immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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peonygirl
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immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby peonygirl » 08 May 2016, 21:40

Hi. I am researching my maternal ancestors, starting, of course with my maternal grandfather and his family. As a child, I was told that Diego Gagliano traveled back and forth to America many times. The folklore was it was in pursuit of his wife to be. Now that I am older, I think it was more economical - getting jobs and bringing the money back to Italy. His name is Diego Gagliano -- a very common name. There are multiple manifests listing Diego Gagliano throughout the years 1906 - 1910. I am in the process of weeding out those that were not my grandfather and keeping those are really him before I put him on a "tree" with documentation.

It occurred to me that perhaps people of the same town used a known address in New York, whether or not they were actually going to stay there. Could this be right? That might explain the same name, different ages, all going to the same place.

Truly, researching ancestors is like putting together a giant puzzle! Thanks for any insights you can lend.
Peonygirl

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Re: immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby sacesta » 09 May 2016, 14:12

Hi Peonygirl,

I'm relatively new to genealogy too and you are right. It is just like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle - often with pieces from other puzzles.

Your observations about immigration are on the money too. A lot of immigrants traveled back and forth. They were known as "Birds of Passage". And immigrants from specific comunes in Italy did, in fact, settle together, often on the same block in New York.

I'm several generations deep in my search but the most nagging questions I have about my ancestry have to do with my paternal grandfather's immigration. I know he came to America in 1923, but other than that I know almost nothing regarding his whereabouts from 1919 until 1929, when he married in Brooklyn - a critical time in his life!

Good luck in your search. If I happen upon Diego in my search I'll post what I discover.

Steve
Steve Acesta

Researching Calatafimi, Trapani
Surnames Aceste, Papa, Cusenza, Gruppuso, Sciortino, Sparacino, Zito, and Vona.

Researching Montevago, Agrigento (Girgenti)
Surnames Infranco, La Rocca, Mandina, Bilello, Cacioppo, and Cardino.

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Re: immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby peonygirl » 09 May 2016, 19:46

Thanks, Steve. Genealogy is truly an exercise in patience but it is worth the "aha!" moment when the puzzle finally clicks together. Good luck to you too...

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Re: immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby Biff83 » 09 May 2016, 20:43

peonygirl wrote:It occurred to me that perhaps people of the same town used a known address in New York, whether or not they were actually going to stay there. Could this be right? That might explain the same name, different ages, all going to the same place.

Peonygirl


In the case of my ancestors, the address that was listed for many of them was not a residential address but rather the business address of a fellow Calabres' who had established a store and saloon, acted as a steamship agent and ran a subsidiary post office station. He also translated letters and could handle trans-atlantic money orders. Since they were the birds of passage who boarded in the states, they did not have a permanent address in the states. Their destination address used was that man's business address with the name of a local relative or friend.

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Re: immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby James » 10 May 2016, 05:03

peonygirl wrote:Hi. I am researching my maternal ancestors, starting, of course with my maternal grandfather and his family. As a child, I was told that Diego Gagliano traveled back and forth to America many times. The folklore was it was in pursuit of his wife to be. Now that I am older, I think it was more economical - getting jobs and bringing the money back to Italy. His name is Diego Gagliano -- a very common name. There are multiple manifests listing Diego Gagliano throughout the years 1906 - 1910. I am in the process of weeding out those that were not my grandfather and keeping those are really him before I put him on a "tree" with documentation.

It occurred to me that perhaps people of the same town used a known address in New York, whether or not they were actually going to stay there. Could this be right? That might explain the same name, different ages, all going to the same place.

Truly, researching ancestors is like putting together a giant puzzle! Thanks for any insights you can lend.
Peonygirl


You are right about multiple people using the same address to immigrate into the USA. Many had no intention of every actually living at that address, but were given a friend or families home address before leaving to come.
James
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Re: immigration to U. S. Thoughts

Postby peonygirl » 13 May 2016, 17:03

Thanks, Biff, that does help. The building noted in the passenger manifests was the same building I visited as a child with my parents when we went to see my grandmother. My grandfather died at a young age, of pneumonia in his 40s, and left his wife, Maria, to live there. It was a family building - aunts, uncles, even my parents at one point, lived there, as young couples, probably first married. As an adult, I wondered how they bought a building in New York when there was very little money. Perhaps the agreement was that the commune purchased it - individual families - and used it as the central point of entry. Very interesting!!!!
- PG


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