Farindola – On today’s date in 1840, my third great grandparents Massimo Nicola Marcella and Maria Carolina Colangeli were married in San Nicola di Bari, Farindola. They were the grandparents of my immigrant great grandfather Cesidio Marcella.
Maria Carolina Colangeli was born in Farindola in 1817 to Berardino Colangelo/i and Anna Giuseppa Antonacci. They were contadini. During this time period, her surname fluctuated between Colangeli and Colangelo in the Farindola records. Her mother Anna Giuseppa Antonacci was born in nearby Montebello di Bertona, Pescara in 1791.
The records of Pescara on Antenati suggest that the Colangelis were from nearby Penne, Pescara, although at the time of Maria Carolina’s birth, a branch of them were living in Farindola, for Maria Carolina’s father was born in Farindola, but his midwife mother was born in Penne. Also, the other Colangelis in my Abruzzese tree in a separate branch were from Penne and owned property there.
Maria Carolina’s tree was heavy with midwives, and though she was listed as a spinner on several civil records on Antenati, I suspect she too was a midwife. Her aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, and her own daughter Maria Giuseppa were all midwives. Maria Giuseppa was there for the delivery of Cesidio.
Massimo Nicola Marcella was born in 1814 in Farindola to Giuseppe Antonio Marcella* and Maria Domenica Sciarra. They too were contadini. Maria Domenica’s parents were born in Fara San Martino, Chieti and the occupations of her father and brothers were written as lanari (wool workers/merchants) in the civil records on Antenati.
Massimo Nicola’s paternal ancestors had been living in Farindola at least as far back as a man named Donato Marcella and a lady possibly named Domenica Cervo both alive in the early 1700s in the Farindola area. This is the farthest back I have been able to trace his surname using church death records in the marriage processetti on Antenati. Oh to have the church records in the Diocese of Penne available to research!
My third great grandparents had 10 children, 4 of which were two sets of female twins. They were:
Twins Maria Domenica and Maria Giustina (twins), born in 1841. Maria Giustina lived less than a month. Maria Domenica lived ten years. They were born 9 months after their parents married.
Maria Giustina, born in 1843 in Contrada da Valloni – died in 1912 in Contrada Casebruciate, married foundling Panfilo Zenone
Maria Giuseppa (midwife in Contrada Casebruciate), born in 1846 in Contrada Trosciano – died in 1918 in Contrada Casebruciate, married Giovanni Costantini
Antonio, born in Contrada Trosciano in 1847 and died in 1851
Domenico, born in 1849 in Contrada Trosciano – died in 1908 in Casebruciate, married Maria Carmina Basilavecchia
Nicolantonio, born in 1851 in Contrada Casebruciate, married Maria Giuseppa Della Valle. They had no children. However, a man with his name appears to have had a child in 1901 to an un-named woman who was not his wife. The child was named Vittoria Marcella.
Massimo Nicola Marcella died in 1884 in Contrada Casebruciate. His widow Maria Carolina Colangeli died a few months shy of the birth of her grandson Cesidio in October 1894, at #65 Contrada Casebruciate, Farindola.
*I do not know how or if Giuseppe Antonio was related to the briganti with the same surname that were active in the countryside near Farindola during the Napoleonic occupation of Italy. One of the main leaders was named Massimo. He was jailed before the civil records start on Antenati. (See Storia di Farindola, dalli origini ai giorni nostri by Antonio Procacci via http://www.gelsumino.it)
October is Italian Heritage Month in the United States and I am continuing concentrating on the Italians in my tree.
My great grandparents’ had brothers that came to the United States as farm laborers before the Immigration Quota Law of 1924. After the Immigration Quota Law of 1924 was passed, which limited immigration from non-northern European nations, a brother went to Canada through Nova Scotia, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, before eventually settling near St. Catharines, Ontario in Lincoln.
Vincenzo Merlenghi was Serafina Merlenghi’s second oldest brother. He was born in 1890 at Contrada Macchie in Farindola to Cesidio and Maria Michela Cirone. According to American censuses the year of his marriage to his wife, Maria Giuseppa Pompili, daughter of Antonio and Maria Vincenza Di Gregorio, was 23.
In 1914 he came to the United States through Ellis Island as a laborer on the S.S. Taormina. He was coming to live with his cousin Francesco Baccanale in Mason City, Iowa. I found him in 1920 on the S.S. Duca D’Aosta passenger list returning to the United States as an Italian military reservist, with an occupation of laborer, and having his passage paid for by the Italian government. Notes above his name said he was a returning United States resident and had been here previously from 1914-1917. It also stated he was going to Philadelphia and his closest living relative was his wife Maria (Maria Giuseppa) living in Farindola.
Additional information on this manifest was the information that he was going to stay with his friend Giuseppe Sciarra at 22 Street in Philadelphia. If he was a Sciarra from Farindola, he possibly is our relation. This is something to research in the future.
A physical description of Vincenzo gave his height of 5′ 5″, said that he was brown haired, brown eyed, possessed a natural colored complexion (tanned), and also stated he was born in Farindola. My great grandmother was brown-eyed as well.
The entire ship that day was filled with Italian military reservists, and a handful of their wives, all having their passage paid by the Italian government.
In 1921, Vincenzo sent for his wife, Maria Giuseppa Pompili, to come to the United States. She sailed to the Port of Philadelphia, with their baby daughter, Vincenza Elisabetta. The manifest reflected that her passage was paid by her husband and that she was going to meet him at 240 W. Green Street, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.
Antonio Merlenghi was my great grandmother Serafina’s oldest brother and was born in 1887 at Contrada Macchie, Farindola. In 1910 he married Antonia Lombardi, daughter of Raffaele and Massimina Ferri. He came to Ellis Island on the S.S. Taormina in 1914 with his brother Vincenzo with the intention of also going to Mason City, Iowa to meet their cousin Giuseppe Cirone. His nearest living relative was stated as Antonia, his wife, living in Italy.
The ship was half-full of men from Penne, Farindola, and Montebello with familiar surnames of Colantonio, Falconetti, Colangeli, Antonacci, Marcucci, Buccella, and so on…all coming as farm laborers.
For reasons I cannot discover on the passenger manifest, nor in the batch of documents detailing the dispositions of the detained passengers held at Ellis Island that week in 1914, Antonio was deported back to Italy on the ship he arrived on, and also made to pay for the meals he ate while he was detained at Ellis Island.
Antonio Merlenghi became a Corporal in the 281st Reggimento Fanteria and died on October 27, 1918 from the wounds he received in Grave di Papadopoli at the Battle of Vittorio-Veneto in the Great War.
He was awarded the Medaglia D’Argento posthumously. So imagine had Antonio not been deported, what would have happened? How sad.
I did not include him in my count of immigrants. Should I?
Paolo Massei was born in 1896 to Antonio and Angela Maria Di Massimo at Contrada Macchie in Farindola. He was my great grandmother Luigia’s second oldest brother. Paolo came to the United States for the first time in 1920, sailing to Ellis Island from Bordeaux, France on the S.S. Caroline. His occupation was listed as laborer, said he was able to write, and that he was going to meet family at the home of Domenico Avellos in White Haven, Pennsylvania. I have never heard of Domenico and his surname is intriguing. Was Domenico Avellos his family?
According to a later census, Paolo said he married his wife Maria Nicoletta Iezzi, daughter of Domenico Iezzi and Giuseppa Carusi, in 1924. If my Farindola research is correct, Paolo and Maria were third cousins. Giuseppa Carusi was a landowner’s daughter.* In 1927, Maria came to the United States with their 1 year old son Antonio aboard the S.S. Guilio which had sailed from Naples to Ellis Island. The passenger manifest does not reflect that Antonio is a citizen of the United States, so Paolo had not yet naturalized. They were going to meet Paolo at 32 Arbury Street in Trenton, New Jersey.
In 1930, Paolo was working at the city sewer works in Trenton. He and Maria had a daughter already and a 6 month old son named Anthony. I traced Anthony and all American records point to a birth date in 1929 in New Jersey. I can find no record of the child named Antonio that sailed to America with Maria in 1927. Paolo and Maria’s son Paul later founded his own construction company named MGM Construction. He also was a building inspector and zoning officer in New Jersey.
Paolo passed away in 1909 while Maria passed away in 1984. Paolo came to the United States when Lady Liberty’s beacon shined brightly.
Zopito Di Francesco
Zopito Di Francesco was born at #84 Contrada Trosciano, Farindola in 1904 to Biagio and Marianna Di Pendima. He was a younger brother to my great grandfather Paolo.
Due to the Immigration Quota Act of 1924, in 1927, Zopito sailed from Bourdeaux, France on the ship La Bourdonnais to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was the only traveler from Farindola on the ship and for all research I am able to present at this moment, he was the first of the Di Francesco surname from Farindola to come to North America.
His intended destination, from what I can make out on the manifest was a place called Perth (sp?) Italy Farmers Colony in Winnipeg, Manitoba to a man with the surname Mangietti. I learned that there was a Little Italy in Winnipeg at that time. The manifest stated that his nearest living relative was his mother in Farindola, Marianna Di Pendima.
Eventually, Zopito settled near St. Catharines, Ontario and bought his own farmland. It is my understanding that some of that land is still in the family today.
Penne – July 19, 1862 – On today’s date in 1862, my third great grandparents Nicola Antonia Giansante and Carlo Di Pentima were married in Penne, Italy.
Nicola Antonia Giansante was born in 1828 in Rione San Giovanni in Penne, Pescara to Giosaffatte Giansante and Maria Trignani.
Carlo Di Pentima was born in 1814 at Via Piana, Pianella, Pescara to Felice Di Pentima and Palma D’Agostino.
Nicola Antonia and Carlo were both widowed. My third great grandmother’s first husband was Nicola Delle Monache. He died in 1855. They had one child. Stefano.
My third great grandfather’s first wife was Anna Rosaria Marcella. They lived at contrada Cupoli, Farindola. She passed away on May 12, 1862. She was the daughter of Nicolangelo Marcella and Anna Di Luca.* They had four children. Vincenzo, Filomena, Serafina, and Anna. Only Filomena survived until adulthood.
A little more than two months after the death of Anna Rosaria, Carlo married my third great grandmother. They had at least three children: Anna, Vincenzo, and Marianna (m. Biagio Di Francesco.) At least two of their grandchildren perished in World War II: Giovanni Di Pendima died at Monte Santo at the 11th battle of the Isonzo in 1917, and Alfonso Di Francesco died in 1915 at Monte Cappuccio at the 2nd Battle of the Isonzo. The surname was spelled Di Pendima in Farindola.
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.