Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

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Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby PageAdams » 06 Jul 2016, 01:49

Hello! I thought I would post here as a last resort. I've been searching for a relative's birth record for quite some time now, but I have come up short every time. It's been such a disconcerting process. But I hope not to give up.

I'm looking for a Michael (Michele) Arlotto born in 1869 or 1870. He immigrated to the U.S. around 1895. I have a record from his son that states Michael was born in Pignola, Italy - but, the province looks unfamiliar. It reads PIGNOLA, ABURRLAGAT, ITALY. See attachment.

Pignola is a small town and I looked through all the birth records for 1869, but I cannot find his.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm desperate to find his birth record.
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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby adelfio » 07 Jul 2016, 17:46

Welcome to IG website
Is this your Michele
Name:
Michael Arlotta

Gender:
Male

Race:
White

Age:
53

Birth Date:
27 Nov 1868

Birth Place:
Italy

Death Date:
11 Jun 1922

Death Place:
Hazleton, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA

Father:
Antonio Arlotta

Mother:
Carmela Gregoria
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Researching Trabia, Palermo surnames Adelfio, Bondi, Butera, Scardino,Rinella, Scardamaglia

Marty

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby erudita74 » 07 Jul 2016, 18:10

PIGNOLA, ABURRLAGAT, ITALY


I'm guessing that it meant to say Pignola, Basilicata, Italy

Erudita

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby PageAdams » 07 Jul 2016, 18:31

Hi Adelfio,

That's a great find, but I don't think it's the Michael Arlotto I'm looking for. He died near Utica, Oneida County, New York. He was born in Pignola, Italy in Sept. 1869. But, after looking through the birth records for 1869 in Pignola, he isn't there... Not sure where else to turn.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby Tessa78 » 07 Jul 2016, 21:57

What was the name of his wife, and children?

T.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby PageAdams » 08 Jul 2016, 03:56

Hi Tessa,

Michael's wife was named Marie (Mary) Paciello.
His parents were most likely James Arlotto and Angelina. They had 6+ children: James, Catherine, Joseph and many others.
Looking for Michael's birth record. He was born in Sept. 1869 (Pignola), but cannot seem to find him after looking through the birth records.

I'm not sure where else to turn.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby Tessa78 » 08 Jul 2016, 17:23

Here is a POSSIBLE birth act for Michele's wife, Maria Paciello in 1873, in Pignola.

#80
Dated 10 June 1873 -
Birth on 8 June 1873 at 8 PM to...
Vincenzo Paciello, son of deceased Francesco, age 54; and to Gaetana Lattuchella, age 42, both farmers residing in Pignola.
She was given the name MARIA GIUSEPPA PACIELLO

Bottom left to top right of image.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1 ... cc=2043547

IF they were married in Pignola (the home of the bride), we should find a marriage record there.
You can also write to the Comune of Pignola for this marriage document. (dated before arrival in 1895?)

EDIT TO ADD***

Both Michael and Mary (Michele and Maria) list their immigration year as 1895 on the US Census.
Those early manifests reveal very little information about the passengers...
I was able to locate what is POSSIBLY the arrival of Maria Giuseppa Paciello (women travel under their own surname) in 1895.

Ma. Gpa. Paciello
New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island)
Given Name Ma. Gpa.
Surname Paciello
Event Date 18 Jun 1895
Age 22y
Nationality Italy
Departure Port Naples
Arrival Port New York
Gender Female
Ship Name Alsatia

T.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby Tessa78 » 08 Jul 2016, 20:06

Here is another POSSIBILITY for the birth of Maria/Mary... in 1878
This is more in line with the 1915 NYS Census in Utica, Oneida Cty, on which Mary Arlotti lists her age as 37...

Pignola
Born on 2 August 1878
Father: Pasquale
Mother: Custodia Errico
Given the name MARIANTONIA
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1 ... cc=2043547

T.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby Tessa78 » 09 Jul 2016, 19:30

Here is a link to the obituary of Mrs. Michael Arlotto of Utica, giving her maiden name as Maria Felicia Paciello and a birthdate of 2 December 1880, in Pignola. It states that she married Michele Arlotto in Italy.
Of course, we know that surviving relatives may not always have the facts correct.

I will see if I can find her birth in 1880 - which may also have a notation of her marriage to Michele.

http://fultonhistory.com/highlighter/hi ... Page=false

EDIT TO ADD***
No birth record for a Maria Felicia Paciello in 1880, 1879, or 1881, in Pignola.
Thinking that the 1878 record I posted above MAY be the correct one.

Also found this newspaper article about Utica applicants for Naturalization in 1940... Michele Arlotto among the applicants to get a hearing.
Second column about 1/3 of the way down...
http://fultonhistory.com/highlighter/hi ... Page=false

T.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby PageAdams » 11 Jul 2016, 16:03

Hi Tessa - this is very helpful information about Michael's wife - Maria. It's concerning to me that we can't find either Michael or Maria's birth record in Pignola, when several sources say they are both from there. There must be a neighboring town that has their record. I wonder if Pignola was a much larger town then it is today? It doesn't make any sense.

At this point, I might have to hire someone from the local region to investigate which is not ideal, but I might have to.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby mark04ox » 11 Jul 2016, 21:48

Hi,

I'd like to add that I think it's possible that someone might have transcribed 'Basilicata' as 'Abuzzlagat' (I read those as 'z's, not 'r's). How? In most dialects in Potenza province (my family are from Anzi), the final vowel of each word is dropped, so Basilicata is pronounced more like 'Basilicat', or a more shortened version like 'Baslicat'. 'C's can also sound like 'g's in local dialect when said quickly, so it could sound like 'Basligat'. Now say there was a non-Italian speaking record-keeper transcribing it, and when they asked him the name of the region, he hesitated and added an 'uh' to the beginning, so it came out as 'ah-basligat' -- easily transcribed in American English as 'Abuzzlagat'.

About the history of Pignola, it's one of the few villages in the region which actually has a bigger population than it did in 1861 at the time of the Piedmontese conquest -- it did empty out, but it's grown a lot in the last 20 years (I guess with people who commute into Potenza). Geographically, I don't think Pignola was any larger than it is now. Administratively, I believe it was always a distinct village (though it was briefly absorbed into the comune of Potenza during the fascist period).

I have had a look in the indices of Anzi, Abriola, Tito, and the town of Potenza for these years, and haven't found anything.

Pignola has very few mentions of the surname Arlotta (in fact, I only found one in those years). But I noticed that Marsico Nuovo has a lot more--I searched 1868 to 1872 and didn't find a Michele Arlotta, but there are lots of people with the surname 'Arlotto' there (it's probably the same surname--the final vowel was often varied without too much thought, probably because they don't pronounce it).

Anyway, sorry I can't be of more help, but I would recommend maybe you have a closer look at Marsico Nuovo and the surrounding comuni. It is possible your ancestor was born in that area and moved to Pignola later on, before emigrating.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby Tessa78 » 11 Jul 2016, 22:49

At this point I would suggest you write to Pignola to request Michele Arlotto's birth and marriage act.
Give them an approximate date for each (and other relevant information that may help in their search, including spouse's name, parents' names, siblings' names if you know them)

You should write your request in Italian.
Send a photo ID and an email address for them to contact you.
Do not send money at this time.

Address:
Ufficio dello Stato Civile
Via Risorgimento, 1
85010 Pignola (PZ)
ITALY

Help with letters of request in Italian:
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... tter3.html
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... talrecords

T.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby erudita74 » 12 Jul 2016, 02:23

on the oldfultonhistory.com website, where T found the obit for Michele's wife, there are also some articles about his death-he was killed when he was struck by a car. There is an obit for him also, with a photo of him. I'm having a problem getting you the specific link, but if you search on that website Michael Arlotto died 1941, then hit the search option, on the next screen go down to where it says 17% Utica NY Observer 1941 0427 pdf. You should be able to click on that option and pull up the newspaper page. Unfortunately, it only says that he was born in Italy and does not give a specific town of birth.
Erudita

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby PageAdams » 12 Jul 2016, 02:49

mark04ox - Thanks for the detailed history of Pignola. The dialect certainly gives evidence that Abuzzlagat is really Basilicata. I didn't realize that the the last vowel is often dropped in that region of Italy. Thank you also for looking into the neighboring towns. I'll look more in the Marsico Nuovo region.

Tessa78 - Sadly, I think I will have to reach out to Pignola directly. I'm preparing for a long and slow process... Thanks for providing such detailed contract information.

erudita74 - Wow! What a great find! A picture! This really brings Michael alive and tells his story.

It's very disconcerting not to find a birth record for him or his wife when all records point to Pignola. They were married in Italy (and most likely Pignola), so my next step is to try to find access to the Marriage Records of Pignola. If he was born around 1870 and came to the US in 1895, so then they probably married after 1885 (after he was 15?). I wonder how young people got married back then.

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Re: Pignola, Potenza - Birth Record

Postby mark04ox » 12 Jul 2016, 11:03

It was not uncommon for girls to be married as young as 14 or 15, but usually boys would be a bit older--18 or 19--by the time they were married (this is partly because in Basilicata, the traditional obligation was for parents to marry their daughters off first, before arranging marriages for any sons). Also, the typical practice was for weddings to be matrilocal (to happen in the town or locality of the bride's family), but this rule was not always followed.

I can't find any mention of your ancestors in the marriage indices of Pignola, Potenza or Marsico Nuovo from 1880 to 1895. (By the way, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but all these records are available on Ancestry--they're images, so not searchable, but there are handwritten indices for most years.)

Do you have any idea what sort of background or occupations they had before they left Italy? Contrary to the stereotype, many ordinary people were highly mobile--for example, a lot of peasants migrated seasonally to Naples to work urban jobs, shepherds moved between multiple villages with their flocks, and many people were drafted into various armies through the conflicts of the 18th and 19th centuries. If you had some clues about their story before they left Italy, it might help to pinpoint possible places they could have been apart from Pignola.


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