Research - Need Advice

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mhamilton
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Research - Need Advice

Postby mhamilton » 08 Aug 2007, 21:50

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum, and really impressed with how helpful everyone seems to be!

My family on my mother's side is from Sicily and I've been doing a lot of research to try to track down genealogies before my trip in October. I was hoping to be able to get additional records and details from the parishes of the towns, but I'm reading that this is very difficult to do, especially for a non-Sicilian or Italian speaker. I'm so hopeful that I can find some relatives.

So I have some questions, and mostly I'm looking for advice on how to find the answers, since they're pretty tricky. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

- In the Ellis Island records for one of my relatives, the place of origin is listed as "Roccapol" which appears to be an abbreviation and possibly something the clerk misheard. My theory is that this may be Roccapalumba, and the guy was in a rush when he entered the name. My grandfather, who was born in the US, but whose father was born in "Roccapol" said that he thought it was "Rock of Palermo". Now, he's 88 years old and has some troubles with his memories and things, plus he's a big story teller, so I'm not sure this is right. Plus, I can't find a Rock of Palermo reference anywhere.

Does anyone else have any suggestions of what else "Roccapol" might be, or is my guess likely?

- One of my great great grandmothers was apparently a novice at a convent, probably near Valledolmo. She ended up not taking vows and instead marrying my great great grandfather, who worked in the gardens. I'd very much like to figure out what convent this might have been. It seems likely it was near Valledolmo because that's where most of that family indicated they last resided when they gave their info at Ellis Island.

Does anyone know about a convent that would have been around near that area around 1885, when they got married?

- Lastly, I've been reading that it's difficult to get responses on requests for baptismal, birth, marriage and death records because it's not a high priority for anyone to do.

Does anyone that has done this successfully in the past, have any suggestions for me on the best steps to take?

Thank you again so much!

- Maria
(Families: Mangano, Mancuso, Sammartino)

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby wldspirit » 08 Aug 2007, 22:04

Welcome to the forum.... :D

One of our native Italians would know better, but here is a way to track some possibilities for the town name:

http://www.landfinder.it/townfinder.asp ... INGLESE&p=

use partial name, search criteria of "contains"

wldspirit

**edit to add: The two towns you mention are but 29 minutes apart.
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby wldspirit » 08 Aug 2007, 22:14

As for the documents......obtaining them from the church can be difficult,
it really depends on the parish priest and how willing he is to honor your request.

But you can obtain records on the comune level: birth, marriage, death and the state of family certificate. The exact town must be identified.

This can be done by obtaining manifest and other US records.
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 09 Aug 2007, 04:11

One of my great great grandmothers was apparently a novice at a convent, probably near Valledolmo. She ended up not taking vows and instead marrying my great great grandfather, who worked in the gardens. I'd very much like to figure out what convent this might have been. It seems likely it was near Valledolmo because that's where most of that family indicated they last resided when they gave their info at Ellis Island.

It is very rare that a woman born in a town become novice in some convent near the birthplace; normally the woman must to go in some convent, but far of her birthplace, this for to forget her family, her house, her friends, her all.. so maybe your ancestor could be a novice in some convent of Sicily or Italy in general, but no necessarily near Valledolmo; regards, suanj
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 09 Aug 2007, 04:15

- In the Ellis Island records for one of my relatives, the place of origin is listed as "Roccapol" which appears to be an abbreviation and possibly something the clerk misheard. My theory is that this may be Roccapalumba, and the guy was in a rush when he entered the name. My grandfather, who was born in the US, but whose father was born in "Roccapol" said that he thought it was "Rock of Palermo". Now, he's 88 years old and has some troubles with his memories and things, plus he's a big story teller, so I'm not sure this is right. Plus, I can't find a Rock of Palermo reference anywhere.

Does anyone else have any suggestions of what else "Roccapol" might be, or is my guess likely?

you can say us the name of your ancestor? immigration year, maybe we can help better... Roccapol could be Roccapal. ( Roccapalumba as you think), but is better to see the ship's manifest, regards, suanj
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby mhamilton » 09 Aug 2007, 04:43

Wow, thanks for all the help so far.

My grandfather's father was Calogero Mangano, born around 1897. He was 9 years old when he arrived at Ellis Island in 1906 with his family. He traveled with his sister (11 yrs) Grazia, his other sister (13 yrs) Caroline, his baby brother (2 yrs) Guiseppe in the care of his mother Francesca Sammartino (36) and her brother Toj Sammartino (29 yrs). We're pretty sure Toj is actually named Ignatzio because we have pictures of his gravestone in New York.

All of their entries in the Ellis Island records list their last residence as "Roccapol". I don't know how to show the record, but you can look them up on the Ellis Island site to see it yourself, maybe?

Does the additional info help?

Regarding the other group ...

The reason I thought maybe my great great grandmother was in a convent near Valledolmo was because this is where my great great grandfather was born. So I thought he might be working nearby, not in a town too far away. But, we really have no idea.

Her name was Mary Grace (which we think might be her name taken as a noviate) - but I don't know her surname, though perhaps it was Maggiore or something similar. My mother remembers her grandmother saying it was something sounding like "Meyor". My great grandfather's name was Charles Mangus in the U.S., but in Italy was the surname "Mancuso".

Thanks!
- Maria

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 09 Aug 2007, 09:47

-abt Roccapol, it is Roccapalumba sure...


-abt Toj on the ship's manifest really it is Ig. (Ignazio) born the 18 Apr 1877- Italy ( by WWI draft reg. card):

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Military
View Image
Name: Ignazio Sammortino
Birth: 18 Apr 1877
Residence: Not Stated, Chautauqua, New York
Other: Chautauqua County


-abt Mancuso/Mangus, in 1910
Home in 1910 -Dunkirk Ward 3, Chautauqua, New York :

Name Age
Charles Mangus 45 imm. 1888 Italy
Mary Mangus 45 imm. 1888 Italy
Frank Mangus 9
Anna Mangus 16
Josephine Mangus 15
Jessie Mangus 15
Mary Mangus 13
Clara Mangus 12
Charles Mangus 10
Anthony Mangus 7
Gertrude Mangus 5
Agnes Mangus 1 6/12
Frank Mangus 80 imm. 1891 Italy, father
Francis Mangus 70 imm. 1891 Italy, mother

---------------
1920 United States Federal Census
about Charles Mangus
Name: Charles Mangus
Home in 1920: Dunkirk, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 54 years
Estimated birth year: abt 1866
Birthplace: Sicily
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's name: Mary
Father's Birth Place: Sicily
Mother's Birth Place: Sicily
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Own
Year of Immigration: 1888
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes

Household Members:
Name Age
Charles Mangus 54 imm. 1888
Mary Mangus 55 imm. 1888
France Mangus 28
Charles Mangus 19
Agnes Mangus 11



----------------

1930 United States Federal Census
about Charles Mangus
Name: Charles Mangus
Home in 1930: Sheridan, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 65
Estimated birth year: abt 1865
Birthplace: Sicily
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's name: Grace
Race: White

Household Members:
Name Age
Charles Mangus 65 imm. 1890 NA; age of marriage 21
Grace Mangus 65 imm. 1890 NA; age of marriage 21
Frank Mangus 37

we don't know if married in Italy or in USA but probably married in Italy and emigrated.... abt the Grace surname, it could be Maggiore right... but it is hard to find something abt the convent...
regards, suanj
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby nuccia » 09 Aug 2007, 14:19

Trying to link the records suanj found..

Draft Registration Cards

Will link the rest in a bit...
nuccia - IG Moderator
Gente di Mare
Gente Italian Genealogy Forum
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Extractions of various Comuni in Reggio

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby mhamilton » 10 Aug 2007, 02:25

Thanks much!

I found the census data and their arrival info from ellis island, but I hadn't tracked down the draft card yet. That's good to know, we were pretty sure Toj had to be Ignatzio.

With respect to convents in Sicily, does anyone have any idea how to find a list of convents that were around at that time? Is there a catholic website or something maybe? We really think she changed her name to Mary Grace when she entered the convent, so we're not sure what her name was at birth.

Is there a way to communicate with the parishes via email? Or do you need to send regular mail to contact them?

Appreciate all the help!

- Maria

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 10 Aug 2007, 13:58

in Valledolmo the only convent was called: Suore di Maria ( Maria's sisters) and sure working from 1776 until 1980 and I believe also currently, but in the 1890/3 abt it was in bad conditions of poverty ....in this convent it was also a girl's college and a orphanage... http://www.comune.valledolmo.pa.it/arte_storia16.asp
if you can say us the Maria Grazia's husband name and immigration year, and if they married in Italy in the 1882... maybe we can find the ship's manifest ... regards, suanj
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby mhamilton » 10 Aug 2007, 21:17

Suanj, you're a miracle worker! Thank you so much for looking into this convent stuff, I had no idea how or where to begin :) I'm going to look at the link you provided.

And thank you nuccia for posting that draft registration card image!

Mary Grace (Maria Grazia) married Calogero Mancuso.

We (including you) already found their information in the 1910 census. Their name was changed from Mancuso to Mangus. It shows they immigrated in 1888. Calogero's father (Frank) and mother (Francis) were living with them at that time. They immigrated in 1891 or so.

That 1910 census shows that Mary and Charles they had been married for 24 years, so they would have been married around 1886. They had 12 children, 11 or whom were still alive. One of them, Clara, was my great grandmother on my maternal grandfather's side.

And the same census shows that Frank and Francis had been married for 51 years, so they would have been married around 1859. It also shows that they had a total of 8 children, 4 of whom were still living - Frank being one of them, but I don't know who the others were and they might have stayed in Italy.

I'm positive both sets were married in Italy, and I think probably in Valledolmo.

What I'd like to try to find out about this Mancuso/Magnus side is:

1) Who were Mary Grace's parents and what was her surname, where were they from.

2) Any information about brothers and sisters for Charles

3) Details about Francis and Frank, their parents names and their children

And then I imagined I'd track it back from there and have some idea how to search for relatives still living that might be brothers or sisters who didn't emigrate.

Does that makes sense to those of you that know what you're doing? This is my first time trying something like this.

Thank you all (how do I say that in Italian?)
- Maria

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby mhamilton » 10 Aug 2007, 21:33

Whew, okay I tried to use babelfish on the information about the convent.

I think what I understood was that the convent was founded around 1776, and served to educate girls, especially in the arts needed to be a good wife and mother, reading and writing is mentioned too. No one really knows how they came be in the building they occupied.

There were problems in the 1890s because they had very little money and then the government in Palermo had some actions about their budget and didn't grant them money for a while.

And a road was being built through town and did some damage to the building too. When the road was done through town, the workmen didn't make the repairs to the building and after waiting a while, they undertook repairs themselves and then got into trouble for it because they weren't authorized to do the work. Then the mayor of Valledolmo got involved and eventually everything worked out okay.

An orphanage was added and also boys school too. It sounds like the convent/college may still be in operation today.

Does that seems mostly right?

If I can figure out Mary Grace's surname maybe I can write to the convent and try to get more information about her?

Yay!

- Maria

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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 11 Aug 2007, 05:16

well a step for time.
in 1900 census:
[url=http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/9434/1900charlesmangusel1.jpg]1900 United States Federal Census
about Charles Maugus [/url]

Name: Charles Maugus
Home in 1900: Dunkirk, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 35
Estimated birth year: abt 1865
Birthplace: Italy
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse's name: Mary
Race: White
Occupation: View image
Immigration Year: 1885



Household Members: Name Age
Charles Maugus 35
Mary Maugus 36
Francis Maugus 14
Frank Maugus 9
Mary Maugus 3
Clara Maugus 1

[hr]
as you can see no Jessie and Josephine in this 1900 census; well but the probables same children in 1900 census:
Name: Jessie Mangus
Home in 1900: Dunkirk Ward 3, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 5
Estimated birth year: abt 1895
Birthplace: New York
Relationship to head-of-house: Orphan
Race: White


Name: Josephine Mangus
Home in 1900: Dunkirk Ward 3, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 5
Estimated birth year: abt 1895
Birthplace: New York
Relationship to head-of-house: Orphan
Race: White

please to see the note added: Anna Mangus was in the same orphanage[hr]
more:
I ask myself, why it are no the charles parents?
because they living with another son:

[url=http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/6459/1900robertmanguscb3.jpg]1900 United States Federal Census
about Robert Mangus [/url]

Name: Robert Mangus
Home in 1900: Dunkirk Ward 3, Chautauqua, New York
Age: 24
Estimated birth year: abt 1876
Birthplace: Italy
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse's name: Frank
Father's name: Frank
Mother's name: Frances
Race: White
Occupation: View image
Immigration Year: 1889
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Robert Mangus 24
Frank Mangus 20
Frances Mangus
Josephine Mangus 11.12
Frank Mangus 90 ( maybe 70)
Frances Mangus 62

[hr]
and if this intuition is correct, the all Mancuso moved in USA:
-Carlo ( Charles) son,
-Roberto ( Robert) son (and the wife Francesca - Frank/Francis maybe right..
- a brother and father of Jessie and Josephine Mangus, orphans in 1900 and living in 1910 with Charles and Mary Grace......
-Francesco ( Frank) father + Francesca( Francis) mother

now it will be interesting to find the ship's manifest of emigration, and the WWI draft registration card of Robert Mangus, maybe we can know more, especially abt the right birthplace....
[hr]
obviously this are only my first suggestion, I don't say that this suggestion are right, but only probable...
regards, suanj
[hr]
note:
also Anna Mangus, with Jessie and Josephine was in the orphanagehttp://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~orphanshome/censusrooms/uscensus/newyork/1900/chautauquany00.htm
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby wldspirit » 11 Aug 2007, 05:49

Suanj.....your intuition is usually right on target.......amazing work.... :D
Hugs,
Lee
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Re: Research - Need Advice

Postby suanj » 11 Aug 2007, 08:07

thanks Lee, but we must to descover the immigratios records....!kisses, suanj
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