Uncle John researched his Thuringian, multi-faceted, immigrant grandfather Fritz Eckebrecht for decades. Fritz was my second great grandfather and everyone in the family knows his name. My little niece giggled when she heard his name for the first time. From a young age we were told he was “taken” by Comanches in Texas and was made to be a butcher for them. After he left Texas and the Comanches, he went to Chicago to work for hire “re-building Chicago after the fire with his carpentry” talents. Later, he opened a butcher shop there, using the skills he learned while with the Comanches. He spoke Comanche and when you read more of Uncle John’s research you wonder how much of a captive he really was.
Uncle John’s own words and research were posted here previously:
The other day I was looking for Fritz’s obituary at newspapers.com and came across this intriguing little snippet from the January 6, 1888 edition of The Chicago Inter-Ocean:
Fritz, what went on there?
I couldn’t help but notice this is the time period that Uncle John surmised my second great grandmother Katharina Schuttler had left him for a few years. There was no other reference in the newspapers to this. It looks like they were released on bond doesn’t it? By the way, F.W. Westfall was a wealthy Chicago real estate developer.
So Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Archives has criminal records dating back to right after the fire of 1871.
Maybe we will be lucky and a copy of Fritz’s case still exists…
My great grandfather Carmine Ferraro had 5 siblings and they all immigrated to the United States. Unfortunately, there is very little known about his last sibling Giovania, his youngest. At present, Giovania is only found in two records in America. The first is in the 1905 New York State Census by name and age, and the second is in the 1932 Leavenworth prison file as a reference. There is no oral history on this sibling either.
Giovania was not on the 1904 passenger manifest of her mother and sisters. Since her mother and sisters were detained, the tally of detained and released passengers at the end of the roll of records from the National Archives specifically divulges 3 children over the age of 1 were released with mother Filomena Napolitano. Giovania would have been about 14 at that time. I plainly do not know when Giovania got here. I cannot figure out how or with whom Giovania came to America period.
In 1905, Giovania was living in Brooklyn with her three sisters and parents, according to the New York State Census. That record showed she was born in Italy, 15 years old, and did housework. This is the only record I ever found that gave an idea of her name and an approximate year of birth. Ancestry indexers incorrectly transcribed her name as Guarania!
Carmine’s Leavenworth prison file references the fact, in his social interview, that he was 1 of 6 children and only 4 were alive. The current residence of each of his siblings was listed. By my research, Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti was deceased. Giovania Ferraro had to have been the other deceased sibling.
I could not find Giovania in the New York City Municipal death index, nor anywhere in Columbus, Ohio where parents Angelo Ferraro and Filomena Napolitano had moved by 1907. She would only have been about 17 at that point. To give you my honest opinion, I think her first or last name was corrupted on an American record, possibly in the above census, and any further proof of her in the United States may be impossible right now until more records become available. I hope I am wrong about the corruption of her name. Technically her name should be Giovanna, right?
I have no idea why Giovania would not be on any passenger manifest. She definitely didn’t come to America with her father Angelo in 1903. Also, it just is not possible for me to find her birth record in Naples at this time since 1) I don’t know her birthday and can’t write to Naples for it without it; and 2) Births of the Commune of Naples post 1865 are not online anywhere for researchers.
Could she have gone by a different first name? Yes, and obviously the common last name poses some search issues as well. Giovania, what happened to you?
Giovania is the last of Carmine’s siblings whose stories were told here. The rest can be found in these previous posts:
As of 11:00 am on August 26th, 2017, any available genealogical records from Italy (save for the Heinzen’s ancestors, the Gentinetta of Bognanco, and Naples births post 1865 for Carmine’s siblings) that I need to access to research either Italian side of my tree will no longer have to be ordered on microfilm! Any records that aren’t on Antenati San Beniculturali from Italy were made available for viewing on the Family Search website. Some of those can only be viewed at a Latter Day Saints Center until Antenati in Italy publishes them for viewing online worldwide. This includes Castiglione Messer Raimondo and Castelli in Teramo, Fara San Martino in Chieti, Nola and Sirico in Napoli, and San Felice a Cancello/Sei Casali d’Arienzo and San Prisco in Caserta. Farindola and all of Pescara have been on Antenati for years and is accessible in every home. Since Nola is now available to help identify more ancestors there, I have a feeling that part of the tree will grow to aid in finding relatives of Filomena Napolitano in America.
Ellis Island Passenger Manifests
NY State Census of 1905
Federal records obtained from the National Archives in Kansas
More in the Leies – Bold branch, including the Leies family that went to New York City and the Leies family that beat all of the others here by arriving in 1848. The immigrants are about halfway complete.
Immigrant Gelsomina Ferraro Ciocco was born in 1884 in Naples and came through Ellis Island in 1904 with her mother, Filomena Napolitano, and siblings Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti,Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia, and Carmine Ferraro, my great grandfather, when she was 19. She was the mother of well – known biostatistician Dr. Antonio Ciocco. Like her mother and sisters, she didn’t speak English, and was detained for a simple reason. Her father, Angelo Ferraro, was not on time to collect the women to take them to Brooklyn. The passenger manifest was marked that she could read and write in her native tongue. She was my great grand aunt and the only sibling of my great grandfather that we have a photo of.
One year later Gelsomina was residing with her parents when they lived in Brooklyn. By 1907, Angelo and Filomena had moved to Columbus, Ohio. That is where Gelsomina likely met her future husband Angelo Michele (Michael) Ciocco. They were married in early 1908 by Father Sovilla in St. John the Baptist Church.
Michael (Angelo Michele) Ciocco was born at #289 Via Borga, Guardialfiera, Campobasso, Molise, Italy on May 30, 1883 to Antonio Ciocco, a pasta maker, and Rosaria D’Onofrio. His birth record (#41) via Antenati.
Gelsomina’s son Antonio Ciocco was born May 1, 1908. Michael was naturalized in 1916 in Franklin County, Ohio.
When Michel’s parents brought the family to America, they ran an Italian bakery in Columbus. Michael worked there and was also able to graduate high school.
Gelsomina went by Jessie in “American.” I was glad United States Passport Applications up to I think, 1925, are on Ancestry and we have those photos of Gelsomina, Antonio, and Michael from 1921. It gave me a hint about where Gelsomina had lived in America up until that point. She stated she lived in Brooklyn, Chicago, and Columbus. Oh, and she was also apparently 5’5″!
Remember in 1908 she married Michael? In 1910 Michael was living with his parents and working at their bakery with Gelsomina and son Antonio nowhere in sight. So I wondered if she was living in Chicago because Michael’s passport application stated that he had only lived in Columbus since he came to America. Could she have been living near my great grandfather, her brother, in Chicago? Or near Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti her sister in Chicago?
Maybe Gelsomina was living with her parents in Columbus. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find them on the 1910 Census. In 1912 she traveled to Naples with her parents and visited 22 Montesanto Naples. There is a monastery on Montesanto today, although not at the same address. When her mother Filomena passed away in Columbus in 1914, Gelsomina was the informant on her death record.
In 1920, Gelsomina was living with her husband according to the Federal Census. She was the bookkeeper for his pasta business – Columbus Macaroni Company.
Gelsomina returned to Naples two more times in the 1920s. The 1925 return passenger manifest showed Gelsomina and Michael lived at 101 Thompson Street in New York City.
In 1927 and 1928 I found Gelsomina and Michael in the Newark, NJ City Directory. Gelsomina was the Treasurer of their company Ciocco Macaroni Company, Inc.
Like Gelsomina’s sister Angela Maria’s husband Jerry Valerioti, Michael Ciocco appears on the letterhead of my great grandfather’s opera school, the International Grand Opera Association in Chicago. Michael Ciocco was listed as “press agent.”
Michael Ciocco’s parents continued to have their Italian bakery business in Columbus while continuing to speak their native tongue, according to the census records I found on them, and nobody suffered for it. Michael’s father passed in 1932 and his mother passed in 1936.
Dr. Antonio Ciocco – Gelsomina Ferraro’s Son
Gelsomina only had one child – Dr. Antonio Ciocco and he was extremely important to health research in Pennsylvania, if not to the nation. To discover where Gelsomina and Michael went after retirement from pasta manufacturing, I had to search for information on my 1st cousin two times removed Dr. Antonio Ciocco. By 1935, Gelsomina and Michael had moved to Baltimore Maryland, where they lived with their son Antonio who was employed by the Federal Government at the United States Department of Health as a statistician.
I found a newspaper article on newspapers.com stating that Antonio was the chief of the Hagerstown, Maryland Field Station of the U.S. Public Health Service. They likely moved to Pittsburgh with Antonio, because, in 1957, Michael Ciocco passed away in Pittsburgh, and in 1958, Gelsomina Ferraro passed away outside of Pittsburgh in New Brighton, Beaver County. Antonio was the informant on both death records and signed his name as Dr.
Gelsomina was laid to rest at St. Joseph’s cemetery in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband.
Dr. Antonio Ciocco held science degrees from the University of Naples and Johns Hopkins. The latter was likely the reason for his previous Baltimore address.
Articles referencing Antonio’s work in Pittsburgh starting around 1950 fill newspapers.com. He conducted many studies, including some on cancer statistics, and is most well-known for his study on the effects of pollution in Donora, Pennsylvania that was published in coordination with another researcher in 1948. The deadly and historic wall of polluted fog is also called the Donora Smog. In four days in October 1948, it killed 20 people and is believed to be the cause of death for at least 5 others.
I tried finding information about Michael and Gelsomina’s pasta companies but I didn’t turn up anything. The Campobasso ancestry of Angelo Michele Ciocco and his parents can very easily be traced on Antenati.
Who do you think Great Grand Aunt Gelsomina resembles the most?
My immigrant great grandfather has one more sister – Giovannina Ferraro.
Our newly discovered Union Private Peter Leies was born at Huberhof, Nunschweiler, Germany in 1841 and killed in action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 in the single most bloodiest day in American history. Peter is our cousin and left no wife or children. He enlisted at age 21 in New York City in the NY 4th Infantry, Company “D.”
I found a little information about Peter in an American Civil War Research database. I hope the link to him works for you before we hit a paywall. The only other information I know about Peter and the war are the records I found pertaining to him on Ancestry.
The enlistment officer wrote his name as Peter Leas. His pension card had that noted as his alias. LEIES also appears on the pension card, and with the names of his parents on the card, I knew he was the first cousin to my great great grandfather Johann Leies. I have all of the Leies baptisms and confirmations from Nunschweiler, Germany in a file. In my research experience, nobody but an actual relative of my grandmother spells their surname as L-E-I-E-S.
In 1865, his mother Louisa Knerr Leies applied for his pension after the war ended. In 1874, his father then applied for the pension, probably after his mother passed.
I found Peter quite by accident last night. I was chasing down the Leies relatives of Grandma in NYC and trying to prove Peter’s brother Jacob Leies enlisted in the Union Army. I wasn’t looking for Peter until I found his parents listed on his pension card. We have long known we had no direct ancestors in the United States Civil War.
I wonder now what possessed the ethnic Germans to enlist in the Civil War and desire to learn more about the Battle of Antietam. I found a reference to Peter’s Company “D” on another Civil War page saying it was formed with the intent of being a solely German company. I know that didn’t work out because there is a shamrock on the monument to his regiment at Antietam. Follow this link to the memorial.
According to the 1855 NY State Census, Peter and his brother Jacob had been living in NYC since 1852. I found a Jacob Leies enlisting in the NY 159th in 1862. The problem is that on that enlistment record Jacob has his birthplace listed as Brooklyn. I have Jacob’s baptismal record from Nunschweiler. So I wonder if they put Brooklyn on the record if Jacob no longer had the German accent. I will have to research Jacob some more. He is the one that led me to Peter.
With the United States Army Heritage Center so close by, I intend to take advantage of the opportunity to research Private Peter Leies further because, he is a Leies and he died in action. He gets his own research binder.
In case you are wondering how we are related, Peter Leies and my great great grandfather Johann Leies shared the same grandfather.
Filomena Napolitano was born in 1845 in Nola, Campania and immigrated to the United States, through Ellis Island in 1904 with her daughters and second son, my great grandfather Carmine Ferraro. The title of this posting uses her husband’s last name after Napolitano because it was used on her death record in Columbus. Had she stayed in Italy, she would have always been known as Filomena “Napolitano” because Italian women never change their surnames. In fact, Filomena arrived at Ellis Island as Napolitano as you can see on the Lombardia’s passenger manifest from April 28,1904.
A post about the two headstones associated with her in the Mount Calvary Cemetery is here. In case you are wondering, the cemetery still has no explanation on why she has two and why they are in separate places in the cemetery. This is her Find-a-Grave Memorial.
The following posts have already been written on her immigrant children:
For approximately the past six months I have been researching Filomena’s mother’s interesting family, the Sabatinos from Sirico (now Saviano), Napoli, Campania, Italy. They have been extremely easy to research, especially because Sirico was such a small town and appeared to have some money. I literally have binders and files and piles of records from the microfilmed Sirico records from the Naples State Archives. Filomena’s mother was Maria Michela Sabatino, born in 1809 in Sirico on Strada Napolitano, and at the time of her birth, her father Giaocchino was a sartore or tailor and was literate. No, there is likely no connection between the Strada Napolitano and Maria Michela’s future husband – a Napolitano. The surname is incredibly common in Campania. Maria Michela’s mother was Santa di Conza and she was from Salerno. I am patiently waiting for Salerno records to be put on Antenati. Maria Michela appears to be the oldest of their eight children.
In the 1810s Giaocchino moved to being a vendittore di Piazza (seller on the Piazza), a tavernaro (tavernkeeper), and a bottegaro (shopkeeper).* By 1822, Maria Michela’s father Giaocchino was a possidente or wealthy property owner. He always seemed to be hanging around weddings in the town too signing as a witness where I found out about his wealthiest profession – possidente. The signature of the man Giaocchino Sabatino was the same signature on his 1810s children’s birth. I have an entire file of records that contain his signature. One more thing I noticed in Sirico, all the literate Sabatinos of Sirico, too, spelled their surname with ONLY ONE ‘b’ when they signed their names. ANNNNDDDDD, at one point in Sirico’s history, there was a Strada Sabatino according to the records.
Giaocchino Sabatino’s parents were Bartolomeo, a maestro sartore or master tailor, and Cecilia di Falco, an ostetrice or midwife. That makes Filomena’s great grandmother from Sirico a midwife. Giaocchino’s younger brother Lorenzo Sabatino was also a possidente and was Il Sindaco or mayor of Sirico from 1860-1861.
From what I could find, Giaocchino only had brothers and from what I can surmise from viewing the town records, they were literate and educated like Giaocchino. Their names and professions are as follows:
Federigo-calzolaio-shoemaker, vendittore di vino, industriante-trader m. Maria Felicia Ambruscino
Allesandro-sartore m. Domenica Vardolo
Giuseppe-sartore m. Marta D’Avella
Lorenzo-sartore, industriante, possidente, Il Sindaco m. Maria Giuseppa Tuzzolli
As for Cecilia di Falco, she was born around 1763 in Sirico and I found many records about her and the babies she delivered. She is the first midwife on my mother’s side. Therefore, there will be more on the Midwife of Sirico as a later date…
The gift of a “genealogy goldmine.” When the clipped newspaper articles are practically crumbling in your hands, you are viewing photos of people born in the 19th century, and the scent of paper older than 100 years lingers in the air, you know you were gifted the “genealogy goldmine.” That is what my mother’s cousin – a Ferraro cousin – gifted me the other day. You probably saw the photo of Angelo Ferraro on Facebook wearing the top hat and his Italian military medals with the explanation from the Italian article describing his military campaigns. That piece of gold and the stories she shared were the best part!
Someone in the family kept clippings, pictures, and programs related to these early Italian immigrants in my ancestry. I am guessing this collection of memorabilia may have been started by my great grandmother Helen and continued by one of my great aunts after she passed. There are many names in the “goldmine” I have heard, but can now put into context in the music industry. Not to mention, there is another little mystery surrounding Immigrant #3 ~ Retired Army Captain and Merchant Angelo Ferraro and who he may have been working for in New York City before he passed away in Ohio in 1926. More on that later after I sort it out.
In 1910, my great grandfather and 6 other Italians apparently formed the Italo-American Forwarding Company in Chicago. The description of the company in the torn pages from a publication we will never be able to name describes it as an import/export business that specifically specializes in Italian, French, and Spanish goods. They claimed to have a New York office. In the 1910 Chicago Census, Carmine was listed as a fruit broker. Perhaps the Italo-American Forwarding Company imported produce. You can see Gerry Valerioti and Angelo Scarnecchia were members of the incorporation and Antonio Ferraro is the Vice President! Could Antonio have been in charge of the New York part of this enterprise? Maybe he really spent time in Chicago?
Another clue I found on Antonio was a translated copy of a letter Carmine wrote to Antonio on February 1, 1948 that was sent to the “Augustinian College” at Santa Rita del Carmine, in Aversa, Caserta. Was Antonio really the religious brother then? What does this mean then about abandoning wife Elisa? Below is a current photo of the Complesso del Carmine in Aversa.
The Augustinians left in 1959 and the complex closed in 1980 after it was damaged by an earthquake. If you are wondering where Aversa is, it is a town about 5 miles outside of Napoli.
So now we know where Antonio was in the 1940s. Did he have a family in Italy? What was going on with this guy? We now know he lived until at least 1948. Could unraveling the next little mystery about my second great grandfather Angelo Ferraro lead us to another clue on Antonio in New York City? Maybe.
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 great grandfather Fritz Eckebrecht had 5 siblings. Carl, Auguste, Wilhelm, Heinrich Ferdinand, and Eduard. His brothers Edward and Henry Ferdinand arrived in New York City on May 25, 1866 aboard the Jennie with him. Edward was the baby of the family. You can see him on the far left of this photo taken sometime between 1868 and 1875. Henry is likely the tallest pictured in the middle back OR the gentleman on the far right.
Edward was born in 1859 in Schwarzburg, Thuringia. He was only 6 or 7 when he came to America with his family. He looks very young in the above photo! By 1880, he was living with his brother Wilhelm and working as a harness maker because his mother Marie Louise, seated above – middle, was already deceased. His father Quirinus, seated above, was living with his oldest son Carl. On September 27, 1880, at the age of 21, Edward enlisted in the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri. His profession was recorded as harness maker and he was listed as 5’5″, having blue eyes, light hair, and possessing a light complexion. He was put into the cavalry, naturally, because he was a harness maker. Of the 41 enlistments on the page I found him, he was 1 of 19 men born outside the United States.
Edward was part of a famous regiment – the 4th Cavalry Regiment, Company B. Edward would have enlisted at the time the United States was engaged in various struggles with Native American resistance in the West. In fact, Edward enlisted in the 4th Cavalry Regiment at the time they had been sent to Colorado to “subdue” the Utes and then to Arizona to “subdue” the Apache. In Company B he would have served directly under then Colonel Ranald S. McKenzie, aka “Bad Hand/No Finger Chief”. In October, the 4th Cavalry under MacKenzie was sent to New Mexico to “subdue” White Mountain Apaches, Jicarilla Apaches, Navajos, and Mescaleros. Edward deserted the United States Military on May 5, 1881. About 1/3 of the page of enlistments where I located his name had deserted.
I find it incredibly interesting this Eckebrecht tale was lost to my side of the Eckebrecht family considering the fact that about ten years earlier his brother, my great great grandfather Fritz, was a “captive” of the Comanche in Texas. Uncle John had doubts about the word “captive” too. See: The Multi-Faceted Life Of Fred Eckebrecht 1848-1920 If Fritz was a “captive” I never understood how he was allowed to visit a German family for Sunday dinner once a week. Don’t forget the tale about our Fritz… during a civil case before a judge he spoke with his thick German accent. A lawyer told him to speak more clearly – more “real American.” Fritz replied in Comanche. The lawyer asked him what he had said. Fritz said, “That was real American, from the people who were here before we came…”
Nobody views desertion positively, right? Since Edward was part of a military unit that at that time was forcing the Native Americans to reservations, there is no fault in his desertion… That being said, unless the digging pans out with the potential brother of Johann Schuttler, a.k.a. “The Gigantic Brick Wall” ancestor, Edward was the first of the first in the Ferraro ancestry that served in any capacity in the United States Military.* Edward Eckebrecht was an immigrant that enlisted to serve his new country. He deserted for a reason we will probably never know.
*My 3rd great grandfather Johann “The Gigantic Brick Wall” Schuttler made wagons for the Union Army but never served. I am on the trail of a potential close relation to him that served in the Civil War for Illinois as a wagoner.
After he left the army, Edward married Mary Ruebhausen, a German-American. They had two children: Loretta and Elmer. By 1900 Edward was a machine engineer for a bank. He had a stepdaughter through that marriage – Sophie Eckebrecht. Sophie married Gerald Brown. Edward died in 1926 in Chicago.
Henry Ferdinand Eckebrecht
Researching Fritz’s brother Henry Ferdinand Eckebrecht gave me a hint about the migration of the Eckebrecht family to Chicago. I always thought the Eckebrechts stopped off somewhere between arriving in NYC in 1866 and appearing in Chicago on the 1870 census. I found the confirmation of Henry Ferdinand in the St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in Chicago with a date of April 5, 1868. So Quirinus and Louise Eckebrecht already had the family in Chicago by 1868. I believe at this point that our Fritz was wandering around the Post-War South picking crops.
Henry Ferdinand was in the medical profession, the only sibling of Fritz that didn’t work in a laboring capacity. He was a pharmacist. In fact, he was comfortable enough in the 1900 census to have a servant. Henry Ferdinand married a German-American born in Wisconsin named Theresa Louise Engleman. They had three children: Henry Frederick, Theresa, and Albert. Henry Ferdinand has many descendants on the West Coast today. Below is a photo of his son Henry Frederick that I retrieved from his Seaman’s Certificate application on Ancestry from 1918.
Researching Edward Eckebrecht was a surprise for me. You have to read everything on a military record! I have not found any biological descendants of Edward alive after 1920. I would like to research more about Edward’s time in the United States Army to find out what his Company did while he served.
New York Passenger Lists
Chicago City Directories
United States Federal Censuses
Chicago Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes
United States Social Security Death Index
Chicago 1892 Voter Registration
National Archives, U.S. Army Register of Enlistments
Coming: Carmine’s sister Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia.
I do plan to do write-ups on the Gerbing immigrants (the family of my third great grandmother.) Her siblings had huge families, who had huge families, who are now allover the country. They may likely come last.
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.
Immigrant Carl Johann Eckebrecht was the oldest sibling of my great great grandfather Fritz Eckebrecht. He was born in 1844 in Schwarzburg, Germany. Uncle John was not certain when he came to America, but with research, it has been narrowed down to about 1863. He appears to be the first Eckebrecht in Illinois, having stated he was living in the County of Cook and State of Illinois for 29 years on his 1892 Chicago Voter Registration Record. Therefore, Carl got here before his brother Fritz and the rest of his clan did in 1866 on the ship the Jenny. He would have been around 19 when he arrived in America and it would have been smack dab in the middle of the Civil War.
The earliest actual record I could find of Carl or Charles was in 1867, where he is listed in the Chicago City directory as Charles and he works at Eckebrecht & Company as a grocer. This appears to be his own grocery company. Next, from what was also noted on the Chicago Voter Registration listing of 1892, Charles stated he was naturalized in the Circuit Court of Cook County on September 7, 1868.
In the 1870 Federal Census he was living with his parents Quirinus and Louise and three of his younger siblings and was working as a carpenter. Around this time, Fritz was migrated through the Post-War south picking crops, and making his way to Texas, where he ended up being taken to live with Comanches.
In the 1874 and 1875 Chicago City Directories, Charles is listed under the Heading for Harness and Saddle Makers. He was married by this point to another German immigrant Bertha Rohrbach. Their first child Minnie, or likely, Wilhelmina, was born. By 1882, according to the City Directory, he is back to being a carpenter.
In 1896 and in 1897, a few years before he died in 1900, his occupation was listed as Foreman in the City Directory. He died in 1900 and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Charles had four children with Bertha: Minnie, Henry Charles, Anna, and Oscar Christian.
As you can see, Charles Eckebrecht’s Record of Administration references his wife, son Henry, and brother-in-law Charles Wolter (Augusta Eckebrecht’s husband).
Charles Eckebrecht’s Children (Fritz’s Nieces and Nephews) and Their Descendants
Minnie Eckebrecht died in 1902. Charles’ youngest son Oscar never married and worked at the Post Office as a clerk. Daughter Anna married an English immigrant from London – Walter Smith. It appears he entered America through Canada making the ethnicity of Anna’s child Harold Albert a Canadian in the Cook County Birth Index. I question that reference on Ancestry though. Walter was a type setting salesman according to the Federal Censuses. Their son Harold Albert married Vera Lindsay and they had 3 children. Harold was a copywriter at a publishing company.
This leaves us with the other son of Charles and Bertha – Henry Charles Eckebrecht, one of the most colorful descendants of any immigrant in the Eckebrecht line. Henry Charles married another native of Chicago and German-American Mamie Schmidt. She too was the daughter of German immigrants. They had two children: Henry Charles Jr., who was struck and killed by an automobile driven by Ernest Keg at the age of 5, and Wilbur Mont Eckebrecht. Pay attention to Wilbur’s middle name because it comes up later.
Wilbur Mont Eckebrecht married Gladys Florence Schweitzer. They had a son that may still be alive so I will refrain from naming him. He was elected President of the Illinois State Florist’s Assocation in 1969. I have several photos of him from newspapers.com. Please email me if you would like to see them.
More on Henry Charles Eckebrecht (Fritz’s Nephew)
Henry Eckebrecht was in a kind of real estate business. I did find newspaper references to real estate transfers. One of the transfers was made in 1914 to Peter Tennes, the son of Jacob Mont Tennes, or just Mont Tennes. That was not the only reference to Henry’s name to Mont Tennes in the Chicago newspapers. Have you heard of Mont Tennes, Chicago King of Gamblers? No? Well then please google him or check out this well-referenced story by another blogger: Jacob Mont Tennes. Mont Tennes ran a news bureau and a country-wide gambling circuit prior to the takeover of the Chicago underworld by Capone’s gang. One of Mont’s associates was Big Jim O’Leary, grandson of the Mrs. O’Leary, of the Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow fame. Mont Tennes was the son of German immigrants like Henry.
Henry was a bookkeeper of sorts for Mont Tennes and clients would visit Henry at their real estate office where money was taken. Let me point out that Henry, nor Mont were ever convicted of any crime. Don’t be surprised about this gambling business either because I found many references to Fritz’s brothers and nephews in the paper advertising bettings on sporting events, namely basesball, or winning at gambling on baseball in the Chicago newspapers. Gambling wasn’t a crime. Mont was important enough to this family of Eckebrechts for Henry to give the middle name to his son.
Now in 1916, the future baseball Commissioner Landis was the Federal Judge that was called to oversee the Federal Grand Jury empaneled to investigate Mont’s news bureau. Rolling eyes. Henry testified and a portion of his testimony was in the October 3, 1916 Chicago Tribune below. The first three clippings are taken exactly as they were printed in the paper but had to be clipped that way for easier reading.
This last section was at the end of the article for that day:
Henry was in several other articles regarding the testimony. Yes, that is THE Clarence Darrow. Nothing came of the grand jury investigation. In the 1920 Census, Henry is still listed as working as a bookkeeper at a real estate company. By 1940 he was running his own business selling seeds and bulbs. Perhaps his florist grandon was a part of the business…
What did Charles do for the first 4 years in America before I found him in the City Directory with his own business named after him? No, I didn’t find him on any Civil War draft records, unless they spelled his last name wrong. Coming here at 18 or 19 without the rest of his family had to have been courageous. I imagine he wrote home to his family in Germany to tell them about Chicago. If he hadn’t come first, maybe the rest of his family, and his brother Fritz would not have come here at all.
Chicago City Directories
Chicago Voter Registration
Chicago Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes
Cook County Probate Records
Social Security Death Index
Frank Eckebrecht’s Research
Uncle John’s Research
Numerous Online Articles regarding Mont Tennes
Next immigrants: Two completely different great grandfathers