Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

My 4G grandfather, Michele Rapa, was born on Christmas day, 25 Dec 1780, to Antonio Rapa and Angiola d'Amato. The 1802 census had said so, and his baptismal record confirms it. One thing the baptismal record adds is that his full name was Michele Gennaro Rapa.

The census was kind of unclear on when Antonio Rapa was born. It kind of looks like 25 Jan 1759. But Antonio's death record implies a birth date of around 1746, saying that he was 70 years old when he died in Piedimonte jail in 1816. Sure enough, his baptismal record shows up on 25 Jan 1749. Like his death record, his baptismal record shows he was born to Domenico Rapa and Cecilia Missere. It also gives his full name as Antonio Domenico Pasquale Rapa. I haven't found a baptismal record for Domenico Rapa, but I've found two for Cecilia di Missere, one in 1715 and the other in 1716. Without an indication of who her parents were or whether one of those two died young, I can't tell which one is her. And none of the nine baptismal records for children of Domenico and Cecilia gives any indication of who any of their parents are. So I'm stuck there until I can find a census or death record or marriage record that gives me her parents' names.

Michele's mother, Angiola d'Amato, was born on 19 Oct 1755, according to the 1802 census. The baptismal record confirms this. Angiola's death record in 1846 gives her parents' names as Andrea d'Amato and Pietronilla Izzo. They both were alive at the time of the 1802 census. Andrea's baptismal record shows up right where the census said it should, on 1 Dec 1732. The census shows his father as the late Giovanni, and the baptismal record fills in the blank by saying his mother was Nunzia Coluccio. She's a new find, my 7G grandmother.

The census shows Pietronilla Izzo's father as Ambrogio, but doesn't give a birthdate beyond saying she's 62 years old. I actually found her record in 1735, making her 67 in 1802. She was born on 20 Dec 1735 and baptized two days later. Interestingly, this is one of the few baptismal records that gives a grandparent's name, as her father is listed as Ambrogio Izzo Philippi, meaning that Filippo Izzo would be my 8G grandfather. Her mother is Cristina Riccio, my 7G grandmother. This baptismal record doesn't give Cristina's father's name, but the record for Pietronilla's brother Lorenzo on 11 Aug 1737 does, Domenico Riccio, also my 8G grandfather. If you assume a minimum of 18 years between generations, based on Pietronilla's birth date of 1735, her parents Ambrogio and Cristina must have been born no later than about 1717, and possibly much earlier. Ambrogio's father Filippo Izzo and Cristina's father Domenico Riccio must therefore have been born no later than 1699, and possibly much earlier. This is the first instance I have of tracing my Italian line into the 17th century. Cristina Riccio, Domenico Riccio, and Filippo Izzo are all new discoveries.

Baptismal Records

Posted at 3:30:58 AM Link to this entry


Monday, February 25, 2002

More information from the baptismal records of Santa Catarina in San Potito: Giovanna Cancello, my 4G grandmother, was born on 7 Jul 1783. The 1802 Census had this as 8 Jul, but the baptismal record says that she was baptized on 8 Jul and born the previous day. Her parents were Dionisio Cancello and Mariantonia d'Orsi, which I knew from the record of her marriage to Daniele Brandi as well. According to the marriage record, both Dionisio and Mariantonia were dead by 1810, but they were both alive as of the 1802 Census, so they died sometime between those two dates. Giovanna's baptism record doesn't mention the names of any of her grandparents. Her brother Francesco's baptism record of 21 Jan 1780, however, does. Dionisio's parents aren't listed, but Mariantonia's are given as the late Paschalis and Catharina d'Amato; the Italian versions of those names are Pasquale and Catarina. Catarina, my 6G-grandmother, is a new discovery.

The 1802 Census gives Dionisio's birthplace as Calvisi, which is a frazione of next-door Gioia, so he likely won't be in the Santa Catarina records. But it also gives his father's name as Pasquale, so at least I know the name of my 6G grandfather, if nothing else about him. Mariantonia's baptism record is very faded and difficult to read, but appears to say that she was baptized on 16 Oct 1745; she had been born the previous day, 15 Oct 1745. Her parents are listed here as well as Paschalis and Catharina d'Amato, with no names given for their parents. I found a number of siblings for Mariantonia as well, but none of their records listed their grandparents' names either.

Without death records, marriage records, census records, or some other record that would indicate parents for Pasquale and Catarina, it's impossible to state for sure if they're listed in the earlier records. I haven't really looked for them yet; if I find any likely candidates, I'll note them here.

Baptismal Records

Posted at 12:43:25 AM Link to this entry


Friday, February 15, 2002

I went to the State Archives in Trenton today to do some research on Laura's family. I found some interesting stuff.

First up was the record of the marriage of Laura's great-grandparents, Filippo Saracco and Maria Francesca (Franceschina) De Rosa. I found them getting married on 22 Feb 1903; that means that next Friday will be 99 years since they got married! There were some odd things there. For example, the wedding took place at St. Michael's Church in West Hoboken (known today as Union City), not in Paterson. Second was that Franceschina's address was given as 189 Summit Avenue, West Hoboken, also not Paterson. Very interesting. The officiating minister was the Pastor of St. Antonio's Italian Church in West Hoboken. Two names I got from this that I didn't know before were those of Filippo's parents. His father was Sebastiano Saracco, and his mother Maria G. d'Orsi. Filippo's death record fills in his mother's name as Maria Giuseppa d'Orsi. This is great to know. Filippo was born in March 1870 according to the death record; this is ten years after the latest records for Faicchio available from the Family History Library. With any luck, Filippo wasn't their first child; it would be nice if they had children as early as 1860, because then we could make the leap right to the FHL records. If that's the case, then they would have gotten married during the time frame of the FHL records, which would point me to the proper birth records and everything. If they didn't get married in 1860 or before, we would need to get the marriage record from Faicchio to make sure we were looking at the right records. So the next step on this line is clearly to look at the birth records for the late 1850s and 1860 and see if Sebastiano Saracco and Maria Giuseppa d'Orsi were having children then, and check the marriage records to see if they got married then. Filippo's death record shows that he died at the age of 61, and that he was working pretty much to the end of his life. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 16 Feb 1932.

I found death records for Laura's great-great-grandparents, Giovanni De Rosa and Lucia (Nannariello) De Rosa. Lucia died on 19 Mar 1924 of Solar something or other that I can't read, and Giovanni on 23 Nov 1924 of arteriosclerosis. The records confirm the names of their parents, although they misspell Lucia's maiden name as Mammariello.

The last death record I found was for Vittorio Minnocci, Laura's great-great-grandfather. I had previously gotten his death record from the state, but they had blacked out the part that described what he died of. The version I got on microfilm from the archives says that he died of bronchial pneumonia, with chronic nephritis as a contributory factor.

The death records at the archives only go up to 1940, so I couldn't find anyone else in the family. Still, I was happy with what I found, particularly the marriage record.

Marriage Record

Death Records

Posted at 8:42:29 PM Link to this entry


Tuesday, February 12, 2002

I've been gradually going through the baptism records from Santa Catarina in San Potito and finding my ancestors. My search through them is by no means complete, and what I have found still leaves some holes, but I have found some interesting information and driven back another generation or two in some cases.

My 5G Grandmother, Maria Rachele Manzo, was the wife of Angiolo Navarro and the mother of Giuseppe Navarro, my 4G Grandfather. I had her death record from the civil records in 1813, which gave her parents' names, Domenico Manzo and Marianna Altieri. I also had her birth date from the 1802 stato delle anime. But I went looking for her baptismal record anyway, and found it right where the stato delle anime said it would be, 20 Feb 1781. It's in Latin, and reads as follows:

Anno 17 octagesimo primo die vigesima Feb

Ego Joseph Ferrazzo Parochus Ecclae S. Catharinae Casalis S. Potiti baptizavi infantem eodem die natam ex Dominico Manzo et Maria Anna Altieri, coniugibus huius Parochia, cui impositum est nomen Maria Rachele, Commater fuit Anna di Chello huius Parochio.

That translates to English as:

Year 17 eighty-one, day 20 February

I, Joseph Ferrazzo, the parish priest of Saint Catharine church in the village of San Potito, baptized an infant on the day it was born to Domenico Manzo and Marianna Altieri, married in this parish, and they gave her the name Maria Rachele; the Godmother was Anna di Chello of this parish.

All of the baptism records going back quite a ways translate very similarly to this. So Maria Rachele was born and baptized on 20 Feb 1781.

I found records for many siblings of hers; she appears to have been the oldest child of Domenico and Marianna. Interestingly, starting in 1785, the records include the names of the grandparents as well as the parents. So the baptism record of Maria Vincenza Manzo, born on 1 Mar 1785, says that Domenico was the son of the late ("quondum") Caroli, et Pressea Piazza, and that Marianna was the daughter of Caroli, et Rosinae s. Massimo, both of Piedimonte. The names are given in Latin, so in Italian, Domenico's parents were Carlo Manzo and Preziosa Piazza. Preziosa is a new find; I'm not positive about her first name, though, as it appears in a number of different ways throughout the records. Marianna's parents, both still living were Carlo Altieri and Rosina Santomassimo, which verifies what I found on Marianna's death record from 1841. Carlo Altieri, my 7G Grandfather, apparently died between the birth of Domenico and Marianna's son Francesco Angelo on 25 Oct 1790 and that of their son Francesco Gabriele on 15 Jun 1792.

Domenico Manzo's baptism record shows that he was born and baptized on 11 Dec 1751. It gives his parents' names as Carolo (Carlo in Italian) Manzo and Praxide Piazza. It gives his full name as Dominicus Carolus Antonius (Domenico Carlo Antonio in Italian), and his Godfather as Pasquale Rapa.

I haven't found records for Carlo Manzo or Praxide/Preziosa Piazza yet.

Posted at 11:16:10 PM Link to this entry


The Federation of East European Family History Societies has an interesting page about detailed maps of eastern Europe. I think I've already got the Generalkarte von Mitteleuropa and Militär-Landesaufnahme und Spezialkarte der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie 1:75,000 for Lychkivtsi and Stara Bircza/Lipa. The Mapa Polski (Taktyczna) at a scale of 1:50,000 could be interesting, and should cover both places.

Posted at 12:00:28 PM Link to this entry


The Federation of Eastern European Family History Society's web site mentions a book that came out in 1998 listing all the holdings of vital records of the 89 branches of the State Archives of Poland, Ksiegi Metrykalne i Stanu Cywilnego w Archiwach Pantstwowych w Polsce. They've posted a "finding aid" that lists all of the towns and what kind of records they've got. So, for example, the Polish Archives have Greek Catholic records from Lipa, where Busia Horbal (Wiktorja Mazur) was born, and Roman Catholic records from Liczkowce, where Grandma (Jozefa Zurbyk) was born. I think the Mormons have the Liczkowce records. I would need the Greek Catholic records for there, though. Looks like they've got Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic records from Bircza, where great-grandpa Horbal was born, even though they misspell it Bicza. I looked for a Polish book store that has an English interface to their web site, but couldn't find one, and none of the ones I found in Polish had the book. But the New York Public Library has a copy. Hopefully the book, unlike the web site, also mentions which archive has the records in questions. I'll definitely have to look at it next time I'm at the library.

Posted at 12:20:53 AM Link to this entry


Friday, February 1, 2002

I found a really good source of detailed topographic maps of Ukraine. They're 1:100,000 scale military maps from the late Soviet era. Grandma Horbal's village, Lychkivtsi, is on this map, top coordinate 38, left coordinate 46. The village that Sobol came from, Samoluskivtsi, is immediately to the left.

Posted at 11:39:01 AM Link to this entry