The families of Vincenzo James Civitano and Giuseppe Joseph Civitano: the youngest of Vito Luigi and Angelina’s children

In my last post I wrote about Rosa Civitano, the daughter of Louis (Vito Luigi) Civitano and his wife Angelina Marvulli. I would like to continue with this family and focus on their two youngest sons, Vincenzo (James) and Giuseppe (Joseph). Vincenzo would later be known as James; as was my great grandfather Vincenzo; and Giuseppe was known as Joseph.

James (Vincenzo) was born July 3, 1897 in Grumo Appula, Italy.

BC-Vincenzo Civitano1897 p.1

BC- Vincenzo Civitano1897 p.2

On Dec 30, 1909, James (13) under the name of Vincenzo boarded the ship the SS America with his mother Angelina; (traveling under her maiden name of Marvulli) along with his younger brother Joseph (10) for New York. They arrived on the 12 of January 1910. On the ship manifest under ‘family left behind’ it states – ‘nobody’. What an incredible feeling for father Louis to know the last of his family was finally arriving.

SS America

I have been unable to find any records for Louis and family in the 1910 or 1915 census records. A clue to where they were living was found in the 1918 WWI draft record for James, his home address is listed as 421 W. 26th St. Under nearest relative was his father Louis (Vito Luigi) at the same address.


One year after registering for the WWI draft James married Anna Plavcsan. His best man was Vincenzo Simone and the maid of honor was Maggie Caso. Anna (1899 – 1963) was the daughter of Thomas Plavcsan and Julianna Marva. Anna was born in Litany, Sabinov, Presovsky, Slovakia. On census records Austria or Hungry was listed. This country is wrapped up in the  Austrio-Hungarian Comprimise of 1867, Czechoslovakia, to independent Slovakia. (A quick search for the history of Slovakia will uncover its rich history)


The beautiful St Clare’s Church – Chiesa di Santa Chaira, 436 West 36th St. N.Y.C., where so many of our family married. In the last post I shared that sadly this beauty was destroyed to make way for the Lincoln Tunnel.

MC-VincenzoCivitano:AnnaPlavMarriage certificate of James Civitano and Anna Plavcsan

When I first saw the name of Vincenzo Simone as best man I immediately thought of Jame’s sister Rosa (from my last post) who married Domenico Simone, and his sister Julia who married Vito Simone (2 brothers, 2 sisters) I quickly assumed Vincenzo was another Simone brother. However a quick scan of cousin Peter Marino’s meticulous research on his site, I found that there was no mention of this brother with the parents. I could have very easily gone down the rabbit hole at this point, but I decided to move forward and leave this for another day. So the question remains, who is Vincenzo Simone and how is he connected to the Simone family? As for Maggie Caso as maid of honor, this was easier to identify. I believe this was Domenica know as Margaret Caso (1903, Grumo Appula) daughter of Gaetano Caso and Margaret Rita Marvulli- Caso. Rita was the sister of Angelina Marvulli James’s mother. Maggie (maid of honor was 1st cousin to James) Marriage not only ties these families of Simone, Civitano, Caso but their ancestral home town of Grumo Appula, Italy as well.


James and Anna began their married life living with Jame’s parents Louis and Angelina at 434 W. 25th St. NYC. James was a laborer in the ice business and Anna was a seamstress in a shop.  First child to arrive was son Louis (1921) and then Angelina/Antonetta (1923) and Julia (1926).

By 1930 James (32) had moved his family to 640 Thieriot Ave, Bronx. He owned the home, value listed was $8,000. He was still in the ice business. The language spoken was Italian by James and German by Anna, that must have been fun!

The family remained at the 640 Thieriot Ave. home into the 1940’s. Son Thomas was born in July, 1930 shortly after the census was taken. Frank Thomas  followed in 1935. James was still working as an ice man on his own account and son Louis’s (18) occupation was carpenter and the industry was ship building. Daughter Julia was a new worker, having worked 6 weeks in 1939. Below is Julia’s high school year book picture from

Julia Civitano 1943
Julia, 1943 Monroe High School, Bronx

Both the 1930 and 1940 census says that James naturalized but I was unable to find a record for this. I did however find a record for wife Anna *street address number should read 640


Anna Plavcsan – Civitano


In the years that followed James and Anna had the opportunity to see their children marry. James had the honor seeing both of his 2 daughters marry before passing away in 1954. Angelina married Ely Corbi (1946) Julia married Thomas Eberhart (1949) Anna would see all but 1 of her children marry before she passed away. Thomas married Rose Migliaccio (1956), Louis married Anne Halloran (1957) and Frank married Geraldine Zardo (1967)


Brother Joseph (Giuseppe) arrived with his mother Anna and with brother James (Vincenzo). Joseph was the youngest of the children. He was 10 when he arrived in 1910. (Immigration above in post)

Joseph (Giuseppe) was born November 11, 1899, Grumo Appula, ItalyBC- Joseph(Giuseppe)Civitano 1899p.1

BC-Joseph(Giuseppe)Civitano p.2

He too would register for the WWI draft in 1918. Listed was the W. 26th St address.


Below, Joseph  Petition To Naturalize  22nd Of April 1925. He declared his intention on Sept. 4,  1918.



On Sept. 9, 1926 Joseph married Nancy (Annunciate) Traini, daughter of Nicola Traini and Rosa D’Aprile. Nancy was born on Sept 4, 1903, Toritto, Bari, Italy. Toritto is in the vicinity of Grumo. They were married at the Bronx Borough Hall.


Bronx Borough Hall

First found in the 1930 census Joseph (30) and Nancy (26) were living at 3337 Fish Ave, Bronx. They had bought this home (on the left with black fencing) valued at $12,500. Joe joins many other family members in the ice delivery business. Daughters Lillian (1927) and Rose (Rose Ann) (1930) have joined the family. * I want to make note that daughter Lillian may be a census error as Lillian was Angelina (Lena). I do not have a birth record for Lena. Another clerical error on this census has father Joseph born in N.Y. as well as both his parents, which we know for certain is not true.


The family remained in this home and by 1940 Joseph and Nancy added 2 more daughters, Judith (1931) and Louise (1937). Daughter Anne would join the family 9in 1942.  In this 1940 census Joseph’s occupation was listed timber man working on highway/unable to read the rest.

Joe Cook
Photo courtesy of Peter Marino ~ Joseph (Giuseppe) Civitano aka Joe Cook 

Nancy Civitano
Photo courtesy of Peter Marino

familypic6 copyPhoto Courtesy Peter Marino 

Left to Right: RoseAnn, Judy, Mom Nancy, Ann (standing) Angelina & Louise

Marriages that I am aware of are Angelina to Louis Grabowski (1947), Rose to  Jack Ferro (1962), Judith to Earl Michelin.

So much of the story of Joseph (Giuseppe) and Nancy is unknown to me but is remembered and carried on in the stories passed down by their immediate families.

Today I remember the 2 sons of Louis (Vito Luigi) and Angelina Marvulli – Civitano and their wives,

Vincenzo James Civitano and Anna Plavcsan 

St Raymond’s Cemetery, St John Section

Giuseppe Joseph Civitano and Annuziata Nancy Traini 



St. Raymond’s Cemetery, S.t Peter Section

6 thoughts on “The families of Vincenzo James Civitano and Giuseppe Joseph Civitano: the youngest of Vito Luigi and Angelina’s children

  1. Great post, Sharon. I love how you post the photos of where they lived. And why would someone named Vincenzo be called James, not Vincent? Is there a connection I am missing? One thought—if you haven’t already, have you tried searching by the address on the draft registrations for the missing census records? They might not have lived in the same place in 1910 or 1920 as where they were in 1918, of course. Love the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My name is Lois Corbi Chiappakone. My mother is Angelina Civitano Corbi born 4/6/1923. She had siblings Louis Julia and Frank who are deceased. Her brother Thomas is still alive. I am very interested in getting a hard copy of everything you have on this site for her to read. She is 96 years old, Mother of 8 children and has 18 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She would LOVE to see these photos and read all that you have discovered. I recognize a lot of the names. Some of the photos do not load for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Can you send an email to my address – – I would love to be in touch with you. The loading of the photos is my error as they were there and recently making some changes to the blog, many were erased. I am trying to correct that but it will be slow going. Looking forward to hearing from you


  2. Thank you Amy. Vincenzo to James is a mystery to me however this is not uncommon. One explanation I found was the ‘cenzo’ ending sounds similar to James in Italian. I had not looked for the address on this one, great idea 🙂


  3. Some great pix in here, Sharon. I love how you find stuff like the Bronx Borough Hall postcard photo. And that high school yearbook photo, what a find! I was surprised to see the Vincenzo to James name change. When I was lucky enough to travel in Italy (best trip ever) I was told that James was Giacomo in Italian, and that was based on the Italian for St. James, of course. It is probably a sign of how immigrants took names they liked when they arrived in America, at least that’s my guess. Whenever I read this blog I am reminded of the photos that I have that belonged to my aunt of her in-laws. They were Italian immigrants, and thanks to digital technology I was lucky enough to get some of the photos, although my relationship is really that my first cousins are DiBasilios and the photos are their grandparents, etc.Thanks for some great posts!


  4. Vincenzo to James cause quite a problem in finding records at one point. It is an odd how it morphed to James but seems to be common here at this time frame, at least with many of our Vincenzo’s. Maybe a ‘family’ thing. I so wish to go to Italy but don’t see it happening in my near future. You must devote a post to your Italian family photo’s…it would be fun to see.


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