Francesco Saverio DeLellis of San Gregorio Matese, Caserta, Italy transplanted to Johnston, Rhode Island

A quick update for those who have been asking. I did hear back from my new DNA matched 2nd cousin 1x removed. His name is Mark. It’s been very exciting  sharing a few photo’s and getting acquainted with each other. His grandfather Luigi DeLellis was a brother to my great grandmother Filomena Langellotti DeLellis.

Our MRCA (most recent common ancestor) was Mark’s great grandfather and my 2x great grandfather Francesco Saverio DeLellis (b. 1828)  San Gregorio, Cascerta, Compania, Italy. Francesco was the son of Luigi DeLellis and Marianna D’Amico. I have no other information on them other than they were living in San Gregorio at the time of their son Francesco’s birth.

Francesco married Caterina Loffredo (b.1853) on May 15, 1872, also from San Gregorio, Italy. Caterina was the daughter of Onorato Loffredo and Maria Maddalena D’Amico 

Notice that both mother’s were D’Amico’s. I am guessing that this was a cousin marriage between Francesco and Caterina. Marianna and Maria were most likely sisters, but I have no documents to prove that at this time.

Marriage Certificate for Francesco and Caterina 

Marriage Certificate - Francesco Saverio

Marriage Certificate - Francesco Saverio -2Marriage Certificate - Francesco Saverio -3

The marriage certificate states that Francesco was the widower of a woman named Anna DeLellis. This is consistent and supported by the document seen below that I found on  It is a death record for Francesco’s 1st son Vincenzo, who was the child of his 1st wife Anna.

Rhode Island Deaths and Burials from
Name Vincenzo De Lellis
Gender Male
Death Date 30 Jan 1915
Death Place Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
Age 52
Birth Date 1863
Marital Status Married
Spouse’s Name Carmela
Father’s Name Francisco Dilillis
Mother’s Name Anna Dillis

There is quite an age gap between Francesco and Caterina. He was 44 and Caterina 19 when they married. Caterina became mother to Vincenzo, 10 years her jr and would go on to have three children with Francesco. Filomena (b. 1887) my great grandmother,  Luigi (b. 1880) and Umberto (1890).

The first of their sons to immigrate was Luigi in 1902, followed by Vincenzo in 1904, and then father Francesco along with Caterina with their son Umberto arrived after Vincenzo in 1904. Filomena came two years later in 1906. According to my Uncle Joe she traveled through Argentina and then entered the US that way. I have been unable to find an immigration record for either Filomena or for Luigi. Before I move on to the children in my next post I want to talk about their father Francesco, and the very little information I have been able to find on him.

At the age of of 76, Francesco left his his homeland aboard the Citta Di Genova, out of the Port of Napoli on April 11, 1904, arriving in New York Harbor on April 30. Traveling with him was his wife Caterina (52) and youngest son Umberto (14).



Francesco’s immigration record yielded a wealth of information to understand their passage to their new life here in America. They were traveling with $5 between them and heading to their son Vincenzo on Mission Ave, Providence, Rhode Island. Detained when arrived; I was not able to make out everything noted but the word “senility and Dwarf” was clearly written for Francesco. The word “good” was recorded for Caterina and Umberto. Francesco and Umberto’s profession was also noted as laborer but I wonder how much Francesco was really able to do anymore. They certainly came with very little money, so I imagine life was extremely tough, if not unbearable for them back in San Gregorio.

Passenger Manifest for Francesco, Caterina and Umberto

NYT715_452-0070Citation Information Detail Year: 1904; Arrival: New York, New York; MicrofilSerial:T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0452; Line: 16; Page Number: 32  Title New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Author

At the time that they immigrated Luigi and Vincenzo were already here establishing their new lives for the family. Vincenzo was married with 6 children. He had already been here for 15 years and was working as a farmer. More on him in a later post. Luigi was also here and living on Union Ave  (Providence, R.I.) He too was married and with 3 children to support as a cobbler, having arrived just two years prior.  (more on Luigi in a later post)

Francesco would live another four years before passing away in Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island on the 28th of March 1908. I have been unable to locate where he is buried. Correspondence with the Johnston Historical Society a few years ago, yielded no record or information found on a burial for Francesco.

A warm sincere thank you to Mark for finding and sending this photo to me. It is absolutely amazing. The more I look at it the more I am wondering if it is a painting portrait and not a photograph. Could it be a colorized photo? Any thoughts on this? Turning to the immigration record for Francesco we had one clue, that he was a dwarf. This man appears to be extremely short in stature. Whether he was truly a dwarf or just a very short man – I believe this is Francesco DeLellis.

FrancescoDeLellis copy
Photo courtesy of Mark DeLellis 

After the death of Francesco, his wife Caterina would go on to live another 10 years. As I was taking a look at some of the details about her, something else jumped out at me. Caterina had a sister, and her name was Anna (b. abt 1856) Could this have been Francesco’s first wife and mother of Vincenzo? It doesn’t seem possible that it could be since the ages of birth for Anna and Vincenzo is only 7 years apart. It is possible that the birth years are wrong and it was an extremely common practice in that time frame. But with nothing really to go on,  it’s just a thought.

Caterina, having lost her husband, relocated to New York to the Bronx to be by her daughter Filomena, her husand Giuseppe Langelotti and family. I located Filomena  in the 1910c living at 290 East 149th St. but there was no mention of Caterina. By 1915 Caterina was living next Filomena at 283 East 149th St., where she and her family  would remain through the 1920’s.

1915 New York Census 

32848_B093989-00335Citation Information Detail New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 02; Assembly District: 33; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 43

Caterina would live three more years passing away on February 15, 1918. She was buried at St. Raymond Cemetery on February 19, 1918.

Death Certificate for Caterina DeLellis 

Death Certificate - Caterina Loffreda Langelloti



My knowledge of the DeLellis branch of my family is very limited and I am have been very excited to begin researching them. I have made a few contacts over the the years with distant cousin’s. My hope is together we can begin to put together a great picture of this branch. My next few posts will be to honor those families who settled in Rhode Island and dug their heels deep in to the soil there.




7 thoughts on “Francesco Saverio DeLellis of San Gregorio Matese, Caserta, Italy transplanted to Johnston, Rhode Island

  1. That photo/painting is incredible! I think it was a colorized photo, but it’s hard to say. To me it is just amazing that you found such a close and REAL cousin through DNA and that you could figure out the connection. Just wonderful! Great post, Sharon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such an interesting family! I have not had to research any Italian families, so I look forward to reading everything you find on your ancestors. I agree with everyone that it does appear to be a colorized photo, not a painting.

    Liked by 1 person

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