The Marriage of Salvatore Maggio and Maria Grazia Mortillaro

One of the hardest branches of my tree to research, I’ve found, is the Italians. Tracing them from the late 1800s in Baltimore isn’t a problem; it’s the immigration records and Italian records that give me trouble. Partly, it’s because I don’t speak Italian and partly because the records aren’t online or they aren’t indexed. The spelling of names is also inconsistent; names tend to become Americanized over time. Linking a Mary to a Maria is simple enough, but DiPaula…we know that it most likely was changed at the time of immigration, but what was it originally? DiPaola? DePaola? DePaolo? DiPaulis? Space or no space?

Cefalù, Italy

Cefalu, Italy

The one thing I do know is that most of my Italian ancestors came from Cefalù, Sicily. Recently, I discovered that the civil records for Cefalù were available online through Family Search. The problem is most aren’t indexed, the handwriting is hard to read, and they’re in Italian. It’s going to be a long process, but I was able to find the civil marriage record for one couple because I knew the year they were married and there was an index available luckily.

I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t more new information in the record I didn’t already have, but I was elated nonetheless. Thanks to a couple of reference pages (Italian Genealogical Word List and Italian Marriage Document Translation), I was able to translate most of the marriage record.

Marriage record for Salvatore Maggio and Maria Grazia Mortillaro

Marriage record for Salvatore Maggio and Maria Grazia Mortillaro

In the year 1890, on the 15th of October, at 7:15 PM in the city hall of Cefalù, open to the public.

Before me [name of official, usually the mayor] an official of the civil registration, officially appeared personally:

1st Salvatore Maggio, unmarried, age 24, cobbler, born in Cefalù, resident of Cefalù, son of Vincenzo, resident of Cefalù, and Maria Culotta, resident of Cefalù.

2nd Maria Grazia Mortillaro, unmarried, age 18, housewife, born in Cefalù, resident of Cefalù, daughter of Luigi, resident of Cefalù, and Rosa Carnaggio, resident of Cefalù.

[block of text; formalities]

Witnesses:
Baimondo Vaccaro, 21, decorator
Matteo Marsiglia, 24, cobbler

[script; hard to read handwriting]

The new information I was able to gleam from this (other than beginning a hobby of learning Italian) was the date and location of the marriage, that Salvatore’s father’s name was Vincenzo, and (most importantly) everyone was from Cefalù, including the parents. So now I know to keep looking for more records from Cefalù.

A German in the Family?!

My grandmother always prided herself on her Irish heritage. As far as anyone knew, she was Irish through and through. Her house was decorated in shades of green, leprechauns and shamrocks scattered the window sills, and an Irish flag hung proudly out front. We grew up hearing stories of how her family was “lace-curtain” Irish and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as the holiest day of the year. She is, unfortunately, no longer with us, but even if she was, I don’t think she would believe me if I told her she had German blood in her (and English too, for the record).

Jemima C. Mumper is my 4xgreat grandmother. She was born in Pennsylvania in about 1826 and was married to Peter A. Magers (this is where the English comes in). Jemima was the daughter of Abraham Mumper, Esq. and Mary Lerew. Abraham’s paternal grandparents were born in Ochsenbach, Baden-Württemberg, in what is now known as Germany. This area is located in south-west Germany, bordering France and Switzerland.

George Michael Mumper, also known as Jerg Michael Momber/Mannber, was born January 23, 1723. He immigrated to the new world in 1751. He married (whether before or after immigrating, I’m not sure) Anna Margretha, who was also born in Ochsenbach in about 1719. Together, they had two children, Michael and Anna Christina. George Michael died February 23, 1807 in Franklin, PA, outliving his wife who died August 15, 1795.

Abraham Mumper’s maternal side of the family are Burkholders, hailing from Switzerland, not far from the German border. I have not done much of my own research into this branch, so I will save this for another day.

But back to the Mumpers…The Mumpers were a prominent family in Pennsylvania, settling in the York county area. They had sizable farms and were involved in local politics and going-ons. Iron ore was discovered less than a mile away from on of the Mumper farms. I’m not going to get into details (mostly because I only skimmed the text) but if you want to read more, see The History of York County Pennsylvania.

Unknown Children

I have a few pictures that I don’t know who is in them. All I know is that they are from my mom’s side of the family. I can roughly date this one to about 1905-1915, judging by the large hair bow (a very popular accessory for young girls, it seems, as I have quite a few photos of girls wearing these) and the…interesting…haircuts. The two oldest are girls, and a young boy stands in the middle. I would guess their ages to range from about 4-7 years old. 

If any of my relatives are reading this and know who they are, speak up!

Untitled-22 1 copy

How many degrees of separation to FDR?

I’m not very good at figuring out how many degrees of separation there are between me and someone, but this one is definitely less than the required six degrees.

Pictured below is Herbert Romulus O’Conor with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, taken sometime in the 1940s. I always seem to come across new photos when using Google from time to time. This one is from the Baltimore Sun.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O'Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O’Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Maryland’s wartime governor, Herbert Romulus O’Conor, a Democrat (right), was the fourth Roman Catholic to be elected to the governorship and the first of Irish descent. He was born in 1896 in Baltimore and raised on Homewood Avenue in the old Irish 10th Ward.

 
He was a graduate of Loyola High School and, in 1917, from what is now Loyola University Maryland. After graduating from the University of Maryland Law School in 1920, O’Conor was appointed an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore, and then served a decade as state’s attorney for Baltimore City.

 
In 1934, he was elected attorney general, and governor four years later, easily beating the incumbent Harry W. Nice. In addition to serving as the state’s leader during World War II, O’Conor initiated the construction of bridges over the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers as well as the purchase of the Claiborne-Annapolis ferry route.

 
O’Conor created the Commission on Post War Reconstruction in 1944, which conducted public works programs and built highways and public buildings. The next year, he founded the Medical Care program which provided health care for those who were needy.

 
He successfully ran for the U.S. Senate seat that was held by George L. Radcliffe in 1946, and retired in 1953, when he returned to the private practice of law. He was 63 when he died in 1960, and was buried in New Cathedral Cemetery.

Quoted from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bal-oconor-20031209,0,1906444.photo

Daniel Leven Wooters – A Womanizer?

Daniel L. Wooters, Sr.

Daniel L. Wooters, Sr.

This particular part of my grandmother’s side of the family (one of his daughters, Mary Cecelia, married into the Foard family) is a constant headache. And I still don’t think I have it completely figured out. You’ll see why…

Daniel Leven Wooters, Sr., was born about 1845 in Maryland. Over the course of his life, he constantly moved around and had multiple wives and many children. I think he may have had two wives at the same time, at one point, but I don’t know for sure. This is what I do know:

In 1862, he volunteered for the Home Guard in Denton, Maryland at the age of 17. In 1863, he  is listed on the Draft Registration list for military duty during the Civil War. On line 19, his information is listed as follows:

Draft registration records for Daniel Wooters

Draft registration records for Daniel Wooters

  • Residence: Denton
  • Name: Wooters, Danl
  • Age: 21
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Soldier
  • Single
  • Place of Birth: MD
  • Former Military Service: 1st E.S. Regt
  • Remarks: In Service

On March 24, 1868 Daniel married Sarah Elizabeth Gibson (about 1849-1875) in St. Michael’s, Talbot County, Maryland. They had two children (this where is starts to get complicated – trying to figure out what child belongs to which wife): Ellen Virginia Wooters (1869-1952) and Mary Cecelia Wooters (1873-1935). On the 1870 census for Talbot County, Daniel’s occupation is listed as osytering. Living with them are possibley Sarah’s younger brothers, Richard, William, and Charles.

Sarah died in or about 1875. Daniel remarried not long after on February 17, 1876 to Mary J. Pocock (1857-?). She was 19, and he was 30. Their marriage was filed in Baltimore (unsure if that’s where is took place). Daniel is listed as widowed and his occupation is Stevedore (according to Wikipedia: Stevedore, dockworker, docker, dock laborer, wharfie, and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country).

In 1880, the lived at 20 Binney Street in Baltimore. The children listed with them are Mary C. (from previous marriage), Jenny (most likely this is Ellen Virginia; born about the same year [before Mary’s marriage to Daniel]), and Laura M. (born about 1879). Daniel is listed as a laborer and Mary as “working in house pickling.”

The next record I have of Daniel is the 1910 census. Here, he is married to Rose (born about 1880) and they live at 839 William Street, Baltimore. They had been married for 14 years (1896). The children listed on the census with them are: John Albert (born about 1901), Daniel Leven, Jr. (born 1904), Laura Irene (born about 1907), and William Henry (born about 1901). They also had Ethel and Rose Elizabeth (information provided by a descendant of Daniel who described him as a “scoundrel”).

Residence of Daniel in 1920 (1920 Sherwood Avenue)

Residence of Daniel in 1920 (1920 Sherwood Avenue)

Daniel died January 11, 1920. He lived at 1920 Sherwood Avenue in Baltimore. He is listed as widowed on his death certificate and is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery. His father is listed as Daniel R. Wooters and his mother is unknown.

Death certificate for Daniel Wooters

Death certificate for Daniel Wooters

Whether he had multiple wives at the same time is not known, but what I do know is that he remarried very quickly after his first wife’s death, he liked his wives young (19, 19, and 16 years old), and they don’t seem to have lived very long despite their youth. Hmmm….

I would love to be able to find death certificates or graves for his wives. It would be very interesting.

James Joseph Lacy

Water meter cover created by the Lacy Foundry (image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/monceau/108361452/in/photostream/)

Water meter cover created by the Lacy Foundry (image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/monceau)

James Joseph Lacy, my three-times great grandfather, was born on August 20, 1840 County Cork, Ireland. He founded the Lacy Foundry (then known as he James J. Lacy Company) that seems to be still in operation today, and still run by Lacy’s. He died December 23, 1913.

Below is his obituary: (Sorry for any incorrect words or names; the original is very hard to read)

James J. Lacy Dead

Head of Iron Works Victim of Asthma at Home

James J. Lacy, president of the James J. Lacy Company, industrial iron works, dies of asthma at 10:40 o’clock last night at his home, 2032 East Baltimore street.

For a week Mr. Lacy had suffered considerably, but his death was not expected so soon. He had a sinking spell in the early evening and the Rev. James F. Donahue, pastor of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, was summoned to the home to administer extreme unction. Mr. Lacy ws surrounded by members of his family and was conscious almost to the end.

Mrs. Catherine Lacy, his wife, died a year and a half ago in the same way as her husband – sitting in a chair. They celebratd the golden anniversary of their wedding only a few days before her death.

Born in County Cork, Ireland, Mr. Lacy was a son of James Lacy, who brought his family to this country when the younger Lacy was only a year old. Mr. Lacy was educated at St. Vincent’s School and started his business in early life. With five others he founded the firm of which he was head 45 years ago and was actively in charge of the business until a few days ago. He ws the youngest member of the original firm and the last to die. The others were Patrick Rigner, Michael McMahon, W. R. Beatty, William Jordan and William C. Corner.

Deeply interested in his home and his church, Mr. Lacy spent little time else where, except at his business. He was a member of he Elks and the Hibernian Society. He had a summer home on the __ __ Catonsville. He is survived by four children, Joseph J. Lacy, Miss Lee Lacy, Mrs. J. E. Bradly and Mrs. C. F. Butterfield: 12 grandchildren, one brother Harry F. Lacy of Washington, and a sister, Mrs. Joanna Whearett.

Below is the original obituary:

1913 Obit – James Joseph Lacy

A 1920s Wedding for Ada Maggio

Sorry for the unexpected break in posting; life started getting a little crazy. But don’t worry, he’s a new photo for you!

Ada Maggio

Ada Maggio

Old wedding photos are some of my favorite types, and this one is at the top of my list. Ada Maggio was born in 1906 to Salvatore and Maria Maggio in Maryland. I don’t know much about her except that she was engaged in 1926 to John J. Dantoni.

Standing: Rose Maggio, Connie Russo, Ada Maggio, Lena Maggio, Marie Coreo, unknown | seated - unknown

Standing: Rose Maggio, Connie Russo, Ada Maggio, Lena Maggio, Marie Coreo, unknown | seated – unknown

A Couple Crazy Connections

Need a little genealogy brain teaser or just something to make you scratch your head or go “ewww.” Well, here you go.

The Gentrys and Levelles have a strange double connections going on. There is not just one marriage to connect the families, but two. Two sisters married a father and son. Weird, huh? Let me break it down for you.

Mary Ellen Levelle, circa 1880s or 90s

Mary Ellen Levelle, circa 1880s or 90s

Mary Ellen and Rose Estelle Levelle were sisters, born about five years apart in Baltimore. Mary was born June 19, 1867 and Rose in March of 1872 (their parents were Edward Francis Levelle and Mary J. Loughran for those keeping track).

Haden Gentry, late 1800s or early 1900s

Haden Gentry, late 1800s or early 1900s

Mary married Haden Gentry (born December 12, 1850 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky) on April 17, 1888 at the age of 20 (Haden was 38). Mary was his second wife. His first wife, Annie Agnes McElroy, died in 1884, leaving behind five children, one of which was Alfred St. John Gentry.

Alfred, born in about 1866 in Baltimore, married Rose in about 1892. He was about 26 and she was 20.

1310 Aisquith Street

1310 Aisquith Street

So Haden Gentry’s sister-in-law was also his daughter-in-law. And they all lived together in a “boarding house” with Mary and Rose’s father and brother (Edward Francis Levelle and Edward Francis Jr.). This arrangement lasted for at least 10 years, with multiple families living together in one house.

This house, in 1900, must have been two townhouses combined (physically or not), because all 14 people are listed for the address 1308 Aisquith Street and there is not a 1310 listed. But then in 1910, only 1310 is listed with a different family occupying 1308 (11 people in a townhouse!) I used to drive by these housed everyday to work and would just wondering what they would have been like 100 years ago.

John & Anna Schaffer

So a while back, I posted a Victorian photograph of who I thought were the Maggios. It recently came to my attention that the couple pictured was actually John and Anna Schaffer. Here is that photo again:

Anna and John Schaffer - 1884

Anna and John Schaffer – 1884

One of my favorite things to do is to try and date photos. If you have a good knowledge of historical clothing and context, this can be relatively easy, depending on what garments and hairstyles those in the photo are wearing and the event that is pictured. I have a degree in costume design, so I have a passion about historical clothing.

This is one of my favorite photos, and probably the oldest my family has. Judging by the clothes, we can determine it falls into the late Victorian era, specifically the bustle era, the 1880s. It is clearly a wedding photograph, with the bride wearing a long veil. While Queen Victoria did make it fashionable to wear a white wedding dress, many women still wore the customary dark dress. This was a practical choice – their best dress, if dark, could be worn both at their wedding and when in mourning (plus, my personal opinion – it hides dirt better). The groom is wearing a typical Prince Albert coat of the period.

1413 E. Lafayette Avenue - The listed residence in 1892

1413 E. Lafayette Avenue – The listed residence in 1892

John G. Schaffer was born on December 29, 1858 in Baltimore, MD to Bavarian immigrants Gabriel Schaffer and Julianna Walgardt. For most of his life, John was a cobbler.

Anna M. Davidson was born on November 9, 1864 in Baltimore to Samuel George Davidson and Mary Jane Pow/Powell (not sure which is the correct last name). Before marrying John, her occupation was listed as a seamstress.

1804 Aiken Street - The listed residence in 1930

1804 Aiken Street – The listed residence in 1930

They were married in 1884 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Together they had four children: Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Francis X., and an unknown child who died before 1900. They raised their family in various homes on the 1800 block of Harford Avenue.

Anna passed away first on September 29, 1930. John died four years later on September 3, 1934 succumbing to injuries inflicted after being hit by a car eight months previously. Both are buried at Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Baltimore.

 

The Bogues at New Cathedral

New Cathedral Cemetery, formerly known as Bonnie Brae or just as Cathedral, is a Catholic cemetery located in Baltimore, MD. It is a combination of three different cemeteries: St. Peter’s Kirkyard, Cathedral Cemetery, and St. Patrick’s Cemetery. The earliest interments are from 1770 from St. Peter’s. These were moved to Cathedral in 1816, and then Cathedral moved to a new location once space ran out in 1869 and the name was changed to New Cathedral. St. Patrick’s moved to New Cathedral in 1936.

This is a gorgeous cemetery and very, very large. I could get lost in there.

Many of my Irish ancestors are buried here, including the Bogues.

Below are Henry Bogue, his wife Margaret, and children. All his children are buried either in the same plot or one close by. Here are those graves, minus Henry Bogue Jr. and John.

Henry Bogue Jr. is buried with his wife and family, all in the same plot as his father. Only about half of his children are buried here.

Henry Jr.’s grandchildren, through his son Robert, are also here.

As are Henry Jr.’s wife, Ellen Tracy’s parents and siblings.

New Cathedral does offer genealogical searches through their website. For free, they will look up to see if someone is interred there and where the plot is. They will go into more detail and even take pictures of the grave for a fee. I have not used this service yet as I live close enough to visit, but it will be a good resource in the future to find the plots of those i do not know.