Would appriciate help in searching for my great grandfather, Valentine Tabacchi. Another researcher has the name as Valentine Tabacchi Merlo, but I do not know where that comes from, as I have never heard the name associated with him. Born: about 1850 Sottocastello di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy
Married: GiaComa Ciotti De Levise - Sottocastello di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy
Death: Sottocastello di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy
Two Children: Martino and Eugenia who both immigrated to the USA around 1904
Any information would be appreciated. Thank you, Raes
Dear Raes, we happened to read your message and since my husband is from Sottocastello, he might help you. My husband lives now in Verona with me, but as soon as he goes back to Sottocastello (which he often does, because his mother and some of his parents still live there) he will try to get info for you. The point is that in Sottocastello there are many Tabacchis and some Valentinos as well, so every family has a nickname as well. "Merlo" is one of these nicknames. My husband remembers a certain Valentino Tabacchi Merlo, born around 1850. He was the son of a certain "Giovan Battista " (nickname "Tita Merlo") who was a miller and Valentino's son "Pio Luigi" was a miller, too. But there are many similar names in Sottocastello, so the nickname is very very important: there are more than 700 pepople that from Sottocastello went to the States in the first years of the 20th century. Some of them settled there, some of them came back. For example,my husband's gradmother was called Orelia Ciotti Levise and has a sister, called Bortolina, who had migrated to the States around 1904/5 and had married there a certain "Antonio Tabacchi" nickname "Bullo". Their descendants still live in New York. But, since the nickname is "Bullo" and not "Merlo", you see, it cannot be the same family. Anyway, as soon as my husband goes back to Sottocastello he will try to get information for you, asking his mother and older relatives. Goodbye for now Maria Pia Girolami
Dear Maria, Thank you so much for your reply. I have never heard of nicknames for Italian families. Maybe the nicknames were dropped in the USA due to census forms only asking for first, middle and last names. No room on the forms for nicknames. Maybe so, maybe not.
I have very little information on my fathers family. My grandfather left Italy and first went to South America. (I do not know when) He lived for a while in Venesula, married Lucia Maria Rufio about 1902 in Barcelona, Venezuela. Her death certificate, however, says her fathers name was John Tabacchi. Maybe Rufio was a nickname? My mother once said that Lucia told her that a Tabacchi married a Tabacchi, but would say no more than that. She would not answer or would say that she could not speak English. They would laugh and no more would be said. I think I also remember my mother saying that Lucia had been married once before.
Since everyone who would know is now gone, it has been difficult to trace the family.
I appreciate your help and anything you can tell me would be wonderful. Also if your husband knows anything about the town of Sottocastello in the 1890-1900 period, I would love to know something of the history of the town my relatives came from.
Hi Reas, I am Carlo Riva and I work since 30 years for the american Government, my family lives in Philadelphia and I was born in the Valley of Cadore, in Calalzo di Cadore. Sottocastello is a little village near Calalzo and my Uncle that lives in the states for many years knows almost everyone. If he can be a help, let me know, I will be in Italy soon, and will sure travel thru Sottocastello, another way to find out about your family is to contact the administration there, I could help you on that. The Name Tabacchi is well known in our Area. sincerly Carlo
Dear Rae Ellen, sorry sorry sorry: after having posted my reply to you, I was expecting one e-mail from you on my personal e-mail address. As I told you, my husband got to this site by chance and we do not know exactly how it works. Not having received an e-mail from you, we thought you were no more interested in this search, so we dropped it. Now that I know you are still interested, we'll ask for more information. My husbhand did ask around, though, in September,but unfortunately couldn't get information from relatives, because it's already too late: would you have asked the same info some 5/10 years ago there would have been people who could remeber something, but people who could know are dying one after the other (been quite old), there are still a couple of them left, but they lost their memory and are not in a position to help. What my husband can do at this point (and will do) is to go to the City Hall or to the Priest and make a formal research through written documents. We'll keep in touch, bye for now Maria Pia & Angelo P.S. My husband knows a lot about the life in Sottocastello in those years, but it would be very long to write everything, so we'll do it piece by piece every now and then when we've got some time, unfortunately I have to go to work now.
Dear Rae, my husband has just come back from Sottocastello and this is what he found: Giovanni Battista Tabacchi (nicknamed Tita Merlo) was the son of Agostino Tabacchi. In 1830, on the 2nd of September, Giovanni Battista Tabacchi (nicknamed Tita Merlo) and Caterina Tabacchi (nickname Marcante) got married. They had many children, the males were: Agostino (born in 1831- died in 1896); Valentino (1834-1923); Baldissera (1838-1912); Osvaldo (1847-1931). In 1860 Giovanni Battista Tabacchi (nicknamed Tita Merlo) bought two watermills and a house in a place called Rauza (and maybe a barley peeler, but we are not sure about this). Helped by the sons he lived on this job. However, there was not enough job for everyone and the two younger brothers (Baldissera and Osvaldo), helped by the rest of the family, bought another watermill in Calalzo (a nearby village) and at that point the nickname of these two younger brothers became "I Merli de la Molinà" (Molinà was the new place they settled). This was a big change for the time, because if you moved you lost all local rights (most of the land was in common among the inhabitants of a village and if you moved to another village you lost these rights). We'll leave these people to their own story from now on and will continue with the other part of the family (the original "Merlo", not the "Merlo de la Molinà").
In 1896 one of the two watermills burnt and the eldest brother Agostino died (we are not sure if in the watermill fire of immediately afterwards). Valentino alone remained to rule the watermill. From now on in some documents he's called Valentino De 'Gostin (from his father's name Agostino), or Valentino Merlo (from the nickname of the family). This is the birth certificate of Valentino Merlo (my husband took a picture of it as well, but unfortunately the flash was too strong and the picture is not readable, sorry. Luckly, he had also copied the text)
Addì 17 maggio 1834 Valentino Antonio, figlio legittimo e naturale di Giobatta Tabacchi del fu Agostino e di Caterina Tabacchi Marcante, coniugi in Sottocastello, è nato oggi alle ore 3 antimeridiane. Tenuto sul sacro fonte da Antonia Ciotti di Pasquale a nome del proprio padre. On the day 17th May, 1834. Valentino Antonio, legitimate and natural son of Giobatta Tabacchi of the "fu" Agostino (which means that Agostino, Giovanni Battista Tabacchi's father, was already dead - when you find the world "fu" this means that the father is already dead, when you find "di" this means that the parent is still alive) and of Caterina Tabacchi Marcante, spouses in Sottocastello, has born today at 3.00 a.m.. The Godfather is Antonia Ciotti di Pasquale on behalf of her father.
There is another certificates, kept by the Church, so as to check if they were getting married among relatives. And this is called the "Certificate di consanguineità" (the "Relative Certificate"): Tabacchi D'Agostin Valentino Giobatta, born on the 17th May 1834 and dead on the 17th February 1923 in Sottocastello, married in 1862 (or 1863, sorry, my husband didn't write this part, counting on the photo) Ciotti de Levise Giacoma fu Martino (the marriage of Giacoma's parents had been heald in 1833 and she was born on 26 June 1837 and died in Sottocastello on the 26th October 1908)
This is the birth certificate of Giacoma: Addì 26 giugno 1837 Maria Giovanna (aggiunta a fianco + 18 agosto 1839) e Giacoma, figlie gemelle, naturali e legittime di Martino del fu Matteo Ciotti De Levise e di Eugenia del fu Giovanni Vecellio di Pieve, coniugi in Sottocastello, sono nate oggi. La figlia primogenita Maria Giovanna viene battezzata dalla levatrice in quanto in pericolo di vita (... then the text went on, but my husband didn't copy it, counting on the photo) On the day 26th June, 1837 Maria Giovanna (here, a side-writing reported + which means died 18th Agoust 1839) and Giacoma, twin sisters, legitimate and natural daughters of Martino of the "fu" Matteo Ciotti De Levise and of Eugenia of the "fu" Giovanni Vecellio from Pieve, spouses in Sottocastello, are born today. The eldest daughter Maria Giovanna is baptized by the midwife because in danger of life.
My husband says that if you are good in painting now you know why: among your ancestors there's the family of Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) ! Wow!
End of part one, sorry, I have to go to work now, I'll go on as soon as possible (probably tomorrow). Bye for now Maria Pia
So, Valentino and Giacoma got married in the year 1862 or 1863 and had 6 children: Eugenia Valentina, born on 16th January 1864, Maria Grazia, born on 21st January 1866, Martino Carlo Luigi Mainfredo, born on 2nd June 1870, Carlo Pasquale, born on 1st March 1872, Eugenia Giovanna Caterina, born on 16th December 1874 (not 1875 !) Giobatta Stefano Luigi, born on 26th December 1876
here's the Borth Certificate of Martino: Addì 03 giugno 1870 Martino Carlo Luigi Mainfredo, figlio legittimo e naturale di Valentino Tabacchi Merlo di Giobatta e di Giacoma Ciotti fu Martino, coniugi in Sottocastello, nato ieri alle ore 8.00 pomeridiane e battezzato da Don Luigi Jacobi (the rest was on the photo ...)
3rd June 1870 Martino Carlo Luigi Mainfredo, legitimate and natural son of Valentino Tabacchi Merlo of Giobatta and of Giacoma Ciotti "fu" Martino, spouses in Sottocastello, was born yesterday at 8.00 p.m. and baptized by Don Luigi Jacobi ...
Addì 17 dicembre 1874 Eugenia Giovanna Caterina, figlia legittima e naturale di Valentino Tabacchi Merlo di Giobatta e di Giacoma Ciotti fu Martino, coniugi in Sottocastello, nata ieri alle ore 4.00 pomeridiane (again, the rest on the photo ...)
17th December 1874 Eugenia Giovanna Caterina, legitimate and natural daughter of Valentino Tabacchi Merlo of Giobatta and of Giacoma Ciotti "fu" Martino, spouses in Sottocastello, was born yesterday at 4.00 p.m. ...
In the meantime, as I told you, the mill burnt down in 1896 and the eldest brother died. Probably because of this (maybe they had granaries of villagers kept there that they had to give back) and to pay off the brother's heirs, they had to sell the mill and the house were probably Martino was born (the children born in wintertime were born in the village, those born in summertime were born in the house next to the mill, where the family stayed in that period). If you go on the internet and dial "uomini e macchine idrauliche nel Cadore d'inizio novecento" by Roberto Tabacchi and Danilo De Martin (there's the online version as well), at page 104 there's a photo of the house were Martino was probably born with on the right the mill and on the upper part the barley cell, at page 105 a photo of the mill burnt in 1896 and on page 106 a photo of the valley before the building of the dam which has covered the area and the mill, and some photos of the family. The entire story of the place (Rauza) is from page 104 to page 128 and from page 136 to page 151 the story of the family "Merli de la Mulinà", the descendants of the two younger brothers who had moved to Calalzo in this area called Molinà (including some photos they had done for the relatives who had migrated to the States, who might have one of these photos yourself).
From what we could work out, Eugenia, born in 1874, migrated to USA in 1904 with two children: Pasqualina, aged 4, and Pasquale, aged 3, as you can see from the records of the people passing through Ellis Island. Since she travelled alone, we can deduce her husband had migrated first and was waiting for her there, so one should look in the Municipality Archive for the passport request and the husband's name, but when my husband went there to search he was asked to pass in a different period since they are having the "Censimento" (Census) at the moment and are very busy...
As for Lucia Rufio Tabacchi, Rufio is a typical surname of the south of Italy. From the records of Ellis Island, she was about 57 when she migrated to the States on 20th March 1907 coming from Venezuela with two children: Valentino, born in 1900, aged 7, and Eugenia, born in 1903, aged 4. But there's something wrong here, because she couldn't possibly be 50 when Valentino was born and 53 when Eugenia was born (and Martino only 30). The children were probably born in Venezuela, so we cannot find documents about them in Italy, sorry.
This is all we know for the moment, if we'll manage to discover something more we'll tell you. By the way, how old are you now ? And are you the grand-daughter of Eugenia (the one born in 1903) ? Well, bye for now, Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012 ! Maria Pia and Angelo.
I am ecstatic at the information you have found. Thank you both so very much. I cannot believe that you were able to find so much about the family that matches with what I know. I really cannot thank you enough. If you have incurred any expense, please let me know and I will send you the amount. Thank you again and again.
So much information......it will take me time to process it all.
In answer to your questions: Martino immigrated first to Venezuela and then to the USA. He settled in Wilburton, Oklahoma as did his sister Eugenia and brother in law. He and his wife Lucia Rufio (her death certificate says her father’s name was John Tabacchi, no mention of the name Rufio) had four children.
Lucia was 37 - not 57 as shown on the immigration papers. She was born in 1872. My uncle's Valentino and Eugenio were born in Venezuela; however my father, Carlos Celestine and my aunt Pauline Marie were born in Oklahoma.
My Grandfather Martino died in a coal mine accident in 1911 when my Dad was 2 years old, and Pauline had not yet been born. Wilburton, Oklahoma was known as "Indian Territory" at that time; it was not even officially a state in the U.S.A.
After Martino died, Lucia kept a vegetable garden and took in laundry to support her young family. I understand she also smuggled liquor across the county lines to make money. It must have been a very hard life.
They all moved to the Detroit, Michigan area as there was good work in the automotive industry.
Valentine worked for Ford Motor Company and then purchased a bar in Southfield, Michigan. He married and adopted the children of his wife's sister, due to that sister’s death.
Eugenio changed his name to Wayne Charles and also worked for Ford Motor and moved to Hazel Park, Michigan. The adopted a child and had a natural child.
My Dad, Carlos, worked first as a partner in a gas station, then a job with Chevrolet in Flint, Michigan. Later he moved back to Detroit, Michigan and worked at Detroit Diesel. He married Ragna Elizabeth Holm, of Ashland, Ohio. (Her brother was the partner in the gas station). They had two Children, first my brother William Carl- married-2 children, Rachel and Alexander, and myself Rae Ellen, (born 1944) If Lucia was indeed French, (as she always said) that makes me 1/4 Italian, 1/4 French, 1/4 Norwegian and 1/4 Danish. Quite a mixture! I married a Scot, and have two children, and 3 male grandchildren.
My aunt Pauline was the sports member of the family; a championship swimmer, bowler and golfer. She married and lived in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She died quite early in 1964 due to having rheumatic fever as child. She had two children and they both have children.
My husband and I lived in Michigan up until 2002, retired and then moved to The Villages in Florida. Yes, it is a retirement community and no, it is not like any you have ever heard of. We cover 3 counties, about 42 square miles and 80,000 residences.
I guess I take after my Aunt Pauline as I am on the Swim Team here and travel around the state of Florida and to other states to compete.
By the way, both my father and brother were artists. Strange isn't it? Not on a par with Titan, but my brother does sell his work occasionally and once travelled in South America and painted pictures of the farms and houses he stayed at, in order to pay for his accommodation.
Please write back and tell me about yourselves. I would love to know more about you both. Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thanks Rae for your answer, now we know the rest of the story, too, which is always very interesting to know. It's like a novel: it would have been a real pity not to get to the end of it ! Actually, you could write a novel on this, I think it would be very interesting, and useful for your children and grandchildren, too. It's always important to know where we're from. Don't worry for the expenses, which were the awful amount of 50 cent for the car-park and a possible glass of wine which my husband will pay to the priest when he finds him next ! As for us, my husband Mereu Angelo is from Sottocastello. His mother is from Sottocastello - Ciotti Tomasina - and his father was from Sardinia - Mereu Guido -. He had moved to Sottocastello to work in the dam - the one which covered the area of Rauza where the watermill was. I'm from Calalzo, but my mother had moved to Calalzo with his family when they moved there to work in a timber saw and my father comes from Udine, where his family, originally from Florence (one of my ancestors was a teacher of Dante Alighieri) had to move for political reasons. Now we live in Verona where I work as a guide and a teacher and we have an 11-year-old daughter called Caroline (after my grandmother). Again Best Wishes for a Wonderful Christmas Season ! Maria Pia and Angelo.
Hello Maria Pia and Angelo, I am confused regarding how to input names into my Ancestry program. Would you please help me out on the names. Re: Valentino Tabacchi Merlo di Giobatta. Valentino is first name, TABACCHI is the surname. There is not a spot for the nickname Merlo. The rest would be descriptive -di (meaning living father named Giobatta). So in the program I entered it as First name: Valentino Antonio(Merlo). Surname: TABACCHI.
So....Giacoma's father: Martino del fu Matteo Ciotti De Levise First Name: Martino (of the dead Matteo) Surname: CIOTTI De Levise (meaning he came from Levise or that his father was named Levise? Or is Ciotti the nickname?
When Giacoma is born, the Godfather is Antonia Ciotti di Pasquale on behalf of her father. Is Antonia a male name. I thought male names ended with o and female names ended in a?
Would you please give me the name and address of the church where the records are kept so that I can enter it as as source citation.
Sorry to be so confused as to the name, but I want to make sure I have it correct.
Also, my goodness! Martino Carlo Luigi Mainfredo TABACCHI? I never would have guessed that was my grandfathers name! Someone in the families must have been named Luigi and Mainfredo. Mainfredo is a name I have never heard of.
Again, thanks for all your help. One more day closer to Christmas. Ours will be very quiet as kids are at their own homes in Tennessee and Michigan and we are here here in Florida. We will have dinner with friends and probably go to the square to dance.
Hi Rae, I know it's difficult, so here are the answers . Have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2012 ! Maria Pia and Angelo.
Re: Valentino Tabacchi Merlo di Giobatta.
First name: Valentino Antonio Surname: TABACCHI (MERLO)(Being the family nickname, it goes with the surname. Probably they were black-haired, since merlo in Italian means blackbird)
Martino del fu Matteo Ciotti De Levise First Name: Martino (of the dead Matteo) Surname: CIOTTI (De Levise) (De Levise is the nickname of the family. Either a certain Luisa was one of the ancestors or Levise was the name of a place)
You know what my husband is thinking now ? His grandmother was a "De Levise" and he remembers her having mentioned more than once a "Barba Martin" (Uncle Martino) ... who knows, maybe you are related somehow ...
Antonia was a female, usually a female could be the Godmother and usually for female babies, but in this case she is registered as a Godfather because she did it on her father's behalf.
The Church is called "Pieve di Santa Maria Nascente" in Pieve di Cadore (BL). It's a very old and important church and it's ruled by an Archdeacon. The Archdeacon is: Renzo Marinello (but he's already 80 and I don't think he can speak English) here's the address , tel. and e-mail: Pieve di S. Maria Nascente in Pieve di Cadore Piazza Tiziano, 41 Tel.: office 0435-32261 mobile 3384467351 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.arcidiaconatodelcadore.it They probably got married in the church in Sottocastello, but baptisms were held in the Parish Church in Pieve di Cadore.
Mainfredo is a name of German origin. Either they were trying to remember a friend, or it was the Saint of the day in which he was born or baptized, or simply they had read a novel whose main character had that name, or it was the name of a relative who had helped them, who knows. The more importance they wanted to give a person, the more names they gave him, the idea was that he could be protected by more Saints.
I just stumbled onto this discussion while researching a trip to Italy to visit my great grandfather's home villages of Pieve di Cadore and Sottocastello. My great grandfather was Pietro Osvaldo (Peter) Tabacchi, the son of Tiziano Tabacchi and his mother was a Ciotti, Maria Ciotti, I believe. He immigrated to New York around 1902 and later settled in Ohio's Belmont and Harrison Counties (Hopedale) until his death in 1975. He was married to Anna (Rensi) of Kamen, Germany, and had six children, Frank, Anna Frances (Rensi), Gilbert, Violet (Knight), Tracy (Rensi) and Eugene. Pietro had (to my knowledge) two brothers, Leo who settled in New York and was married to Madeline, and another brother, Dato. I believe he had two sisters, but their names escape me.
Pietro's daughter was Tracy Rensi, my late grandmother (paternal). She also lived and later died in Hopedale, Ohio.
I'm interested in doing more research on the Tabacchi/Ciotti Families and was wondering how you got started and what resources you would suggest using. Perhaps there is a connection to our families.
Hi Todd, I am not sure how this website works. Are you able to read the comments between Maria Pia and myself, or do you just see my original request?
If you are able see her comments, we do not have a Peter or Pietro, but there is an Osvaldo as a first name. It is possible that our Osvaldo had a son and he named him Peter Osvaldo and your family takes on from there.
This is an excerpt from what she wrote- "In 1860 Giovanni Battista Tabacchi (nicknamed Tita Merlo) bought two watermills and a house in a place called Rauza (and maybe a barley peeler, but we are not sure about this). Helped by the sons he lived on this job. However, there was not enough job for everyone and the two younger brothers (Baldissera and Osvaldo), helped by the rest of the family, bought another watermill in Calalzo (a nearby village) and at that point the nickname of these two younger brothers became "I Merli de la Molinà" (Molinà was the new place they settled). This was a big change for the time, because if you moved you lost all local rights (most of the land was in common among the inhabitants of a village and if you moved to another village you lost these rights). Later on she mentions a book which I found online, but unhappily it only translates the introduction and not all the book.
"If you go on the internet and dial "uomini e macchine idrauliche nel Cadore d'inizio novecento" by Roberto Tabacchi and Danilo De Martin (there's the online version as well), at page 104 there's a photo of the house were Martino was probably born with on the right the mill and on the upper part the barley cell, at page 105 a photo of the mill burnt in 1896 and on page 106 a photo of the valley before the building of the dam which has covered the area and the mill, and some photos of the family. The entire story of the place (Rauza) is from page 104 to page 128 and from page 136 to page 151 the story of the family "Merli de la Mulinà", the descendants of the two younger brothers who had moved to Calalzo in this area called Molinà (including some photos they had done for the relatives who had migrated to the States."
I looked Ancestry and there is a tree with your family. I assume you are the author as it details what you said here. If you are not, there is someone also researching the Rensi family.
Hi Todd and Rae, we don't know how this site works as well, but I think everybody can read everything, so here's our reply: Tabacchi was the surname af at least 60 per cent of the people living in Sottocastello in the past, so if you don't know the family nickname it's very difficult to find anything. However, since you are looking for people who lived in a quite recent period, you might be able to find something either in the Municipality Archives or in the Parish Archives as well. Try both. From 1560 to now the Parish Archives are the best. Here there are all the certificates of birth, death, marriages and "consanguineità", it's to say relatives' links. From 1798 to 1815 you must look in the State Archives (in Rome or maybe there's a copy in Belluno as well), because it was the Napoleonic period. From 1868 in the Municipality Archives you can also find all the requests for passports, and contracts regarding the **SPAM** or buying of lands and houses. For military things (military services, decorations, wounds, etc.) you must look at the Military District in Belluno. Hope this is of some use to you, Best Regards Maria Pia & Angelo