Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan recs?

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montclaire
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Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan recs?

Postby montclaire » 07 Mar 2011, 17:29

Some of you may know from my other posts that my great grandmother was raised in a convent in Avigliano. We suspect her to be Albanian and the story is that she was abandoned as an infant by gypsies and raised by the church. She immigrated with her adopted family to Port Chester, NY.

While I have found her on Ellis Island records, everything else is a mystery - an aunt listed in the manifest with an illegible last name (Caterina someting), and adopted parents listed (Donato and G Battista Summa) who seem to have not existed otherwise. Nothing on the EI site and nothing that I can find on the census listings either.

Since I can't make out the aunt's name or find the adopted parents, I'm thinking my best resource may be the church. However, if priests in Basilicata are as accomodating as the ones here, it may be a waste of my time.

I know I've brought this subject up several times prior, but I can't seem to get anywhere with it. It's not that people have not been helpful. Should anyone feel like taking a crack at it, she's the only Margherita Marpo in the EI records. There's her manifest listing and also a 'hold' document.

I know that sometimes the convents would rename orphans. There are no Marpos currently in Italy and I'm having trouble finding many others anywhere. Slang perhaps? A biblical reference? Ancestry does show one immigrating from Silcily and another from Naples, another from Germany, very few out there though.

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Tessa78
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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby Tessa78 » 07 Mar 2011, 20:11

I looked at the manifest for Margherita Marpo, and the aunt's name looks like it could be "Grieco" -

Can you give me an idea of Donato's and G Battista's approx. birth dates?
Can you post the manifest you have for them? Summa is a very common name in Avigliano, hoping any facts you can give me will help me to narrow down the choices. I looked at birth indexes for 1894-95 (and some birth records for Summa in 94-96), with no luck for your Margherita... But it was a very quick look.

T.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 07 Mar 2011, 20:20

That's the issue. Other than the mention in Margherita's immigration records, there is nothing to go on for Donato and G Battista. I have tried EI, ancestry, and even page by page of the 1920 census of Port Chester and I can't find anything.

I have Margherita's marriage certificate and she lists her parents as 'unknown.' No idea of who the aunt may have been, no one in the family that I have talked to recalls any mention of her.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby Tessa78 » 07 Mar 2011, 20:22

Can't even find a word in Italian that comes close to "Marpo"

Closest name in Avigliano is "Marzo"

I'm sure you've discovered on Ancestry that there were quite a few "Donato Summa" -

T.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 07 Mar 2011, 20:24

From what I recall she had good penmanship. God bless those nuns. Haha

But I don't think there would have been any mistake as to her name, if she could read and write well enough, it should have cleared any barriers at EI.

Yes on the Donato Summa business. I was hoping the 1920 census could have helped, but no success. She is listed as intending to meet father Donato at 30 Beech St. in Port Chester, but so was just about everyone else off the boat from Avigliano.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby Tessa78 » 07 Mar 2011, 20:31

montclaire wrote:From what I recall she had good penmanship. God bless those nuns. Haha

But I don't think there would have been any mistake as to her name, of she could read and write well enough, it should have cleared any barriers at EI.

Yes on the Donato Summa business. I was hoping the 1920 census could have helped, but no success. She is listed as intending to meet father Donato at 30 Beech St. in Port Chester, but so was just about everyone else off the boat from Avigliano.


Yes, very often the address they gave was actually the address of the ticketing agent...

T.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 07 Mar 2011, 20:40

It was a gateway. She wound up living most of her life just down the block at 37 Beech. I think they moved to Purdy at one point towards the end but she may have had passed at that point in time. She died in the 50s.

Most of the block is gone now, I took a ride out maybe two years ago. A handful of houses are still there but none that mean anything to me. There is a large high rise type building taking up a good chunk of the block, looked like maybe low income housing. A big parking lot on the other side.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 08 Mar 2011, 14:46

I also tried Marpa, no luck. I suppose it could be shortened version of something, or just a dead name. 'Marzo' does have me thinking though, what is the origin of that name?

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby Tessa78 » 08 Mar 2011, 20:41

montclaire wrote:I also tried Marpa, no luck. I suppose it could be shortened version of something, or just a dead name. 'Marzo' does have me thinking though, what is the origin of that name?


If you are referring to its meaning/origin---
From this site (in Italian)
http://www.cognomiitaliani.org/cognomi/ ... 011art.htm
Basically says that it is typical on the Salento Peninsula (the heel of the boot - Puglia Region). Could come from medieval "Marzus", or from children born in month of March (marzo), or referring to the god Mars (a good omen) the strongest of the gods.

The name can be found in abundance in the southeastern part of Puglia today.
http://gens.labo.net/it/cognomi/genera. ... r=640&k=FF

T.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby Tessa78 » 08 Mar 2011, 20:43

Interestingly, I came across this Albanian surname - "Mripa"

Just thought I'd throw that out there since you mention that you suspect she was Albanian.

T.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 09 Mar 2011, 03:47

That is certainly a possibility.

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Re: Anyone have luck contacting parish priests for orphan re

Postby montclaire » 12 Mar 2011, 21:58

Looks like a dead end again? How is it that I can find no record for Donato or G Battista Summa?


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