Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace????

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Gallo1975
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Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace????

Postby Gallo1975 » 17 Sep 2007, 13:43

I was in attendance at a funeral this past Saturday, and of course I brought along my 3 ring genelogy binder..

After a look-see, my grandfather's brother was ADAMENT that his father (my great grandfather Francesco/Frank Paolo/Paul Gallo) was not born in Scafati, Salerno but was born in Sicily. He said that the family packed up and left Sicily due to apparent "connections" with 'The Black Hand'????

All my documentation (soc security application, WWI draft card, boat manifest, etc.) leads to Scafati, Salerno and not Sicily. If this is true, was it normal for people to do dsomething like this in those times? Leave your birthplace and claim another to "break ties"?
Always looking for info on: Gallo, Perillo, Stelatto, Morganelli, Cutarelli, Aniello/Aiello, Langella, Garitta/Aritta, Hayward, Nicolson & will be happy to swap info too!

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misbris
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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby misbris » 17 Sep 2007, 22:39

They all, let's not say lied, but "altered reality." There were many reasons, the war, the draft, the Maffia etc. That's what makes it difficult to track donw records. They changed names, changed birthdays, added or subtracted years from their ages. There was a lot of social prejudice and they reacted to it by changing the reality of their lives. On census forms you can say whatever you want, and I guess in those days the government didn't require as many proofs of ID. In fact, the stories were told so many times that they became fact. Doesn't help us who are searching for the real truth, however.

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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby peggymckee » 18 Sep 2007, 02:01

Gallo1975 wrote:My grandfather's brother was ADAMENT that his father (my great grandfather Francesco/Frank Paolo/Paul Gallo) was not born in Scafati, Salerno but was born in Sicily.

Do you have an Italian birth act (birth certificate) for Francesco?

All the best, Peggy M
Surnames: Bertellotti - Ridolfi - Marchi

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BillieDeKid
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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby BillieDeKid » 18 Sep 2007, 02:34

Gallo1975 -

A little something on "The Black Hand". And it was very real, in the USA and in southern Italy. And yes, people did change their names and move themselves and their families because of it. Sometimes because they were targets and sometimes because they were part of "it" and were being sought after by the law.

Thought you might like to read this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hand_(blackmail)

Elizabeth

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Gallo1975
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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby Gallo1975 » 18 Sep 2007, 12:23

peggymckee-

No I don't..seems to be the one puzzle piece that is missing and could be the "golden item" so to speak to clear the mess up.
I have his:
-Ellis Island passenger record
-the ship manifest
-his WWI draft registration card
-his WWII draft registration card (both cards state he his date of birth to be May 3 1885 in Scafati, Salerno, Italy)
-I have the 1920 census
-I have his application for a social security number (this states the same information as the draft card registration)
-I have 2 mass cards from his funeral as well as numerous newspaper clippings about his death

I also have the draft registration cards from one of his brothers as well as a ship manifest, that also states the same information as far as Scafati, Salerno, Italy. All draft cards are written in their own hands and signed with their signatures.

One thing I'd like to obtain would be papers from his days in the Italian Army. I know he served and was honorably discharged, maybe that could shed some light as well, although I have no idea where to get something like that.

BillieDeKid-
Thank you for that link, I'll be sure to read up on it.
Always looking for info on: Gallo, Perillo, Stelatto, Morganelli, Cutarelli, Aniello/Aiello, Langella, Garitta/Aritta, Hayward, Nicolson & will be happy to swap info too!

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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby peggymckee » 18 Sep 2007, 15:14

Dear Gallo--

You raise a point that I have often wondered about, namely, what kind of travel documents did immigrants to the US have and how did they get them? And what information was on them, e.g. comune of birth?

I ask because my GM immigrated under the surname Bertolotti and in fact her surname was Bertellotti. Not a big difference, but since her birth was registered at her comune with the correct spelling, I've often wondered why her "travel name" was different.

Also, I'm personally sceptical about stories such as your great-uncle tells. Yes, the family may have moved and yes, it may have had to do--at least in part--with "bad" connections, but would they really go to all the trouble of falsifying their birth records? Would it even be possible?

Anyhow, keep us posted. This sounds like a fascinating quest. All the best, Peggy M
Surnames: Bertellotti - Ridolfi - Marchi

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Gallo1975
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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby Gallo1975 » 18 Sep 2007, 23:07

peggymckee wrote:Dear Gallo--

Also, I'm personally sceptical about stories such as your great-uncle tells. Yes, the family may have moved and yes, it may have had to do--at least in part--with "bad" connections, but would they really go to all the trouble of falsifying their birth records? Would it even be possible?

Anyhow, keep us posted. This sounds like a fascinating quest. All the best, Peggy M


I agree it does sound like a game of telephone gone bad... but as you know you can't rule anything out. And I think anything is possible when enough money changes hands. Everyone has a price, even the sweet clergyman at the church in the 1800's.
Always looking for info on: Gallo, Perillo, Stelatto, Morganelli, Cutarelli, Aniello/Aiello, Langella, Garitta/Aritta, Hayward, Nicolson & will be happy to swap info too!

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Gallo1975
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Re: Normal for family to hide "real" birthplace???

Postby Gallo1975 » 18 Sep 2007, 23:13

peggymckee wrote:Dear Gallo--

You raise a point that I have often wondered about, namely, what kind of travel documents did immigrants to the US have and how did they get them? And what information was on them, e.g. comune of birth?

I ask because my GM immigrated under the surname Bertolotti and in fact her surname was Bertellotti. Not a big difference, but since her birth was registered at her comune with the correct spelling, I've often wondered why her "travel name" was different.



Maybe they got docs from their church parish? I mean, there was no such thing as a picture ID back then, and thr church was seen as the next best thing besides the goverment.

Well as far as spelling goes, it could all stem from the same lazy people at Ellis Island and/or any other major port who took the "easy" route and didn't bother to clarify anything. Forexample..I have relatives from Trapani named "Aritta" but then they have cousins who are "Garitta". the name "Garitta" still appears in modern Trapani, whereas "Aritta" is no where to be found..conclusion is that they dropped the "G". Or it could just be a matter of not understanding the immigrant due to accent, or sloppy handwriting..so many variables for it really.. one of my great grandmothers..her name is spelled 3 different ways, but I go by her own signature that I have on my grandmother's report card, I mean, SHE knew how to spell her own name, right! :)
Always looking for info on: Gallo, Perillo, Stelatto, Morganelli, Cutarelli, Aniello/Aiello, Langella, Garitta/Aritta, Hayward, Nicolson & will be happy to swap info too!


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