Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

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Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby romeo.guastaferri » 21 Aug 2007, 03:31

My grandfather came to Canada from Casacalenda, Campobasso, Italy when he was a boy. His name was Giuseppe Guastaferri, although I'm told that for some reason he changed his name when he got to Canada(formerly Armanno). Apparently, he was born out of wedlock and his father might have been a priest (bishop?).

When he arrived in Canada, he went to live with his sister (or cousin?) Carmella Guastaferri - presumably also from Casacalenda.

Does anyone here have access to Casacalenda records that might help me clarify my grandfather's origins ? And maybe his real relationship with Carmella Guastaferri ?

His name : Giuseppe Guastaferri? Armanno?
birth : March 19 or 25 1897, Casacalenda, Campobasso, Italy
Mother's name : Maria Rosa Del Ciopo ? (please confirm)
Father's name : Antonio ? (Maybe Armanno?)

his sister? cousin? :

Carmella Guastaferri
birth : Sep 29th 1879 (Casacalenda?)
Mother's name : ?
Father's name : ?

Any help at all on this would be greatly appreciated.

Grazie mille :)

Romeo Guastaferri
Montreal, Canada

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby BillieDeKid » 21 Aug 2007, 04:33

I came across this. The name is Domenico Giovanni Antonio Guastaferri. The manifest says 1914, Antonio is abt 56, has a wife in Casacalenda named Maria and his destination is Montreal to see his son Giuseppi.

Could this be your grandfathers dad? It also includes a street address in Montreal for Giuseppi. Maybe it will look familiar.

http://www.ellisisland.org/search/shipM ... 0440130235

How old was your grandfather when he came and did he sail with anyone (a relative etc.) or did he come alone?

Regards,

Elizabeth

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby JohnArmellino » 21 Aug 2007, 14:15

My 3C4R was Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro (born circa 1858), son of Gaetano Guastaferro and Maria Carmela Coletta. Guastaferri is an alternative spelling. He married Maria Rosa del Cioppo (born circa 1856), daughter of Giuseppe Maria del Cioppo and Angela Maria di Zinno, on 04 AUG 1879 in Campobasso (CB). They had a daughter named Carmela who was born about 02 OCT 1879 in Campobasso (CB). They were still living in Campobasso as of 28 DEC 1887, when their daughter Rosa Angela (1882) died. They also had at least one other child, Gaetano (1884). Might this be your family? Could it be possible that they moved to Casacalenda sometime between 1887 and 1914? Casacalenda and Campobasso are not too far apart and there was a fair amount of interaction between the towns.
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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby romeo.guastaferri » 22 Aug 2007, 01:26

Hello Elizabeth

Thanks for the info... and the link.

Apparently, my grandfather was a boy when he sailed to Canada... on his own, as a clandestine passenger on a ship (that's what I've been told). The dates would make sense. In 1914, when Giovanni Antonio Guastaferri embarked to come see his son in Montreal, my grandfather Giuseppe would have been around 17 years old... therefore, still technically a "boy".

Where did you see that he had a wife named Maria ?

Hi John

Excuse my ignorance, but what is 3C4R ?

The information you bring up is totally in synch with what Elizabeth has told me :

1) Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro looks a lot like Domenico Giovanni Antonio Guastaferri.

2) Born circa 1858 means around 56 years old in 1914.

3) Both Giovanni Antonios seem to have had a wife named Maria

What's more, the names you bring up suggest something very interesting. I've read that it is customary in some italian families to name the first born boy after the paternal grandfather, and the second born boy after the maternal grandfather. Same with firstborn and second born girls being named after the paternal and maternal grandmothers respectively. It would seem that this family followed the tradition :

Their first daughter (Carmela) is named after Giovanni Antonio's mother (Maria Carmela).

Their first son (Gaetano) named after Giovanni Antonio's father.

Their second daughter (Angela) is named after Maria Rosa's mother (Angela Maria).

Which would imply that if they did have a second son, he would have been named... Giuseppe, of course, after Maria Rosa's father... If you followed me this far, Giuseppe is precisely my grandfather's name !

If all these facts are true, John, I would be surprised that the family you describe is not my grandfather's family. Where did you get this information ? Would you have any links or documents that you could share with me ?

If I could only find some document (from Campobasso or Casacalenda) that identifies this couple of having baptized a son named Giuseppe...

Thanks a million for your help thus far.

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby BillieDeKid » 22 Aug 2007, 01:45

Hi Romeo

With the link I gave you, when the record comes up select either previous or next to the a second page, if there is one. The link I sent you has two pages, sometimes the second page is previous and sometimes it's next. You just have to play with it. There is a column that asks the passenger who their nearest living relative is, in the country they came from. He listed his wife Maria.

To get a document that show's baptism etc. you can go to the website of the LDS church. They have microfilms that you can order and they will be sent to the nearest LDS research center by you.

Here is the link.
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library ... et_fhc.asp

Good luck in your search and keep me posted on your progress.

All the best

Elizabeth

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby JohnArmellino » 22 Aug 2007, 02:05

Hi Romeo –

If you follow the link in Elisabeth’s post, you will be able to view the Ellis Island manifest and read the information provided by Elisabeth (make sure you also view the previous page of the manifest). Note that the name is written Domengiovannantonio Guastaferri. The manifest states that his nearest relative in Italy is his wife Maria, who was then residing in Casacalenda.

3C4R is an anagram for third cousin four times removed. You can check out a relationship chart at http://www.rootsweb.com/~genepool/cousins.htm. It includes some common genealogical acronyms.

My information was extracted from the civil records of the comune of Campobasso. I too noticed all of the similarities between my 3C4R’s family and your family. The two families might in fact be the same. However, it may all be simply a coincidence. When my Family History Center reopens in September I will check the Campobasso films to see if Giuseppe Guastaferri might have been born in Campobasso. Of course, he may have been born in Casacalenda. Several members of this forum have done extensive research in Casacalenda – perhaps one may have access to the Casacalenda films. If not, you can order and view the film yourself.

The civil records of the comune of Casacalenda have been microfilmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) aka the Mormon Church. Go to www.familysearch.org then Library>FamilyHistoryLibraryCatalog>PlaceSearch and enter Casacalenda. You can then view the film details for the Registri dello Stato Civile, 1809-1900. There are 56 reels and they cover birth, banns, marriage, death, and other miscellaneous records. These films can be viewed at the Family History Centers of the LDS. You can find the one nearest to you at www.familysearch.org. If your GF Giuseppe Guastaferri was born in Casacalenda in 1897, you should be able to find his birth record on these films. If you are not familiar with Italian civil records, Italian Genealogical Records by Dr. Trafford Cole is excellent.

If my 3C4R is the same person as your GGF, then I have quite a bit of additional information for you. And of course, you and I would be 6C1R. But first, to be sure, the birth record of Giuseppe Guastaferri has to be found.
John Armellino

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby BillieDeKid » 22 Aug 2007, 02:19

Thanks John,

It would be great if your information and Romeo's match up. Thanks much for your help.

All the best

Elizabeth

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby romeo.guastaferri » 22 Aug 2007, 16:46

Thanks to both of you.

I wasn't aware of all these references you have provided me.

I will definately be looking into the Casacalenda & Campobasso films and let you guys know what I find.

Talk to you soon

Romeo

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby Essgee » 23 Aug 2007, 15:15

I have all the birth records for Casacalenda.

My husband has been ill and I haven't been able to get back and forth to the library as I would wish.

Sometime in the next week I will go and see what I can find for you.

Bug me...it is ok...that way I will be sure to get there!

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby Essgee » 23 Aug 2007, 22:26

You are going to love this........

I went to the library on the way home today...had only a bit of time before it closed at 4:00...they aren't open a lot anymore. It would seem that the one set of births I am missing is from 1896 to 1900. How that got overlooked I am not sure. I am going to order that film tomorrow...but have been waiting on some films I ordered on June 1 that still have not arrived.

But, since I was there anyway, I decided to look at some other films. One was the death records for 1996-1900...I thought that maybe Giuseppe's father died or something and that might help identify him in some manner.

Indeed, I found a death record for a Mariannina Guastaferro, at 2 days old. Born to Antonio Guastaferro and his wife, Maria Rosa Del Cioppo. Antonio listed at age of 30. Most interesting fact was that Mariannina died on 27 Feb 1897...meaning that Rosa cannot be the natural mother of your Giuseppe if he was born March of the same year.

Looked for other names that began with "A" as the one you indicated was not one I recognized as long existing in the comune of Casacalenda. There is Amorouso, Amarco, Amaniero, Ariemma, and so on. We need the birth record.

I looked prior to 1890 and there were no births I could find for the name Guastaferro. After 1890 I found this:

born: 11 Jan 1891, to Antonio Guastaferro age 31 and his wife, Maria Rosa Del Cioppo, a daughter named Ida.

born: 15 Oct 1892, to Antonio Guastaferro, age listed at 29, and wife, Maria Rosa Del Cioppo, twin sons: Gaetano and Giovanni.

born: 27 Feb 1894 to Antonio Guastaferro, now listed at age 34, and wife Maria Rosa Del Cioppo, a daughter, Asuntina.

As far as the records are concerned, they are the only Gustaferro family listed for that period of time as having children. So it does appear that John's family might well be your family as well.

Here is a copy of the death record of Mariannina:

http://img250.imageshack.us/img250/6278 ... deaqd0.png

I recognize I mispelled her name when creating the file, but you get the idea.

I will go back tomorrow to make copies of those other births. They closed the machine down before closing to count up the days business.

In the meantime, I think that maybe they adopted a foundling or a child of no listed father and a mother that maybe died in childbirth. Maria Rosa could problably have nursed the child, maybe that is why he went with that family. If he kept his father's name, we might be able to find out more, but a good chance the name he carried was his mother's.

Hang in there. It will get solved!

Back later when I get more.

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby vj » 24 Aug 2007, 00:13

WOW!
My goodness!
Essgee, what wonderful information :D
Valarie

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby JohnArmellino » 24 Aug 2007, 02:50

Hi Susan

Indeed, I found a death record for a Mariannina Guastaferro, at 2 days old. Born to Antonio Guastaferro and his wife, Maria Rosa Del Cioppo. Antonio listed at age of 30. Most interesting fact was that Mariannina died on 27 Feb 1897...meaning that Rosa cannot be the natural mother of your Giuseppe if he was born March of the same year.


Giuseppe may have been a twin (apparently they had the gene in the family), or the birth date that the family historically ascribes to Giuseppe is wrong, or (as you say) Giuseppe was a foundling.

I looked prior to 1890 and there were no births I could find for the name Guastaferro.


This matches what I found in the Campobasso records - the last record there involving this family was in 1887.

In the meantime, I think that maybe they adopted a foundling or a child of no listed father and a mother that maybe died in childbirth. Maria Rosa could problably have nursed the child, maybe that is why he went with that family.


This is very possible. Although a foundling kept his assigned surname throughout his life (or in the case of an orphan, his birth surname), I have occasionally found records where the surname used was that of the family of the foundling's wet nurse. If he is a foundling, then there should be a "birth" record in either the diversi records or mixed in with the birth records. I don't know how Casacalenda indexed such records.
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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby JohnArmellino » 24 Aug 2007, 03:59

I went back to the 1914 manifest linked by Elizabeth and discovered two interesting facts. First, it states that Domengiovannantonio Guastaferri had been thru Ellis Island before. Secondly, it states that he was born in Campobasso. How did I miss that the first time I read it! In the relevant time period in Campobasso, my 3C4R Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro was the only one so named who survived childhood, with the exception of his cousin Giovanni Guastaferro who was married to Maria Giuseppina Capalozza (more about him later).

I then found a 1905 manifest for Giovannantonio Guastaferro of Casacalenda, age 47. He was traveling with Luigino di Lalla, age 26. My 3C4R Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro’s daughter Carmela was married to Luigi di Lalla (aka di Lallo) in 1900. He was traveling to his cousin Giovanni Guastaferro (see above) in Montreal.

Finally, I found a 1903 manifest for Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro of Casacalenda, age 45, traveling to his brother-in-law Francesco in Montreal. I couldn't make out Francesco's surname.

I think the evidence is mounting that these two families are in fact the same. Romeo, do you know the marriage name of Carmela Guastaferro or do you have more information about the different names used by Giuseppe Guastaferri?
John Armellino

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby romeo.guastaferri » 24 Aug 2007, 05:26

WOW ! You people are amazing ! I can't get over how helpful you all are...

Having read all your postings, I can definately say that we are all talking about the same family here : that is, the family associated with my Grandfather. I'll explain why in a minute... What I am still unsure about, is whether he born into that family or adopted?

Here is why I am convinced it is the same family :

1) Same name for both of my grandfather's parents (Antonio, Maria Rosa Del Cioppo)

2) Same name for older sister (Carmela) with almost exact same date of birth (about Oct 2 1879 - according to John, vs Sep 29 1879 according to me : 3 days difference... maybe a birth and a baptism?)

3) I can also confirm that Carmela's husband was indeed Luigi Di Lalla - according to Carmela's newspaper obituary which I have a copy of.

Carmela moved to Montreal - I don't know what year. Here, in essence, is the content of her obituary:

Carmela Di Lalla died at Jean-Talon hospital in Montreal on November 20th 1960 at age 81 years old and 2 months. Widow of Luigi Di Lalla, born Carmella Guastaferri, mother of daughters Suzi Perfitte and Guiseppina Ranellucci, and son Nick. Sister of Joseph Guastaferri.

But were Carmella and Joseph really brothers and sisters ? Esgee's data seem to refute that... although John provides very plausible explanations. The dates that I provided could have been wrong by maybe a year or two.

One tidbit of information I haven't provided yet is the fact that my grandfather actually got married under the name Joseph Armanno ! I just found that out recently after finding a transcript of his wedding. I'm expecting a copy of that document (as opposed to a transcript) via mail in a few weeks... This came somewhat as a surprise, but not a total one, for I had heard rumours that he changed his name at some point. Why ? Noboby knows.

Might the name of this foundling have been Giuseppe Armanno ? Esgge, when you get the 1897 films, could you maybe check if a Giuseppe Armanno was born around March of that year ?

I would have been inclined to think that he might have immigrated here to change identity... but the fact that Antonio Guastaferri has crossed the ocean (twice!) to see his son Giuseppe - well, that sort of confirms to me that Giuseppe really was his son. Unless Antonio was in on the lie, for some reason... ?

Those Casacalenda birth records should settle the issue of who Giuseppe's parents were (or have been recorded as being).

One small detail puzzles me, though... John tells us of a Gaetano Guastaferri born in 1884, whereas Essgee mentions Gaetano the twin born in 1892. Two Gaetanos in the same family ? Unless the first Gaetano died ? That information might be in the Campobasso files...

Anyway, thanks again to all you amazing people for your invaluable help

Romeo Guastaferri,
son of Romeo Guastaferri,
son of Joseph Guastaferri

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Re: Ancestors from Casacalenda : Guastaferri & Armanno

Postby JohnArmellino » 24 Aug 2007, 16:16

What I am still unsure about, is whether he born into that family or adopted? But were Carmella and Joseph really brother and sister? Essgee's data seem to refute that... although John provides very plausible explanations. The dates that I provided could have been wrong by maybe a year or two.

One tidbit of information I haven't provided yet is the fact that my grandfather actually got married under the name Joseph Armanno! I just found that out recently after finding a transcript of his wedding. I'm expecting a copy of that document (as opposed to a transcript) via mail in a few weeks... This came somewhat as a surprise, but not a total one, for I had heard rumors that he changed his name at some point. Why? Nobody knows.

Might the name of this foundling have been Giuseppe Armanno? Essgge, when you get the 1897 films, could you maybe check if a Giuseppe Armanno was born around March of that year?


Originating in 13th century and continuing through the 19th century, a system of infant abandonment was in place in Italy. It consisted of foundling homes, where infants could be abandoned anonymously, and a network of paid and unpaid wet nurses and foster families. The foundlings were called proietti and the foundling home the ruota di proietti. A ruota was a type of cabinet revolving on a pivot, used in cloistered convents to give or to receive things from the outside, sort of a turntable in a wall, constructed so that no one could see from who or where things were passed. Hence the name ruota di proietti was given to the foundlings’ home. Some sources I have found state that the infants were actually passed into the home through such a turntable constructed into a door or wall. The infant was placed on a wheel [sometimes with identifying tokens in case the parent(s) wished to reclaim the child at a later date], spun into the building and a bell would be rung to alert the caregivers. This would preserve the parents' privacy. Other sources state that the child was passed through an open window and placed on a turntable and spun through a curtain instead. Other sources state that the name was figurative in nature and merely reflected the fact that the foundlings passed through the home rather than remain there. A proietto was arbitrarily assigned a surname by the Mayor of the comune in which he was abandoned. It was not the surname of his father. This was common practice in Italy, where approximately 4-5% of the children born in the late 19th century were abandoned. The date of abandonment and the name given to the foundling were recorded in the Registri della Stato Civile, together with an estimate of the foundling’s age and [usually] the name of the wet-nurse (and her husband) into whose care the foundling was given. Some women were "professional" wet nurses, taking in many foundlings over time. However, in Molise the majority of these wet nurses were women who had just lost a child in infancy and the foundling was often raised as part of her family.

Romeo, in your case I believe that there is a high probability that your GF was a proietto who was wet nursed by Maria Rosa del Cioppo and quasi-adopted into her family. I say quasi-adopted because legal adoptions in 19th century Italy were generally reserved for the well-to-do and were done primarily to establish inheritance rights. Ordinary people simply treated a child that they might have taken in as a member of the family. This may be the case here. Clearly there was a continuing relationship between Guiseppe Guastaferro/Armanno and Giovanni Antonio Guastaferro/Maria Rosa del Cioppo and the latter considered him to be their son. Hopefully, the civil records will tell us the exact relationship between them.

One small detail puzzles me, though... John tells us of a Gaetano Guastaferri born in 1884, whereas Essgee mentions Gaetano the twin born in 1892. Two Gaetanos in the same family? Unless the first Gaetano died? That information might be in the Campobasso files...


The first Gaetano Guastaferro died 24 AUG 1886 at the age of 2. It was customary to name the next child of like gender after a deceased child.
John Armellino


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