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.
Women’s History Month: Rispetto per I molti italiano levatrici nella mia genealogia. There are many midwives in the Italian parts of my tree. They were farmers’ wives, tailors’ wives, shepherds’ wives, innkeepers’ mothers, blacksmiths’ daughters, and landowners’ daughters. One was even an unwed mother who was the Ricevitrice di Proietti (receiver at the foundling wheel). She was a landowner’s daughter.
The first one I found was Maria Giuseppa Marcella. She was there when my great grandfather was born. She was named in civil birth records because the fathers weren’t able to report the birth. She would have to go to the municipal hall to do this. I was also lucky to find many baptismal records where a mammana or ostetrice is mentioned.
My great grandfather’s father was sick, so his sister, Maria Giuseppa went to town hall. She delivered several of Filippo‘s children and the children of many others in Case Bruciate.
A levatrice not only assisted in birthings but provided medical help to women for all female ailments. She also provided different kinds of help when there was unwanted pregnancies, as it was her responsibility to leave the baby at the foundling wheel. If the baby’s health was in danger at birth, she would perform a baptism. She also was known to assist women in their desire to maintain their youth, etc.
When I found one of these levatrice in Pescara, I could usually trace who in their close relationships was also a levatrice. In Caserta and Napoli, I have not been able to do that yet. I am positive I will find more in Campania and Abruzzo.
A couple years ago I was informed by a cousin that my great grandmother was likely familiar with midwifery because she was familiar with traditional folk remedies.
In honor of Women’s History Month this week, the following are the italiano levatrici nella mia genealogia:
Serafina Merlenghi, my great grandmother
Maria Giuseppa Marcella and
her mother Maria Carolina Colangeli (direct ancestress) and
her mother Maria Carmina Crocetta (direct ancestress) and
her mother-in-law Maria Carmina Marcucci Collalto (direct ancestress)
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)
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…