My great grandmother Serafina Merlenghi was born in 1896 at Contrada Macchie, Farindola in 1896. In 1948, she arrived at Ellis Island with her youngest child, Alberino, who was a citizen of the United States. They were going to meet my great grandfather, Cesidio Marcella in Philadelphia.
Serafina had a daughter named Maria in 1916 with my great grandfather. In 1919, they married and had two more children: Zia L. and Biagio Filippo.
In 1930, their son Alberino was born.
After decades of living apart while my great grandfather worked in the United States and sent money home, she came to the United States in 1948 with their 18 year old son Alberino. Because my great grandfather was a United States citizen when Alberino was born, Alberino was automatically a citizen. Her daughters Maria (m. Iezzi) and Zia L. (m. Generosi) had families of their own in Italy when she left.
Serafina arrived while Lady Liberty’s beacon still shined brightly.
My great grandmother returned to Italy to visit several times before she returned for good after my great grandfather passed in 1980. She resided in the village of her birth the rest of her life and is buried there.
I loved her name so much, it was my confirmation name. A cousin shared a story of her in which she described her as knowledgeable in the ways of medicinal plants. I thank you for the stories.
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 – On today’s date in 1853, my third great grandparents Angelo Merlenghi and Maria Carmina Cirone were married in San Nicola di Bari in Farindola, Italy. They were both contadini and were the grandparents of my great grandmother Serafina Merlenghi.
Maria Carmina Cirone was born in 1828 in Farindola to Bernardo Cirone and Maria Crocefissa Marzola. Maria Carmina’s mother and grandmother Maria Donata Di Costanzo were both levatrici = midwives. Bernardo Cirone’s Cirone ancestors were builders.
Angelo Merlenghi was born in 1820 in Farindola to Antonio Nicodemo Merlenghi and the fatherless Anna Paola Lucerini. They were contadini. Angelo Merlenghi’s great grandfather on his mother’s side was Artista Romoaldo Lucerini. I still do not know what kind of artist Romoaldo was!
Maria Carmina Cirone and Angelo Merlenghi had four children:
Giuseppe Merlenghi m. Carmela Dell’Orso (parents of Soldato Domenico Quirico Merlenghi, disperso alla Zagora, Slovenia 12 Agosto 1915)
Cesidio Merlenghi m. Maria Michela Cirone (parents of Serafina Merlenghi)
Maria Carmina Cirone had no more children and died in 1861 at the age of 33.
Angelo Merlenghi remarried in 1865 to Alba Maria Mergiotti. She was the daughter of Donato Mergiotti and Maria Di Gregorio.
Angelo had two children with Alba Maria:
Antonio Merlenghi, died at age 17 in Contrada Macchie
Maria Loreta Merlenghi m. Alessandro Lombardi
Angelo passed away in 1876, at the age of 55 in Contrada Macchie. Below is the 2012 view of Farindola from Macchie.
On today’s date 150 years ago in Farindola, my third great grandparents Donato Di Massimo and Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore were married in Farindola, Abruzzo. They were both contadini and were the grandparents of Luigia Massei.
Donato was born in 1845 at Colle della Castagne near Farindola to Serafino Vincenzo Di Massimo and Anna Maria Cecelia Colangeli. Serafino’s mother Maria Chiarella and grandmother Laura Marzola were levatrici or midwives..
Anna Maria Cecelia Colangeli was born in Montebello di Bertona. However, her father Francesco Colangeli was from Penne.
Antonia Oriani’s grandfather had his name spelled “Auriano” in the Penne records before 1820. I found a baptismal record in marriage processetti reflecting the name as “D’Auriano.” The oldest I found was written for my 7th great grandfather Massimo as “Di Auriano” which just looks wrong. In Farindola, her surname was recorded as Uriani.
My third great grandparents had three daughters and three sons.
Lucia Di Massimo
Angela Maria Di Massimo m. twin Antonio Massei
Maria Carmina Di Massimo
Quirico Di Massimo
Stefano Di Massimo
Serafino Di Massimo
These Di Massimos are the only part of my Farindolesi family I have ever seen living in and having children at a place called Colle della Castagne near Farindola. By the 1880s, these Di Massimos were living in Contrada Macchie.
Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore died at #57 Contrada Macchie in 1907.
Donato Di Massimo died at #19 Contrada Macchie in 1921.
On today’s date in 1823, my third great grandparents Francesco Antonio Ferraro and Angela Maria Delle Cave were married in San Pietro Apostolo in Talanico, Sei Casali d’Arienzo (present-day San Felice a Cancello), Caserta in the Kingdom of Naples. They were the parents of Angelo Ferraro.
Francesco Antonio was born in 1798 in Talanico to Filippo Ferraro and Giuseppa Fruggieri. Angela Maria Delle Cave was born in 1800 in Talanico to Luca Delle Cave and Olimpia Librera. They were all contadini.
Filippo had not yet become a soldier in the Terzo Cacciatori. Since Italy was not yet a unified nation, the Kingdom of Naples was half of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Terzo Cacciatori were a branch of the army of the Bourbon King Ferdinand.
Five months after their marriage their first child was born. In order from oldest to youngest, these are the children of their union whose births I have located in San Felice a Cancello, Marcianise, and San Prisco:
Clemente (died in infancy) – born in San Felice a Cancello
Filippo – born in Marcianise
Clemente – born in San Felice a Cancello
Carmine – born in San Felice a Cancello
Maria Giuseppa – born in San Prisco
Luigi – born in San Felice a Cancello
Angelo – born in San Prisco (our ancestor)
In 1824, Francesco Antonio was listed as a soldier in the Terzo Cacciatori on Filippo’s birth record in Marcianise. In 1827, when the second Clemente was born, Filippo was listed as a contadino.
There are six years between the birth of Luigi and Angelo. I do not know where Francesco Antonio and Angela Maria were living between 1836 and 1842 (the birth year of Angelo.)
Diocese of Acerra church records at Family Search
Santa Maria Capua Vetere Tribunale records at Family Search
Arsita (Baccucco), Teramo – On today’s date in 1865, my 3rd great grandparents Anna Antonia Ricci and Giuseppe Antonio Rossi were married in Arsita, Teramo, Abruzzo in the parish of Santa Vittoria.
Their marriage record stated that Anna Antonia Ricci was born in Castiglione Messer Raimondo, 29, had been living in Baccucco since infancy, was a contadina, and that her parents were Girolamo Ricci and Giustina Andreoli. Her parents were both born in Penne.
For the groom, the marriage record stated that Giuseppe Antonio Rossi was 32, a contadino, was born in Penne, was a resident of Baccucco, and was the son of Domenico Rossi and Anna Domenica Della Bricciosa, both contadini.
Present at Santa Vittoria were Giovantonio di Candeloro and Pasquale Pacelli. One of those men was likely the priest.
The four men that gave testimony at the Town Hall as witnesses to the marriage were:
Angelo Palini, 50, a tailor, resident of Baccucco;
Giandomenico di Pomponio, 33, a tailor, resident of Baccucco;
Giuseppe Absente, 60, a contadino, resident of Baccucco; and
Angelo di Giacinto, 59, a carpenter, resident of Baccucco.
NOTE: Domenico Rossi, my 4th great grandfather, signed his son’s marriage record. It is legible on the above second page of the marriage document.
The bride and groom were the parents of Elisabetta Rossi – the mother of Cesidio Marcella.
Antenati San Beniculturali
Family Search Microfilms for Castiglione Messer Raimondo and Arsita now online at LDS Research Centers
Farindola – On today’s date in 1845, my third great grandparents Serafina Iannascoli and Antonio Cirone, contadini, were married in San Nicola di Bari Church in the presence of Domenico Falconetti and Giuseppe Marzola. Two days prior, they were married in the Farindola town hall in the presence of the mayor Nicola Valentini and the following:
Serafina Iannascoli was born in 1822 to Natale Iannascoli and Maria Giuseppa Salvitti. They too were contadini. Maria Giuseppa’s father Domenico Lorenzo Salvitti was born in Fara San Martino, Chieti. Domenico Lorenzo Salvitti had a brother named Giuseppe who married Maria Rosa Cirone.* Their son was named Donato Salvitti and he became the mayor of Farindola in the mid 1800s.
Antonio Cirone was born in 1820 to Domenico Cirone and Maria Fragassi. Maria Fragassi’s father was Domenico Fragassi and his occupation was sometimes recorded as artista and other times as tarcaro in the Farindola records I located on Antenati. I found a 1784 baptismal record in the Farindola marriage processetti on Antenati where the priest had transcribed the Fragassi surname as Fracasso. Perhaps Fracasso was the spelling at one point. This is a link to that record. The furthest I could go in the ancestry of Antonio Cirone on Antenati found all of his ancestry in Farindola.
Antonio Cirone died in 1879 at Contrada Piazzetta in Farindola, while Serafina Iannascoli died in 1901 in Macchie, the birthplace of my great grandmother Serafina Merlenghi.
They were grandparents of Serafina Merlenghi. In all likelihood, her grandmother is her namesake.
*Maria Rosa Cirone is the sister of my 5th great grandfather Pasquale Nicola Cirone, another ancestor of Serafina Merlenghi. Cirone is an extremely common surname in the town.
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.
My siblings love to hear what my DNA results are but they don’t want to get to get tested even though Ancestry keeps having sales. I choose not to broadcast my results anymore because if they don’t want to know why my test doesn’t show that I am not 100% European and shows 12% something else, then, never mind. Nor will I tell them how much Scandinavian or Iberian came up. I do know that I don’t have South Asian DNA but someone we are related to does and that is likely a sign of Roma ancestry in that person.
I was contacted recently by a user with a shared match that had an adoptee in their ancestry. So I have been looking more closely at my DNA on Ancestry. I am still learning how to use AncestryDNA, and after a year and a half, by looking at my matches and grouping them together with my shared matches by surnames and birthplaces, I know for sure that I am related to my mother, because I match her first cousin and second cousins on both sides of her family, and I am also related to my father because of the Cirone and Cacciatore matches.
Ancestry started something new this past spring called “Genetic Communities” in an effort, no doubt, to sell more DNA tests. Genetic Communities are “groups of AncestryDNA customers who are connected… most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors…For example some trace their roots back to groups of people who were isolated geographically…” Source: ANCESTRY.COM.
So, are you ready for my two genetic communities? Here is my first:
Here is the closeup:
My second genetic community is…
Southern Italians in which I have 35 DNA matches.
Surprised by either one? No? Then AncestryDNA got something right because the most recent immigrants in my tree were: a parent from Abruzzo and a great grandparent from Campania. Or maybe the Abruzzese and Campanian genetic makeup are similar? I don’t know. 12.5% DNA from my Campanian great grandparent is a small amount to put me in the Southern Italian community that easily. In case you are interested, the other people in the family that had DNA tests at Ancestry (and my family reading this knows who those people are) are not showing up in either of these Italian Genetic Communities.