Saturday, December 10, 2016

Surname Saturday: Caruso of Montgomery Co., PA

I knew that since my great-grandmother chose to come to the US, it was possible that a sibling or two of hers might have as well.  Unfortunately it has taken me awhile to find any of those elusive siblings.  The ones I have found so far are 1) a brother who died in infancy, 2) a sister who disappears from records after birth, 3) a sister who remained in Italy and lived a long life and 4) a sister who married and also came to America.

This sister who came to America was born Donata Maria D'Accia in Peschici, Foggia, Apulia, Italy on 19 April, 1883 (her death certificate gives a date of 17 March 1885, though Peschici records do not support this).  Donata was likely named for her deceased brother, Donato Antonio Maria, and paternal grandmother, Donata Maria.

Donata's parents, Michele Maria D'Accia and Maria Mattea Giovanna Di Milo were also Peschici natives and had married there in 1877.  Michele was a "calzolaio" (shoemaker) who died in 1906.  In 1909, Donata's mother re-married a man named Eduardo Buoncompagni.

Excerpt from the allegati for
Costanzo Caruso and Donata D'Accia
Donata married Costanzo Giovanni Caruso in Peschici in 1902.  They had a son and daughter, but Costanzo left Italy in 1906.  He arrived in New York on 3 April aboard the Citta Di Torino out of Naples.  His destination was an uncle in Philadelphia.

Donata and their children stayed behind in Peschici until 1910 when Donata also emigrated.  She arrived in New York aboard the Duca D'Aosta but was detained for three days, being released to her husband on 25 November.  Costanzo's address is given as Hoboken, New Jersey at the time.

Their son, Salvatore, who remained with Costanzo's mother in Peschici, would arrive as an eleven-year-old in Philadelphia on 3 July, 1913 aboard the Taormina.  His destination was Altoona, Pennsylvania.  I have yet to find an arrival record for Donata and Costanzo's daughter, Maria.

In the US, Donata and Costanzo had an additional six known children.  In all:
  1. Salvatore, born 19 Feb 1902 in Peschici, he married and had children.  Salvatore died in Lower Gwynedd Twp., Montgomery, Pennsylvania on 1 May 1964.
  2. Maria (Mary), 20 Nov 1904 in Peschici, she married and had children.  Maria died 11 Aug 1996 in Spring House, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
  3. Angelo, born circa 1912 in Pennsylvania.  I have been unable to trace him following the 1920 US Census.
  4. Michael Caruso, born about 1914 in Pennsylvania, he married and had children.  Michael died 2 July 1987 in Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
  5. Nicholas Caruso, born 19 June 1916 in Ambler, he married and had children.  Nicholas died 6 March 1951 in Norristown.
  6. Louise Elizabeth Caruso, born 30 Nov 1917 in Ambler,  She married and had children.  She died 10 March 1994 in Palm Bay, Brevard, Florida.
  7. Leo Caruso, born circa 1920 in Pennsylvania.  I have been unable to trace him following the 1920 US Census.
  8. Emma Caruso, born 16 Aug 1924 in Ambler.  She married and died on 18 Dec 1959 in Philadelphia.
Donata, like my great-grandmother, does not appear to have learned English.  She and Costanzo don't appear to have naturalized either.  She died in Whitpain, Montgomery, Pennsylvania on 11 May 1940 and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Donata's death certficate from the state of Pennsylvania

Since my great-grandmother lived in nearby Ohio, I wonder if she and Donata kept in touch.  My great-grandmother's reputation as a difficult person, however, makes me doubt it.

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