A Very Special Remembrance of Julia Bianca nee Civitano and the Death of Vincenzo Civitano Revisited

Remembering Julia Bianca nee Civitano 

29 August 1929 – 24 June 2018 


May we never forget and always take time to remember those we hold close to our hearts with love and affection. Julia was a 2nd cousin 1x removed and I had the great blessing of meeting her. She was a remarkable woman and is truly missed by those who knew and loved her. To her immediate family ~ all my love.


Revisiting the homicide of my great grandfather Vincenzo Civitano, the year was 1909 and ice was a commodity very much in demand. Our families business was the ice and coal delivery in those early years and following through the decades until refridgeration became common place. Family lore is that Vincenzo was killed over a delivery route dispute. There was a trial and the assailant went to prison. By 1923 after serving his sentence he had been released. We know this because my grandfather, his son Frank, at the age of 15, had returned from Italy in 1923 to avenge his death. He was talked out of it by his benefactor and Uncle, Frank Civitano (Julia Bianca’s father) who sponsored Frank and his sister Julia’s return from Italy where they were living with their mother Nicoletta and her 2nd husband Nicholas Grisondi in Grumo Appula, Italy.

icemanattruck                 Photo: New York Public Library

Back in August of 2017 I initiated an email conversation with a clerk at the New York City government records/archives dept. I was looking for help and direction in locating court documents for death/murder for Vincenzo. With the help of Peter Marino, Julia’s grandson we had been working this case for many years. Peter made a huge effort, visiting the archives and following the directions of the archiviest we were working with but with no avail in locating any records. In fact we had been turned over to another department; the interlibrary loans dept. in the hopes of ordering further microfilm to wade through. That connection went unanswered as they never responded to my attempts to correspond. I gave up at that point, putting the search on hold.

Here we are once again, the 1 year anniversary of Julia’s passing and I have re initiated a conversation with New York NARA (national archives and records administration) I thought it might be interesting and fun to follow this process through the blog.

June 24th initial inquiry contact made to be directed to the dept. where I can be helped.

Hello – I hope you can help me or direct me to the correct dept. 
I am requesting records and documents pertaining to a court action that occured in the year 1909 – 1910 in Manhattan This is the case of the homicide of my great grandfather
Vincenzo Civitano death certificate recorded under James Civitano #29785
date of death 12 Oct. 1909 Manhattan. Coroner Peter P. Acretelli took charge of the body from New York Hospital on 12 Oct. 1909 – certified penetrating stab wound of the chest Date Received: 8 Dec. 1909 under Vincent Civitano no. 4991 4th quarter I am trying to learn the identity of the assailant. As family, we know that there had been a trial in which his wife Nicoletta Civitano had testified at. The assailant was convicted and sent to prison and was released after time served. Can you help me with this? 
Thank you 


The National Archives at New York City is open to the public at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green. 

Your request has been received and will be assigned to an archivist for processing. We strive to respond to inquiries within 10 business days, but it may take longer depending on the complexity of the request. 

Our research rooms are open Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm. Access to microfilm and genealogical research on public computers is available during regular business hours and does not require an appointment.

Appointments are necessary to view original records. Researchers must submit a detailed request ahead of time for specific documents and make an appointment to access them. If you wish to make an appointment, please call 212-401-1620 to speak with an archivist.

I have come so far and made great head way with the help of Peter. This brick wall is one that haunts and taunts me continually. I know the answer is out there, it is a mystery I am determined to solve. With some time to rest under my belt, it is time to take another crack at it.


4 thoughts on “A Very Special Remembrance of Julia Bianca nee Civitano and the Death of Vincenzo Civitano Revisited

  1. I hope you can make some headway on this—how frustrating! I assume you have tried the NYC genealogy group on Facebook for suggestions. I know you’ve searched for newspaper articles. There has to be some kind of court record.


    • Headway and answers Amy would be amazing! I have tried the NYC genealogy groups and need to re try now too. Thanks for the reminder. Nothing in the papers that I can find. I totally agree, I keep saying there has to be some record of this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually did a search myself of newspapers last night. I even tried just searching for Civitano and 1909 and came up with nothing. I then tried 1909 and stabbing and 1909 and murder and 1909 and iceman. Nada…. 😦


      • Thank you Amy for your super sluething…Vincent buried in a paupers grave, my Uncle has always ascertained that there is nothing to find for him because he was just a nobody, a poor immigrant and that no one would take notice or interest in his murder. Knowing it went to trial – however did it ? or is it just family rumor; there must be a paper trail somewhere.


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