Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

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Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby abinanti » 09 Apr 2011, 00:08

My grandfather Joseph (Giuseppi) Tornabene came to the USA with his sister Josephine Tornabene in 1911. His father was Guytano and his mother was Colgelina ?? spelling. Any information on the family history and living relatives in Italy would be very much appreciated.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby nuccia » 09 Apr 2011, 12:09

You would be looking for Giuseppe Tornabene, father Gaetano and mother Colgera Barone.
Perhaps this is also him? Going to see brother in Pittsburg, Alfonso Tornabene.

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
about Giuseppe Tornabene
Name: Giuseppe Tornabene
Arrival Date: 28 Nov 1911
Birth Year: abt 1893
Birth Location: Italy
Birth Location Other: ceatmuto
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race-
/Nationality: Italian (South) (Italian)
Port of Departure: Naples, Italy
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Sant Anna
Search Ship Database: Search the Sant Anna in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database

Try checking Alfonso's manifest for more clues. Also, you can try using the Italian White Pages to locate persons with the same surname still living in the area.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby abinanti » 09 Apr 2011, 16:28

Nuccia,

Thank you for responding. I need to ask how you found the information you posted for me? I am new at this and learning but need to learn more.

Yes, my grandfather had a brother Alfonzo who settled in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He also had a brother Sam, Carmelo, I believe a siter Mary but I know for sure 2 sisters that stayed in Italy with the names of Angeline and Charlotte.

There were also cousins: Salvatore Tornabene and Luigi Infintino an opera singer that I met once when he came to visit my grandfather, his uncle.

I will try the Italian white pages but I would like to get more concrete data. We are going to Italy this summer I am hoping to gather more information.

Thank you again.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby nuccia » 09 Apr 2011, 17:17

I'm glad this is your family. You can go to One Step Pages by Steve Morse (free site) or Ancestry (be careful for this is a paid subscriptions site so only sign up when you're ready to spend that kind of money) and look up ship manifests for those with your surnames. Look for clues. I took the info you provided and it was easy to narrow down who he might be. Remember to check for variations in spelling as well and for neighbouring towns. I would like to post the manifest for you but first I would like you to attempt to find the actual manifest yourself using the text I provided you and the sites listed. I'll be around for any help you need. Let me know how it goes.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby nuccia » 10 Apr 2011, 23:01

How are you making out with your search? Were you able to locate the ship manifest? Again I just want to let you know I am here if you need any help. :)
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby abinanti » 26 May 2011, 18:55

nuccia wrote:How are you making out with your search? Were you able to locate the ship manifest? Again I just want to let you know I am here if you need any help. :)



I have not had time in recent months to dedicate to my search. I plan on working on this more as things get into summer mode with children. We are going to Rome next month for a holiday. I think sometime in July I will be able to focus more on this. Thank you again for your assistance.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby HughTornabene » 17 Jun 2011, 07:11

On a GOOGLE search for "Joseph Tornabene, Pittsburgh" I found this set of messages.
I am so delighted.
I am Hugh Tornabene, htinusa@aol.com, in Maryland.
I do Tornabene genealogy and recently did Racalmuto, Sicily.
I have a lot of extracted information from this town on Tornabene.
(I see this site keeps highlighting the name Tornabene, you better get used to it.)
So then I found 19 Tornabenes who emmigrated to USA from Racalmuto.
I have a lot about this guy Giuseppe, born 1893 in Racalmuto, his Brother Alfonso who came first to 616 Smithfield St. Others in their familly who also came, and even their father Gaetano who came in 1914 to see his emigrant sons. And more.
Eventually I got to "Joseph Tornabene, Pittsburgh", a living descendant, who I was searching for in the first place when I found this.
I would enormously enjoy getting in touch with the lady, going or gone to Italy, before or after all that, whose name is not on my computer screen.
And thanks to the super expert Nuccia, I think it said, who warmed things up. Hugh.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby nuccia » 25 Jul 2011, 00:31

Hugh, I can't believe I am JUST seeing this! I have been occupied with some personal stuff lately so I haven't been around as much as I should - This is great. How is it going and have you been able to make contact? If not, is there anything I can help you with? Please let me know and keep us posted!
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby tornabene76 » 20 Dec 2011, 22:25

Hi all-

I was just doing some simple google searches on my surname, Tornabene, and the town from which my ancestors immigrated to America, Rocalmulto. And then I found this fantastic blog talking about what looks to be my family!

My grandfather, Guy Tornabene lived in McDonald, PA. He had three brothers and a sister I believe. All first generation americans. Guy married Jane Lockhart also of McDonald, PA and they had 2 sons and 2 daughters, one of which was my father, Bill Tornabene.

We always were told that our family hailed from Rocalmulto and in 2009, 17 of us (sons, daughters, grandkids and great grandkids of Guy Tornabene) made a pilgrimage to Sicily. We stayed over near Catania and then made day trips all over, including one to Rocalmulto where in the city hall we found, with the help of some really nice sicilians, what we believe to be the marriage certificate of what would have been my great grandparents. It was a fantastically gratifying trip and one right out of a movie.

Since then i've had the itch to learn more. Hugh-if you're still out there, i'd love to connect and learn more from you on the Tornabene family and in particular the information you've gathered on the clan from Rocalmulto!
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby HughTornabene » 23 Dec 2011, 14:32

Hi Super-Nuccia and Tornabene76
Just to let you know that first thing this morning I saw the E-Mail flag for this Racalmuto topic and will happily go find my previous exploration.
It looks like quite a way from Catania to Racalmuto for a day trip, I wonder how long it took, I suppose you were driving T76.
Way back in time, Catania was Tornabene-town and I have spent a lot of time looking to establish a personal connection back to the Tornabenes there. I found all sorts of Marriage and other primary records for Tornabenes there. They were prosperous and left big footprints. I have a photo of a gravestone commemorating a Tornabene from about 1600 there in a Tornabene chapel. The chapel destroyed by the big earthquake and rebuilt later.
They acquired a tittle by marriage and hung on to it for generations, a couple of times having child-cousin marriages when sons were lacking. Finally they lost it in around 1900 at which point my great grandfather, in Palermo, recovered it. I have as an heirloom his certificate of appointment. Precious.
The other Tornabene-town, later in time, was Villarosa. As I recall over 1% of the population. It was a sulphur mining town, and the Tornabenes there were not so prosperous. I did about 12 distinct Tornabene family trees there. I imagine Racalmuto might have been a sulphur mining center also. Zolfataro. Nasty job. They carted the product down to a railway station and then to Agrigento (Girgenti) on the nearby South coast.
International price competition zapped the Sicilian Sulphur mining industry, which was very labor intensive, in around 1900, which led to mass exodus of Sicilians to USA around then. About 250 Tornabenes came over around then.
Using the strategy outlined by Nuccia, I consulted, and in many cases screen captured, ships manifests giving much detail about these 250, about 40% of whom had their names mangled along the way. Cornabene, Fornabene.
The Stephen Morse one step search approach. Hot stuff.
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby tornabene76 » 23 Dec 2011, 15:21

Hugh-

Thank you for your post. All very interesting stuff. I think you are on correct on Rocalmulto being a mining town. My great grandfather, Calogero, was a miner and he brought his skills from Sicily to America where he worked in coal mines in southwestern PA. Rocalmulto was a cute little village when we visited in 2009 and the people were very kind as i mentioned in my previous post. Without their help we would have never found the marriage license of Calogero to Josephine Shime (sp?). The timing you indicate of 250 Tornabenes coming over around 1900 fits with my great grandparents timing as well. Please do forward along the info you've gathered on Rocalmulto. I am a total novice at this geneaology thing, but with such luck after such a brief search, i'm enthusiastic to learn more!

Thanks again!
BT
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Re: Joseph Tornabene family from Racalmuto

Postby nuccia » 23 Dec 2011, 15:33

Interesting stuff Hugh! My first real "boyfriend" was a Tornabene. I was barely 15 - he was 19. Puppy love but they say you never forget! Glad you found the site useful. Why haven't you posted a link to your website in your signature? You really should. Lots of great information on it.
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