Great work and thank you so much. You must have access to some very helpful records.
First, I'm incredibly impressed about Maria's record! I agree; she wouldn't have traveled alone. I was searching for either of her brothers (I think their names are Raffaele and Leonardo), but it looks like she crossed family lines to come over with another Trofa. Great deduction, Biff. I am so excited that you've found her.
The WWII draft card for Paolo (he seems to have dropped the Pietro as soon as he arrived) is correct. The WWI card cannot be him, as it is nearly 100 years too early. I am certain that his birthdate was 14 September 1890.
The 1920 census appears to match the details I have, with the obvious mistakes in names. The dates are correct and the names are approximate (Mattera=Martini). That's too bad--it would be nice to get the detail of occupations, parent names and other bits.
I'm going to explore all you've directed me to. Thanks so much. My next step, I suppose, is to obtain birth certificates for Paolo and Maria's children. Then I should reach back to Serrara Fontana and obtain birth and marriage records.
We were all happy to help get you started !
You may want to click on the link to Paolo's WWI Card
(it is 1890). You're right - Biff certainly pulled it together
with some tough finds.
Most of us have subscriptions to ancestry.com. Personally,
I have several, ancestry is the most expensive and the one
I use the most.
jcsm has given you some terrific direction on where to write
in Italy. Write soon, it generally takes a bit to get a response.
If you haven't already, you may want to check out a local
Family History Library. Besides their world-renowned microfilm
records, you should be able to access ancestry.com on their
computers for free.
If you haven't started organizing your finds into a database -
there's a free version on the FHL site.
bottom right side of this page: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/default.asp Please let us know if there's anything else we can do to
help & good luck on your research!
Possible 1911 ship manifest for Raffaele Arcucci, note 2 page manifest
Raffaele Arcucci, line 9
Last residence and place of birth--Serrara Fontana
Nearest relative in Italy wife, Angelina
Destination--Chester PA to join brother Leonardo, 420 West 3rd? St
Previously in US 1909-1911
Edited to add the following 1912 manifest record note 2 pages
Possible 1912 ship manifest for Raffaele Arcucci, wife Angelina and son Francesco; destination Chester PA. Raffaele's nearest relative in Italy, father Francesco. All last residence and place of birth Serrara Fontana
Thanks for the encouragement. Your enthusiasm is great. I will gladly download the software, as the amount of information I have collected is already getting cumbersome.
Thanks for hunting down Raffaele. It looks correct. Like most things, the family history related to me orally is more like clues than facts--I was led to believe the Paolo came to the US with Maria's brothers Raffaele and Leonardo, but it now appears that all three came over separately.
Another interesting and supportive thing I have learned is the Italian naming conventions. It confirms Raffaele's father's name as Francesco, which is also his son's name, etc.
You're amazing. Thanks for taking so much trouble with my requests. Thanks to you and others, I now have both ship manifests for my great grandfather Paolo, the manifest for his wife, Maria, the manifest for her brother Raffaele, WWI and II draft cards for Paolo, 1920 census information, and more.
I am in the process of trying to obtain birth and baptism information in RI for Paolo's children (my grandfather and his brothers). I am hopeful that those documents may provide more information about Paolo and Maria's ancestors. Right now, I have a suspicion that Paolo's father is Pasquale and Maria's father is listed in the manifest as Francesco. I do not know the names of either of their mothers. Paolo lists his grandmother in the first manifest as Maria Buono.
Interestingly, Maria Arcucci arrived with more than Luigi Trofa. If you read above Luigi, you will see that she arrived with Camela Mattera, wife of Vincenzo Trofa, together their two sons, Salvatore and Luigi. That may indicate that Vincenzo's father was Salvatore Trofa, and Maria's father was Luigi Mattera. Paolo and Vincenzo were both living at 62 Nassau street in 1913. Soon afterwards, Paolo and Maria (and their new children) moved out.
I have no idea who Camela Mattera is. I think Mattera was a fairly popular name in Ischia, but perhaps she is a cousin or other relation of Paolo. If my theory on the father's names is correct, I may be able to trace Paolo and Vincenzo back to a common ancestor to see how they are related as cousins.
It looks like most of my research from here will need to be conducted in Italy, so I expect I will start a letter writing campaign. I wish I could make out Paolo's birth city on his WWI draft registration card. It does not appear to be Serrara Fontana. However, it also does not appear to be written by him, but by the person who signed the back (presumably a government official or volunteer). It may be a transcription error.
Thanks again, and please let me know if there is more information I can provide for you.
I've been making great use of the LDS software to create pedigree charts and family group records. Thanks, Valarie!
On my paternal grandfather's side, it is Paolo Mattera and Maria Arcucci. My paternal grandmother is not Italian, and her ancestry is much more US-based for research.
I am not poking through my mother's side. Her ancestry is:
Paternal grandfather: Francesco Longo, born 1899 or 1900 (June 29)
Paternal grandmother: Teresa Ziroli, born May 24 (I don't know the year)
Maternal grandfather: Vittorino Procaccini, born June 26, 1896
Maternal grandmother: Luisa (?) Cretella, born April 19, 1899 in Lawrence, MA
I very quickly found the manifest for Vittorino and his twin brother, Ricardo. It appears their father was Alphonso. I do not know his mother's name.
I have no idea where Francesco or Teresa were born or when they came to the US.
Boy, it's easy to get carried away.
Are there online databases for searching census information, draft registrations, military service records, etc.? I understand that some of that information is available through Ancestry.com for a fee. Are there free sources?