7b-The Serrapede Family-Gennaro and Rosa in New York, 1897

Acknowledgement

Anthony Vermandois has conducted research into the families from the town of Agropoli and their descendants who immigrated to the United States.  The data he has compiled is a valuable resource for those of us who do not have access to overseas records or the linguistic skills to translate them.  Anthony has made his findings available at his website, Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania.

We continue with the presentation of Gennaro and Rosa Serrapede and their children.  For the first part of this series please see:  7a-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli:  Gennaro and Rosa.

Summary of our relationship to Gennaro and Rosa Serrapede

My Uncle Sammy and I are direct line descendants o f Sabato and Filomena (nee Ruocco) Serrapede.  Sabato was born in 1834.  Sabato’s brother was Gennaro, born in 1843.  Gennaro was married to Rosa Scotti.

Gennaro and Rosa were:

Sammy’s Great Uncle and Aunt
EmilyAnn’s Great-Great Uncle and Aunt

Note:  It is necessary to reiterate the relationships in each posting because of the repetition of the names Sabato and Gennaro among the succeeding generations.

Review of Research Findings of Anthony Vermandois at Imagines

The very first direct line Serrapede ancestor that I knew of in America was my maternal Grandpa Sam’s eldest sister, Filomena.  Filomena and her husband, Giuseppe D’Agosto, arrived in the mid-1920s.

Passenger List for the SS Scotia.

All that changed after I used Anthony’s research as the starting point to search for earlier arrivals.   I was able to locate a ship’s passenger list for the SS Scotia.  The story which unfolded as Uncle Sammy and I reviewed the list took the arrival date of our family further back than we had ever known.

In 1897 Gennaro Serrapede was living at 88 Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of Lower Manhattan.  He had saved enough money to send for his wife Rosa and some of his children.

Rosa and her children Saboto, Giuseppe, Anunziata, Concetta and Antonia sailed on this ship from Naples and arrived in New York City on November 9, 1897.

The passenger list has a column in which was entered how much money each passenger had.  $50 was the ideal amount.  Rosa and Saboto had $10 each.  In 2014 dollars that would equal about $200.  For 1897 that was a good amount of money.

What I found interesting for Rosa is that she used her maiden name.  She is entered as Rosa Scotti, not Rosa Serrapede.  We also see this when other ancestors give their wives’ names as contact back in Agropoli.

Gennaro is given as the person with whom the family will be staying.  The passenger list also specifies that Gennaro paid for everyone’s passage to New York so he must have been making a good amount of money.

Rosa was just 53 years old but in the column where the health of each passenger was noted, the doctor on board the ship entered “senility”.  All of the children were noted as being healthy.

At first Uncle Sammy and I thought that the entire family was here for an extended stay until we reviewed the entries again.

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7a-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli: Gennaro and Rosa

These houses are in the Old Town of Agropoli not too far from the house where my maternal Great Grandparents Nicola and Letizia (nee Scotti) Muro lived before immigrating to America.  When I see this photo I feel a link to the earlier generations and their lives.

Acknowledgement

The research conducted by Anthony Vermadois of Imagines Maiorum:  Ancestors from Campania provides the starting point for our exploration into our Serrapede ancestors.

A Note about the repetition of names from one generation to the next

The earliest ancestor Anthony Vermandois can trace for our branch of the Serrapede Family in Agropoli is Luigi Serrapede.

Luigi and Anna Maria (nee Borelli) Serrapede were parents to:

Sabato (1834-1893
Gennaro (born circa 1843)

Gennaro was:

EmilyAnn’s Great-Great Uncle
Uncle Sammy’s Great Uncle

My Uncle and I found it a little dizzying to keep details straight because Luigi’s sons were named Sabato and Gennaro.  In our family the same names were given to:

Gennaro Serrapede
Grandfather to Sammy and Great Grandfather to EmilyAnn

Sabato Serrapede
Father of Sammy and Maternal Grandfather of EmilyAnn

We decided to present a series of postings about Gennaro because we were able to locate ship passenger lists that show he came to the United States earlier than any other Serrapede ancestor we know of.  It was an exciting discovery, especially since we now know that both the paternal and maternal lines of our family go back more than 100 years in America.  It also shows the large network that was in place in the U.S. to help the later generations successfully transition to life here.

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Serrapede Family Tree: Pedigree Chart for Sam Serrapede, Sr.

Here is the pedigree chart for my Grandpa Sam Serrapede, Sr.  I hope this provides readers with an easy way to reference the relationships written about in the previous two postings entitled:

5-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli: Luigi and Angela Maria

6-Serrapede Family in Agropoli: Sabato and Filomena

Grandpa Sam’s Italian name was Sabato.

6-Serrapede Family in Agropoli: Sabato and Filomena

Italia and Stefania frequently took me to this beach near Agropoli.  In 1976 I could only think of how enjoyable this beach was.  I had little knowledge that most of my maternal ancestors did not look to the sea as a form of leisure activity but as the source of their livelihood and survival.

Acknowledgement

The research done by Anthony Vermandois of Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania forms the basis for our exploration into the lives of our Serrapede ancestors from Agropoli.

Sabato and Filomena (nee Ruocco) Serrapede

Sabato Serrapede, eldest son of Luigi and Angela Maria (nee Borelli) Serrapede, was born in Agropoli circa 1834.  He was a marinaro, meaning a fisherman. Sabato was married twice.  First to Filomena Ruocco. Sabato and Filomena were:

  • EmilyAnn’s Great-Great Grandparents
  • Uncle Sammy’s Great Grandparents

Filomena Ruocco

Filomena Ruocco was the daughter of Vincenzo and Anna Maria (nee Conte) Ruocco. Sabato Serrapede married Filomena Ruocco on June 2, 1870.  The marriage did not last long.  After giving birth to:

  •  Luigi, (b. 1860)
  • Angela Maria (b. 1861)
  • Gennaro (b. 1867)

Filomena passed away on January 30, 1869 in Agropoli.

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5-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli: Luigi and Angela Maria

Photo of Carmela Serrapede (right), my Grandpa Sam’s niece by marriage.  Carmela has her arm around her son Luigi who was named after his paternal Grandfather Luigi Serrapede.  Next to Luigi is his sister.  The girl with her hand in front of her face is Stefania, daughter of my Grandfather’s niece Italia and her husband Antonio.  Stefania wasn’t waving hello.  She was a very particular 9 year old who did not like to have her picture taken too often.

Acknowledgement

We have used the results of Anthony Vermandois’ research of the families in Agropoli, Campania Province, Salerno, Italy as the basis of all postings about our ancestors who lived in Agropoli.  These findings are published at his website Imagines Maiorum:  Ancestors from Campania.

An Informal Approach to getting to know our Italian Ancestors

The reason for using Anthony’s research is two-fold.  First, we do not speak Italian.  Second, since we are employed full-time we have to make the most of the spare time allotted to the family history project.  For the earlier generations, Anthony’s research provides us with enough information to get started.

Our approach to the earlier generations is to do what our parents and grandparents would have done:  consider what we have and reflect on it.  This is followed by discussion supplemented by some extra reading on the topic.  We know that this is very informal and not genealogical.  This approach does work in raising awareness of the people and places we discuss.  In time it helps what once was unknown or far away become familiar.  Past and present meet and the ancestors enter the flow of discussion and are with us in spirit.

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