Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

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antonius2987
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Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 21 Apr 2006, 06:12

I have recently begun researching my father's family history, specifically my grandfather, a first generation Italian-American. The following is what I have found out so far, primarily from ancestry.com US Census records and ellisisland.org Passenger Lists (though it's required some creative searching):

>John Massa immigrated to the US in 1912/13. He probably went to the coal region of PA, where he lived in 1920 as a boarder (specifically Summit Hill, PA), but I'm not certain. He served in WWI, and was therefore naturalized in 1918. He married Marcella Castagnera (see below) in abt. 1921. He died on 22 Apr 1939.
I presume that his name was originally Giovanni. My great uncle's birth certificate lists his birthplace as Scomigo (in Treviso, Veneto). His side is the family I have the least information on. I sent a message to the Ufficio di Stato Civile in Conegliano (the larger municipality of which Scomigo is a part) with an exact date of birth (15 Mar 1889), but received a response that no record exists. My grandfather has metioned that the spelling may have been changed from Mazza; I'm not sure if he has a particular reason for this thought or just common sense that sometimes letters can be easliy switched. (for example, the 1930 Census spells his name Mazzar)

>Marcella Castagnera was born in Vittorio (now Vittorio Veneto), Treviso, Veneto on 25 May 1903. Her father, Antonio, had come to the US two months beforehand to join his brother Giovanni in the Pen Argyl, PA, area (Specifically, Summit Hill, PA). In October, Marcella and her mother, Maria (nee Grosso), along with two of Maria's brothers (Santo Paolo and Pietro) and one cousin (Celeste? Serafini), came to the US. Marcella and Maria were going to Antonio. The others were joining another of Maria's brothers, Paolo, in "Pen Argyl." In 1907, some of _Antonio's_ cousins came over: Giovanni and Giuseppina (nee Lotti), and Giuseppe (all Castagnera). In 1910, Antonio, Maria, and their children were living in Summit Hill; they had boarders, one of whom was Maria's brother, Santo. Next door to them lived Pietro with his wife and first son. Antonio, Maria, and Marcella were naturalized in 1914. In 1920, the Castagneras were still on Market St. in Summit Hill; none of Maria's relatives were living nearby any longer, but Antonio's cousin Giovanni and his wife Giuseppina _did_ live nearby with their children. Antonio (presumably) died sometime in the 20s, and by 1930 Maria was living with her 3 sons (all unmarried, but only 22, 18, and 11; one for sure did marry later). Marcella, by 1930, had married John Massa; her sister, Clara, married Attilo Serena, a fellow veteran and boarder in the same house as John. In 1930, the two families lived together in one home in Summit Hill.
I know that Maria (Grosso) had another brother David. I have located niether him nor the Paolo that her other brothers were coming to join. In Antonio's family, there was alot of back and forth. His older brother Giovanni (not his cousin Giovanni) had spent time (3 years) in Pittsburgh, PA in the late 19th cent. before coming to the US in 1901. His cousin-in-law(?), Giuseppina, went back to Italy with her two basically infant children, Stella and Eugenio, and returned in 1911. His cousin Giuseppe spent time in Wecper(?), Germany, before returning in 1916. Finally, cousin Giovanni left, and returned in 1924.

So, that might have been confusing. It took me a while to sort out. I'm mostly interested in information on these families in Italy. Name meanings, localities, etc. I have some of this sort of info, but not much (Castagnera: chestnut tree, or chestnut seller, or something). I have sent to Italy for some records, but no response yet.

And two asides: (a) would there be a reason for these families (esp. Castagneras) to be going back and forth so much? and (b) I know that Massa is a common name not only in Italy, but really throughout Europe; I also know that from ~1815-1865, Veneto and some other North-eastern regions of Italy were under Austrian control; could there be some transference (ie, maybe my 'Massa' was from an Austrian family in Italy)? Has anyone ever found such a case? I know it's rather far-fetched, but you never know.

So I hope that's all. Thanks to anyone who actually read this whole thing, and even more (in advance) to anyone who responds.

S.Massa

PS I have a tree made, along with a chronology typed up. I can't attatch them, so if anyone is _really_ interested, I can send them to you.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 21 Apr 2006, 09:13

Vittorio Veneto
Province of Treviso, Veneto Region, Italy
Locality
"Vittorio Veneto is lies in a picturesque position at the foot of the Prealpi. The name of the city was chosen in honor of the king Vittorio Emanuele II, and was formed from the union of the two ancient centers of Serravalle and Ceneda. After the final battle of the First World War was fought here, the name was changed to Vittorio Veneto. "


Scomigo is a hamlet, part of the town Conegliano. LDS has films for this town, but only to 1849. It was part of Austria at one time.

The town of Vittoria Veneto filmed church records go to 1866, so no luck here til you get info from the towns.

I did a phone search for MASSA* in Conegliano & came up with these:

MASSARI GABRIELLA 1/4



VL. ISTRIA 83
31015 CONEGLIANO



0438 415171



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Street Map



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MASSARIN PAOLO 2/4



V. VECCHIA TREVIGIANA 133/G
31015 CONEGLIANO



0438 450414



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MASSARO GIANFRANCO 3/4



V. DEI MILLE 47
31015 CONEGLIANO



0438 450124



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MASSARO GIOVANNI 4/4



V. CALATAFIMI 2/A
31015 CONEGLIANO



0438 63946



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Street Map



Call free


But there is the Italian surname MASSAI.

Believe correct spelling is CASTAGNERI, but there is CASTAGNARO.

Help this helps,
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 21 Apr 2006, 09:21

Thanks for the names; I was aware that there are multiple spellings for many names, but the name on all the records I have are 'Castagnera'.

Thanks again.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 21 Apr 2006, 10:00

When you sent email to Conegliano, did you ask them to check name variations? Try resending with this request and have them check for several years. Birth dates are not always accurate on some documents. Also, do you know his parents' names( maiden name of mother?)? .... From your great uncle's birth certificate? This info should be included in the request.

:)

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 21 Apr 2006, 10:46

I did re-send with an alternate spelling (mazza); when they sent me their initial reply, they indicated they did a search from 1871-1891. As far as I know, we have no information on his parents (if someone else has it, they haven't told me).

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 21 Apr 2006, 10:53

If parent info isn't on great uncle's birth certificate, request his birth extract from the comune. Extract will provide the parents' names. Also, get death certificate for John. It may provide the information.
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 21 Apr 2006, 11:15

Thanks for the tip.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 21 Apr 2006, 11:23

Welcome & good hunting!
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 01 May 2006, 10:47

I just got a response from Vittorio, and got some information. There are two things I'm wondering:
(a) the 'official' records of the town only go back to 1871; Antonio was born a few years before, and the person at the ufficio stato civile said I should contact the two parrochie of the town [serravalle & ceneda] for birth records. Are the parrochie (parishes) church affiliated, or are they simply named as such?

(b) I was sent form information of the records I requested from the town. Would the town provide, and what should I ask for to recieve, photocopies of the actual records?

Thanks

PS Also, I would like to send a draft for their trouble in helping me; who would it be appropritate to make the draft out to: the town or the specific person?

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 01 May 2006, 11:41

Hi again,

No, you'll have to write to the parish church in each town.

It's my understanding that many comunes do not have photocopy machines, so I assume the churches wouldn't.

Why don't you request a photocopy, but say that if a photocopy is not possible to please send extract of the birth act. The extract will be a handwritten record of all the information (includes parent names, their ages, occupation, date of birth).

Many here at the forum are saying that they aren't getting replies from the parish priests. I have read that you can send a small contribution ($5/10) in cash.

Hope this helps & good luck!
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 01 May 2006, 20:37

Thanks for the tips!

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 01 May 2006, 23:46

Welcome.

Also, John Massa had two children born in PA in the 1920's. This is just a suggestion, you may find John's birth town listed on their birth certificates and don't overlook church records.

Happy hunting!

jcsm
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 02 May 2006, 05:42

Yes, I was aware of his two children from that time (one of them is my grandfather!). His older son's birth certificate does list Scomigo (a 'frazione' of Conegliano) as his birthplace, but when I sent to Conegliano for a birth certificate, they said they had none for him. I did send it back with a different spelling (Mazza), and have not recieved a response from that message. I also am trying to locate his conscription records, as that usually lists parents (he should have registered, I think, bet. 1907-1910).

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby jcsm400 » 02 May 2006, 08:07

Did you mention born in Scomigo?


Let us know if you get it or not.

Isn't family research fun :!: :roll:



:) :)

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Re: Surnames: Massa, Castagnera, Grosso

Postby antonius2987 » 03 May 2006, 09:40

I did.


Now waiting patiently....


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