Problems finding original Italian surname

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Problems finding original Italian surname

Postby kd1219 » 06 May 2004, 08:27

I have learned that my great grandfather was born in Sicily....and both of his parents were born in Sicily (according to the US census records).

He is listed as John Pocus ..... but Pocus is not an Italian surname. The previous census has no John Pocus.....but has a Jno Pakase .... is this Italian??? There are also records of another man from Italy named John Pocase.

Are any of these spellings Italian?? I don't know how to continue tracing our family when i have no idea what his original surname was. Are there any similar Italian names?? Does anyone have any idea where i should look now.... or advice as to how to track down his name?

Your help is sincerely appreciated.
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Postby ptimber » 06 May 2004, 08:36

Send the forms I advised you about in your same inquiry whicvh you posted about the same person to NARA and if you are notfamilair with NARAZ request form GIL#5 about using NARA records in your research. Go to www.genealogylookups.com/narchives.htm. Peter
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Thank you......

Postby kd1219 » 06 May 2004, 08:52

Thank You Peter .... i will do that......... !! :D
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Postby ptimber » 06 May 2004, 09:05

do you happen to have additional; information that you didn't disclose in your inquiry thinking that it does not help but when, indeed, any shred of information is an assist. Peter
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Re: Problems finding original Italian surname

Postby suanj » 06 May 2004, 11:20

kd1219 wrote:I have learned that my great grandfather was born in Sicily....and both of his parents were born in Sicily (according to the US census records).

He is listed as John Pocus ..... but Pocus is not an Italian surname. The previous census has no John Pocus.....but has a Jno Pakase .... is this Italian??? There are also records of another man from Italy named John Pocase.

Are any of these spellings Italian?? I don't know how to continue tracing our family when i have no idea what his original surname was. Are there any similar Italian names?? Does anyone have any idea where i should look now.... or advice as to how to track down his name?

Your help is sincerely appreciated.

Hi perhaps can to interest: probable surname is Puccio or Pecora.. on ellis island are many Giovanni (=John )Pecora or Puccio) coming from Sicily, and to time this surname is misspelled in a similar shape Pocusa or Pucus....regards, suanj
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Postby VaDeb » 06 May 2004, 14:17

Hopefully Peter and Suanj suggestions will help you. But have you followed the paper trial back your great grandfather?

Do you have a death certificate your great grandfather?

I had a similar problem with my great grandfather who died in 1915. Oral family history recalled Calabria as the ancestoral home. I sent away or looked for every US record available (death cert, cemetery, church, obit) hoping to find the town of origin in Italy. Not all of these were found but...

He was buried in a Catholic cemetery owned by an Ialian Catholic Church.
His funeral was done by the priest at the Italian Catholic Church where he lived. The Church told me there was not information on his death, other than a short note in old Italian. I sent a donation and asked (pleaded very politely) for a copy of that record anyway. It finally arrived and it was short and hard to read. I scanned it so I could enhance it on my computer.

It gave his name, his age, date of death, that he had passed to a better life and the town he was born in!!! This is the only place I have ever found the town recorded. Italian Priests, as familiar with the native language will sometimes note the correct surname in the record also.

So, when you are not lucky enough to find your ancestor on Ellis Island, don't forget the "old" method of working backwards and collecting every document you can find. The clues might give you the results you are looking for!

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Postby ptimber » 06 May 2004, 16:27

You have captureds the esence of research.....WORK! Peter
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Re: Problems finding original Italian surname

Postby Essgee » 08 May 2004, 21:06

kd1219 wrote:I have learned that my great grandfather was born in Sicily....and both of his parents were born in Sicily (according to the US census records).

He is listed as John Pocus ..... but Pocus is not an Italian surname. The previous census has no John Pocus.....but has a Jno Pakase .... is this Italian??? There are also records of another man from Italy named John Pocase.

Are any of these spellings Italian?? I don't know how to continue tracing our family when i have no idea what his original surname was. Are there any similar Italian names?? Does anyone have any idea where i should look now.... or advice as to how to track down his name?

Your help is sincerely appreciated.


What state and year are the census you are referring to? Is it 1920/1930? Maybe if we can look at the actual census page, we can help.
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