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.
Entries for Sabato Serrapede, Filomena Ruocco and Antonio Figliola.
Gennaro’s son Sabato was 29 and single when he made this crossing from Agropoli to New York with his mother and siblings. He is not entered as an Italian but as an American Citizen. This means he had come to the country many years earlier and completed the process to become a citizen. We were so surprised by this discovery and also eager to learn more about this Sabato’s life.
Unfortunately as of March 27th, 2015 we cannot locate any other records of his residence after this. I have told my Uncle that I’m now on the detective trail to find out what happened. It’s impossible to just let this go!
Sailing with the Serrapedes were a cousin, Antonia Figliola who also stated that she was going to stay at 88 Mulberry Street with her Uncle Gennaro.
A paesana named Filomena Ruocco also appears on the passenger list. This is a very interesting development. Filomena was going to meet-up with her husband in Little Italy. The Ruocco family becomes important to us because members of this family married into ours on both the maternal and paternal lines.
A Wedding in New York City
The next piece of documentation we located was the marriage license index for Gennaro and Rosa’s daughter Antonia.
Marriage certificate index for Antonia Serrpaede and Francesco Di Luccio.
She married Francesco Di Luccio in New York City on February 10, 1898. Their children quickly arrived:
Teresa, born 1898
Maria, born 1900
Francesca, born 1902
Birth certificate index for Maria Di Luccio.
A birth certificate for Maria, born August 27, 1900, exists in the New York City Municipal Archives. None can be located at this point for Teresa and Francesca.
An interesting development on the very intertwined relationships our ancestors had now comes to the fore with this new information that a member of the Serrapede family married into the Di Luccio family. A member of this family was the mother of my maternal Grandmother’s sister-in-law. Further research is needed to find out if Francesco is in that direct line or the extended family.
The Serrapede surname was incorrectly entered to Ancestry’s database as Sarrapete. Corrections have been submitted. I can only wonder if Sabato’s first name and/or surname also got mangled when entered to the database. As frustrating as it can be to persist at a search using every possible combination of a name as one might think of, that persistence just might pay off. It’s that hope which keeps me motivated to continue the search for Sabato, my Great-Great Uncle.
I really hope to find out what he made of his life here.