Immigrant #26 Gelsomina Ferraro Ciocco ~ Pasta Company Treasurer and Mother of Biostatistician Dr. Antonio Ciocco

manifestamferraro
Gelsomina is the 3rd from the top on the Lombardia’s Manifest Snippet

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.

GelsominaandAntonioCiocco
Gelsomina and son Antonio Ciocco in her 1921 U.S. Passport Application; yes, she looks like half of the females in the family

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.

GelsominaMarriage.PNG
Franklin County Marriage Certificate via Ancestry.

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.

AngeloMicheleCiocco.PNG
Angelo Michele Ciocco’s 1921 Passport Application Photo

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.

JessieTreasurer.PNG

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.

You can see some of Dr. Ciocco’s published works here on World Cat.

Other information is best summed up about him in his Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary dated January 6, 1972.  I am posting it below in chunks.

obit1obit2obit3

 

His mass of Christian burial was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Pittsburgh.  I found his Find-a-Grave memorial created by another user.  He is buried in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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.

Sources:

Ellis Island Passenger Ship Manifests

Antenati

U.S. Passport Applications via Ancestry

United States Federal Censuses

New York State Census, 1905

Columbus and Newark City Directories

Franklin County, Ohio Marriage Records

Franklin County, Ohio Birth Index

Pennsylvania Death Certificates via Ancestry

Cousin Cleonice, C. Ferraro’s Federal file

Wikipedia

Newspapers.com Subscription

United States Social Security Death Index

Find-a-Grave.com

My email: cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immigrant #25 Great Great Grandmother Filomena Napolitano Ferraro

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.  manifestamferraro

I have written in the past on Filomena, Nola, and anything I could find on her father’s side: Carmine Ferraro’s Mother Filomena Napolitano from Nola, Napoli, Campania.

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:

Immigrant #5 ~ The Disappearing Antonio Ferraro

The Gift of a Genealogy Goldmine (An update on Antonio)

Immigrant #2: Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti – Mother of a Renowned NYC Investigator and a NYC Refuse Company President

Immigrant #9 ~ Carmine A. Ferraro, Priest and Maestro

Immigrant #23 ~ Great Grand Aunt Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia

Two more immigrant children, Giovanina, and Gelsomina Ferraro Ciocco will be featured in upcoming weeks.

The post detailing her immigrant husband Angelo can be found here.

An earlier posting about her parents’ wedding is here:  On this day in 1842…

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.

possidente

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

Giaocchino Sabatino died in 1847 in Ospedale degli Incurabili in Naples.  This is the Wikipedia link to this historical hospital with photos.  I found a reference to his death in that hospital on his son’s wedding record which I then located on Antenati.  Follow this link to his death record from the San Lorenzo quartiere of Napoli on Antenati.

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…

Sources:

Ellis Island

Nola:  These microfilms

Sirico: All of these films

Antenati

I used this Roots Web link to help with older Italian occupations I found on microfilm.

*Some of the occupations found on the microfilms in Sirico were in the Neapolitan dialect. 

cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net

 

 

The Gift of a Genealogy Goldmine

treasurechest

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.

Do you remember Immigrant #5 ~ The Disappearing Antonio Ferraro, brother of Carmine?  Well, I found a clue about Antonio, Gerry Valerioti (the husband of Angela Maria Ferraro), and Angelo Scarnecchia (husband of Elena Ferraro).

italoamerican.jpg

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?

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Antonio is the Vice President of the company

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.

ComplessoThe 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.

The discoveries in my cousin’s gift continue!

cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net

 

 

Immigrant #23 ~ Great Grand Aunt Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia

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.

1905 NY Census
Brooklyn, 1905

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.

 

Antonio Scarnecchia 1815 birth
Antonio Scarnecchia’s birth record from 1815 via Antenati.

 

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:

ohio incorporations

I found another reference to these incorporations as Scarnecchia and Orlando.  Angelo Scarnecchia died in Los Angeles in 1956.

Elena’s Children:

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:

bobbysargent

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.

Sources:

Ellis Island Passenger Lists

New York State Census

Federal Censuses

City Directories

New York City Marriage Index

Social Security Death Index

U.S. Navy Enlistment Records

Nevada Death Index

California Death Index

Antenati.san.beniculturali.it

Newspapers.com

Cleonice Scarnecchia

National Archives – CF files

 

Next immigrant:  Great great grandmother Emilia Bold – the one with a German Junker ancestor, French ancestors, and Swiss ancestors.

cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net