Saturday, May 26, 2012

Intriguing Story...But is it true?

The first story that I uncovered in my genealogy search is quite a compelling one. It is also quite confusing.  We all know that back in the 1800's and for a long time after that, people got married before having children.  What my search uncovered is that my great grandparents may have had their first child before getting married.  It appears that way at first glance, anyway.  My great grandparents got married on November 5, 1891.  That is a fact.  I am waiting (im)patiently for a certified copy of their wedding certificate from the New York State Bureau of Vital Records.  That is not in dispute.  The confusion comes in with their children.  Their oldest son was named Charles and he was born on February 29, 1890.  That is interesting.  The question is whether he is my great grandfather's son or a son from another marriage?  We don't know.  I can't find a birth or baptismal certificate for Charles.  I would love to see that.  Their second child, my grandmother was born on June 16, 1892.  I did find her birth certificate.  I am awaiting the certified copy of it.

I also can't quite figure out when they came to the United States.  I haven't found anything for Frank (my great grandfather) except for on a census he says he came to the United States in 1886 and in another census he say 1887.  He also said on the 1900 census that he was married for 15 years which is obviously not true.  The marriage transcript that I saw states that they were both single.  That means nothing really but if they had been married in Italy and come over to the United States together they would probably have said so.  I wonder if they were married to other people back in Italy.  I can't be sure but they were about 39 and 29 respectively when they did actually get married. That is fairly old for those days.  It would seem that they might have been married to others before.  Maybe they were both widows?  It is so odd.  I have written to at least 10 different churches in Manhattan and New Jersey trying to find out if that was the church they got married in.  I haven't found anything yet.  I have even tried non-Catholic churches.  You never know.

Update:  I found what I think may be my great grandfather Francesco Prinzo and his brother Luigi on a ship's manifest!  The ship was The Burgundia.  It would be hard to believe but both brothers had their last names spelled wrong on the manifest and differently wrong.  How odd is that?  Apparently not that odd.  My mother's friend from Brooklyn says her father and his brother came to the USA on the same ship and had their last names spelled wrong and differently on the manifest.  Pretty common then?  Who knows.

I also found a woman named Giuseppa Luisa (perhaps my great grandmother) on a ship in 1887 called The Brittania.  The mystery continues because if that is her she had a child of age1 traveling with her.  The child was called Rosaria Luisa.  Is that another of my great grandmother's children?  I have no idea who she was or what became of her.  I only know that on one of the census reports I found, she states that she had given birth to 4 children but only 3 are living.  The plot thickens.  .  .  The ship she supposedly came on seems to have encountered 3 hurricanes on the way to the USA.  It took them 34 days rather than the usual 14 days. I found reports on this sailing from several different newspapers including the NY Times, Herald Tribune, etc.

Luigi Prinzo dressed for Halloween in 1920's on rooftop at 322 East 109th Street, NY, NY

Christine Prinzo Famoso, Maria Giuseppa (Josephine) Prinzo and Katherine (Katie) Prinzo Famoso

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