Domenico Civitano ~ some of his story

On Wordless Wednesday  I shared the photo of Domenico Civitano and his four sons. I came across this photo on quite a few other Civitano family pages. It appears to have originally been shared on the Paglia Family Tree on Ancestry.

DomenicoCivitano:4sons copy

Domenico was my 1st c 2x removed, the son of Vito Luigi, brother of my great grandfather Vincenzo. Domenico was born 16 December 1885 in Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy. He married Giovanna (Jennie) Maggio on 20 Sept. 1908 at St Clairs Church in New York City. Serving as best man was Onofiro Rella and maid of honor was Domenica Servedio.

On October 12, 1909, Domenico’s only Uncle, Vincenzo was murdered over an ice route dispute. Newly married and a new dad to daughter Angelina born Sept. 7th, I can imagine there had to have been quite an uproar within the family. Domenico’s father Vito Luigi must have been devastated losing his only brother. His son Francesco along with Domenico were in this ice/coal delivery business together. The question remains who the assailant was in this case, that information has been lost and remains my top research priority to discover. There was a trial and conviction, time served and a release.

Continuing with Domenico and Jenny, along with 1 daughter, Angelina they went on to have 6 sons, Louis Joseph (Vito Luigi), Dominic, Frank (Francesco), Onofrio, James, and Michael. Because this photo is not labeled, I am going on the assumption that the boys are their first 4 sons.

I love everything about this photo, from the little hands on dad’s shoulders to the knickers and leggings on down to the shoes. All the boys look darling in their hats and dad Domenico looks quite handsome in his. Believing the youngest boy is about 3, that would be Onofrio born in 1917 placing the photo about 1920. Frank would be next, born in 1915, Dominic born 1913 and the oldest, Louis born 1911 which would make him about 9.

In 1915 the family had been living at 205 West 27th Street in NYC but by 1920 the family had moved and were living at 942 Columbus Ave. Working as a coal dealer in 1915, on the 1920 census his profession was written ice man – own business.  Doing well in business by 1930 the family moved to the ‘country’ – the Bronx  living at 1441 Leland Ave.  Son’s Louis 18, and Dominic 16, were both working with dad and listed as helpers on the ice route.

Tracking Domenico up to the 1940 census, the most recent available census record, he was 54, living at 1414 Taylor Ave. Bronx. He owns the home and the value was $9000. The census also tells us he had up to an 8th grade education and was working on his own account although the income amount was listed 0. He had applied for citizenship and his first papers were in. All of the children were still living at home, including his daughter Angelina, now married to Carmine Paglia and his first grandson Louis.

Domenico (Dominic) Civitano was born 16 Sept 1885, Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy  and passed away at the age of 95 in April 1981, White Plains, Westchester, New York.  He is at rest at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum.

Passo Corese, Lazio, Italy

According to Wikipedia Passo Corese is an Italian town and hamlet (frazione) of Fara in Sabina, a municipality in the province of Rieti, Lazio. In 2011 it had a population of 3,573.[1

Back in 2015 I was contacted by Damiano and Sara of Passo Corese, Italy. They were doing family research and discovered my tree on Ancestry. This led them to contact me, connecting us as very distant cousins off of our Marvulli family branch. Over the years we have remained in touch and while I know no Italian and they English, with the help of Google translate and Facebook we have remained in touch. According to Ancestry Damiano is the 2nd great nephew of the wife of my 2nd great uncle. Thank goodness for Ancestry because I really have no idea how we got to that. In an attempt to explain the connection I will try and simplify it as best I can.

Vito Francesco Scarola  married Antonia Colavito  (everyone comes from Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy)

on July 2, 1836 Antonia gave birth to Rocco Scarola 

on November 16, 1865 Rocco married Anna Lucia Panzarino 

Rocco and Anna had a daughter Grazia b. 20 Nov 1879  and a son Pasquale b.13 June 1884  (they had 8 additional children born Grazia, Grazia, Vitantonio, Vito, Vito, Giuseppe, Antonia, and Anna Maria) but it is off of Grazia and Pasquale that we connect.

Grazia Scarola married Giovanni (John) Marvulli on 30 Nov. 1901. John was brother to my great grandmother Nicoletta Marvulli. Nicoletta married Vincenzo Civitano, they had Francesco, my grandfather, who married Catherine Langellotti, who had my father Vincent.

Pasquale Scarola married Isabella Guerrieri. They had Anna Scarola who married Giuseppe Capone who had Lorenza Capone who married Cosimo Sisto who had Damiano, the 2nd great nephew of the wife of my 2nd great uncle

And so our legacy and family history connects and continues.





Memories That Bind Us Together

Over the years I have made some wonderful connections with ‘cousins’ through blogging our families past. One of those connections is with Rose Naef nee Nappi and through this blog and email exchanges, it has been absolutely wonderful to share and grow our friendship.

Our shared common ancestor was Francesco Civitano and Giuditta Maria Sportelli (both of Grumo Appula) my 2x great grandparents. Francesco and Giuditta had sons Louis (Vito Luigi) and Vincenzo – our immigrating ancestors who started it all here 🙂 Rose falls off of Louis branch and I follow Vincenzo’s.

Louis married Angelina Marvulli – they had Rose Civitano who married  Domenico Simone – they had Maria (Mary) Simone who married Carmine Nappi – they had Rose

Vincenzo married Nicoletta Marvulli – they had Francesco Civitano who married Catherine Langellotti – they had Vincenzo Civitano who had me with Marlene Haimowitz (they were not married)

Over the last fews years Rose has shared many wonderful little snippets from her memory of the family and has given me permission to share them. Most recently she wrote

Dear Sharon,    

I am sitting reading the blogs over and over and over, trying to recall certain memories, some falling into place, and others not making sense to me.

I do remember visiting with my mom to see my great grandmother which everyone called “BaBorn”, she lived in a very small cottage with a black firestone oven,——she was always dressed in black, her gray hair tied in a bun.   I was very frightened of her, she knew this, therefore would always send me home with a small trinket of hers and lots of kisses.

I also remember the great picnics the entire Civitano, and Forese family would go on.  I particularly remember my mother’s cousin, Lena who had a daughter named Colette, she was older than I, but we always hung out together at the picnics.  I also remember one cousin who died in the garage of his home from the fumes of his car, he had a son named Mickey who also hung out with us as children, eventually moved to California —- before you know it, everyone died, everyone lost contact with each other, contacts that were such great memories for me as a child.

I also remember the Centrone family, you see, we all visited each other quite often, as a matter of fact one of the Centrone girls married a florist who did my wedding flowers for me.

RoseNappiWeddingPhoto copyRose Nappi and Daniel Naef

Thank you to Rose for sharing and allowing me to post her gorgeous wedding photo.

In an attempt to identify some of the family members that Rose remembers, looking back in our tree, the cousin of her mother Mary may have been Lena (Angelina) Simone, daughter of Vito Simone and Julia (Giuditta) Civitano. Lena married Nicholas (Nicola) Forese on 18 Jan, 1931 at St Dominics Church, Bronx. Their witnesses were Giuseppe and Mary Primavera. 

Lena and Nicholas had 3 children, Rose b. 1932, Mickey (Michael Frank) b. 1936 and Judith Mary b. 1942 (all have passed)  – this is the Mickey Rose is referring too. I did not find a daughter named Colette (that was most likely Nicoletta)

Vito Simone and Julia (Giuditta) Civitano had another daughter named Mary (Maria) Simone and this Mary married Joseph (Giuseppe) Simone on 3 Oct 1926, Bronx. Living on Rosedale Ave, Bronx in 1940 I found 4 children list Vito b. 1927, Charles b. 1932, Angelina b. 1934 and Frances b. 1937. Again I did not find a Colette. I am curious if perhaps this daughter Angelina may have had a daughter Colette that Rose is remembering.

But the question remains, who is the Colette that Rose remembers and who is the man that a Centrone daughter married who was a florist.

On the 1940c for Mary Simone married to Joseph Centrone there was the daughter Angelina b. 1934 and Frances b. 1937 – Frances however was recorded as a male and not a female – I can not determine if this was an error. Rose mentioned her memory of the ‘Centrone girls’ so I am suspecting that this could have been a census error.

As for Colette – my aunt was Nicoletta known as Coletta or Colette and she was born in 1930.

but I suspect that the Nicoletta (b.1938)  was the daughter born to Nicholas Forese b. 1909 and Julia (Giuditta) b. 1909.

(You may be thinking is this the Nicholas I read about above and the answer is no. There were two Nicholas Forese in our family tree. One falling off Rose’s branch and one falling off of my branch) 

I always appreciate hearing from Rose as well as all the other cousins I have discovered over the years. If anyone remembers who the florist may be please leave a comment and let us know. If anyone knows of anyone Rose is remembering we would love to hear from you.

These are the memories that bind and remind us we are a family and that will never change. We may lose touch but that memory, those memories, teether us together.