his (Bartolomeo) legitimate wife. Hmmmm….The alias Cacciatore Bartolomeo had inherited from his father and Angela Emmanuela’s Sopranome Muffitti also added to the confusion over this set of ancestors. I couldn’t figure out if Bartolomeo was having children with two different Emmanuelas or what!
Desiati alias Cacciatore
My 5th great grandfather Bartolomeo Massimo Antonio Desiati Cacciatore was born in Penne in 1762. When his father died in 1775, the priest referred to him in the church death book at San Giovanni Evangelista in Penne as “Luciano Desiati alias Cacciatore.” His death record is here in the marriage processetti of Bartolomeo and Emmanuela on Antenati.Cacciatore = Huntsman. Either Luciano Desiati, or one of his ancestors, slay beasts with skill for food, or was given the alias for another reason we will probably never know.
Similarly, in 1831, after Bartolomeo had four more children with Emmanuela and died, the civil records officer wrote his name as “Bartolomeo Desiati Cacciatore” on his death record. Morti #43 via Antenati. Bartolomeo’s half-brother Berardino was also recorded on his death record as “Berardino Desiati Cacciatore.”
Sacchetti Sopranome Muffitti
The civil records in Penne told me that an Emmanuela Muffitti had a son with Bartolomeo Cacciatore in February 1821 shortly before he married a lady with another surname – my 5th great grandmother. On July 18th of that year, Angela Emmanuela Sacchetti, born in Villa Bifiore, Castelli, Teramo in 1789, daughter of the deceased Altobrando Sacchetti and Domenica Petra Menei, married Bartolomeo Massimo Antonio Cacciatore civilly at town hall and in church at San Giovanni Evangelista in Penne! I didn’t know if these Emmanuelas were the same yet.
I discovered after looking through more Penne records that Sacchetti and Muffitti weren’t common surnames in the town at all. Following the finding of the rest of Bartolomeo’s and Emmanuela’s children, including the birth of the Bartolomeo’s last child when he was 64, and seeing Emmanuela’s surname switching back and forth between Muffitti and Sacchetti, I just figured Bartolomeo was ignorant of the fact that the civil records officer kept writing different things and she was likely the same woman.
Then, when I found my 4th great grandfather’s Sabatino’s marriage record to Antonia Oriani/Auriano, (daughter of Massimo Antonio Nicola Oriani/Auriano and Rosalinda Maddalena Mincarelli) in 1844, there was a notation regarding Emmanuela’s surname, since she was deceased.
The marriage record stated on the second page that Muffitti wasn’t incorrect on previous records regarding Bartolomeo and Emmanuela, because “her surname was Sacchetti and Muffitti was the SOPRANOME.” Apparently a Sopranome distinguishes between family branches in larger towns or can be a nickname. I can find no perfect genealogical definition for a Sopranome.
One time I saw a Penne record say that Massei was a Sopranome. Are my ancestors named Massei really using a Sopranome? No clue and I can’t tell from the records available to me… So for now this is the best I can do for a sopranome definition:
Their Orphaned Children
Bartolomeo and Emmanuela died 10 months apart in 1831 and left their 5 children as orphans. Sabatino was only 12. Emmanuela was recorded as “Emmanuela Muffitti” on her death record. I have been trying to track their children. It is definitely a possibility they went to live with Desiati relatives in Penne.
I know for sure that Sabatino, my 4th great grandfather, their oldest, married my 5th great grandmother Antonia Oriani in Penne. After she left him a widow in 1857, Sabatino moved his children to Farindola, and married a cousin of ours, a Sciarra. Sabatino died in Farindola in 1899 and the records officer wrote his name as “Sabatino Cacciatore.” His cousin Luigi died in Penne in 1912 as “Luigi Desiati Cacciatore.”
I cannot at this time establish a connection between the Desiati alias “Cacciatore” family and the Cacciatore families living in Penne at the same time as our Luciano, Bartolomeo, and Sabatino. Maybe there is no connection at all…
I wonder how he earned the alias and what the Sopranome meant…
Farindola~~June 17, 1888. On this day in 1888 my great great grandparents Biagio Di Francesco and Marianna Di Pendima were married in Farindola, Pescara. They were both contadini and the parents of my great grandfather Paolo Di Francesco.
Biagio was born on January 15, 1866 in Trosciano, Farindola to Luigi Di Francesco and Anna Emidia Lucerini. His birth record starts at the bottom of this page. Both of his parents were born in Farindola. Marianna was born on March 17, 1868 in Cupoli, Farindola to Carlo Di Pentima from Via Piana, Pianella and Nicola Antonia (di) Giansante from Rione del San Giovanni, Penne. Marianna’s birth.
The witnesses to their marriage were Clemente de Bernardinis, 43, Secretary (Municipal), and Domenico Ammazalorzco, 48, Country Guard (Municipal).
Biagio and Marianna welcomed their first child, Filomena, a little less than 9 months later. She died in infancy. Using other Farindola records on Antenati, I found that they went on to have at least 5 more children, and a stillborn. One son, named Zopito, emigrated to Canada. A daughter named Vincenza was born in 1890 and died in Farindola in 1954.
A son named Alfonso was born in 1892 and was a soldier in the 156 Regiment during World War 1 and died on August 12, 1915 from wounds received at Monte Cappuccio at the Second Battle of the Isonzo. His death record was on Antenati here because his parents requested information on their son from the Italian Army. In 1917, his military death record was sent from Rome to his parents and filed in the town records which I was able to access on Antenati.
My great grandfather Paolo Di Francesco was born in 1897. On July 15, 1915, he was called to military service in World War I and served in the 30th Artillery Regiment of the Infrantry. He was released from service in 1919. He and his future wife Luigia Maria Massei named a son Alfonso.
Biagio and Marianna had a son named Luigi who was born in 1899. He died in 1923 shortly after marrying Maria Vinci. Biagio died in 1923 as well at 29 Via Rossetti, Farindola. His death record is here. Marianna Di Pendima lived at least until 1928 because I have not located her death record in Farindola.
A Bit About the Parents of Marianna Di Pendima
Marianna’s mother Nicola Antonia (di) Giansante’s grandparents were Saverio Di Giansante and Domenica Andreoli. Saverio could write, and I have his signature from his son’s wedding record in Penne. They were contadini as well.
Saverio died in Penne but was born in Carpineto della Nora, Pescara, which is a few miles south of Farindola. Saverio’s death. Saverio and Domenica have a lot of descendants researching them and I run into more and more people wondering if that is why our DNA matches, etc. They are only in my tree once but in my Canadian cousins’ tree twice! As I am typing this I am asking myself why I have not yet researched Carpineto della Nora on Antenati!
Marianna’s father Carlo Di Pentima was born in Pianella and was a contadino. Carlo’s birth is on the left. Pianella is a few miles southeast of Farindola. In Pianella, the surname is spelled with a ‘t’ and not the ‘d’ they gave it in Farindola. I had to keep that in mind when I was looking at indexes. I have been researching Pianella the past week and the town seems larger than Farindola. In the late 1700s Pianella had a colony of Albanians according to the Farindola history I found on this Farindolesi’s website. I love that website.
The research continues…Wouldn’t it be something if I found an Albanian surname in my tree?
Sources: Antenati, Cadutigrandeguerra.it, Archivio di Stato di Teramo, Zia C.
Today’s birthday is Angela Maria di Massimo, born in 1871 at 10 a.m. in Macchie, Farindola, Pescara. She was the mother of my great grandmother Maria Luigia Massei.
-Angela Maria di Massimo-
The year 1871, day 7 of the month of June at hour 12, at the town hall, announced to me Massimo Ferri, Secretary of this Comune di Farindola, Penne Circuit, Province of Teramo, delegated, the Civil State Official, with the act of the Mayor dated the 20th of July last year, from the Procuratore of the King, appeared Donato di Massimo, of the living Serafino and the deceased Angela Maria Colangeli (Angela Maria Cecilia Colangeli), of 26 years, occupation contadino, living as a resident in Farindola, who presents a baby of the feminine gender, that he says was born on the 7th of the current month at the 10th hour to his wife Anna Domenica Cacciatore, daughter of the living Sabatino and the deceased Antonia Uriani (Oriani/Auriano), of 25 years, with whom he resides in their house in this Comune di Farindola at contrada Macchie, to this daughter he says he has given the name Angela Maria.
The above was declared and was also presented to me by Vincenzo Colangeli of the living Mattia of 37 years of the profession contadino and living as a resident in Farindola and of Costantino Massei (my third great grandfather and future father-in-law of Angela Maria di Massimo), of the living Sabatino of 39 years of the profession of contadino also living as a resident in Farindola.
The rest of the document says something to the effect of “the above act is presented and read to all of those present because they are illiterate.”
Signed: Civil State Officer Delegate
Source: Antenati/Archivio di Stato di Pescara: Stato Civile Italiano, Farindola, Nati 1871 Numero 58
We know from other documents retrievable at Antenati that Angela Maria’s mother Anna Domenica Cacciatore was born in Penne. Her father Donato di Massimo was born at a place in Farindola area called the Colle della Castagna. I would love to figure out where that spot is on a map of Farindola. Donato’s mother Angela Maria Cecilia Colangeli, for whom my second great grandmother was named, was born in Montebello di Bertona, a neighboring village.
Immigrant Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia was born in 1886 in Montecalvario, Naples and came to America in 1904 with her mother and sisters. She was my great grand aunt, for she was the younger sister of my great grandfather Carmen Ferraro. Carmen had five siblings: Antonio, Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti, Gelsomina Ferraro Ciocco, Elena, and Giovania. Elena was the second youngest.
I found Elena on the 1905 Census in Brooklyn still living with her parents Angelo Ferraro and Filomena Napolitano. Neither she, nor her 3 sisters were working outside the home. Same for their parents.
By 1907, Elena’s parents Angelo and Filomena were living in Columbus, Ohio. Elena was also likely in Ohio, because by 1908, she had married an Italian immigrant Angelo Scarnecchia and had given birth to their oldest, Armando Scarnecchia.
Elena’s husband Angelo Scarnecchia, according to the 1900 census, came to the United States at age 7 around 1890 and worked as a clerk in his father’s confectionary store. His father was a confectioner in Warren, Ohio.
A Little Bit on Scarnecchia
Angelo Scarnecchia was born in 1883 in Barrea, L’Aquila, Abruzzo to Orazio Antonio Scarnecchia and Cleonice Santa D’Aquila. Because I love the Italian records site Antenati, I traced the Scarnecchia’s back to the late 1700s in Barrea, L’Aquila to the great grandparents of Angelo Scarnecchia named Clemente Scarnecchia and Maria Loreta Vecchione. They were farmers. I stopped there even though it could have been possible find two more generations.
Back to my great grand aunt…In 1909, Elena and Angelo had their second son, Orazio (John Horace Sargent) in Wheeling, West Virginia. Angelo’s parents were also living in Wheeling at the time. By 1917, Elena and Angelo had moved back to Warren, Ohio, and had their only daughter, Cleonice Elena (Henriksen). Angelo was working in his own company at this time, according to his World War I draft registration card – Foreign Exchange/Real Estate which also appeared on the 1920 census. They had two more sons, Angelo and Robert.
My great great grandfather Angelo Ferraro was living with the Scarnecchia’s in Ohio at the time of his death in 1926. In fact, Angelo Scarnecchia bought the plot to bury Angelo Ferraro in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Youngstown. He is the only person in the unmarked plot. Margerita Valerioti also lived with Elena (her aunt) and her family after her mother Maria Angelia Ferraro Valerioti died in 1918.
In the early 1930s, Angelo Scarnecchia was working as a clerk at Warren State Bank. I found a couple of newspaper references to Angelo Scarnecchia in Ohio. In this Akron Beacon clip from May 1930, there was a reference two incorporations bearing his money and name in Warren, Ohio:
I found another reference to these incorporations as Scarnecchia and Orlando. Angelo Scarnecchia died in Los Angeles in 1956.
When I was researching Elena’s children, I lost track of Armand after he appeared to marry in New York City to Ethel DeNaro. With the number of Angelo Scarnecchias living in the Warren area of Ohio, I also had difficulty tracing that son. Daughter Cleonice moved to New York City and was a singer like my great grandfather. I confirmed that sons Orazio and Robert used and/or changed their surname to Sargent. Robert and his wife Elizabeth were actors in Italian theater that toured the country and played to largely ethnic audiences.
BUT! Robert was also listed as Scarnecchia in the Social Security Death Index. Before he was in acting, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a junior grade Lieutenant during World War II. He died in Nevada in 1996. His son Bobby Sargent was a comedian who says he shortened his Scarnecchia name to Sargent when his surname got “too big for marquees” according to this clipped article I found from May 31, 1974 in the Reno, Gazette – Journal, in which he says Harpo and Chico Marx were his teachers:
Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia outlived all of the Ferraros in my ancestry that came to America from Naples in 1903 and 1904 and stayed. She died in Los Angeles in 1964, a few short months after my great grandfather.
Ellis Island Passenger Lists
New York State Census
New York City Marriage Index
Social Security Death Index
U.S. Navy Enlistment Records
Nevada Death Index
California Death Index
National Archives – CF files
Next immigrant: Great great grandmother Emilia Bold – the one with a German Junker ancestor, French ancestors, and Swiss ancestors.
My great grandparents Cesidio Marcella and Serafina Merlenghi were married in Farindola. Their marriage was recorded at 3:40 in the afternoon at the Farindola town hall.
Because Cesidio’s father Filippo was deceased, his mother Elisabetta Rossi gave consent to the marriage. Serafina’s parents Cesidio Merlenghi and Maria Michela Cirone were both still living. Witnesses to the marriage were Antonio Carusi and Cesidio Colella. You can see down at the very bottom that my great grandfather signed his name.
And the paragraph I mentioned in yesterday’s post referencing Maria is enlarged below:
My translation is “the parents present with testimony also declare that from their natural union a daughter was born to unknown parents, …….the Uffizio de Stato Civile, the day 29 October 1916 with the name Maria and the surname of Battistisimi, presently recognize the same as a daughter effected to legitimacy. Please step in here native Italian speakers…
So now I ask again, how did my great grandmother get pregnant if my great grandfather was at war? He was on leave.
Immigrant Cesidio Marcella, my great grandfather, was born in 1895 in Case Bruciate, Farindola, Pescara, Italy. He came through Ellis Island in 1923 when he was 28 to earn money to send home to his family.
He was 1 of 15 children. His aunt, Maria Marcella, was the midwife that was present at his birth. He was the oldest child of his mother, Elisabetta Rossi. She was the second wife of his father, Filippo. Filippo had 9 children with his first wife, Maria Antonia Lacchetta, of which, the following, that I know of, survived to adulthood: Raffaele (father of Gabriele Marcella), Pasqua, Filomena, and Serafina. All of Filippo’s children to Elisabetta survived to adulthood. In order of birth, they were: Cesidio, Maria Domenica, Antonia Vincenza, and Andrea Antonio. Andrea greatly resembled his brother Cesidio.
At age 20, my great grandfather was made to perform military service during World War I in the 3rd Regiment Artillery.
The above photo is the physical description written down by the commander when he reported for his mandatory military service. His hair was straight and chestnut colored, his eyes were chestnut (we knew them as hazel) and his nose is described as greco for Greek. His hair would redden in the sun. At leggere/scrivere it says “si”, so he knew how to read and write. His profession is contadino.
I would like someone again to tell me the name of the place in the North of Italy where he had boot camp. After having served on the front line in the trenches in Austria, he was admitted to the military hospital in June 1916. In October 1916, he was released to go home on permanent leave. While he was away in the Army, his father had passed away in April of 1916.. I have the rest of his military record but some of the dates are so light I can’t make other things out. Is anyone willing to try?
A few weeks ago, I found the marriage record of my great grandparents at the LDS. Because of Italian privacy and contractual laws, this record is not available online for all to view, because it happened in 1919. At that time, my great grandfather was still a farmer. I will explore their marriage record later, on their anniversary. But for the purposes of this post, a written paragraph at the bottom stated the marriage legitimized the birth of a child born to a natural union, she was named Maria Battistisimi, and was born in 1916. Yes, it said 1916. Maria, according to the marriage record, was born October 29, 1916. When I first saw her birth date on my great grandfather’s petition for naturalization in the United States, I thought he misremembered the actual date. I will post the paragraph later and you can decide if I did indeed read her birthdate correctly. So how could she have been conceived while my great grandfather was in the trenches in Austria? He must’ve been on leave, right???? I COULD EASILY get her birth record from Farindola…you tell me what you think after you read about the marriage on their anniversary.
My great grandparents had four children: Zia Maria, Zia L. (who is still alive), my grandfather Biagio Filippo (who perished in World War II in the Alpini), and Zio Alberino (who died in the United States). Zia Maria married Iezzi. Zia L. married Fiore Generosi, son of Giuseppe Generosi (a foundling from Teramo) and Maria Di Gregorio. Alberino married another Farindolese who he brought to America, Gabriella Perilli, daughter of Angelo Perilli and Regina Colangelo.
After the birth of my grandfather, my great grandfather came to America. The previous post about his travel to America, Naturalization and time here can be found at this previous post: On this day in 1923….
I believe my great grandfather looked like this when he became a citizen of the United States:
I don’t care what anybody says but when I do a quick double-take, my brother resembles this photo, sans mustache. When his passport from 1929 becomes public record in a few years, we should have another young photo of him.
When I started genealogy, someone in my family said to me, “The Marcellas have been in Farindola for centuries.” It is simply true. I have traced back directly to Donato Marcella (my 6th great grandfather), born around 1700 in my paternal line who was likely born in Farindola because I still have not found Marcellas born in any neighboring Pescara towns.
Donato may be the son of Domenico based on the number of Domenico Marcellas that were alive at the same time as my 5th great grandfather Domenico. I think the wife of Donato Marcella may have been Domenica Cervo. Unfortunately, I have only found one record that says the mother of Donato Marcella’s daughter was named Domenica Cervo, and that is on the death record of one Giustina Marcella, #110 Morti 1816, the widow of Mattia Macrini. This is the link to her death at Antenati.
Through what is available on Antenati in Pescara, the earliest baptismal record I could find of any related Marcella in our tree was from Anna Saveria Marcella, sister of my 4th great grandfather Giuseppe Antonio Marcella, and is from her 1818 marriage to Vito Antonio Di Vico. Her baptismal extract is from 1773 and can be viewed at this link on Antenati. You can see her grandparents are listed as Donato (Marcella) and Giacinto (Ferri).
The earliest record I could find of a Marcella being born in frazione Case Bruciate was the brother of my 3rd great grandfather, Massimo Nicola Marcella, named Vincenzo, who was born there on April 2, 1812. Vincenzo’s birth record can be viewed here from Antenati on the right and continues to the next page. Massimo Nicola married Maria Carolina Colangeli and they moved to frazione Trosciano and then back to frazione Case Bruciate. It surprised me they lived in Trosciano, so perhaps any Marcellas there are relations of the Marcellas in Case Bruciate.
The Marcellas were farmers while their wives were filatrici (spinners) and levatrici (midwives). There was a branch of Marcellas in Farindola in the late 1700s and first half of the 1800s that were falegnami (carpenters). I have not been able to establish a connection between the contadini (farmers) and falegnami, even though they appeared in the same civil records as witnesses to each other’s life events.
Cesidio’s mother’s ancestry
While Elisabetta Rossi was born in Baccuco (Arsita, Teramo), her father Giuseppe Antonio Rossi was born in Penne, and her mother, Anna Antonia Ricci, was born in Castiglione Messer Raimondo, Teramo. However, all of Elisabetta Rossi’s grandparents were born in Penne and as you can see in Cesidio’s pedigree chart posted above, the tree is filled out to at least 6th great grandparents in most lines, and goes back further than can be pictured in one little snipping tool insert. Elisabetta also descended from filatrici from Penne and most of the males I found in her lines were literate. Penne, if I may compliment them, kept impeccable records and I am glad all of these records are available on Antenati.
A note about the Sciarras
Can you see Baldassare Sciarra in the pedigree posted above? He is the 2nd great grandfather of Cesidio, He was born in Fara San Martino, Chieti. He was a lanaro, which meant he worked with wool, and/or was a merchant of wool. Because Baldassare brought the surname Sciarra to Farindola, I am almost positive all of the Sciarra from Farindola today descend from him. He married a Farindolese, Angela Gabriele Dell’Orso. She was the daughter of Cinziarosa.
United States Naturalizations
United States Social Security Deaths
Arhives of Teramo (for military documents)
Archives of Pescara (Antenati.San.Beneculturali.com)
Comune di Farindola Anagrafe (our Colangeli cousin)
Zia C. in Canada
P. D’Angelo in Penne that assists with the Penne ancestry
Coming: The anniversary of the marriage of Cesidio Marcell and Serafina Merlenghi
Send me a message if you need an invitation to the tree on Ancestry.
Farindola, Pescara ~ Today is the 126th anniversary of the marriage of Angela Maria Di Massimo and Antonio Massei. Who are they? They are the parents of Maria Luigia Massei, my great grandmother.
Angela Maria Di Massimo was born in 1871 in Macchie, Farindola and was the daughter of Donato Di Massimo and Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore. Antonio Massei was born in 1864 in Farindola and was the twin of Nicola Massei. He and his twin were both born in the 23rd hour of February 18, 1864 to Costantino Massei and Rosa Antonia Pompili. There is no mention on their birth records who was born first, but Nicola’s birth was placed before Antonio’s in the birth register in Farindola.
Everyone on the marriage document, except Anna Domenica Cacciatore, was born in Farindola. She was born in Penne. Antonio Massei signed his name at the bottom of the marriage document. Because the transfer above is kind of on the weak-side, you can view their marriage online here at Antenati. You can view the rest of their marriage documents here on Antenati.
My great grandmother’s parents had at least 5 children. Their oldest, Francesca, married Raffaele Cirone and died in Farindola in 1977. Their oldest son Gennaro died in Penne in 1975. We already know Luigia Maria married Paolo Di Francesco. Another son was named Plinio.
Finally, one of their sons was named Paolo and he married Maria Nicoletta Iezzi, also from Farindola. Paolo came to the United States in 1920, first coming to Pennsylvania, and then making his permanent residence in New Jersey where some of Paolo’s and Maria Nicoletta Iezzi’s descendants live today.
Angela Maria Di Massimo died in 1927 in Farindola at age 55, while Antonio Massei lived until at least 1928 where the online records stop.
I would love to hear from other Massei descendants in America even if they descend from Clemente Massei and are living in New Jersey!
If it is not too much to ask, I would like Babbo Natale or La Befana to put more Campania records on Antenati San Beniculturali, for Sinterklaas to put more German Lutheran records on Archion.de, and for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to find Angelo’s Special Inquiry Hearing case file. I would love to find those missing marriage documents in Caserta and see the military documents relating to Francesco Antonio Ferraro!
Last year I heard ALL of Napoli would be on Antenati this year. HA! Or should I say “ho ho ho!” Nola, Caserta, Salerno, Chieti, Novara how I wish you were on Antenati too!
Antenati is the Italian Archives record repository. It translates as “Ancestors.” It is free. The images are downloadable and clearer than microfilm and of course, enlargeable. Once you have the name of the province your ancestor came from, you can check to see if the archives from that province have been added to Antenati by the Italians. Eventually Italy will have all archives uploaded to the website. The newest added archives are mentioned at the bottom of their homepage under “latest news” or on the news button at the top of the page. And oh YES, on that homepage, if you cannot read Italian, click the Union Jack in the upper left corner!
There are three ways to take you to the archives to look at the civil records. Let me explain the first way. You can click Regions and Sources on the homepage. See the picture below. I selected Regions and Sources and this is the page it took me to: Regions and Sources (Territorio e le fonte)
When I get to this page I clicked on the map of Italy in the Piemonte Region at the top of the boot to see if Verbania records have been added. I got the message that the “images not yet available” for this province. But by hitting Verbania, or any other province listed for Piemonte, Antenati gave me the email address of their archives. Note the three tabs that can be clicked at the bottom of the left half of the image for Information, Civil State, and Military drafts. Important information is listed telling a researcher what is available and where it is available if it is not online. If I am checking for Torino, look at all of the information it gave to me, expecially on how to find military records in English:
Torino even has a fourth tab where links for other sources can be found. Very, very nice Torino researchers. I am jealous! If I was looking for records in Torino on Antenati I would hit “Browse civil state records.”
The second way to get to where I want to browse records of my ancestors is by selecting the blue wording “State Archives” on the home page. I would be taken to a page listing all of the State Archives available for browsing on Antenati, to this page. One does not need to go to the first option if they know their archives are on Antenati. I like this way most of the time because I know that I am usually heading to the Archives of the Province of Pescara. At this point now, if looking at the records on Antenati, English is of no use. All of the browsing I do in the records on this website will be in Italian.
After I hit my selection of “Archivio di Stato di Pescara” I am taken to a page that looks like this:
Most state archives on Antenati have this same setup or will have the same setup once all civil records are added to Antenati.* In Pescara, and other states that were once part of the Kingdom of Naples, the years for each designation of records listed above is this:
Stato Civile Napoleonico: 1809-1815
Stato Civile della Restaurazione: 1816-1860
Stato Civile Italiano: 1861-1930ish (note that birth records won’t go past 1910 because of privacy laws)
In some of the northern states, the Napoleonic records start earlier. Indexes made by the town scribe for each year of records are either at the beginning or end of the records in Pescara. But remember if you are searching the 1809 records in Pescara, there are not many indexes in any of the record batches. Town officials didn’t keep them yet. You will have to read each record to look for your ancestor. If you are searching a town with indexes for 1809 in Pescara you are very lucky.
After you decide what time period to search you are taken to an alphabetical listing of all of the communes in that archives. From there you are taken to the list of records available for the commune.
*Some archives on Antenati have church records in the database. I think I saw one the other day going back to the 1400s. The Archives of Rome do not resemble the Pescara setup above either. The Comune of Naples is setup by its quarters and contains few indexes.
The Third Way to Access the Database’s Records:
At the home page, at the top you could have clicked “Browse.” Don’t worry, just hit the Union Jack in the top right corner again if the site has reverted back to Italian. It would have taken you to a page that looks like this:
The only thing you need to fill out is the place and the year fields. Hit “Search.” After a few searching moments a page will appear with the archival holdings available in the database. To browse the desired records you will need to hit the word “Apri” on the left next to the records. This way has the same desired affect as the first method I told you about. Once again, everything beyond the word “apri” will be in Italian.
The final feature of the website to tell you about is the “Browse Names” option on the home page. If you click that option on the homepage you will be taken to this page where you can search indexes done by volunteers. Below is an image of the page.
The area pointed out in red tells you which archives on Antenati have been already been indexed. The fields are self-explanatory but I give a warning. Only a few archives have been indexed so far AND in Pescara, particularly in Penne and Farindola, the indexes aren’t complete. One should search for their ancestors B/M/D the old fashioned way- by browsing the indexes done by the town officials yearly at the beginning or end of each year of records.
This is a quick example: I typed in my great grandmother’s last name in the Cognome field: Merlenghi. I know she was born in Farindola so I put that in the field for place (Comune/Localita). I decided to not fill in anything else because Farindola is small and I hit search. She is right at the top of names as you can see below.
I hit “Apri” under the names of her parents. It takes me to this page and there is her birth record!
One more tip when searching in Italian civil records: The additional marriage documents you need in the allegati or processetti are numbered and match the same number at the top of the marriage act. Good luck!