Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

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Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 15 Dec 2009, 20:58

Hello everyone, stumbled across this site after some random furious searching. I've always been interesting in my past and history (I'm 19 years old). Originally, all I've known is that I'm half Italian but I got searching on ellisisland.org and found some stuff. I also searched through ancestry.com by using a friend's subscription. After they canceled their account I was astray with no real tool or sources. My main goal has always been to search for my father's real grandfather. He found out when he was 18 that his grandfather wasn't Joseph Sgroi.

Yes, I'm a Sgroi (Which I believe derives from Southern Italy. Many Sicilians/Southern Italians with the surname) but not biologically. My father's grandmother (biological) is Marianna Amari. She was born December 1904 in Santa Ninfa Sicily (Western part of the island). She had 2 younger brother's - Paolo Amari and Filippo Amari. My father knew of all these people when he lived with his grandfather as a child. It was definitely an experience of being Italian that I missed. Everybody was speaking Italian and tons of family was always over. Anyway... apparently her father was Giuseppe Amari (My great great grandfather) was born in 1865 in Santa Ninfa Sicily. He left with his 3 children (Paul, Phil, and Marianna) in 1914 in Palermo Italy on the ship Taormina. Supposedly, from my finding on ancestry he had already been to America and was married. I got a little stuck their finding his wife and when he went to American prior but I believe he came back to leave for good with his children. His job occupation was a countryman, he couldn't read and had less than 50$ with him going to America. He also happened to be 5 foot 3 inches tall.

Now, back to my biological grandfather. My Great Grandmother Marianna Amari may have never been married to my biological great grandfather. But it's very possible she was. My grandfather claims his name was Paul Chelli. My mother says that's silly because Chelli isn't an Italian surname and his last name was most likely Celli. Apparently he was an Italian composer or musician. The idea struck me to search for NY marriages. I stumbled across this

http://www.italiangen.org/nycbridesresu ... &B1=Submit

Now, if Marion Amari is my great grandmother then my biological great grandfather is Paul O Chilly. You can see this by clicking the second one (1926 marriage). That doesn't sound Italian nor does it register with any common surnames. My grandfather claims to be 100% Italian, and I'm sure he would've known otherwise if he wasn't from his mother. My father looks very Italian and very much like his father, so I seriously doubt Chilly is non-Italian or that this is really the man himself.

It's possible that Paul Sciacca is my biological great grandfather but I doubt that very much. It's wishful thinking since I recognize that as a Sicilian name. My grandfather was born in Nov 1935 (Maybe 34) and his sister was born in 1928 I believe. They could be half-sister/brothers but that would be some new profound revelation to arise, one that seems highly unlikely. Thus, the 1926 marriage seems apt if my Great Grandmother did happen to get married. That in and of it self isn't guaranteed.

Basically, I need some huge help on the issue. I know I'm desperate and have little hope or reference to help you help me but I'm stuck and have little else to go by. I would like to know about my history and roots as far back as I can so anyone information would be wonderful as this stuff interests me.

I'll briefly go over my mother's Italian side too. My grandmother (On my mom's side) was born Josephine Lentini around 1930 in NY. Her father was Orazio Lentini - born in Messina Sicily in 1896 and left Messina at 7 years old in 1903 (I'm actually not 100% sure it's this Orazio Lentini. But I do believe so I'll check with my mom). Either way, I know the Lentini has a huge history to its surname being one of the first Sicilian cities. Apparently they are a very proud and accomplished people. My grandmother's mother was Margherita Caruso, her last place of residence was Camporeale Trapani which happens to be about 15 miles away from the other side of the family that was from Santa Ninfa. She came to America (NY area like the rest of my family) in 1913 and was 20 years old. She traveled on the same ship and 9 months apart from my father's grandmother did. She came to America with her 17 year old brother Ignazio Caruso. So that's about all I know for my mother's side.

Anyone that can help me trace my history further would be terrific. If I could somehow find out who my great-grandfather was that would be great. A last resort I guess would be doing the DNA testing that ancestry.com does. Might be the way to go. Thank you. And yes, I know it's a lot of text. So all my roots that I know of (On my Italian side at least) come from Sicily, which is very interesting and cool.

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 15 Dec 2009, 23:36

Welcome to the Forum!

for everyone's reference, from Ellis Island
http://stevemorse.org/ellis2/ellisgold.html

1914 manifest
page 2

Giuseppe Amari 49
joining wife Antonia Lo Truglio in Brooklyn
Marianna Amari 9
- possible naturalization notation: 2-807390 12/2/40 505
Filippo Amari 5
Paolo Amari 4
---

Have you ordered the marriage record you found?
It should have parent's names on it

Amari Marion Apr 24 1926 Manhattan 14141
Chilly Paul O Apr 24 1926 Manhattan 14141

Ordering NYC Vital Records
New York City Archives

from NYC records by the Italian Genealogical Group
http://www.italiangen.org/

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 15 Dec 2009, 23:53

from ancestry. com
1920 census

Home in 1920:
40 Union Ave
Brooklyn Assembly District 14, Kings, New York

head Joseph Aman (Amari) 55, abt 1865 IT
- immig 1913
wife Anna Aman 44, abt 1876 IT
- immig 1913
son Janatz (Ignazio) Aman 29, abt 1891 IT
- immig 1913, filed 1st papers
- barber
son Vitz (Vito) Aman 17, abt 1903 IT
- immig 1913
- tailor
daughter Mary Aman 16, abt 1904 IT
- immig 1913
son Philip Aman 11, abt 1909 IT
- immig 1913
son Paul Aman 9, abt 1911 IT

edit: added

this is a corrected census page for the Amari family in 1920
1920 corrected page

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 00:07

VJ Thank you so much for getting back to me.

Terrific that you found my great great grandfather's wife!

When I had the ancestry I saw the Joseph Aman with the wife and kids listed but I couldn't entirely pin it down to that. I didn't understand the Aman and I could point out to how Janatz and Vitz were. I guess those were the other kids Anna brought over? I doubt that, as my father lived with Mary and all the uncles came over. He remembers Phil and Paul but these great uncles don't ring a bell.

By the way, how did you search ellis island to find the wife? Excellent work there.

I have ordered the marriage records. It was only today that I tried discorvering my biological great grand father. At this point I don't even know if they were married. They could've had my great aunt and grandfather out of wedlock. I'll have to ask. Also, the last name doesn't seem to be Italian and has no trace of that. I don't think that could be.

Thanks for digging that record, though. However, could it be another Marion? Is the age listed somewhere?

I appreciate the work. Thanks VJ.

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 00:16

I'm glad we could clear up a couple of issues for you.

If you look for Marianna's brothers under Amari or her mother under Lo Truglio (or something similar) you should be able to find a manifest.
Page two of manifests after abt 1907 include who they were joining, Giuseppe was joining his wife. Luckily it listed her maiden name on the manifest.

Note: I think this family made several trips back and forth between Santa Ninfa and Brooklyn before 1920.
You may find more siblings...

I may have found Marianna's brother Paul living with Ignazio ('americanized' to William) in 1930.
1930 census William owns his own barber shop

You'll find the marriage record will include ages, parents names, address and witnesses - all good clues to identification

Pistolpete wrote:...My grandfather was born in Nov 1935 (Maybe 34) and his sister was born in 1928 I believe ...


We may be able to locate your g-grandmother Marianna Amari X on a 1930 census if we knew her daughter's (born abt 1928) name.

Thank you, Valarie
---

another way to search NYC records

Dr Steve Morse One Step Search Pages for New York:

NY Naturalization
NYC Birth Records 1901-1907
NYC Birth Records 1891-1902 (requires ancestry. com subscription)
NYC Groom Index 1864-1936
NYC Bride Index ????-1937
NYC Death Records 1891-1948

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 00:35

Thanks VJ.

A few questions, though.


If you look for Marianna's brothers under Amari or her mother under Lo Truglio (or something similar) you should be able to find a manifest.
Page two of manifests after abt 1907 include who they were joining, Giuseppe was joining his wife. Luckily it listed her maiden name on the manifest.


Is that on ancestry? My friend canceled their subscription so I can't access what you're referring to.

What about Vitz and Ignazio? Is it possible that the mix you speak of comes from Antonia (Giuseppe's wife) kids? Maybe we can trace a death for Vitz and Ignazio to possibly explain my father's lack of knowledge about them. Or could it just be cousins that lived with them.

One thing that confuses me is the Aman. If they had changed their Amari name to Aman, then wouldn't the marriage with Mary be listed as Aman rather than Amari? Or could that census just be wrong.

Do these records sometimes become a bit off? I remember when I had my ancestry account that I saw the immigration dates of 1913, when I knew they had traveled to Brooklyn in 1914. I guess that's just looking for an error in something that isn't perfectly recorded.

Finding a 1930 census with Marianna Amari would be terrific. That could find the husband or the guy she was with. Under the marriage records you found, did it say her age. Around 1926, she should be about 23-24 years old.

Anyway can we pinpoint and find Mariann's first husband "Paul" (If that's really his name). And after discovering him try finding my ethnic roots and ancestry through him. If that's possible, but at least ideal. Finding him would be the first big step and trying to see where his root comes from would be next.

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 00:47

http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passR ... 6&fromEI=1

Found this, that appears to be Marianna's mother. Works with the age on the 1920 census as she's 38. Says she lived in Ribera, Sicily which is a bit of distant from Santa Ninfa. Says she's married too. I could not really read much of the transcript to find Ignazio or Vitz, if they were on there. Maybe you might be able to.

*Edit*

Those NY links don't appear to be working. I search but never find anything. Even when searching something I know that stuff will come up for.

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 00:55

Is that on ancestry?

I believe you'll find several more manifests and possibly more siblings for Marianna on Ellis Island:

http://stevemorse.org/ellis2/ellisgold.html

Try searching for Lo Truglio (& variations) along with Amari
In Italy women keep their maiden name so Antonia will be traveling under Lo Truglio and her children should be listed under Amari

What about Vitz and Ignazio? Is it possible that the mix you speak of comes from Antonia (Giuseppe's wife) kids? Maybe we can trace a death for Vitz and Ignazio to possibly explain my father's lack of knowledge about them. Or could it just be cousins that lived with them.


Vito & Ignazio (William)
If parents, Giuseppe and Antonia, died young their children may have lived with other siblings...

One thing that confuses me is the Aman. If they had changed their Amari name to Aman, then wouldn't the marriage with Mary be listed as Aman rather than Amari? Or could that census just be wrong.


If you look closely it is Amari - it was transcribed incorrectly

Do these records sometimes become a bit off? I remember when I had my ancestry account that I saw the immigration dates of 1913, when I knew they had traveled to Brooklyn in 1914. I guess that's just looking for an error in something that isn't perfectly recorded.


It is unusual to find a correct record. It depended upon the person giving the information, what they knew or what they remembered. Census records are great for placing people in a certain location at a point in time. They're best used as guides for finding other records (birth, marriage, death, naturalization records)

Finding a 1930 census with Marianna Amari would be terrific. That could find the husband or the guy she was with.


What is your great aunt's name? (Marianna's daughter)

Under the marriage records you found, did it say her age. Around 1926, she should be about 23-24 years old.


I meant when you recieve a copy of the certificate, it will have her age

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 01:00

http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passRecord.asp?MID=01461929400939282176&pID=100405020086&fromEI=1

Found this, that appears to be Marianna's mother. Works with the age on the 1920 census as she's 38. Says she lived in Ribera, Sicily which is a bit of distant from Santa Ninfa. Says she's married too. I could not really read much of the transcript to find Ignazio or Vitz, if they were on there. Maybe you might be able to.


probably not her, 'Antonio' headed to Canton Ohio

try this link to Ellis Island
http://stevemorse.org/ellis2/ellisgold.html
It has quite a few search options that may help

Hints:
Don't put in a year - you should find several manifests up until 1920
Try to search by last name or partial last name
You can even search location by 'contains' Ninfa
Then zero in on the best possibilities
Don't rule out early trips to locations other than NY
Many of our ancestors made multiple trips to the US to earn money to send home before deciding to stay

Those NY links don't appear to be working. I search but never find anything. Even when searching something I know that stuff will come up for.


You may want to save them for future searches
Like census records, they're full of misspellings

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 01:24

vj wrote:
Is that on ancestry?

I believe you'll find several more manifests and possibly more siblings for Marianna on Ellis Island:

http://stevemorse.org/ellis2/ellisgold.html

Try searching for Lo Truglio (& variations) along with Amari
In Italy women keep their maiden name so Antonia will be traveling under Lo Truglio and her children should be listed under Amari


Having trouble searching with that layout rather than from ellisisland.org rather than that search engine. I get something like this for some reason "
No results found

* This year of birth value is computed from the age on arrival and date of arrival. This site does not have specific information about the date of the individual's birth.
Your search took 0 seconds."

Vito & Ignazio (William)
If parents, Giuseppe and Antonia, died young their children may have lived with other siblings...


My father lived in his grandparents house as a kid. They had parties all the time with Uncle Paul and Phil. Ignazio and Vito don't register with him. Perhaps they died young, or moved away and he never knew of them...

What is your great aunt's name? (Marianna's daughter)


Camille or some variation of that (Perhaps short for Carmella). She's still alive, too.

She's currently Camille Phillips (Husband's last name).

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 01:30

Pistolpete wrote:Having trouble searching with that layout rather than from ellisisland.org rather than that search engine. I get something like this for some reason "
No results found

* This year of birth value is computed from the age on arrival and date of arrival. This site does not have specific information about the date of the individual's birth.
Your search took 0 seconds."


You may be entering too much information :wink:

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 01:43

vj wrote:
Pistolpete wrote:Having trouble searching with that layout rather than from ellisisland.org rather than that search engine. I get something like this for some reason "
No results found

* This year of birth value is computed from the age on arrival and date of arrival. This site does not have specific information about the date of the individual's birth.
Your search took 0 seconds."


You may be entering too much information :wink:


Found this on Ellisisland

http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passR ... 3&fromEI=1

43 years old and traveling to America in 1919. What's weird is that Giuseppe was traveling to see Antonina. I suppose she went back to Sicily to visit family and then came back. It says on the transcript she's going to see Guiseppe. It also says she's going by herself. I think Ellis Island only keeps the last transcript. She says she been to America in 05 and 09. I presume this was her final time in Santa Ninfa Sicily. Guiseppe archive also said he had been to America before... if only I could see the earlier transcripts.

*Edit*

Maybe not. Says she's visiting Husband Cuddemi Guiseppe...

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 01:53

Here's a 1914 trip with daughter Eleanora, son Vito did not sail
joining son Domenico in NYC
husband Giuseppe is in Santa Ninfa

26 Apr 1914 Manifest
page 2

Antonina Lo Truglio 44, abt 1870
- possible naturalization notation 2-1018848(?) 505 no c/a 7/24/42
- last residence S Ninfa
- in S Ninfa, husband Giuseppe Amari
- joining son Domenico in Brooklyn
- born in S Ninfa
Eleanora Amari 15, abt 1899
Vito Amari 12, abt 1902
- lined off, did not sail

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby Pistolpete » 16 Dec 2009, 02:01

vj wrote:Here's a 1914 trip with daughter Eleanora, son Vito did not sail
joining son Domenico in NYC
husband Giuseppe is in Santa Ninfa

26 Apr 1914 Manifest
page 2


Wow good work. Man I'm awful at this. I get leads, but just can't pinpoint.

What haven't I heard of Domenico or Eleanor. Are we sure this is the same Antonina? Why weren't they listed in the 1920 census?

Not sure that's her. She would be 50 by the 1920 census rather than the listed 44. Unless that census is wrong which is completely valid of a thought. Ignazio and Vito don't really exist in my dad's eyes. But he remembers uncle Paulie and Phil. It would be strange for that to be the case. I know that's the recommended lead but that tripped me up too when I had my ancestry account.

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Re: Help Me Figure Out My Biological Great Grandfather!

Postby vj » 16 Dec 2009, 02:10

Pistolpete wrote:Man I'm awful at this. I get leads, but just can't pinpoint.
What haven't I heard of Domenico or Eleanor. Are we sure this is the same Antonina? Why weren't they listed in the 1920 census?


You know the records are there just waiting for you to find them :wink: .
Plan on misspellings and bad transcriptions - it just takes practice.

As families became acclimated to their new life, children would usually live with their parents until they got married. In many cases they contributed to the family finances until they had a family of their own. Many times you'll find them in the same neighborhood.
Best guess, Eleanora and Domenico were married by 1920 and not living at home.
No doubt this is your Antonina - Giuseppe's arrival was after Antonia in 1914.

Note: in our family research we found a brother in NY that none of my g-grandfather's children knew he had.
When we found the family records in Italy we found quite a few more siblings.
It was quite a revelation :D

Valarie
---

I forgot to ask,
What years did your father live with his grandparents?
Where did they live?


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