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.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Robert Allen's Estate

I've yet to find estate paperwork for Robert, but a notice in the Niles Daily Times, page 18, dated 26 June 1935, tells me that there was an estate.  It also helps me to fill in married names and addresses for some of my collateral Allen relatives at the time, and for that I am very happy.

"LEGAL NOTICE

    Lavina Allen, 27 Wells Street, Caro, Michigan; John Allen, State Penitentiary, Jackson, Michigan; Mrs. Anna Sheperdson, Wyman, Mi-chigan, George R. Allen, Taft, Ca-lifornia; Jane Allen Ott, 1107 Ne-ville Street, Follansbee, W. Virgin-ia, Jemia Jane Adams, 1107 Neville Street, West Virginia, Margaret Ann Smith, R.F.D. No. 1, Hagers-town, Maryland; Alice Ruth Shute, 1128 Neville Street, Follansbee, West Virginia and Charles William Allen, 1197 Neville Street, Follans-bee, West Virginia, will take notice that of the 14th day of June, 1935, the said D L Evans, as adminis-trator of the estate of Robert Allen, filed his petition in the Probate Court of Trumbull County, Ohio in Case No. 11762 against the above named parties and others, praying for an order directing him to sell the real estate of said Robert Allen with which to obtain funds to pay his debts.
    Said parties are required to answ-er on or before the first day of September, 1935.
    D L EVANS, Administrator, W F MacQueen, Atty.
 June 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, 26, 1935."

Since Robert died without a wife or living children, the heirs are all connected to Robert through his siblings.  The first named is likely Lavinia Mary Beyett(e) Allen, the widow John Henry Willis Allen.  John was a son of Robert's late brother, Joseph.  John died only a month after Robert, in Caro.

The next person is John Grant Allen, a brother of Robert's, and my 2nd great-grandfather.  The State Penitentiary address makes me chuckle as it makes it seem John was a resident there, when in fact he was working as a guard.

The following two were Anna Allen Shep(p)ardson and George Robert Allen, also children of Robert's brother Joseph.  Jane (Reese) Allen Ott was a widow of another of Joseph's sons, Joseph Jr., who had died in 1917.  I hadn't followed Jane after Joseph's death so her remarriage was a new piece of information to me.  She married John H. Ott in Wellsburg, West Virginia in 1920.  The last four people were Joseph and Jane's children, Jemima, Margaret, Alice and Charles.

Since Robert died in 1932, I was a little surprised to find this notice over three years after his death.  But, clearly, the administrator was having difficulties getting in touch with all of Robert's far-flung relatives.  I'd still like to find the estate papers as I suspect the children of Robert's late brother, James, and his living sister, Mary C. Allen Evans, were heirs as well.  Since that group remained in the Niles area, it probably wasn't necessary to include them in the Legal Notice.

One thing I haven't cleared up is whether Robert had a familial connection with the administrator of his estate.  Robert's sister, Mary, married into the Evans family, but the "D.L." initials don't fit for her husband or children.