The Marvulli Family of Grumo Appula played a huge part in my families history. My great grandmother Nicoletta and great Aunt Angelina Marvulli married brothers, Vincenzo and Vito Luigi Civitano. With such an influence and the intertwining of these branches I decided it was time to introduce and write a little about this Marvulli family.
Domenico Marvulli (1830), son of Giuseppe Marvulli and Angela Santa Tricanco, married Rosa D’Armiento (1839), daughter of Giovanni Donato D’Armiento and Rita Maria DiGiorgio, on 13 June 1839 in Grumo Appula. (Domenico and Rosa are my 2x great grandparents) They went on to have 13 children. Only 6 would survive to adulthood and out of those 6 all would immigrate and make their home in the United States.
Marriage License of Domenico and Rosa
The children of Domenico and Rosa were as follows: Angelina (1858-1858) Angelina (1859-1958). Angelina #2 holds the honor of being the oldest child and actually living the longest of her siblings. Giuseppe (1861-62), Rita Edith (1862-1950), Maria Nicola (1865-1865), Maria Nicola (1866-1867), Giuseppe (1867-1950) Maria Nicola (1869-1875), Anna (1871-1873), Giovanni (1875-1859), Nicoletta (1877-1962) (my great grandmother), Antonio (1880-1883), and Gaetano (1889-1953). As I sat and actually listed these children with birth and death dates I began to think about this mother of 13 children, the mother’s of others who lost so many children in infancy or childhood. What had it been like for them? Surely there was deep sadness with the lose of each child, but was there time to mourn? After so many, did it become the norm? Was childbirth a gamble that loss was expected and if survival did happen, that was cause to celebrate as the child grew into adulthood. I actually shared this thought with my friend Lorna the other day. She shared with me a story she had heard; that there was no time to mourn in those days as work was required at all times to keep the home and family on track but one woman’s memory was ‘that in making the daily bread, in kneading the dough, it became her way to allow her grief in losing her child to surface. The act of kneading became her grieving tool.’
Here is a list of the 6 children that survived to adulthood and their spouses.
Angelina married Vito Luigi Civitano
Rita Edith married Gaetano Caso
Giuseppe married Lucia DiGirolamo
Giovanni married Grazia Scarola
Nicoletta married Vincenzo Civitano
Gaetano married Nunzia Lavechhio
Again I find myself thinking about their mother Rosa D’Armiento Marvulli and her life in Grumo Appula. Her husband Domenico died November 4, 1883. Rosa lived until 1922 which left her a widow for 39 years. Not only had she experienced the death of 7 of her children, but the lose of her husband when she was only 44. She would come to experience another kind of loss, the lose of all of her children immigrating to the America. The first to leave was Giovanni in 1903, followed by Gaetano in 1904, next her daughter Rita in 1905, Giuseppe in 1906, I do not have the immigration record for Nicoletta but it was sometime close to 1906, followed by her oldest, Angelina, in 1910. I imagine there was a very profound and deep sadness for Rosa when she said good bye to her last child, Angelina. Rosa was already 71 years old. We know from the life of Nicoletta that she did return home in sometime in 1910 under her own cloud of sadness with the lose/murder of her husband Vincenzo. It seems she was not alone very long. Additionally perhaps that is why Angelina left at that time, Nicoletta was home now to care for their mother freeing her to make her move with her family. Rosa passed away in 1922 with Nicoletta there in Italy with her. That truly brings me some comfort in knowing that Rosa had 1 of her children by her side. Call me sentimental or silly but below is a picture of a embroidered handkerchief/scarf by Nicoletta (her initials). The photo was shared with me by my cousin Ann Elmendorf who also shares Nicoletta as her great grandmother. What a treasure! How many times might this have covered her head entering church, or wiped her tears? Thank you Ann for this photo.
As I begin to come to the end of this first post on the Marvulli’s and I was getting ready to post the death certificate for Domenico, I wanted to mention just a little about his own sadness with in his family. As the oldest son/child the 2nd born, he witnessed the birth of 7 of 8 siblings of which including himself only 3 survived. His mother, Angela died when he was 18 and his father Giuseppe, when he was 21. He became a man quite early I am sure.
Death certificate for Domenico Marvulli ~ April 5, 1883
Death certificate for Rosa D’Armiento Marvulli ~ March 26, 1922
I can not leave this posting with out making mention that back about 2/3 years ago I was contacted via my tree on the familysearch.org website, by descendants of Giovanni Marvulli. With the help of google translate I had an exciting dialog in Italian with distant cousin Damiano Sisto and his wife Sara of Lobbi, Italy. In my next post I will continue with more on the Marvulli family in America.
7 thoughts on “The Marvulli Family of Grumo Appula”
I also have tried to imagine what it was like for our ancestors to bear and lose so many children. I’ve wondered whether knowing the odds of survival were not great, did they not attach themselves emotionally to their children as we do now? Did they distance themselves during pregnancy, knowing that a baby was likely not to survive? Or were they bereft, heartbroken, distraught each time? Women back then seemed to be always either pregnant or nursing. Maybe they were even relieved when a new baby died? I know that sounds heartless, but I am trying not to judge but to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes.
The church photos are lovely! And how did you find the Italian records? I was looking for a death record from the 1930s for a relative who had escaped to Italy from Germany, but could not find any records online.
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Amy- have you tried familysearch.org ? Under search you would use catalog of their films. You would have to know where in Italy you would want to search though. Many of the Italians records were obtained years prior when I hired a researcher from familysearch.org. My cousin Peter also finds records but I have never actually asked him where he locates them. If you send me the information on who your looking for maybe between the 2 of us we could locate something for you. Send me a email 🙂
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Thanks! I will email you. 🙂
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I also thought how terrible it must have been to lose so many children. Even the thought of losing one just tears me apart!
There is a story on my dad’s side of the family about a family who lost three children within a week due to disease. The mother was unable to cope with the loss. She ran away and hid in a cave, where she slit her wrists. Perhaps, just like today, certain people were just more equipped to handle pain than others. Maybe people around you would have had a better idea how to give comfort, since they were more likely to have experienced similar losses. I can’t imagine it would have been easy, no matter what, but what choice did they have but to soldier on?
The story on your Dad’s side of the family is so so sad Katie. I think you are right on about what you said about some were more equipped to cope than others, just as it is today.
My name is Maggie Ciocco. I’m the GG Granddaughter of Rita Edith Marvulli and Gaetano Caso. This is my birth family as I was adopted at the age of three months into another family. I have searched both my birth and adoptive families since the 1980’s. I am willing to share what limited knowledge I have of my birth family and I look forward to meeting you all. I was thrilled to meet my cousin Sharon through Ancestry and many other distant birth and adoptive relatives as well. I love helping other discover their roots.
Hi Maggie~ so excited to have you following the family blog. I too was thrilled to connect with you through Ancestry especially with our shared family adoption story. My next blog post is specifically on Rita Edith and her family. Excited to post it in a few days.