~ Julia and Angelina Civitano ~ Cousin Connection

Recently I shared the photo below. In the middle is my Great Aunt Julia Civitano married to Nicholas Forese (1930). At the time of the posting, the other two women were unknown to me. Additionally, I had posted that I felt there was a strong resemblance between Julia and the taller woman on the right. 

Cousin Peter Marino to the rescue with an identification ~ always thankful to Peter for his continued help and collaboration with our family history. 

This is Angelina Civitano born November 1, 1909 ~ New York City. She was the oldest daughter of Francesco Civitano and Rose Di’Armiento. Angelina was sister to Peter’s grandmother, Julia. 

Cousin Connection

JuliaC.Foresebathingsuit copy

Angelina, the oldest child of Francesco and Rose was joined by siblings Mary (1911), Louis John (1912), Helen (1914), Dominic John (1920), John Robert (1922) and Julia (1929)

Another favorite family photo ~ Parents Rose and Frank on the left, Lena standing in the back with her husband Salvatore (aka Sam) Vizzo – their two daughters Roseann Galati and Marion, sister Helen & her son Frankie Hardina, Peter’s grandmother Julia, their sister Mary and her husband Tony Gentile along with my grandmother Kate and grandfather Frank Civitano the Iceman.


Family Ties 



The Story of Giuditta/Julia Civitano

The year was 1923, June 7th, when Francesco Civitano (my grandfather at age 15) returned from Italy to New York. Two years following on May 2nd, 1925 Giuditta/Julia (15), his sister, returned to New York also. Both had been born here. Francesco on November 8th, 1907 and Julia on the 18th of July, 1909.

Julia’s birth certificate 

Birth Certificate - Giuditta Civitano (1909)

Their parents were Vincenzo Civitano and Nicoletta Marvulli both of Grumo Appula, Bari, Puglia, Italy. At the time of Julia’s birth, the family was living at 337 W. 26th St.

327W26th2              Source: NYCMA Dept of Records and Information Services

On August 15th, 1909 Julia was baptized at St. Clare Church. Her God-parents were Vito Simone and Giuditta Civitano.

Julia’s Baptismal record 

Baptism - Giuditta Civitano (1909) p.1.jpg


St Clare’s Church 



Tragically, Vincenzo was murdered on October 12, 1909, shortly after Julia had been born leaving his wife Nicoletta with the 2 small children.

Family lore says that Nicoletta remained in New York to testify in the trial that was to follow. She and her children Frank (2) and Julia  (9/12), moved in with Vincenzo’s 1st cousin, Giuditta Civitano (daughter of Francesco and Angelina Civitano) and her husband Vito Simone (the God-parents) They also had 2 children, Mary (2) and Vito Rocco (9/12), the same ages as Nicoletta’s children.

I found them in all in the 1910 c living at 250 W. 29th St., and I can’t imagine that the small tenement apartment was large enough to support this group of seven comfortably. It had to have been a very tight squeeze. Nicoletta was using her maiden name of Marvulli, and the children were listed with the Marvulli name as well. I found that curious and am not sure why that would have been. Nicoletta was working as a retail merchant in the coal and wood industry. Vito was also working in the coal and wood industry. I imagine both out of the same shop. Giuditta was at home with the four children.

Whether still waiting for the trial or it had already happened, the heartache that encompassed Nicoletta must have been insurmountable. She spoke only Italian and had been in the U.S. for just three years. She had left her mother Rose D’Armiento back in Italy, herself a widow. The census indicates Nicoletta had 6 children born and only the 2 were living, and now she had to work to help support them along with coping with the death of her husband. Her decision on what to do next, remain or return to her home in Grumo Appula must have been difficult as so many of the family had now arrived and made their home here in New York. Return she did, with Frank and Julia in tow. I have no records for when they returned exactly but we know that once she was back home she went on to marry a man named Nicholas Gisondi.

Nicoletta and Nicholas

Nicoletta&Gisondi copy        Photo courtesy of my cousin Ann


We know from my grandfather Frank that one of the motivating factors for returning to New York was to avenge his father’s death. Word had gotten back to the family in Italy that the murderer of Vincenzo had served his required sentence and had been released.

* I have been working on identifying the assailant/murder of Vincenzo for some time now. It is believed again from information gleaned from the family that an argument leading up to Vincenzo’s death was business-related, possibly due to an infringement on ice delivery routes. My thought alone: because so many of our family members were in this business, and because Nicoletta had to remain to testify, and because they were aware of his release from prison, is it possible the assailant could have been a family member?

Luckily Franks Uncle, his namesake, and benefactor, Francesco (Frank) Civitano, married to Rose D’Armiento, had talked him out of the vendetta that motivated his return. It was this Uncle that sponsored Frank and Julia’s return to the states and who they lived with. *In an attempt to clarify another duplicate name (this can get very confusing)  Rose D’Armiento married to the benefactor Frank was the niece of Rose D’Armiento who was Nicoletta’s mother.

Julia’s passport for her return



JuliaPassprt3               Source: Ancestry.com

In 1925 at the home of Frank and Rose Civitano, 160 19th Ave., the house was full. Frank 42, was the owner/store (not indicated of what) Rose 36, tended house filled with their children Anna 16, Mary 15, Louis 13, Helen 10, Dominick 5, John 4, my grandfather Frank 18, working as a factory porter and sister Julia 16. With the exception of Dominick and John still at home, the others were listed as in school. Not yet born was their daughter Julia who would be born in 1929.

Julia (middle) at the beach ~ date unknown ~ I just love this photo, the pearls ’round Julia’s neck, the heels on her friend on the left but the girl on the right intrigues me as she and Julia seem to resemble each other to me.

JuliaC.Foresebathingsuit copy

On March 30, 1930, at St. Dominic Church, Julia Civitano married Nicholas Forese, son of Michele Forese and Maria DeSantis both of Grumo Appula, Italy.

St. Dominic's Church

Julia Civitano and Nicholas Forese

CivitanoJuliaNickwedding2 copy

It was not long after they were married that their first daughter, Rose Mary, 1931 was born. Second child, son Micheal John joined the family, 1933 followed by Nicolette Rose in 1938.  By 1940 the family was living at 1819 Wallace Ave., Bronx. Nicholas (37) was working as a laborer in the building trade and Julia (30) was home caring for her children. The census reports that both of them only had up to a 4th-grade education.  Rose was 9, Michael 6 and Nicoletta 2. I think it is interesting to note that while this census reports only a 4th-grade education we did see that in 1925 at the age of 16 Julia was attending school.

This August, I had the delightful pleasure of a visit from my brother Frank (from New York).  Joining us were our two 2nd cousins, granddaughters of Julia Forese nee Civitano, sister to our grandfather Frank Civitano, Ann and Isabella. It was my first time meeting them. Frank and Ann had met years ago before her parents moved the family to California in 1972. Isabella had never met either of us. Ann is the daughter of Rose and Isabella the daughter of Nicoletta.

110 copy

Frank, myself, Isabella, Ann

We had great fun and lively discussions going over our family history. The connection we all felt was amazing.

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In the photo below,  Julia, her mother (our shared great grandmother) Nicoletta, and Julia’s two daughters Rose and Nicoletta

JuliaNicolettaRoseNicoletta copy

Julia passed away on the 14th of October 2004 and is buried alongside her husband Nicholas at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Buried along with her parents is their daughter Nicoletta.

Forese, Nicholas .jpg

Nicholas and Julia’s son Micheal John passed away on October 7, 2003, in Grapevine, Texas and most recently we said goodbye to their daughter Rose Mary on November 21, 2018, Los Angeles, California.


May their memories bring many blessings





Hunt For a Killer Part 2 – ICE DEALER is Slain On Street After Meeting

Who would have thought while continuing my research into the identity of the killer of my great grandfather Vincenzo Civitano (an ice delivery man) on Oct 12, 1909, I would discover a 2nd murder of another Civitano ice man on Jan 25, 1923 in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Using genealogybank ( https://www.genealogybank.com ) this morning I put in a general search for civitano looking for anything in the early 1900’s – anything that might warrant a second look and with over 200 hits I went to work.

The Headline that grabbed me read:


Jersey Journal/Thursday, Jan 25, 1923/Jersey City, NJ/Page:1

My inital thought in seeing this headline was: could this be related, possibly a follow up article for the release of the assailant back in 1909? It was not. It was for the murder of another Civitano in the ice business.

Anthony ‘Tony’ Civitano 

murdered at the age of 22

68 W. Twenty Second St., Bayonne, N.J.

I had seen the name of the assailant before while combing the list of trial transcripts on the Lloyd Sealy Library site a few days prior. After learning the murder was 1923 and a gun had been used and it was not a stabbing; I had put it on my to do list to research which had now grown to 7 homicides, with 3 I have since been able to eliminate. (https://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/content/list-all-trial-transcripts )

The fact that I learned he was another ‘ice delivery man’ had my interest more than peeked.

I quickly found more articles in the Jersey Journal and went about reading them all.



“A strong police net has been spread across the entire Atlantic coast every railroad station is being guarded and all the alleged murderer’s friends is being kept under constant surrveilance by the Bayonne police in an effort to capture Mario Sforza, 34 years old of 86 W. Twenty-second St. who is charged yesterday with shot and killed Tony Civitano, 22, of 68 W. Twenty-second St. during an argument regarding the merits of a new ice company to be formed to furnish the local peddlers with this commodity. The police are absolutely with out any clues as to Sforza’s whereabouts.”

The article goes on to give more details as to what led up to this event. In additiona number of other articles helped fill out the details of this crime. A meeting of ice men was held at the law offices of Harry Scala at 501 Ave C. It seems ‘Tony’ along with one or two other men objected to this new accompany and did not agree with Sforza’s who was strongly in favor of it. Further articles allege that after the meeting, ending at midnight, and after drinking at a friends home, the 2 men along with a man named Pietro Mariano stood outside arguing. Pietro got tired of this and began for home when he heard 4 shots fired, turned and saw Civitano collapse and Sforza running away. 3 shots struck Civitano, 1 into his spine, another went through the window of a nearby bakery. The police arrived and found Mariano leaning over Civitano’s body.  Initially a suspect, Civitano was able to finger Sforza as his assailant before he died. The only lead seemed to be for finding Sforza was a young wife and baby who they hoped he would try and contact.

The full headline of the Jersey Journal/Saturday, Feb 10, 1923/Jersey City, NJ/Page:8  



I also found a follow up article which appeared almost a year to the day of the murder of Anthony Civitnao which made headlines in the Jersey Journal on Feb 21, 1924. His mother, Rose Civtano was awarded a judgement of $5000 in this case. The article states that civil damages against a slayer is very rare and that this is a first of its kind. It appears that Mario Sforza owned property which might be levied to satisfy the judgement.


But who was Anthony ‘Tony’ Civitano?  What if any was his relationship in and to our Civitano family branches. The only other bit of information from the articles found was that Rose, his mother was widowed and that she lived in West New York. Anthony’s birth year would be about 1900/1901,  with his age being reported as 22 and 23.

I have been unable using Ancestry and familysearch, to locate or identify who his family could be. The only lead I have is a 1910c for the family of Vincenzo b. 1857, Civitano/Civilano/Cirilano wife Rosalia b. 1862, sons Salvatore b. 1894, John b. 1896, Agusto b. 1899, James b. 1900, Drato b. 1903 and daughter Maria b. 1906

In this census below from ancestry.com I see son John – distinctive, below him Agusto and below him indexed as James, I am wondering if this could be our “Tony”. The J is not the same as in John. I am seeing a T – with the stretch of my imagination am I seeing Tonie? – the age would be right. Thoughts on this are welcome and would be appreciated 🙂 This census is the only record I could find for this family. I could use some help. I was trying to locate a death record as well for Vincenzo to see if Rosalia was a widow by 1923.


**Below I have edited the original post and added two additional census page showing the letter T written by this enumerator.

Mario was sentenced to 20 years but by 1940 he had been released. I was able to find him in the 1930c as a prisoner in the New Jersey State Prison. In 1940 he was living as a lodger with a Carmen Del Russo at 1291 Newkirk St., East Orange, N.J.. Mario was working as a laborer with the water company and he was listed as still married. Exactly how long he served is hard to tell. Below is Mario’s WW1 registration card (ancestry.com) I was interested in his birth location. Altamura is about 18 miles from our home village of Grumo Appula, Italy. This along with the ice and coal business leads me to wondering if there could be a connection between all this.


While I could not find any burial information for Anthony Civitano, I did locate Mario’s records. He died November 21, 1959 and is buried at the Beverly National Cemetery.



I am left with still wondering the connection between Anthony Civitano’s family and ours.  Who was his family and where and what happened to them? But more importantly, while we have a trail to his assailant we are left with out one for him at this time. We remember and say to him and his family ~ you are not forgotten and are remembered.

May you rest in peace

Anthony Civitano




Hunt For a Killer Part 1

The question ‘who killed Vincenzo Civitano?’ has remained one of my top family research projects for a number of years now. Murdered on 12 Oct. 1909 in NYC, the name of his assailant is still a mystery but one I am determined to solve.

Initially, myself and my cousin Peter Marino gave it a true gallant try back in 2017 with little head way. Put to rest, I have now taken that 2nd/3rd/4th look at this mystery.

On Monday, June 24th I wrote to NARA (national archives and records administration) and received a reply the very next day; 25th.

Dear Ms. Sabin, I received your email seeking information regarding the homicide of Vincenzo Civitano. The National Archives at New York City holds records of the US federal government and its agencies with offices in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, including the federal courts. However, murder is rarely a federal crime, so we would not hold any records related to Vincenzo Civitano’s death or the subsequent trial. You might try the New York City Municipal Archives as they hold records of the New York City courts, as well as some NYC police records. Court cases are filed under the defendant’s name, so you will, most likely, need to know the name of the person tried for the murder to find court records. I would suggest searching newspaper databases to locate information about this crime and trial. Newspaper databases are available free of charge in most public libraries and can provide information about the crime, as well as any arrest made and the court where the case was held. Best,Kelly

I was not surprised with the reply as Peter and I worked with an archivist at the NYC  Municipal Archives, via the net, prior with little information surfacing. I knew already that court documents were filed under the defendant’s name, which is what we don’t have and what we are trying to find but I confirmed that the records I am hoping to find are housed at the Municipal Archives. In searching for records, the one thing I have learned is that it never hurts, in fact it helps to inquire a number of times. The archivist you reach could provide additional information and have more knowledge in what your looking for. They may even dig deeper to help you….you just never know.

With a reminder to post for help on one of the wonderful FB genealogy pages, I posted on New York City Genealogy “Looking for help with a newspaper look up for the year 1909 – Homicide murder of Vincent/Vincenzo Civitano in Manhattan. His death certificate actually reads James Civilano. My goal is try and discover the name of his assailant. This is a case that did go to trial, with a conviction and time was served. Have had no luck locating a record at the municipal archives when in Manhattan a few years back. Court cases are listed under the defendants name and that is my unknown. Any and all help, ideas and suggestions appreciated. TY Sharon in WA state.” 

Many members chimed in with suggestions and ideas as well as doing some of their own sluething for me, with no luck. While I was familiar with most of the suggestions and have visited them often, one stood out – the last one. A quick look and I thought I might have struck gold. This site is a wealth of information for all court cases in New York County and if you are doing any research in this area I highly suggest you add this to your site lists for research.

https://www.newspapers.com, (Newspapers.com) 

http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org, (New York State Historic Newspapers)

https://fultonsearch.org, (Fulton History.org)

https://lmha-nyc.org, (Lower Manhattan Historical Association)

https://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/special-collections/trial-transcripts (Criminal Transcripts N.Y. County Collection)

With my luck the searchable index was and still is down for maintenance but I was able to get into the ‘long list of 3,369 transcripts’

From the site

“The Lloyd Sealy Library’s The Trial Transcripts of the County of New York 1883 – 1927 collection includes the verbatim typewritten proceedings of 3,326 court cases, held in various courts of New York County, which included Manhattan and The Bronx until 1914. Specifically the transcripts originate from:

  1. Court of General Sessions 1886-1927 transcripts #1-3106B
  2. Supreme Court of New York County 1896 – 1922 – transcripts #3107-3267
  3. Court of Oyer and Terminer  1886 -1895 – transcripts #3268-3296
  4. Tribunals in Police Court, City Magistrates Court, Sheriffs Office, Coroner’s Office 1883 – 1907, 1926 -transcripts #3297-3323
  5. Unspecified Courts 1905, 1914, 1918 – transcripts # 3324-3326
  6. Incomplete transcripts and unidentifed pages, undated – reels 423-424
  7. Appeals Bureau of the New York City Criminal Court, Stenographer’s Minutes through 1929 – reel 425

all of the above are searchable on our index – except reels 423-425.” 

As with most lists, scrolling for me seems to be difficult in that moving down on the pages I tend to miss a few entries the scrolling is choppy. Undetered, I began looking for murder cases. The first trial date was: Trial #1082 1886/11/22 Defendant: Arthur J. McQuade, Sex: M; Charge: Perjury; with the judge and stenographer # and link to view the full text

So I set off on my task of looking for a case in my time frame. With the murder date of Oct. 12, 1909 and knowing that his wife Nicoletta had remained in New York to testify before she left with her two small children for Italy, she was still here and on the 1910 April census, I began looking for anything pertaining to murder/homicide between those dates – In this post I am highlighting the first 3 cases I found.

TRIAL #1123
Date: 1910/3/21; Reels(s): 148.
Defendant(s): Philip J. Lender, Sex: M; Philip Lender, Sex: M;
Charge(s): Murder (1st degree);
Judge: Thomas C. T. Crain;
Defense Attorney(s): Samuel Feldman; Nathaniel Levy; Bernard L. Mittnick;
Prosecuting Attorney(s): Robert C. McCormick; Henry A. Stickney;
Note(s): Indicted as Philip Lender.
Stenographer Number: 1134; Page(s): 339 p.
Court: Court of General Sessions

This case has possibilities and warrents further investigation. Philip J. Lender (1878 Germany) married Margaret Graynor on July 24, 1898 in NYC. I first found them in the 1900 c with son Phillip Jr. 1 yr and Sallie just born. Philip (22) was as plumber. The date for trial was 3/21/1910 and my guess at this point, by reason of insanity, he was sentenced to Matteawan State Hospital, Insane Asylum,  Beacon City, New York, where I found him on the 1910 April 28th census as a patient where he remained until his death on Jan 23, 1940. He was 62. I am not ruling him out as the assailant. I found one researcher on Ancestry who has this family in their tree with little to no information on him but I will reach out to see if I can learn anything further.
TRIAL #1112
Date: 1910/3/7; Reels(s): 147.
Defendant(s): Vincent Stabile, Sex: M;
Charge(s): Murder (1st degree);
Judge: Thomas C. T. Crain;
Defense Attorney(s): Augustin Derby; Herman Joseph;
Prosecuting Attorney(s): Hart; McCormick;
Stenographer Number: 1157; Page(s): 763 p.
Court: Court of General Sessions

Research led to discovering that Vincent Stabile (22) was a college student who shot and killed a man named John Mcgrath. It would be easy to go down many rabbit holes with this research and I had to resist the temptation but from New York Times Archives  

“Vincent L. Stabile, a City College student, who shot and killed John McGrath on Sept. 25, 1909, is now a free man. Stabile spent a year and eight months in the Tombs with a charge of murder hanging over his head. He owed his release from the Tombs last week to a point of law raised in his behalf by ex-District Attorney Jerome.” 

TRIAL #1132
Date: 1910/4/4; Reels(s): 149.
Defendant(s): Attillo Simone, Sex: M;
Charge(s): Murder (1st degree);
Judge: Warren W. Foster;
Defense Attorney(s): Caesar B. F. Barra;
Prosecuting Attorney(s): Henry A. Stickney;
Note(s): Recessed.
Stenographer Number: 1175; Page(s): 248 p.
Court: Court of General Sessions

This case caught my eye right away as I have a number of Simone family members in this time period. In fact Vincenzo’s wife, Nicoletta at the time of his death moved in with Vincenzo’s niece Giuditta/Julia Civitano and her husband Vito Simone and their family. Julia’s sister Rosa was married to Vito’s brother Domenico Simone.

It has always been a thought of the possibilty of the assailant been a family member because the family lore is that it was a ice route dispute that led to the killing. Had I stumbled on a connection with this? Sadly no, as the case involved Attillo using a gun to shot his victim. Further research led to these men having two different fathers, which is not to say that their fathers weren’t brothers, but I did not go any further research this.

The rabbit hole did open up when I spotted a case on bigamy for an Ike Lipschitz held on Dec. 17, 1909. While a very common name, I have a number of men on my Jewish side with this name. Add this to my to do list 🙂

The hunt for the killer of Vincenzo Civitano continues…..






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.

In Memory of Giuseppi (Joseph) Marvulli

In Memory of

Giuseppi (Joseph) Marvulli 

12 July 1873 Grumo Appula, Italy ~ 8 Jan. 1950 Queens, N.Y.

Son of Domenico Marvulli and Rosa D’Armiento

Joseph arrived aboard the SS Conte di Sovoia on 28 Feb. 1938 at the age of 64. His destination was his daughter Vera in Long Island City. Joseph had been married to Lucia di Girolamo for a short six years when she passed away in 1908 at the age of 24, leaving him a widower with 2 small children, Vera and Rosa.


May his memory be a blessing 




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

San Gregorio Matese, Caserta, Italy…here she comes

This week I had an exciting phone calling from my 2nd cousin, Anne, who shared with me a life long dream. I will be living this dream through her as she travels to Italy in Sept.. Anne will be spending a fantastic month touring, visiting with family and friends and doing a little reconnaissance/research mission as well. I have kept my request minimal allowing her in the words and heart of the ‘American Pickers’ to do this “free style”.

Below I have freeze framed 3 plagues from the town of San Gregoria Matese, Caserta, Campania, Italy – home of my DeLellis and Langellotti family. Along with those two paternal last names, on the maternal side we also have Loffreda, D’Amico, Ferrito and Fattore to name the top few. On the plaques – family members

I have also added the video from You Tube that I found these memorial markers on. Please take a moment to watch.

Using google translate I was able to transcribe the memorial headings.

San Gregorio D’Alife to his Valorious Fallen Children For The Greatness of Italy In War 1915 -1918


Civilian Victims of War 1940 – 1945


Fallen Of War  1940 – 1945 Soldiers



The Wonderful You Tube video of our San Gregorio 



The most common 5 family names SanGregorio from http://italia.indettaglio.it/eng/campania/sangregoriomatese.html

77.50 De Lellis

45.00 Fattore

35.00 Boiano

32.50 Mezzullo

30.00 Loffreda



Fernando De Lellis, He was born on 10/08/1983 in PIEDIMONTE MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Civicamente San Gregorio


Vincenzo De Lellis, He was born on 13/07/1989 in PIEDIMONTE MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Civicamente San Gregorio


Pietro Filomeno De Lellis, He was born on 13/08/1964 in REGNO UNITO.

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Noi per Voi


Salvatore Fattore, He was born on 08/09/1972 in SAN GREGORIO MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media inferiore

Job area: Condizioni non professionali

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Noi per Voi

Our roots run deep in San Gregorio