Help identifying grandmother's birthplace in Calabria

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Help identifying grandmother's birthplace in Calabria

Postby Caterina05271899 » 13 Apr 2015, 22:20

Hello Everyone,
First let me start by apologizing for posting such a long post. This is my first post and I have been waiting until I reached the point where I am now ... in need of help from members from this popular forum.

My research into the birth of my grandmother is a continuation of research done by my late sister (member JMFL). In 2006 she submitted a posting and received replies. I am happy to report that her Italian citizenship was recognized in 2009! This was through the ancestry on our mother's side of the family (Rocchi). Before my sister passed away, she wanted to know more about our father's side of the family, especially our father's mother who lived with us for a short time when my sister and I were young children. Sadly my sister's illness made her too weak to pursue her research. Before she died, she asked me to take over where she left off.

From various US documents, I know that my grandmother Caterina Sottilaro was born May 27, 1899. Via and and, I have discovered interesting facts about her adult life in New Jersey and New York, but not much about her life in Italy except for a copy of the ship manifest via the web site.

Caterina was almost 4 years old when she sailed from Naples in March 1903 with her mother, Angela Storino. Upon arrival they met the father/husband Antonio Sottilaro who had immigrated a year earlier. The reunited family settled in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Cannitello is listed as the town of last residence on the ship manifest. Cannitello is a hamlet in the town of Villa San Giovanni located in the province of Reggio di Calabria in the region of Calabria in southern Italy very close to Messina, Sicily.

I know that Antonio was born on Feb 12, 1878 in Cannitello to Giuseppe and Caterina Siclari. This is all verified from his US death certificate; Italian military service record and Italian birth record. I recently discovered his birth record on microfilm that I ordered from website. Number 1797936 (Cannitello birth records from 1866 - 1886).

The death certificate for Angela Sturino lists her date of birth as March 13, 1878. Her age on the ship manifest is 26, so 1877 or 1878 would be the likely years of birth for searching. I proceeded to search for her birth record on the same roll of microfilm that I used to discover Antonio's birth record. But unfortunately there was no record of it in 1877 or 1878. Other areas of birth records were recorded on the same roll of microfilm however a check of the years in these surrounding areas was not successful. In fact, I did not see any births for newborns with the surname of Storino or Sturino. This was surprising.

A second microfilm that I ordered (#1798929) contained Cannitello marriage information (1866 -1900). I checked the years from 1895 - 1898, but I did not find any record of their marriage. And once again, I found it interesting that I did not see any grooms or brides with the surname of Storino or Sturino. I did see a lot of Sottilaro marriages and births.

Late last year I emailed the director of the Archivio di Sato di Reggio Calabria requesting information about Antonio Sottilaro's military service. I was happy to receive this document to verify his date of birth and parents' names. I also discovered when he enlisted and served as a sailor. The period of time was 1899 - 1902.

I sent another email in February requesting a birth record for Caterina Sottilaro. In my request I included her birthdate, the names of her parents and that she lived in Cannitello.

Here is the response that I received:
Prot. n. 1398/ del 13 marzo 2015
In riscontro alla e-mail del 23 febbraio 2015, si comunica che sui registri di nascita dei comuni di Cannitello, Villa San Giovanni, Campo Calabro e Scilla dal 1895 al 1903 non è presente l’atto di nascita della nominata in oggetto, per cui non si è in grado di trasmettere la documentazione richiesta.

Translated it states that a search of the birth record of Caterina Sottilaro was not successful. The town of Cannitello and three surrounding towns, San Giovanni, Campo Calabro and Scilla were searched between 1895 - 1903.

Because Antonio was away from Cannitello serving as a sailor, I wonder if Angela temporarily left Cannitello to be with her Storino family members during her pregnancy. Where might this place be? There are no living family members that I can ask and so I would appreciate any suggestions for how to proceed in discovering the birthplace of my grandmother, Caterina Sottilaro.

In summary:

Antonio Sottilaro was born 12 February 1878 in Cannitello. Parents were Giuseppe Sottilaro and Caterina Siclari. Served as a sailor from 1899 - 1902. Sailed from Naples to Ellis Island in March 1902. Last town of residence was Cannitello. Note that his military service was during the time that his wife, Angela Storino was pregnant and delivered their first child.

Angela Storino is believed to have been born March 13, 1877 or 1878. Father was Nicola Storino. Married Antonio Sottilaro estimated 1887 - early 1898. Sailed from Naples to Ellis Island in March 1903. Last town of residence was Cannitello. Ellis Island passenger ID is 102626150390.

Caterina Sottilaro was born May 27, 1899. Sailed with her mother Angela Storino. Ellis Island passenger ID is 102626150391. She was the only passenger traveling with Angela.

The surnames Storino, Sturino, Astorino are common in the province of Cosenza in the region of Calabria. Which is about 100 miles north of Cannitello.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my long post! I wish you all success in your search.

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Re: Help identifying grandmother's birthplace in Calabria

Postby suanj » 14 Apr 2015, 16:25

I found a Angela Francesca STURINO born in Rende (Cosenza province) on 23 Feb 1878, daughter of Giuseppe Sturino and Filomena Santapaola
Visit my website:

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Re: Help identifying grandmother's birthplace in Calabria

Postby Caterina05271899 » 14 Apr 2015, 16:40

Thank you so much suanj for your reply!

The first and last name as well as year of birth record is certainly a good match!
With this information, I will try to discover a Rende marriage record between her and Antonio Sottilaro sometime around 1898. Also check to see if there's a Rende a birth record for their first child, my grandmother, Caterina Sottilaro 27 May 1899.

You were the first person to reply with helpful information to my sister (JMFL) several years ago. Thank you!

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