Celebrating Family

Caso, Marvulli, D’Attoma Branches

Caso:MarvulliFamilyGatheringPhoto courtesy of Toni Fraticelli

left to rt seated: Rita Fraticelli (Caso), Vera D’Attoma (Marvulli), Rose D’Attoma (Marvulli), Michael Caso, Rose Caso, on lap Lucy D’Attoma (Vera’s daughter), unknown friend. 2nd row: Angelo D’Attoma (Vera’s husband), Guy Caso, Elizabeth Caso (Panacciulli), Elizabeth’s Uncle, Elizabeth’s brother Frank Panacciulli, woman with glasses another Panacciulli family member. In Middle: man with glasses white hair and woman next to him are Elizabeths parents Antonio and Antonia Panacciulli. Back row: John D’Attoma (Rose’s husband), Giuseppe Marvulli, Antoinette D’Attoma, Joe Panacciulli, Toni, John D’Attoma.

This timely photo was shard with me by my 3rd cousin who I have recently connected with through this blog. Timely, because, Toni shared it was taken in the spring, possibly on Palm Sunday. Looking at the photo closely you can see a plant in the center of the crowd and the table is filled with an array of baked goods, dessert, traditional for Palm Sunday and Easter. The picture was taken by Anthony Fraticelli, Toni’s father who was an amateur photographer. The family was gathered at the home of her grandparents Michael Caso and Rosa DiGirolamo, who I have been featuring these last few postings. Their home was located at 37-21 28th St, Astoria, Queens, N.Y., a frequent gathering place for their growing branch as the basement featured a full kitchen with seating for all.

Gathering together to celebrate life and family was not only a tradition but a must for all our extended families. My branch gathered together also, to raise their glasses to say ‘all vostra salute’



I am imagining all our branches gathering together and this is by far not all of us

But as we gather this Easter 2020, or I should say as we stay sheltered in place during this Easter Sunday, so many of us alone, not by choice but necessity of this pandemic, as the years have gone by and family gatherings like these have become less and less common, remembering and celebrating our ancestors has taken on a broader and more important meaning to me. Whether we have separated by time, place, or ideas that don’t line up, we are those who came before us with their hopes and dreams becoming our hopes and dreams, we are not alone. 


Below is one of my favorite photos of my family taken at our last gatherings when all of my children were together, with their children, add four more grands born since, and then add 6 more to that photo, 1 on the way, the grands with their own children, spanning the country from Oklahoma, Alaska, California, Oregon, Texas, Illinois and Okinawa, Japan.

4            Yucca Valley, CA, 1996 

From my home to yours, from my family to your family


A very special thank you to Toni for reminding me of just how precious our family is  

Message In A Bottle ~ Michele Caso


6 copy                      Photo’s curtesy of the Gaetano Jr. Caso Family

You might be wondering what in the world is this a photo of? This is an amazing art form and one that might be remembered by family members, perhaps still talked about. You may be wondering who was that person that did those religious scene in the bottle? The answer was Michele (Michael) Caso (1892 – 1975), the husband of Rosa DiGirolamo.

7 copy

Michael made these wonderful religious diorama’s in a bottle, how many or how many have survived, I don’t know. But I can imagine coming across one in an antique store, wondering, who was this man, this person who captured his faith in a bottle?

Michele Caso was the son of Gaetano Caso and Rita Marvulli.

He was the grandson of Michele Caso born 1839, Binetto, Bari, Italy ~ died Sept. 23, 1901 Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy and Domenica Verni born June 1, 1834, Sannicandro, Bari, ~ died June 19, 1883 Grumo Appula. Michele’s profession was a calzolaio which is a cobbler/shoemaker.

Due to the impeccable research by my Civitano cousin Peter Marino, we have wonderful documentation to support this family and I would like to share this information on his grandparents.

Birth Certificate for Michele Caso ~ 1839 

Birth Certificate - Michele Caso (1833) p.1

Birth Certificate - Michele Caso (1833) p.2

Birth Certificate - Michele Caso (1833) p.3



Domenica Verni was the daughter of Giuseppe Verni and Vita Maria Racanelli both born in Sannicandro, Bari, Italy. Domenica was born June 1, 1834, Sannicandro.

Domenica’s Birth Certificate ~ 1834

Birth Certificate - Domenica Verni p.1

Birth Certificate - Domenica Verni p.2

Birth Certificate - Domenica Verni p.3

Michele married Domenica Verni on February 13, 1858, Grumo Appula, Italy

Marriage Certificate ~ 1858

Marriage Certificate - Michele -3

Marriage Certificate - Michele -4

Domenica died on June 19, 1883 in Grumo Appula and Michele married almost immediately on August 30, 1883 to Angela Ceci.

Marriage Certificate for Michele Caso and Angela Ceci

Marriage Certificate - Michele -5

Marriage Certificate - Michele -6

What we know about Angela is that she was born August 5, 1847 in Cassano Delle Murge, Bari, Puglia, Italy. She was the daughter of Michele Ceci and Grazia Capriuplo. Angela was 36 at the time of her marriage and Michele was 50 years old.

There is only documentation for 1 child born to Michele and Domenica, which was Gaetano (1864) who our line has been following. Gaetano was already 19 by the time his mother Domenica died and had no need for care so my first question for the marriage is ~ was there younger children, siblings for Gaetano and that was the reason for Michele to remarry so quickly?  Another question for me is ~ did Michele and Angela go on to have more children together? I don’t have those answers proven. Michele Caso passed away in 1901 at the age of 68 in Grumo Appula and Angela went on to live another 20 years passing in 1921 in Grumo also. There is, another researcher on ancestry who is also following this family and has posted additional children along with their spouses for both Domenica and Angela however, none of the information is documented or supported so at this time my questions will continue to go unanswered.

But this posting is really about Michele (Michael) Caso who fashioned this unique religious diorama that had been shared with me by his 2x great grandson.

This religious scene in a bottle has a timely message for many of us as we face this Corona Virus pandemic sweeping our world, our country today. It reminds us to turn to our higher power (of choice), turn to our individual faith that sees us through our daily lives, what ever that may be. As we face the unknown, the uncertainty of times, let us remember turn to that which can see us through.

Stay safe and healthy, spread calm and reassurance. Share a smile, a kind word and check in on friends and family whenever you can.



Connecting Cousin in the Marvulli/Caso Branch

Connecting with family, near and far, known and unknown has been one of the more exciting aspects of this blog and quite recently this has happened again. Back in Oct. of 2017, I had written a number of posts on the Marvulli branch of the family.

My great grandmother was Nicoletta Marvulli married to Vincenzo Civitano, both from the town of Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy. Nicoletta was the youngest child of Domenico Marvulli and Rosa D’Armiento.  Her older sister by 15years was Rita Edith Marvulli who married a man named Gaetano Caso, also from Grumo Appula. It is off of this family branch, Rita and Gaetano, that the new cousin connection has been made. This past week has been full of information and photo’s shared.

Rita and Gaetano Caso were the parents of 7 children of which only 3 l lived to adulthood. You can read more about them in the posts below.



First born to Rita and Gaetano was son Michael (Michele) (1892).  At the age of 15/16 he left his home in Italy to join his parents, who had already immigrated to New York (1904 &1905). It was here in New York that his future wife Rosa DiGirolamo (1901 Grumo Appula) daughter of Giuseppe DiGirolamo and Vita Servedio, arrived on the 15 Apr. 1921 to marry Michael. The marriage took place on June 12, 1921 in Manhattan.


picture credit KarenBrick,2009,Ancestry.com

Michael and Rita had 3 children. Rita (1922), Gaetano (1923) and Vita (1932). Gaetano, named after his grandfather Gaetano (1864), married Elizabeth Panacciulli and it is their son, a 3rd cousin, Guy Jr (Gaetano) that I have connected with. With his permission I am sharing this beautiful family photo of Michael Caso and Rosa DiGirolamo with their daughter Rita and Guys father Gaetano (picture 1923/24)

1 copy Photo Courtesy of Guy (Jr) Caso & Family

I am looking forward to sharing more photo’s and family history that Guy has so graciously shared with me.

Remembering Vincent Civitano

I know my birth father through the stories told to me about him.

I know him by studing the pictures I have acquired through the years.

I know him by the mannerism and expressions of my brothers and his brother.

I know him by researching and writing about his family, my family, the family that has come before us from the simple peasant village of Grumo Appula, in the Puglia region of Italy.

As I remember him on this anniversary of his passing, those of us who knew him intimately, remember the boy and man he was and the gap left in our lives with his passing.

Vincent Anthony Civitano 

24 April 1934 – 20 June 1990

I know him by seeing myself in him

Birthfather&Me copy

This photo of Vincent was taken in about 1953/54. He is about 19 or 20, serving in the Army in the Korean War. The photo of myself, high school graduation, 1971 and I am 18. This was one of the very first photo’s I received after I found my birth family in 2004. I saw myself in him immediatly. Below is a picture with the two of us transposed on each other.


Birthfathertranspose2 copy.jpg

Vincent was the son of Frank Civitano and Catherine Langellotti. Vincent joined his sister, Nicoletta (4) born in 1930. Living at 1114 Metcalf Ave, Bronx, his father Frank was working as an ice proprietor and later delivering coal in those early years. Many of our family members began in the ice and coal business which provided a stable and steady income for their families.


Vincent was preceded in death by his father in 1982.  His son, my brother, Vincent Jr. joined them both in 1996.


As it is with genealogy, we look back into our past to move forward and through life celebrating and remembering those who have gone before in a effort to make sense and understand our present.

Today I remember and celebrate you

Vincent Anthony Civitano



Memorial Day: Joseph Civitano & Peter Marvulli/Marvilli


Joseph Civitano 

PVT 114 INF 44 DIV

DEC. 8, 1944

Purple Heart

Buried: Epinal American Cemetery, France

I have yet to identify who and how this Joseph Civitano connects to our family but the connection is there – back in the tangled branches of our tree from the province of Bari, Italy. While so many of our 1st and 2nd generations served our country, and continuing today, in preparing for a possible Memorial Day post, I located only one record for a life lost during WW11.

From the National Archives and Records Administration. World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Ancestry.com 

Name: Joseph Civitano
Death Date: 8 Dec 1944
Cemetery: Epinal American Cemetery
Cemetery Burial Plot: Plot A Row 28 Grave 55
Cemetery City: Epinal
Cemetery Country: France
War: World War II
Awards: Purple Heart
Title: Private
Rank: Private
Service: U.S. Army
Service ID: 12175601
Division: 114th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division
Data Source: World War II Honor Roll

I have learned his father was Frank Civitano of 2310 Valentine Avenue, Bronx. I have been unable to locate a Frank in the 1940 census at this address. Looking back at the 1930 census, Bronx, I did find the family of Frank and Mary Civitano, with son Joseph (7), Antonette (6), Moneantonio  (5), and Leonora (2). The family was living at 1376 Ogden. Frank was working as a butcher on his own account. Could this be the family of Joseph? I will continue to research with the hope of identifying Joseph and his family. But for today:

Thank you for your commitment and sacrifice Joseph Civitano.

Thank you to his family and friends who knew him intimately.

May his memory be a blessing

*This is an addition to my original posting. Please take a look at the comment made by Donna below. She has solved the puzzle for me/us as to the connection of this ‘Frank Civitano’. His branch of the Civitano family descends off of my 4x great grandparents Francesco Civitano (1763- 1829) and Rosa Spano (1764 – 1824) both of Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy



Peter Marvulli (Marvilli)

Born 7 June 1923  Died 28 May 1944

Interned 10 Aug 1948

Cypress Hills National Cemetery

Section 9 Site 13377


Peter was my 1st c 2x removed. The son of John Marvulli and his 2nd wife Maria Fazio.

“The bodies of 117 Brooklynites were among the 4,842 World War II dead returned from temporary military cemeteries in Italy aboard the army transport Carroll Victory, which docked yesterday at the Brooklyn Army Base. Aaron L. Jacobs, chief clerk of the Surrogates Court, who delivered the principal address, told more than 400 relatives of the deceased servicemen present at the memorial service on Pier 3 that America “must be strong and prepared in order to preserve the freedom for which these soldiers fought and died.” The Brooklyn Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) . 07 Jul 1948, Wed . Page 7 


From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) . 30 Aug 1944, Wed . Page 13 Peter’s sister Mrs. Rose Alestro of 340 Stockton St is listed as his contact person. Alestro was a miss spelling as this was Rose Alesia wife of Nicholas Alesia.


Thank you for your commitment and sacrifice

Peter Marvulli/Marvilli

Thank you to his family and friends who knew him intimately

May his memory be a blessing


In Memory of Angelina Vizzo nee Civitano

In Memory of 

Angelina Vizzo 

1 November 1909, N.Y.C.  ~  25 January 1999, Bronx, New York 

Daughter of Francesco Civitano and Rosina D’Armiento


Lena Vizzo 5

Angelina was the first born of seven children to newly arrived immigrant parents, Francesco and Rosina Civitano from Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy. She married Salvatore Vizzo on 28 April 1929, however, they had applied for their marriage license on February 14, 1929.  Please be my Valentine!

More commonly known as Lena, she and Salvatore went on to have two daughters.

Lena was laid to rest at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, Westchester County, N.Y.

vizzo, lena - gate of heaven cemetery



May Her Memory Be A Blessing 




©2019, copyright, Sharon Haimowitz-Civitano, All rights reserved.

The Children of Vito Luigi Civitano and Isabella Elisabetta D’Amico

It has been difficult for me to decide in what direction I wanted to continue. There is just so many and so much to write about with our Civitano family. I have decided to go back to Vito Luigi Civitano (1803 – 1836) and Isabella Elisabetta D’Amico (1804 – 1874) (my 3x great grandparents) They were the parents of Francesco Civitano (1834 – 1879) the stage coach robber who I have written about in great detail. I have not however written anything about the other children of Vito Luigi and Isabella.

Our Civitano family was a huge established family of Grumo Appula with so many surnames crisscrossing and firsts names repeating, that it is almost impossible to keep track or make sense of each family branch. With that said I’d like to introduce you to the siblings of my 2x great grandfather Francesco, thankfully there are only 4.

Vito Luigi and Isabella were the parents of Rosa, Rosa, Grazia and Francesco. Isabella would have 1 more child, a son named Rocco with her 2nd husband after the passing of Vito Luigi.

Vito Luigi and Isabella’s first born was Rosa Civitano, named after her father Vincenzo’s mother Rosa Spano. Rosa was born Feb 20, 1827. Her sweet little life was short lived.  She passed away 7 days later on Feb 27.

A year later on March 9, 1828  Isabella and Vito welcomed Rosa #2.  She was baptized on the same day at the Parroco (parsonage) of the Church of MonteVerde.

Sister Grazia was next, born on January 20th, 1932 and was baptized 2 days later on January 22nd at the Parroco of Grumo. Grazia was named after Isabella’s mother Grazia Priore – D’Amico (1785 – 1848 of Grumo)

My 2x great grandfather Francesco was born next  on April 23, 1834.  (I have written extensively in previous a post on the life and family of Francesco)

Tragedy would strike again 2 years later in 1836 when Isabella’s (30) husband Vito Luigi passed away on April 24th at the age of 33. His death left Isabella a widow with 3 small children ages 10, 6, and 2.

On August 5, 1837, one year later, Isabella married Vincenzo Guaccero also from Grumo Apulla. He was the son of Rocco Guaccero and Carmela Cavalluzzi. I do not have information at this time to confirm where they were from specifically but, Vincenzo was born in Grumo.

On July 6, 1838 son Rocco Guaccero, 1/2 brother to Rosa, Grazia and Francesco, was born. Rocco is the only known child of Isabella and Vincenzo.

Rocco’s life was short lived, passing at the age of 20. Thinking about the lose of child no matter the age I took a look at mother Isabella’s life in terms of lose.

Isabella married at age 18 and at 23 she lost her first baby Rosa. By age 32 she lost her husband Vito Luigi, followed by her father at age 41, then her mother at 44, her son Rocco at 54 years of age followed by daughter Grazia at 63. Isabella would live another 10 years passing away at age 70. Her 2nd husband Vincenzo would pass 3 years after her.

Isabella was the oldest child/daughter of 9 children born to her parents Pietro and Grazia, 3 children who did not survive to adulthood and the rest who all out lived her.

Francesco’s sister Rosa married Giuseppe Peragina April 16, 1849 in Grumo Appula. His occupation was a Contadino – peasant farmer, as with most of our relatives.

Grazia married Erasmo L’Aratro Rella April 25, 1853, Grumo Appula also a peasant farmer.

In my next post I will try to complete the family histories of the siblings of my 2x great grandfather Francesco Civitano.


Always a huge thank you to my cousin Peter Marino for all his endless work in gathering documents of our family. I have all the birth, death and marriage certificates for these family members. If you are interested in copies please email me and I will be happy to send you copies


Rosa Civitano Marries Domenico Simone

My last post was in memory of my Aunt Coletta on the 7 year anniversary of her passing. I am always excited about posting because I never know what door, what lead on an ancestor might be shared or found, who might comment, what friendship might be made, what new cousin might emerge and that is exactly what happened.

Through my cousin Peter Marino, I was connected to a 3rd cousin for the first time. Her name is Rose Nappi Naef and Rose helped with identifying a picture that had her grandmother Angelina Marvulli- Civitano in the photo. We were so lucky to have this confirmation along with Peter’s grandmother Julia (also her grandmother). Rose is the daughter of Mary Simone and Carmine Nappi. It’s been a real treat for me to begin sharing and getting to know her. Prior to the new year, I had been spending some time researching and writing about the children of Vito Luigi Civitano, brother to my great grandfather Vincenzo (who was murdered in 1909). This family line has so many branches of which Rose descends. So with this new year in full swing I would like to pick up with the family of ~

Vito Luigi (Louis) (1860 – 1945) and Angelina (1859 – 1958). Louis and Angelina were the parents of 7 children: Francesco (1884) Domenico (1885) Giuditta (1888) Rosa (1890-1892) Rosa (1893) Vincenzo (1897) Giuseppe (1899) All but one child would live to adulthood and along with the whole family, would eventually immigrate to the United States. Today I would like to concentrate on their daughter Rosa, grandmother of Rose Nappi Naef.

Rosa Civitano, was born on the 27th of August, 1893, Largo San Lorenzo 1, Grumo Appula, Italy.

Via Largo San Lorenzo 1, Grumo Appula, where Rosa was born according to her birth certificate. I just love google earth. It truly can take you just about anywhere you want to go. I believe the corner building is where Rosa Civitano – Simone was born. Also a very big thank you goes out to Peter Marino who meticulously has waded through many records to point out the fine points for us.


At the age of 15, December 8, 1908, Rosa boarded the ship The S.S. Luisiana leaving out of Naples and headed for New York to her father Vito Luigi. Traveling along with her was 21 other residents of Grumo so she was certainly not alone. Under ‘relative left behind’ was listed her mother Angelina. Rosa arrived on Dec, 24th, 1908.

SS Luisiana


NYT715_1181-0246Source InformationTitleNew York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957AuthorAncestry.com

Two years later in 1910, her mother Angelina, traveling under her maiden name of Marvulli with 2 of Rosa’s siblings arrived in time for Rosa’s marriage to Domenico Simone.

Marriage Certificate - Domenico

Marriage Certificate - Domenico -2

They were married at St Clare – Chiesa di Santa Chaira, New York City



St Clare – Chiesa di Santa Chaira, 436 West 36th St, held it’s first Mass in 1903, the church was later dedicated in 1907. Sadly this beauty was destroyed to make way for the Lincoln Tunnel.

Domenico Simone was born Apr 1, 1893, Via Gelso 6, Grumo Appula to Vito Rocco Simone ( 1851 -1911) and Maria Fanelli (1852 – 1914)

Domenico also arrived in 1908, traveling aboard the SS Nord America, leaving behind his father Vito Rocco and mother Maria. He was traveling to his brother Vito Simone, already here, living at 456 W. 29th St, NYC, married to Rosa’s sister Giuditta/Julia.


My first hint into the family of Domenico and Rosa Simone was the WWI June, 1917 draft registration record for Domenico. Listed as Domenico Simon they are living at 432 1/2 W. 25th St. He is working as a driver helper for the Knickerbocker Ice Co. located at W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th St.

DomenicoSimoneWWISource InformationTitleWorld War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918AuthorAncestry.com

I was unable to find the family in the 1915 census but it is safe to assume that the family was close by to this address. In the 1920 census, listed as Dominic Semoni, they were  living at 351 W. 25th St., NYC. Next door were Rosa’s parents Vito Luigi, now Louis (60) and Angelina (60) with their son Giuseppe/Joseph (19)

Domenic (26) was still working in the ice industry, as many of our family members were at the time. Rosie (26) was at home with daughter Mary (1914), son Rocco had joined the family in 1918, and baby Louis was 1/12 (1919).

DomenicSimone1920CSource InformationTitle1920 United States Federal CensusAuthorAncestry.com

By 1930 the family had relocated to the Bronx putting down roots. Dominic must have been doing very well; they had bought a home located at 538 Beach Ave. This is the home (middle home) built in 1920, (possibly with a facelift – the 539 address is across the street) The home value was $7,500. It is the area known as Clason Point. (census actually recorded the home price as $2,500 but that is most likely a recording error as all other homes on the street are in the $7000 to $10,000 range)

DomenicSimone1930CSource InformationTitle1930 United States Federal CensusAuthorAncestry.com


1930 seems to be the turning point for the family. Dominick Simone (39) was working on his own as an ice dealer with his own route. His first papers had been submitted to become a citizen. This census tells us as well that he had not attended school and could neither read or write and the language spoken was Italian. Rosa (34) had not attended school either but she could read and write, language too was Italian but I suspect they both could speak English. Mary (16), Rocco (12), Louis (10), were joined by sister Angelina (7, born 1923) Vito (1/12, born 1930), nothing was listed for school or work for the children. We do know that Rosa had also given birth to a daughter, also named Angelina (1920 – 1921)

Their happiness was shattered in 1933 with the death of Rosa at age 39. Rosa passed away on Feb 7th, 1933.

Death Certificate - Rosa Civitano (1893) p.1

Death Certificate - Rosa Civitano (1893) p.2

Simone, Rose - St. Raymond's Cemetery

Rosa was put to rest at St Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx, New York

Along with her are her children Rosa #1, Louis and Rocco

This families story does not end here. Domenico went on to marry widow Teresa Colavito – Gierdano (unsure of the spelling of this last name. Colavito is a common surname and repeated many times in our family history)

The marriage took place September 1, 1934, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Bronx.


By 1940, the family was still living at the 538 Beach Ave, Bronx address. Domenico was no longer in the ice business. His occupation was listed as laborer, W.P.A. projects. The W.P.A. was the Works Projects Administration, the largest of the ‘New Deal’ agency. This was created under Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to put the unemployed to work. I was so happy to learn that, possibly unemployed at some point he was working and they had not lost their home.

Teresa preceded Domenico in death passing in 1959 and Dominick in 1963.

SimoneDominick &TeresaGravestone


May their memories be a blessing