Catanzaro/Ruffo

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edecatan
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Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 15 Mar 2009, 22:10

I have recently been compiling a family tree for both of my parents' families and have run into a brick wall at perhaps the most important place. I am unable to find information about my great-great-grandfather. He was believed to have been a Count of Catanzaro, or at least a member of the nobility living in Palermo prior to the unification of Italy. He emigrated with his family to New York City aboard the Bark Simeto on 15 Oct 1871 from Palermo, and upon arrival (or perhaps prior) the last name was changed to Catanzaro. We believe it was likely Ruffo before that.

So, in short, I am seeking a Giuseppe Ruffo (or Giuseppe Ruffo di Calabria, Giuseppe Ruffo di Catanzaro, or any similar derivation of the surnames Ruffo and Catanzaro). I don't know his birth date, although he did die in New York City in 1878. His wife's name was Rosa Forestiere (as far as I know) and she was born in 1835.

Their children:

Umberto (? - 1900)
Anna (1861-1926) - born in Palermo, died in Brooklyn, NY
Giuseppe (9 Oct 1864 - 16 Mar 1929) - born in Palermo, died in Brooklyn, NY

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I may have been wrong about the connection to the nobility, but all other information is correct to the best of my knowledge.

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2009, 22:29

Dear Edecatan I am not going to plunge into research here because thisis whats needed but I can refer you to a few websites that may have eluded your reseach objectives.

The first is obtaining census information if and when you come across an address in 1905,1915 and 1925 at www.stevemorse.org/nyc/nyc.php

www.italiangen.org/Default.htm and www.nyc.gov/html/records/home.html

=Peter=
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 15 Mar 2009, 22:50

Thanks for the hints, but I've been there. I've already found all the New York stuff...what I need is evidence of their existence in Palermo prior to 1871.

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2009, 22:52

Postscript: There is no listing for any ship or bark SIMETO arriving at NYC in 1871. There were sailings from Genova, Livorno, Messina and Palermo on Mediterranean lines but none of the ships listed were named SIMETO? =Peter=
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 15 Mar 2009, 23:07

I did indeed notice that in my research. The information about the immigration date came from Joseph Catanzaro's passport application in 1905...he could have been wrong about the date, or given the nature of his character, there's a chance he was lying. What source did you use to determine this? Are you sure their records are complete?

It's more likely I have the date wrong than the ship name - the date is likely accurate within a few years (there is evidence of the Bark Simeto sailing from Palermo to New York as early as 1868).

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby Cathynap » 16 Mar 2009, 01:46

Does Tropea (formerly Catanzaro Province) mean anything to you? There was a noble family of Ruffo's there. Many of the noble families of Tropea had roots or summer homes in Sicily. My own family had a summer home in Sicily somewhere that I am still searching for. Our family story says they came from Sicily originally. I believe my family had a connection to the Ruffo's but I would have to check. The nobility of Tropea originated from all over Italy and Europe as Tropea has been an important seaport back to ancient times.
It seems to me in reviewing and uploading records from Tropea that the Ruffo's had a di something in them. If you would like I can check for you. Or you can check yourself by going to my website Catanzaro Exchange and click Tropea on the main page.
There is information at an Italian site which is a great resource for Tropea and nobility of the area. Try using an online translator if you do not speak Italian but keep in mind those translators do not do a very good job.
TROPEA MAGAZINE
Type in your search under cerca nel sito.
They have a lot of information on the many nobile families of Tropea. I have been told by the editor that Tropea had more nobile families there than any other place in the South.

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Mar 2009, 04:00

If you are trying to locate a record of their existence in Palermo prior to 1871 but do you mean Palermo as their place of origin or as a temporary place of residence coming into Palermo from another area? Please clarify?

Furthe it may be that the entry was in a year other than the year 1871 since the record was exhaustive. =Peter=
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby Cathynap » 16 Mar 2009, 05:13

PeterTimber wrote:If you are trying to locate a record of their existence in Palermo prior to 1871 but do you mean Palermo as their place of origin or as a temporary place of residence coming into Palermo from another area? Please clarify?

Furthe it may be that the entry was in a year other than the year 1871 since the record was exhaustive. =Peter=

Peter - the poster said they lived in Palermo but they believe he was a Count in Catanzaro. There were Ruffo Counts and Contessa's in Tropea which was in Catanzaro in this time period with connections to Sicily. I assume they are seeking information on the nobile Ruffo's and I provided a link to that. That websiite gave me my nobile roots back several centuries, a story that gave details of the wedding of my great grandparents as well as pictures of my family and the family palazzo. I was hoping the poster could at least learn a little about the noble Ruffo's there to try to find a connection.
Another link regarding the noble Ruffo's is here

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 16 Mar 2009, 07:33

This where it gets dicey. I know for certain that their children were born in Palermo. Where exactly they lived, I don't know for certain, but the logical assumption would be Palermo as of the early 1860's. I haven't heard of Tropea before, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful.

If I'm not mistaken, prior to the unification, Catanzaro was considered part of Calabria Ultra in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. Giuseppe Ruffo di Catanzaro (or whatever his original name was) had his original home somewhere in Catanzaro and was either a count or part of the nobility from Catanzaro. The family story goes that the palazzo in Catanzaro had been severely damaged during one of the frequent earthquakes in that area, and the family moved to another palazzo in or around Palermo at some point. The old home in Catanzaro was later roofed over and became the town jail house or some kind of municipal building, apparently leaving one tower still standing to this day. The conclusion can be drawn that because they were likely in favor of Sicilian independence that they fled to America when the guerrila campaigns against the unionists failed (finally halted by the Italian government in 1871). That last bit of course is just speculation - I don't know much about the Risorgimento, but I know the family was heavily involved in the politics of the day.

The Tropea site seems rather difficult to navigate and the records are nearly impossible to read, made worse by the fact that I don't speak Italian. But it may prove to be very helpful and I'll give it a more thorough examination when I find the time.

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Mar 2009, 12:21

Dear Edecatan First thing is that I checked for the Simeto arriving at NYC or anywhere else for that matter for the decade around 1871 and there is not even a listing for the Barc Simeto that I could find or anything similar in spelling...where did you get this information about the Barc Simeto and your family arriving in NYC???

Next if the children were born in Palermo then you can write to the Uffico di Stato Civle, Piazza Giulio Cesare 52, 90100, Palermo, Pennsylva nia. I presume you can read,write and speak Italian ( I am amazed at how many italian americans never learned Italian...maybe because in NYC the High schools taught Italian and you could learn Italian easily). If not then you can use www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwisdom/it ... tters.html for birth records approximating several years of birth around 1861. =Peter=
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Mar 2009, 12:31

Dear Cathynap Rufo is a variant of the base name Ruffo whcih is as you tate a great Calabrian family of the Ruffo who came to Southern Italy with the Normans. The surname extends back to the Roman Rufus and its diminutive Rufulus of the Sabine tribe made famous by the rape of the Sabine women legend translating to persons with red hair.=Peter=
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby Cathynap » 16 Mar 2009, 15:54

edecatan wrote:This where it gets dicey. I know for certain that their children were born in Palermo. Where exactly they lived, I don't know for certain, but the logical assumption would be Palermo as of the early 1860's. I haven't heard of Tropea before, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful.

If I'm not mistaken, prior to the unification, Catanzaro was considered part of Calabria Ultra in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. Giuseppe Ruffo di Catanzaro (or whatever his original name was) had his original home somewhere in Catanzaro and was either a count or part of the nobility from Catanzaro. The family story goes that the palazzo in Catanzaro had been severely damaged during one of the frequent earthquakes in that area, and the family moved to another palazzo in or around Palermo at some point. The old home in Catanzaro was later roofed over and became the town jail house or some kind of municipal building, apparently leaving one tower still standing to this day. The conclusion can be drawn that because they were likely in favor of Sicilian independence that they fled to America when the guerrila campaigns against the unionists failed (finally halted by the Italian government in 1871). That last bit of course is just speculation - I don't know much about the Risorgimento, but I know the family was heavily involved in the politics of the day.

The Tropea site seems rather difficult to navigate and the records are nearly impossible to read, made worse by the fact that I don't speak Italian. But it may prove to be very helpful and I'll give it a more thorough examination when I find the time.

I found 2 outstanding links that provide the genealogy of the noble Ruffo family of Catanzaro with links to Sicily. They are both in Italian but provide detailed genealogy including titles. Since you do not speak Italian, you can use Google to translate (again, online translators do not work very well but give you an idea). If you find anything of particular interest you can post it on the translation board. Here are the links:
GENEALOGY OF RUFFI DI CATANZARO
HISTORY OF RUFFO DI CALABRIA

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 16 Mar 2009, 17:45

Thank you very much for those links and I will investigate sometime in the near future. As for PeterTimber, I am fairly certain of the ship arriving in New York around that time...Giuseppe Catanzaro (1864-1929) and his sister Anna both list it numerous times on their passport application as the boat they arrived on. There is evidence of this ship existing, sailing from Palermo to New York in various years, as I have found articles from the New York Times indicating as such:
1868: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.h ... 8383679FDE
1878: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.h ... 8383669FDE

If you view the full articles, the Bark Simeto is clearly listed there.

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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby BillieDeKid » 16 Mar 2009, 17:51

Ok I have some good news for you edecatan.

Here is the link that I used to find the ship you referenced
http://stevemorse.org/cgi-bin/boat.cgi? ... atabase=ny

If you click the year you referred to it will take you to the manifest on ancestry. I don't know if you have a subscription so I'm posting the manifest for you.
Image

I went a step further and used this link for Palermo marriages (transcribed indexes)
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.anc ... index8.htm

go to 1846 to 1855 look at Giuseppe Catanzaro and I believe the woman listed on the far right (as his wife) is the woman on the manifest. These are transcribed indexes and it's sometimes difficult to read the writing. But I'm about 80% sure these are the people you're looking for. You'll also see the parents names listed.

You should be able to write to Palermo, Palermo province, Sicily and request an integral copy of the marriage.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions let me know.

Regards,
Elizabeth

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edecatan
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Re: Catanzaro/Ruffo

Postby edecatan » 16 Mar 2009, 18:15

EUREKA! That is it! I love you!

I do indeed have a subscription to ancestry.com, but I could never find the proper index search engine for ship names. How did you go about it?

As for the marriage index, the listing is rather strange. It says: "Catanzaro,Giuseppe,Paolo,Guiotta Domenica,Moto•,19,ottobre,1855,v. 355,n. 0180,Forestiere. Rosa"

What do the other names between Catanzaro and Forestiere signify? Parents? Or just people at the wedding?

So it appears I was probably wrong about the Ruffo link to the nobility all along, and that the surname was always Catanzaro as far back as Palermo. I apologize if I wasted anyone's time, but I only had family specualtion and wild stories to go on.


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