Memorial Day Mention


Joseph Civitano, Private U.S. Army 

114th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division 

Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France 

Purple Heart 


Son of Frank and Mary Civitano

2310 Valentine Ave, Bronx, New York

May your memory be a blessing 

Robert G. Caso ~ Solves a 75 Year Old Mystery

Robert G. Caso was my 2nd cousin 1x removed. His grandmother Rita Marvulli and and my great grandmother Nicoletta were sisters. Robert was born on July 19, 1924, N.Y.C. to Domenico Caso and Rose Haughey. He was the oldest of three children, brother to Rita G. born 1926 and Arthur Caso born 1929.

At age 18, Dec. 16, 1942 Robert registered for the draft.

RobertG.CasoWWIITitleU.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947,

Using Ancestry and Fold3, I did find Muster Roll entries for a Robert G. Caso, the earliest for March 10, 1944 giving the date of July 10, 1943 for date of enlistment. The branch of service was for the Navy. With no other information to confirm this was truly our Robert, a clue on the November 3, 1945 marriage license application below, for Robert to Louise Kaiser confirmed that this was Robert serving in the Navy. On the application,  under occupation, US Navy.

The Navy brought him out to the west cost of Washington State where he met and married Louise Kaiser, 18, daughter of Otto Kaiser and Bernice Mary Meyer. Bernice was no longer married to Otto however but remarried to Elmer Barth, a Stevedore (longshore man).

RobertCasoMarriageAppl.Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013,

It was here in Washington State that Robert and Louise would eventually make their home by 1950. They were the parents to three children.

Robert ‘s (Bob as he was known) story does not stop there. In fact it truly does have quite a dramatic tale attached to it which can best be told by the LA Times article at the link below. Bob can most certainly be credited in solving the mystery of the disappearance of Russel and Blanche Warren on July 3, 1929. Please take a moment to read this fascinating story.

Robert G. Caso passed away on

December 16, 2018

 Port Angeles, Washington

May his memory be a blessing


Lucia DiGirolamo and Giuseppe Marvulli


Lucia DiGirolamo and Giuseppe Marvulli 

GuiseppiMarvulli:Lucia copyCourtesy of Vita Andreoli nee Caso

Giuseppe/Joseph is my 2x great Uncle – brother to my great grandmother Nicoletta Marvulli.

I can not get over the gentleness in the face of Lucia and just how beautiful she truly was. Sadly, as I have written before, Lucia passed away on the 11 June 1908, in Grumo Appula, Italy, just three years after the birth of Vera.

In this photo, Lucia is pregnant with Vera/Vita and off to the side barely visible is daughter Rose. Vera was born in 1905. I do not have a birth month or date so at this time I am dating this photo between 1904 -1905.

The story that was shared with me was that after Lucia died Giuseppe was forced to put Rose into an orphanage as he was not able to care for both children. Lucia’s mother, Vita DiGirolamo nee Serveddio actually wet nursed her grand baby. After some time, Giuseppe, in a better position, had Rose return home.

A very big thank you to Vita Andreoli for sharing her memories and this photo with me to share with you 🙂

Wordless Wednesday Photo Follow Up: Who Am I

For Wordless Wednesday I shared a picture with no markings or identification.

Nicoletta:Angelina? copy

The photo was shared with me recently by my cousin Isabella. We share the same great grandmother Nicoletta Civitano nee Marvulli. Our first assumption was that this was Nicoletta. However I have started to wonder if perhaps this could be a picture of her sister, Angelina Civitano nee Marvulli. (These two sisters married brothers Vincenzo and Vito Luigi.) You may remember these sisters from the wonderful photo’s shared also recently with me by the Fraticelli Family. Their branch descend off of a third sister, Rita Caso nee Marvulli.

Angelina,John,Nicoletta copy

We have no known photo of Angelina younger to compare the photo too but I do for Nicoletta.

There is something in the shape of the nose that gives me cause to pause

Nicolettacompare3 copy

After posting the photo I heard from another cousin, Rose who shared the woman looked very much like her mother, Mary Nappi nee Simone, granddaughter of Angelina. Below is the only photo of Mary that I have at this time to compare with. I too see a strong resemblance between the two and see what Rose saw in the photo.

It would not be out of the question to believe that a photo of Angelina or even Mary would be in the possession of Isabella, past to her from her grandmother Julia, to her mother Nicoletta on down to her. I don’t know if we will ever know for certain who this is in the photo, but it is another reminder for us to label. 

This is a shout out to all Civitano family branch members to please dig deep into your photo archives, label what you know, question who you don’t and reach out to members of your family to try and identify them. If you come across any photo’s of Angelina – or any you would like to share on the blog please contact me.

I would also love to read your thoughts on the photo’s above and what you think about the comparison’s that I shared. I look forward to hearing from you.


Nicoletta Civitano, Another Twist In Her Story

A wrench was thrown into the works when this Immigration card was discovered by my cousin Isabella a week ago and forwarded to me. Innocent enough, however a name on this card was a shock. Nicola (often seen for her name Nicoletta, Marvulli (her maiden name), Civitano (1st marriage name to Vincenzo Civitano) missing from this document is her 2nd marriage to Gisdoni, and then the name Palumbo?


Nicoletta, born in Grumo Appula, returned to Italy from her home in NYC (abt1910) when her husband Vincenzo was murdered. Once there, family was aware of her second marriage to a man named Nicholas Gisondi. While no other information is known about him, we do know he existed as both my grandfather Frank and his sister Julia (Giuditta) lived with him until their return.

Always believed to be a photo of Nicoletta with Nicholas Gisondi

Nicoletta&Gisondi copy

But now add the name of Palumbo to the mix, who and why was Palumbo added to this card for her? Had there been a 3rd marriage no one was a ware of?

A check for her passenger record in conjunction with this also turned up the name of Palumbo being used. In this passenger record from, she returned aboard the Vulcania, using the name Palumbo, departing from Naples and arriving on the 22 Sept., 1947, traveling to her son Frank @ 1244 Rosedale Ave., Bronx, N.Y. (last entry on page)



I have been in contact with cousin Peter Marino in regards to doing some more research on this development. (With the closure of the archives it will have to wait.)

Just another twist and turn, another family mystery.

A random thought…could Palumbo be the maiden name of Gisondi’s mother? Was there a naming custom that would allow for this too be used?

Angelina ~ John ~ Nicoletta Marvulli

For Wordless Wednesday I shared this photo of three Marvulli siblings, Angelina (93), John (77)  and Nicoletta (75). The year was about 1952.

Family-3 copy

The photo was just one of a group of pictures that was graciously shared with me by the Fraticelli family. Featured in the above photo is Angelina Marvulli who married Louis (Vito Luigi) Civitano, brother John (Giovanni) Marvulli who’s name was more commonly  spelled Marvilli and Nicoletta Marvulli who married Louis’s brother Vincenzo Civitano (my great grandparents)

Angelina seems pretty intent to share something important

Family-1 copyFrom Lt to Rt Vera (Marvulli) D’Attoma, John Marvulli, Michael Caso, Nicoletta, Angelina, Rosa Caso, unknown and Angelo D’Attoma. Photographing the evening was Anthony Fraticelli husband of Rita (Caso) daughter of Michael and Rosa (as seen above)

It was a family gathering and a special one at that, with all three of the siblings finally together. Nicoletta had recently returned (1949) from living the last 39 years in Grumo Appula, having returned to her home town (abt) 1910 after the murder of her husband Vincenzo in 1909. The only sibling missing was Joseph (Giuseppe) Marvulli who passed away in 1950. The time frame of these photo’s is estimated to be about 1952 based on the age of Toni Fraticelli at the time, sitting with the back of her head (with bow) visible. It was a warm evening and the air was thick with cigar smoke at times. Italian was being spoken non stop under the homemade 3 sided gazebo attached to the house. I am not sure of the exact location of the photos but Toni wrote her Aunt has shared that these were taken at John Marvilli’s home. John operated a small neighborhood grocery story and lived in the apartment above it. This gazebo was attached to the building. I did find a WWII draft registration card, 1944, for his son Thomas listing the address was 340 Stockton St. consistent with 1940 census for John. If there was no move since this could be the location

Family-2 copy

The evening was all about a good old fashioned belly full of laughter.

Family-4 copy

You might say John loved his beer with this bottle front and center but what I have  learned is that while that may actually be beer it could be just the bottle with home made wine in it, which might account for the smiles on these faces. In the photo below, I had the bottle removed, having posted it on the FB group ‘Genealogist Photo Restoration’ page. One of the members shared with me what the objects were on the table, taps for barrels when making ‘wine’ and then I heard from Toni who shared with me

“Something just didn’t sit right in my mind about that bottle of beer. If you look closely you can see bits or sediment clinging to the inside of the bottle. I showed the picture to my husband and he pointed out the wooden object on the table…it has a hole in the center…that other long thin piece of wood with the dark tip fits into that hole and acts as a turnkey. You put that in the hole of the wine barrel. When you want to pour out some wine from the barrel you insert that into the hole of the turnkey and pull it out and get some wine!”
Knowing this now does seem removing the bottle changes the integrity of this photo in a
way.  I do love the photo of these three siblings with out the battle too.

Angelina,John,Nicoletta copy

This has been quite a ‘gift’ to receive these photo’s from the Fraticelli’s, as no other known full photo of Angelina has yet to surface (I have a poor snippet head shot of her) She is the matriarch of a very large group of our Civitano’s and I know these photo’s will be so appreciated by her descendants and those to come.

Thank you for sharing them with us