7f-Serrapede & Scotti families in New York: Searching for Carmela and Carmine


Thanks to research done by Anthony Vermandois of Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania, we were able to retrieve the 1915 NYS Census entry for Carmine and Carmela (nee Serrapede) Scotti.

We also thank Steve Morse  for the creation of a database where one can find the information needed to conduct a search of the New York State Census records by address.  This search is limited to certain census years.  Please visit Steve’s site for further details at:  Obtaining AD/ED for the 1890-1925 New York State Census in One Step

Recap of previous postings

Anthony’s findings helped us successfully retrieve documentation and records about the Serrapede family in New York starting in the late 19th century.

This line of the family is through Gennaro and Rosa (nee Scotti) Serrapede.  So far as we now know, their son Sabato is the earliest member of our family who became an American Citizen.  Their daughter Carmela married Carmine Scotti in Agropoli.  Anthony’s research revealed that Carmela and Carmine lived in New York City and were recorded in the 1915 NYS Census.

When we could not find the records about Carmela and Carmine that Anthony cites at his website we began to use other means besides searching by name in Ancestry’s database.  By using the address to retrieve the records needed we learned why name searches had failed:  the surname Scotti was incorrect in the original census record and then in the data entry to Ancestry’s database.

Relationship Notes

Carmela Serrapede Scotti was the daughter of Gennaro and Rosa (nee Scotti) Serrapede.  She was married to Carmine Scotti in 1889 while they still lived in Agropoli.

The children of Carmine and Carmela were born in Agropoli.  They were:

Rachele (born about 1890)
Francesco (a/k/a Frank in the U.S.)  (born about 1892)

Carmela’s paternal Grandparents were Luigi and Angela Maria (nee Borrelli) Serrapede.

We have reiterated the names within her pedigree chart because the relationships carry over to Carmela’s life in New York City.

Carmela Serrapede Scotti was:

Sammy’s 1st Cousin 2x removed
EmilyAnn’s 1st Cousin 3x removed

Description of Search Method

Anthony’s research into the 1915 New York State Census provided the address at which Carmela and Carmine lived:  75 Baxter Street.

By entering the address at Steve’s site we learned that in the 1915 NYS Census 75 Baxter Street was in the 3rd Assembly District/1st Enumeration District.  For search purposes this is entered as AD3/ED1.

Back at Ancestry we searched using this information.  The entire census record for this particular AD/ED came up for viewing.  It was just a matter of reviewing each page until we found the one where 75 Baxter Street began.

Carmela and Carmine are found!

7f-1915 Census Carmela Carmine

1915 New York State Census entry for the Scotti household.

On page 16 we found Carmela and Carmine Scotti.  We found the reason why the records were not easy to retrieve in Ancestry’s database.  There were transcription errors in the original census record.

The Census Index for Carmela’s entry shows the other transcription errors for which corrections have been submitted to Ancestry:

7f-1915 Index Carmela

1915 NYS Census Index for Carmela Scotti.

Scoittia should be Scotti.
Borrili should be Borelli.
Copilla should be Coppola.

The census records gave us clues about the relationships which carried over from Agropoli.  The occupations and ages of each household member as given in the census:

Carmine Scotti-Head of Household-Bartender 49 years old.
Carmela Scotti-Wife-Housework 45 years old.
Frank (Francesco) Scotti-Son-22 years old-Laborer, paper mill.
Raffael Borrelli-Lodger-20 years old-Boot Black.
Angelo Coppola-Lodger-21 years old-Boot Black.
Saverio Cooka-Lodger-18 years old-Boot Black.
Carmine Scotti-Lodger-23 years old Laborer, paper mill.

7f-Carmela pedigree chart
Using Carmela’s pedigree chart we are able to find a possible relationship to Raffael Borrelli.  He may have been related through her paternal Grandmother, Angela Maria Borelli.

Our branch of the Serrapede family had close friendships with the Coppola family in the first and second generations in America.  Based on the presence of Raffaele Coppola in the household with Carmela and Carmine the relationship between our families may go  further back in time.  If this is so then it is really amazing how these relationships continued in strength during the critical first and second generations when our family was getting established in America.

Was Saverio Cooka’s real surname Cuoco?

Cooka may be a transcription error for another family in our lineage:  This is only speculation at this point but we wonder if Saverio Cooka in the census might really be Saverio Cuoco.  One of our earliest matriarchs was Nicoletta Cuoco Marino, wife of Pietro Marino.  If Saverio was indeed a member of the Cuoco family the relationship between the families went back to the early 19th century when Nicoletta entered our direct bloodline.

7f-Nicoletta chart

Nicoletta Cuoco Marino was:
Sammy’s Great-Great-Great Grandmother or (3x Great Grandmother)
EmilyAnn’s Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother or (4x Great Grandmother)

Recreating the sequence of events that created this household

Another important piece of information this census provides are the number of years each household member had been living in the United States:

Household Member/No. of Yrs. living in the U.S.
Carmine and Carmela-5 years
Frank, their son-6 years
Raffael-3 years
Angelo-1 year
Saverio-3 years
Carmine (relative/lodger)-16 years

My Uncle and I think that the Carmine Scotti who had been living in the U.S. for the longest time, helped the young Frank (Francesco) get a job in the same paper mill where he was employed when Frank arrived about 1909 in New York.  Once Frank was settled here, he then sent for his parents to come over circa 1910.

Carmela and Carmine travel from Italy

Further support is given to Francesco as the sponsor for his parents arrival.  In 1910 the Ship Passenger List of the Cretic, which sailed from Naples on June 14, 1910, lists Carmine and Carmela as passengers.  Their son Francesco (a/k/a Frank) is entered as their host in this country.

7f-Cretic Manifest

Manifest of the SS Cretic.

At this time Frank was living at 43 Mott Street in New York City.

On the passenger list Carmine’s occupation was entered as “Farm Laborer”.  Carmela’s was “housewife”.
The page after the passenger list has entries about the state of the passenger’s health along with notation about their features and their height.

The doctor who examined Carmela and Carmine noted that they were in good health.  Unlike the current day descendants of the Serrapede family Carmela and Carmine were both very short.  Each was only 5’ 1” tall.

Discussion with my Uncle Sammy on April 19, 2015 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

We think that based on the documentation so far, there was another relative named Carmine Scotti who played a major role in bringing over Francesco and then our Carmela and Carmine.

The younger members of the household who appear as lodgers in the 1915 New York State Census entry were relatives (Borrelli and maybe Cooka/Cuoco) and paesanos (Coppola) from Agropoli.

Since Carmine and Carmela were living in the Little Italy section of Lower Manhattan it would not be necessary for Carmine to have excellent English in order to work as a bartender.  Relatives or friends could have helped him secure work in a bar frequented mostly by Italian immigrants.

We now need to know if Frank Scotti remained in the United States, married and raised a family here.  That might be the case.  Another possibility is that he and his parents returned to Italy as public resentment and legislation that sought to restrict immigration from Southern Italy began to peak during the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Stay tuned for further updates!