Frank (Francesco) Civitano Nov. 8, 1907 – Nov. 23, 1982

As we enter the holiday season and offer up a prayer on this 2017 Thanksgiving Day…I wanted to take a few moments to remember and honor my grandfather – Frank Civitano. Life truly is so short and memories so precious… memories are within the smiles and photo’s of the past…with out them I would not know him. I never met my grandfather since he passed before I found my birth family. However as I said, through the wonderful photo’s and stories that have been shared with me, as my research reveals and uncovers so many stories and other wonderful information…I have come to a place of really feeling like he truly touched my life in a very real and personal way. Today, the anniversary of his passing, falls on Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for Frank and all my Civitano family that have entered my life with thankfulness that I am a part of their lives.

Frank with his father Vincenzo 


Passport photo returning to New York from Italy 


Frank with his sister Julia 


Frank’s wedding day with his beautiful bride Catherine Langellotti                                          14 Sept. 1929 


With their first child my Aunt Coletta 


My father Vincent has joined the family 


The Iceman ~ Frank Civitano 


I am really not sure of the occasion – their 25th wedding anniversary possibly


The whole family: Coletta, Frank, Joe, Catherine & Vincent 


Frank with his sister Julia 


Frank is played to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Shrine of Memories, Westchester, New York.



In loving memory of my grandfather Francesco Civitano


The life and times and Giovanni Marvulli continued….

Continuing the story of Giovanni Marvulli, I had left off with the death of his beautiful wife Grazia Scarola in 1916. She was the mother of 5 of his children of which 1 had passed in infancy. Their 4 living children were all under the age of 10. From 1916 until 1922 Giovanni was a single father.

Graziella Marvulli

By August 1922 Giovanni met or had reacquainted with widow Maria Fazio – Tomanelli. Maria (1887, Grumo Appula) was the daughter of Pietro Fazio (1842 G.A.- 1923 G.A.) and Laura Tetro (1854 G.A.) (the Tetro name is one that has repeated in our family history) Maria Fazio had married Domenico Tomanelli of Grumo Appula on Sept. 3, 1910.

Marriage Certificate - Domenico

Marriage Certificate - Domenico -2

Together they had 3 children. Giuseppe (1911), Pietro  (1913 ) and Teresa (1914).

So much of their personal story is lost, but like so many others, it is not hard to imagine what their lives were like. All born in our family town of Grumo, this was most likely a family introduction or arrangement, Maria in Grumo with 3 children and Giovanni (John) with 4 children in New York were paired up out of convenience and necessity. Maria traveled alone to New York and on August 20, 1922 Giovanni and Maria said I do. They were married in the ‘family’ church St. Clare’s in New York City.

Marriage Certificate - Giovanni .jpg

St. Clare's Church

Giovanni and Maria went on to have 3 children together, although 1 passed away in infancy. Recapping the children: Giovanni at the time of their marriage had son Dominick (20), Rocco (16) Rose (14) and Joseph (13). Maria had children Joseph (11) and Teresa (8) from her marriage to Domenico Tomanelli. Joseph and Teresa were left behind in Grumo and did not join their mother until 1933, arriving together. A year after marrying Giovanni, Maria had son Pietro ( Peter) born in 1923, followed by Grace in 1924 and Thomas in 1926.

1925 New York Census



Little Grace did not survive and passed away on Dec 30, 1925.

Death Certificate - Grace Marvilli p.1

I was unable to find Giovanni in the 1905, 1915 and 1920 census records. I was able to pick up his path in the 1925 census and then in the city directory index’s on Ancestry. I can see by these last two records that by the 1920’s Giovanni was now using the name of John. His last name has been written Marvulli, Marvilli, and a form of Marvullo. Maria has also been using the name Mary.

1920, Mavilli, – ice – (W 37th St)


1922, Marvulll, Grocer, (W 37th St)



With the stamped date of June 8, 1925 on the second page I was sad to see that his Petition For Naturalization had been denied for ‘lack of knowledge’



By 1930 the family was still living on W 37th St., John (54) Mary (44) have son Rocco (24), Joseph (21), Peter (17), Thomas (3) living with them. John’s occupation was listed as fruit store dealer. Mary and Joseph were both working as clerks in the store. Son Rocco was a press feeder in a print shop.


On June 19, 1933, Teresa (19)  and Giuseppe (22) finally arrived from Italy to join their mother and step father and siblings aboard the Conte Grande.


I paused here to consider their arrival. Joseph (Giuseppe) had been 10/11 when his mother left and Tessie (Teresa) had only been 8 years old. Who had they lived with? What had they thought about all this, their mother leaving? What had they been told? Joseph’s occupation on the passenger list was carpenter and Tessie was housewife, which I believe was a generic catch all for single woman at the time. I took another look at the records and discovered another passenger list for the year 1921, a Boston, Mass arrival on into N.Y.. Quite a few researchers have picked up this record as our Giuseppe (Joseph) but on very close inspection I do not believe this is our Joseph. Below is the record and my explanation.


There were 17 people traveling from Grumo, with last names like Peragine, D’Armiento, Spano, ….on this ship. I do believe these are many of our extended family members. The age of this Giuseppe/Joseph is off, which led me to look very closely. He was traveling with Maria Baccellieri – Tomanelli going to her husband Rocco Tomanelli. She had along with her Carlo 12, (Giuseppe/Joseph 9) and Raffaele 4. It was noted on page 2 that this Giuseppe was traveling to his father the same as with Carlo and Raffaele. This passenger list is a great resource for tracking our extended family branches but I believe this is not our guy. I have to tell you too that I had to resist the rabbit hole and continue on with our story.

By 1940 the census for John (65) and wife Maria (52) had an address of them living at 340 Stockton St., Brooklyn. The census record indicated that they had also been living there in 1935 as well. John had listed coal and ice dealer for his occupation and not grocer. Their 2 son’s Peter (16) and Thomas (13) were living at home but no indication was given that they were in school or working. A quick glance at the WW11 enlistment records for Thomas revealed that he had only a grammar school education. Perhaps he was working with his father. Son Peter I had written about in my previous post honoring him on Veteran’s Day. He was killed in action in 1944. HIs enlistment record also indicated only a grammar school education.


Now an empty lot, I imagine that 340 Stockton looked very much like the building still standing that was next to their address. (The 354 address is for across the street 🙂


Meet John and Mary Marvilli

Mary and John Marvulli

Thank you to Deborah Hansen who originally shared this on Ancestry July 11, 2017

Photo-2Thank you to Elisabeth Villarroel who originally shared this on Ancestry Jan. 24, 2016

*I have tried connecting with both Deborah and Elisabeth but unfortunately have had no reply from either of them.

With out starting to go into the marriages and lives of the children of John and Mary, I have not found much more about their lives after 1940. I have not been able to confirm the death date of Mary however most researchers have March 15 or the 30, 1955 for a date. From the New York, New York, Death Index, 1949 – 1965 I did find this listing.

Name Maria Marvilli
Age 69
Birth Date abt 1886
Death Date 15 Mar 1955
Death Place Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA
Certificate Number 6449
Household Members
Name Age
Maria Marvilli

I will need to do some more research on her . The death certificate for Giuseppe/ John Marvilli does shed some additional insight into John’s life. He retired from the Grocery business and had owned his own store. His last years were spent at the Holliswood Nursing Home in Queens, New York where he was seen by the attending physician from August of 1957 till he passed in Jan. 1959 at the age of 84. The certificate does indicate that he was a widower. His son Rocco Marvilli, living at 608 Evergreen Ave., Brooklyn was the informant. Rocco was about 53 at the time of his father’s death. John is buried at Calvary Cemetery, in L.I.City.

Death Certificate - John Marvilli.jpg

Preceding John in death had been his sister Rita Edith Caso in 1950 along with his  brother Giuseppe in the same year. His sister Angelina had passed the year prior in 1958 leaving my great grandmother Nicoletta still living until 1962. In my next post I will finish with the children of Domenico Marvulli and his wife and mother of his children Rosa D’Armiento.

In Honor of Pvt. Peter Marvilli

With Veteran’s Day less than 24 hours behind us, and as I began to research for continuing the story of the family of Giovanni and his second wife Maria Fazio, I had to stop, reflect and honor their son Peter Marvilli

Peter Marvilli 

Marvulli, Peter - Cypress Hills National Cemetery


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 30 Aug 1944 – Page 13

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 30 Aug 1944 - Page 13

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 7 July 1948 – Page 7 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 7 Jul 1948 - Page7

I was unable to get a clear legible copy of this article so I have quoted the beginning. It goes on to state the names of the others addressing the crowd as well as stating the “the names of the Brooklynites who’s bodies were aboard the ship and their next of kin, follow: Pvt Peter Marvilli, army: John Marvilli 340 Stockton St.” 

“The bodies of 116 Brooklynites were among the 4,842 World War 11 dead returned from temporary military cemeteries in Italy aboard the Army transport Carroll Victory, which docked yesterday at the Brooklyn Army Base.” The article goes on to say “Aaron L. Jacoby, chief clerk of the Surrogate’s Court, who delivered the principal address, told the more than 400 relatives of the deceased servicemen present at the memorial services on Pier 3 that America “must be strong and prepared in order to preserve the freedom for which these soldiers fought and died.” “


Today I remember and honor my 1st cousin 2x removed Peter Marvilli, son of Giovanni (John) Marvulli and his mother Maria Fazio Marvulli, brother Thomas Marvilli, 1/2 siblings Rosa Marvulli – Alessi, Dominck, Rocco and Joseph Marvulli; nephew of Giuseppe, Rita Edith, Gaetano, Angelina and Nicoletta, all who mourned his passing along with extended family and his country.

Peter Marvilli

The life of Giovanni Marvulli and wife Grazia Scarola

The next son of Domenico Marvulli  and Rosa D’Armiento that I took a closer look at was Giovanni (John) Marvulli. Born 18 May 1875 in Grumo Appula, he lived to be 84 years old before passing away in Brooklyn, New York on Jan. 22, 1959. Before I continue in my research I wanted to comment on the spelling of this last name. I have seen it many ways now on records; Marvulli, Marvilli, Marvullo…perhaps starting as spelling errors but morphing and changed by families for what ever the reason.

Birth certificate of Giovanni Marvulli 

Birth Certificate - Giovanni Marvulli p.1Birth Certificate - Giovanni Marvulli p.2

On November 30, 1901 Giovanni (26)  married Grazia Scarola (1879).

Marriage certificate of Giovanni & Grazia 

Marriage Certificate - Giovanni -2

Grazia was the daughter of Rocco Santo Scarola (1836) and Anna Lucia Panzarino (1841) both of Grumo Appula. Looking back at records on this family something exciting jumped out. The mother of Anna Lucia was Grazia Donata Gisonda. This is the family name of the 2nd husband of my great grandmother Nicoletta (Marvulli) Civitano who married Nick Gisonda/Gisondi after the death of Vincenzo. I could so go down the rabbit hole of research at this point 🙂


But back to Giovanni and Grazia. They went on to have 5 children together. Domenico (1902 – 1981), was their first son born in Grumo and would go on to immigrate to the U.S. with his parents. All 4 other of their children were born in N.Y.  Rocco ( 1907 – 1979), Giuseppe (1907 – 1909), Rosa (1908 – 1996) and Giuseppe (1909 – 1985).

Father, Giovanni arrived first on Nov. 18th, 1903. He was traveling on the ship the           SS Hesperia.

SS Hesperia


On this record under occupation it lists ‘peasant’ however above that it does say mason. Giovanni indicated that he was traveling to the home of his nephew Vito Simone. This would be the husband of Giuditta (Julia), daughter of Giovanni’s sister Angelina (Marvulli) Civitano –

Following in 1905,  wife Grazia and 2 year old son Domenico (recorded as Giovanni on the passenger record – I have no idea why Domenico was listed with this name as I have found no other documents to indicate this as his proper first or middle name) arrived on the May 23, 1905 on the ship the Republic. Grazia’s occupation was listed as farm laborer, going to her husband Giovanni at 103 16th St, NYC.


From arrival I was unable to locate the family in the 1905, 1910, or 1915 census. I decided to follow this family by the birth certificates of their children. Once Grazia had arrived with 1st son Domenico in 1905, Giovanni and Grazia had 2nd son Rocco Marvulli born March 30th, 1906. They were living at 136 W. 19th St., Rocco’s occupation was coal man.

Birth Certificate - Rocco Marvulli

Follow Rocco’s birth in 1906 was baby Giuseppe born March 17th, 1907. The family has moved and was living now at 211 W. 16th St., #7. Notice also on this and Rocco’s birth certificate the ‘levatrice – midwife’ was Antoinette Mitarotonda – this family name repeats continually in our family. (cousins)

Birth Certificate - Giuseppe Marvulli (1907)

Giuseppe lived a short 2 years passing away from diphtheria in March of 1909. Notice the spelling of the last name – Marvullo.

Death Certificate - Giuseppe Marvullo p.1

I am sure Grazia had little time to grieve the loss of young Giuseppe as baby Rosa had entered the family on Sept. 28, 1908. The ‘O’ has been added to her document as well. Still working as a coal man, the family has changed address’s to 223 W. 16th St.

Birth Certificate - Rosa Marvullo

Giuseppe #2 was born November 13, 1909. Giovanni has had steady employment and was still working as a coal man but has moved his family again now to 310 W. 25th St.

Birth Certificate - Giuseppe Marvullo (1909)

This wonderful photo of Rosa and Joseph (Giuseppe) was originally shared                        by Elisabeth Villarroel Jan 2016 (Ancestry) It looks like Elisabeth descends off of Joseph’s branch. She has not been back on since posting in Jan. In addition the family spelling has become Marvilli. I will try and reach out to her. In the mean time a big thank you for this fantastic picture and this glimpse into the life of Giovanni’s family.


Not to long after this photo, beautiful Grazia Scarola Marvulli  passed away leaving Giovanni a widower with four young children all under the age of 10. From the document below she was in Hahnemann Hospital from Aug. 25th till she passed on Sept. 1, 1916. I am unable to read the reason for her death however the best I can make out is ‘acute dilation? deterioration? of stomach following … appendectomy?….’                            (Her place of residence was 318 W. 37th St. so it appears they had moved again)

Hahnemann Hospital

You may enjoy reading this wonderful article on the Hahnemann Hospital

Hahnemann Hospital

Rosa Marvulli was buried at Calvary Cemetery Woodside, Queens, new York.

Marvulli - Calvary Cemetery.jpg

It is not hard to imagine Giovanni’s grief with this stone. ‘Erected by Giovanni Marvulli in memory of his wife Graziella Marvulli’….the stone also continues to mark the passing of his second and ‘dear wife’ Maria along with his infant daughter Grace in 1925 and then with his own remembrance. This gravestone tell’s quite a story.

Graziella Marvulli

In my next post I will continue the story of Giovanni and his family after the death of Grazia when he goes on to marry Maria Fazio 6 years later in 1922.








Giuseppe Marvulli and Family

In my last post I continued the story of the children of Domenico Marvulli and Rosa D’Armiento from Grumo Appula, Italy. To recap, Rosa had 13 births of which 6 lived to adulthood and all 6 immigrated to America. The last post was about daughter Rita Edith Marvulli, sister to my great grandmother Nicoletta, and their oldest sister Angelina. Following in the birth order after Rita, was their brother Giuseppe Marvulli. He was born the July 12, 1873 Grumo Appula.

Birth Certificate - Giuseppe Marvulli (1873) p.1

Birth Certificate - Giuseppe Marvulli (1873) p.2

Birth Certificate - Giuseppe Marvulli (1873) p.3

At the age of 29 Giuseppe married Lucia DiGirolamo on Nov. 27, 1902. She was 19 years old. Lucia was the daughter of Giuseppe DiGirolamo and Veta Serevedio. While I don’t know the exact place of their births, I do know that Lucia and Giuseppe were married on Jan. 21, 1883 in Grumo Appula so I am assuming the Lucia’s parents were from the same area.

Marriage certificate for Giuseppe and Lucia

Marriage Certificate - Giuseppe

Marriage Certificate - Giuseppe -2

I have very little information about Giuseppe.  But there was something, once again, connecting about Giuseppe and Lucia to be discovered. Lucia was an older sister to Rosa DiGirolamo who married Michael Caso, son of Rita Marvulli and Gaetano Caso. Ok, my head was spinning too and I had to draw a small chart to actually see the connection. Rita Marvulli and Giuseppe Marvulli are brother  and sister. Rita’s son married the sister of her brothers wife 🙂

Giuseppe and Lucia had 2 daughters that I know of. The first was Rosa born the 19th of March, 1903, Grumo and Vera (Vita) born the 4th of June 1905, also in Grumo.

Three years later sadness would descend upon this family when their mother Lucia DiGirolama died at the age of 25, leaving Giuseppe  with 2 small daughters to raise.

From here nothing more is known to me about what happened to Giuseppe in these early years of his life.

In April of 1921, at the age of 17, oldest daughter Rosa left Italy aboard the ship, The Providence for New York. She was traveling to her Aunt Angela (Angelina) Marvulli (Civitano),  living at 351 W. 25th St. NYC.

SS Providence

Passenger List of the S.S. Providence (line 23, 24, 25)




In examining this document I was totally surprised by what I discovered. Not only was Rosa traveling to America but she had two companions with her also from Grumo. Anna Peragine, traveling to her sister Antonia living at 2306 2nd Ave and Rosa Di’Girolamo, sister of her mother, betrothed to Michael Caso. In fact, on the passenger manifest it states ‘Promised – Caso Michele – marriage with the address of 432 1/2 W. 25th St. (I have not done much research on the Peragine Family of Grumo, which also has deep roots in Grumo, but I do know a daughter of Vito Luigi (b.1803) Civitano, would marry a Peragine ~ fast forward; cousin and traveling companion Anna Peragine)


The following year, traveling on board the Conte Rosso was Rosa’s sister Vera (Vita) Marvulli. On the passenger manifest she had stated she was leaving behind her father Giuseppe and the destination was her cousin Michele Caso. Her age was listed as 17 and her passage, paid by herself. I do not think she was traveling alone but I can not be sure. What leads me to believe this was that on the manifest on the line above was a woman, Maria (23) with a last name I can not read but above that name is Spano (husband with a notation to another record) I do know we have a Spano line in Grumo in our history I have yet to explore.

SS Conte Rosso

Passenger List for the S.S. Conte Rosso (line 1, 2)



The story of Rosa, Vera and their father Giuseppe does not end here. The two sisters would marry two brothers from the town of Conversano, Bari, Italy.

Rosa married John (Giovanni) Dattoma (D’Attoma) on the 21st of Sept., 1924. They were wed at St Claire’s Church. The best man was Angelo Copertino and the maid of honor was her sister Vera Marvulli. (marriage information provided by my cousin Peter Marino)

St. Clare’s aka The Church of Santa Chiara, est: 1903, 436 -438 W. 36th St


Two years later Vera married Angelo Dattoma on Dec. 12th, 1926 in Queens. (He was the brother of John who married Rosa) They went on to have 4 children, and Rosa and John went on to have 1 child. I hope to make a connection with someone from this family line and will share if anything positive develops.

Now, what happened to Giuseppe Marvulli, father of Rosa and Vera? In the year of 1938, I located a passenger record for Giuseppe (65) leaving Grumo and arriving here Feb. 28th going to his daughter Vera Marvulli. There was an interesting notation that gives us a clue about what was possibly going on with Giuseppe.

Passenger list for the S.S. Conte Di Savoia (line 8)



As best as I could make out what was written is ‘med cert  (something) Senility (something something ….) I have not been able to locate Giuseppe in any records after he arrived in New York.

I first found Angelo and Vera in the 1930c living at 22-61 Kindred St, Queens. Angelo (32),  and was working as a bricklayer. Vera (25) was now mom to Antoinette (2) and John Angelo (1/12)

The 1940c lists their home (also in 1935) at 3931 24th St Queens. Still using Angelo, he is 43 and has kept the same profession of bricklayer through the years. Daughter Lucy was born in 1938, Antoinette (12) and John (10).

A search of Find A Grave revealed the record copied below for the death of John Angelo D’Attoma son of Vera and Angelo D’Attoma. From this document I learned that Angelo and Vera added 1 last son by the name of Joseph along with so much more.

Birth: Jul. 9, 1926, USA
Death: Jun., 2007, USA

D’ATTOMA, JOHN ANGELO, 80Ocala – John Angelo D’Attoma born July 9, 1926, devoted and loving husband to the late Anna D’Attoma. He is survived by his son John and wife Carol of Ridgewood, NJ., daughter Roseann and her husband Tom of the Villages, Florida and daughter Marie and her husband Lou of Dunnellon, Florida. He will be sorely missed by his grandchildren, Alyson, Amy, Michael, John, Blake, Christine, Thomas, Nicolette and Louis and his 5 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Antoinette and Lucy and brothers Joseph and Angelo. John was born in Astoria, New York and worked for over 20 years at Monning Steel in Maspeth, NY. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy as a Yeoman Third Class V6 aboard “the” SS Williard Keith from 1944-1946. John was a true caregiver in every sense of the word. He did not know a stranger, treated all equally, and devoted his years to his family and friends. He will be missed but will rest in peace with the Lord for his goodness, fairness, lovingness, peacefulness and kindness will be rewarded. A mass will be said in his memory on June 23 at 8:30 a.m. at St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, 443 Marion Oaks Drive, Ocala, FL. A gravesite burial will be held on June 25th at Florida National Cemetery at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family suggest that donations can be sent to St. Jude’s Catholic Community at the above address or The Villages Hospice House, 601 Casa Bella, The Villages, FL 32162 in memory of John.
Published in the Ocala Star-Banner from 6/22/2007 – 6/23/2007.
Florida National Cemetery
Sumter County
Florida, USA


John and Rosa had 1 son named John Angelo. The only record I could locate to prove this was the record below. I will continue to try and find out more information on this family.

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
Name Rose Marvulli
Gender Female
Spouse John Dattoma
Child John Angelo Dattoma
Household Members
Name Age
John Angelo Dattoma
Rose Marvulli
John Dattoma


Giuseppe was my 2x great Uncle, brother to my Great Grandmother Nicoletta Marvulli Civitano. He was born the 12 of July 1873 in Grumo Appula, Italy and died January 8th, 1950. In the course of my research I located his death record and have sent away for his death certificate. I did not want to hold up this post waiting on that 1 record. Below is the only picture I have of Giuseppe…may he rest in peace and be remembered by all those who knew and loved him and by those of us who have now come to know him now.


MarvulliGiuseppeMass card photo courtesy of Ann Elmendorf (Ann I am so thankful for your early ‘spring cleaning’ of photo’s, thank you for sharing this mass card with me)


Vera Marvulli ~Dattoma died in 1972 followed by her husband Angelo in 1988.

Rosa Marvulli ~Dattoma died in 1990 followed by her husband Giuseppe (John) in 1998