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.
Is it possible to believe this is Immigrant Heritage Month?
In 2014, the first Immigrant Heritage Month was celebrated in the United States. In 2016 President Obama officially declared June as Immigrant Heritage Month citing that “one of the remarkable things about America is that nearly all of our families originally came from someplace else…It’s a source of our strength and something we all can take pride in. And this month – Immigrant Heritage Month – is a chance to share our American stories.”
There are many other heritage months that relate to our origins and every month is Immigrant Heritage Month on this blog.
Today, not everyone wants to remember that a lot of us are here because of immigrants.
In March, for Women’s History Month, I made an alphabetical list of female ancestors in my tree. It was especially important to make a list for Immigrant Heritage Month while the world watches the unimaginable humanitarian crisis that is being allowed to continue at our southern border.
It is not the first time the United State Government separated families.
I don’t live far from a cemetery for Native American children that died at an industrial school for Indian children. The United States Government wanted to “kill the Indian and save the child” out of those children. A couple of years ago, the United States Army finally agreed to disinter the remains back to their tribes and is trying to identify the remains in 4 graves just this week with data and records being preserved by Dickinson College.
Did you know some of the graves were moved twice? Once because they weren’t allowed to be buried in the town’s “white cemetery.” Twice because it was in the way of a road they were expanding. Now graves are marked by the wrong headstone or contain more than one child.
Some of the Native American children died a few months after coming to live at the school, not having the same immunities. Some children had the “Indian” beaten out of them. There are stories of the Native American children who stayed in the area after their stay ended at the school. One young man took his life on the local street corner. But it was all okay because some were great athletes and made the town look good.
There are stories of the ghosts of sexually abused Native American girls haunting the old dorm building now on the Army Barracks.
The local schools stopped using the “Indians” name for their sports teams in the early 1990s.
But I am not Native American. This is not the point. This is what happened the last time children were separated from their families by the United States Government.
I can’t imagine the refugee and immigrant children in my tree, as they came here to a country that doesn’t speak their language, being separated from their families like this. And in 100 years there will be digital resource center like the above link from Dickinson College used for the nearly 2,400+ displaced children at the Southern border. The people accessing the records will wonder how this was possible.
Maybe by the time you are reading this the number of displaced children will be 10,000+
Does Immigrant Heritage Month exist in this country right now?!
The following list is the ABCs of some of the immigrants and their origins in my family tree:
A – Angelo Ferraro, my great great grandfather, Kingdom of Italy to Brooklyn
B – Emilia Bold, my great great grandmother, Prussia to Ohio
C – Cesidio Marcella, my great grandfather, Kingdom of Italy to Philadelphia
D – Dorothea Elisabetha Mathilde Gerbing, my 3rd great grandmother’s younger sister, Prussia to Chicago
E – Elisabetha Scheid Bold, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Brooklyn
F – Filomena Napolitano, my great great grandmother, Kingdom of Italy to Brooklyn
G – Johann Friedrich Gerbing, my 4th great grandfather, Prussia to Chicago
H – Anne Marie Aloisia (Anna) Heinzen Kirsch, my great great grandmother, Switzerland to Chicago
I – Italy, the birthplace of my immigrant parent
J – Johann Leies, my great great grandfather, Prussia to Wooster, Ohio
K – Ludwig Fritz (Louis) Kirsch, my great great grandfather, Prussia to United States to Switzerland to Chicago
L – Louisa Anna Elisabetha Gerbing, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Chicago
M – Marie Louise Koppel, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Chicago
N – Nuenschweiler, the birthplace of my immigrant second great grandparents Emilia Bold and Johann Leies
O – Ocean, every immigrant in my tree had to cross an ocean
P – Paolo Massei, my great grandmother’s brother, Kingdom of Italy to Mercer, New Jersey
Q – Quirinus Eckebrecht, my 3rd great grandfather, Prussia to Chicago
R – Rodalben, Germany, the birthplace of my immigrant 3rd great grandmother Elisabetha Scheid Bold
S – Serafina Merlenghi, my great grandmother, Italy to Philadelphia
T – Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled massed yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.*
U – Unthinkable in 2018. It is unthinkable in 2018 that those defending the separation of immigrant children from their parents sound like the slaveholders of the 1840s and 1850s.
V – Vincenzo Merlenghi, brother of my great grandmother, Kingdom of Italy to Philadelphia
W – Wachenheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, birthplace of my immigrant 3rd great grandfather Johann Schuttler
X – July IV MDCCLXXVI, etched on the tablet that Lady Liberty is holding
Y – New York Harbor, 80% of the immigrants in my tree arrived at New York Harbor
Z – Zopito Di Francesco, brother of my great grandfather who went to Canada because of the United States Immigration Quota Laws. He came from the Kingdom of Italy and landed in Nova Scotia.
I cringed using Lady Liberty in a blog post this month. My ancestors that cheered when they approached her symbolic refuge would be turned away because of their origins and I would not be American. *Lady Liberty’s beacon has been turned off.
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.
My 3rd great grandmother Marie Louise Koppel was born in Koerner, Thüringen, Germany in 1817 and came to the United States in 1866 with my third great grandfather Quirinus Eckebrecht and 5 of their 6 children. Wilhelm Carl Eckebrecht was one of these children.
Great Uncle John and his first cousin Frank Eckebrecht researched the Eckebrecht roots for decades. Some of the information contained in this post comes from their research. They did the hardest stuff before the internet was born.
Marie Louise Koppel
Marie Louise Koppel was born at 1:00 a.m. on August 2, 1817 in Koerner to miller Johann Christoph Koppel and Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe. According to the good folks in the Thüringen Ancestry group on facebook, Grabe is a common surname in the areas surrounding Koerner.
I spent some time examining the microfilms for Koerner that were available from Family Search before the Latter Day Saints discontinued microfilm ordering. I was able to locate the marriage of Marie Louise’s parents in 1816. Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe was the daughter of Johann Christoph Grabe. Her mother was unnamed in the available records, although an indexed record on Ancestry, transcribed by volunteers, says that her mother may have been Sophia Maria Schuts.
*I don’t have faith in indexed records on Ancestry or Family Search in which I cannot see the original document. In this case, as with many of this line of Germans, the original record is not available to American researchers without being a member of the Latter Days Saints or at one of their computers.*
The microfilms contained the first marriage of Marie Louise’s father Johann Chrisoph Koppel and revealed that he was from Rothenberg bei Neustadt, Germany. Which no longers exists on a map. There is a Neustadt about 30 miles away from Koerner.
Johann Christoph Koppel owned at least two mills in 1812 Koerner when he married his first wife Anna Elisabeth Schaefer. One was the Mahlmuhle which was a corn mill. The second mill he owned at that time was called Lochmuhle.
In 1816 Marie Louise’s father married her mother Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe. On that record and on the baptismal records of Marie Louise in 1817 and her siblings, he was noted as the owner of the Reithmuhle.
There is a beautiful genealogy group on Facebook called Genealogy Translations. A translator kindly translated Marie Louise’s baptism for me and then scanned for me a book about the history of Sondershausen area mills!
The genealogy angel in the translations group proceeded to translate the portion of the book for me on the Reithmuhle!
Reithmuhle was the new name of the Lochmuhle in Koerner. Koerner is on the River Unstrut. The Reithmuhle is at the west end of the village on the Heuberg Hill, on Notter Creek and the mill was still there in 1900.
Remember the mills because they come up later.
I found at least 5 other Marie Louise Koppel siblings in the records for Koerner and Clingen. I traced the Koppel line back to my 6th great grandfather Jeremias Koppel alive around 1740 in the Sondershausen area of Thüringen. Of that information, I only know his name and estimated birth year. I know nothing of the life of Marie Louise Koppel’s mother and her parents beyond their names as well.
Johann Quirinus Eckebrecht
Marie Louise Koppel married my third great grandfather Quirinus Eckebrecht on December 27, 1843.
Frank Eckebrecht had this data. It was in my tree on Ancestry. On Ancestry I kept getting a hint for a man named Johann Auerinus Erbeborn marrying on that same date in the same area of Germany to a lady with the same name of my third great grandmother. These transcription indexes are done by volunteers and reviewed by two other volunteers before they are published on Ancestry.
Auerinus Erbeborn comes in second to the volunteer transcription of the ship manifest for his son Grity Eckebrecht for Fritz. Another oldie but goodie was the transcription error from the ship manifest for Augelo Ferarco (Angelo Ferraro.) This is why I do not trust the indexes on Ancestry, ESPECIALLY WHEN I CANNOT SEE THE ORIGINAL RECORD!
I ordered the films the original marriage record was to be on. I never found it. I tried to find the baptism of their oldest child Auguste Eckebrecht to gain information on Quirinus. I think I found it. If I did, it was illegible. There are no baptisms of their other children available through the Latter Day Saints.
According to Frank Eckebrecht’s research, Quirinus was born in 1816 in Grossmehlra, Schwarzburg – Sondershausen, Thüringen to Johann Heinrich Eckebrecht and Anna Elisabetha Dorre. He had at least 5 siblings.
Frank traced this Eckebrecht line back to Wollersleben, Nordhausen, Thüringen and a Christian Eckebrecht, my 7th great grandfather, born in 1660. He was a commoner. Through volunteer transcribed indexed records on Ancestry, again, if they are accurate, I traced Anna Elisabetha Dorre’s line back to my sixth great grandfather named Heinrich Christoph Dorre. Because these are only indexes, I know nothing of this line except names and dates. Where are these original records that are only indexed? I don’t know. They don’t seem to be microfilmed. When will the originals appear on Ancestry for us subscribers? Good question.
On May 25, 1866, Quirinus, Marie Louise, and 5 of their 6 children arrived at the Port of New York on the ship the Jenny. Here the index transcribers have Quirinus named as Oerenuos. They sailed from Bremen on a trip that would have taken 2 and 1/2 to 3 months to sail. The occupation of Quirinus was listed as baker. Uncle John said they left to escape the growing power of the Kaiser.
On the 1870 Census, Quirinus, Marie Louise, sons Carl Wilhelm, Henry, and Edward were living in Chicago’s 17th Ward. Quirinus was listed as a laborer, while Marie was listed as keeping house. Carl Wilhelm was a carpenter, Henry was a laborer, and the youngest Edward was still at school.
In the 13 years Marie Louise was alive here in the United States, she suffered from asthma, according to her death record. She passed away in 1879 and was buried in Wunders Cemetery in Chicago.
Frank’s research data relates that she was the owner of the Rottermuhle in Germany when she passed. My first theory is thus: there was an American misspelling on the estate document and she may have been the owner of the Reithmuhle. Would this mean her parents and siblings were deceased? I cannot locate any records about them in Germany on Ancestry.
My second theory involves Quirinus. Since he was a baker when he came here, he may have worked at a mill, maybe even Marie Louise’s father’s mill, or his father owned a mill as we have seen in Grandma’s other German mill owning ancestors, that sons and daughters of mill owners often marry each other.
The Chicago City Directories listed Quirinus as a laborer in the years leading up to the 1880 Census and in the year’s after it. In 1880, when I found him on the census indexed by an Ancestry volunteer as Kareneus, he was listed as a widower, living with his oldest son Charles (Carl), and again was listed as a laborer. He died in 1884 and is also buried in Wunders Cemetery.
William (Wilhelm Carl) Eckebrecht, as mentioned before, arrived here in 1866. He was born in 1851 in Schwarzburg, Thüringen. In 1870, as stated before, he lived with his parents and was a carpenter.
In 1874 he married another German immigrant named Maria (Mary) WilhemineJohanna Kohlmorgen from Mecklenburg – Vorpommern. She was the daughter of Christian Theodor Kaspar Kohlmorgen and Julie Marie Sophie Hill.
On the 1880 Census, he was working as a harness-maker.
By the mid-1890s, William was a saloon-keeper. I found a newspaper clipping suggesting that William was in the saloon business with his brother Edward. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the saloon. William passed away young in 1899 leaving behind his wife and three children:
Otto Eckebrecht, owned an engraving business m. Viola Legare
Hugo Charles Eckebrecht m. Ottilia Fischer, a Pomeranian German immigrant
Martha Eckebrecht m. Paul Emil Schultz, a Pomeranian German immigrant
Were other Eckebrechts already here before the oldest son Carl Johann Eckebrecht got here? Were there other Koppels already here? The Eckebrechts followed their oldest son to America, making that classic chain migration as I have seen with my other German ancestors. Who did he follow?
I would like to research Marie Louise’s family further. Because her father owned mills, there should be land transfer records there. Also, to be explored is the family of the mother of Quirinus – the Dorres. Cross your fingers records become available!
I have at least three Eckebrecht photos. Two are from the 19th Century and one is from the 1960s. Please email me for copies.
Thank you to those distant Eckebrecht cousins that have sent me messages and encouraged me to keep swapping and sharing data! I have finished posting about all of the immigrant Eckebrechts that we could find. If I find more, I will post about them here! For the descendants of Fritz, there will be one more post about the Multi-Faceted Man.
Koerner baptisms and marriages via the LDS
Indexed Clingen District baptisms via Ancestry.com
Schlotheimer Kurier, Amtsblatt der Verwaltungsgemeinschaft
Indexed Selected Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials from Thuringia via Ancestry.com
Uncle John and Frank Eckebrecht
New York Passenger Lists
Chicago City Directories
Cook County Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes
The immigrants left in this family history challenge are: some of the Italians on my paternal side, more on Louis Kirsch, all of the Gerbings (Eeeeeeee!), Martha Nicolai, and my mystery wagon-guy Johann Schuttler.
I was recently asked by another researcher what Swiss surnames in my tree I was researching in Canton Bern, Switzerland that belonged to the early Anabaptist followers there. Below is an updated list of surnames and place names:
Gungerich/Gungery*, Schindler, Vogel, Muller, Rubeli*. See GAMEO. Christian Gungerich was an Anabaptist preacher that was imprisoned in Schwarzenegg prison when he escaped in 1669. He was re-captured and imprisoned in Waisenhaus Prison in the Canton’s capital Bern. He died there in 1671. He is my 10th great grand uncle. See Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich (1591-1671) und der Streit um Seinen Nachlass for more on his relations. Also see Oberdiessbach Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives, Mennosearch.com and the book Bernese Anabaptists and their American Descendants.
Vogt, Strubel known as Rubeli* in Oberdiessbach. See Langnau Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives. Part of the Rubeli family emigrated to the German Palatinate in 1672 as religious refugees. See Mennosearch.com.
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
On today’s date in 1858, my third great grandparents Josef Anton Heinzen and Regina Anna Maria Cattarina Giuseppa Filomena Gentinetta were married in the Catholic parish in Glis, Valais, Switzerland. They were the parents of Anne Marie Aloisia Heinzen (Anna Heinzen.)
Josef Anton Heinzen was born in 1834 in Ried, Valais to Johann Josef Heinzen and Anna Maria Vollmar.
Regina Gentinetta was born in 1837 in Brig, Valais to Francesco Giuseppe Gentinetta from Lindwurn and Marie Regina Mutter. As the wedding record indicates Regina Mutter was from Niederwald.
Niederwald, Valais is less than 15 miles from Anna Heinzen’s birthplace Brig. It is also the birthplace of famous hotelier Cesar Ritz. An online tree for Cesar Ritz showed his mother’s name as Cresenzia Heinen. I had to laugh because Anna has a sister named Cresenzia HeinZen.
Anna was 1 of at least 7 children born to Joseph Anton and Regina. The others were:
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)