10b-Gennaro Serrapede-Trans-Atlantic Commuter, 1913 Trip


The research of genealogist Anthony Vermandois has provided the basis for this wonderful journey of discovery into our ancestral roots in the town of Agropoli in Campania province Italy.  The genealogical charts for the Serrapede, Matarazzo and di Luccio families are available by clicking on the name links in this paragraph.

We have also used documentation from Gennaro Serrapede’s 1913 trip to the United States. Citations are provided in the Resources section at the end of this posting.

Relationship Notes

Our direct line ancestor featured in this posting is Gennaro Serrapede.

Gennaro Serrapede was:

Sammy’s Paternal Grandfather
EmilyAnn’s Great Grandfather through her maternal line.  EmilyAnn’s mother Emily Leatrice was Sammy’s older sister.

We will consider how the relationship between Gennaro and his cousin Raffaele Matarazzo provides a good example of Social Captial and Chain Migration at work.  We also take a brief look at how these two forces combined to lead to several of Raffaele’s siblings immigrating from Agropoli to America.

Social Capital at Work:  Gennaro’s Trip to the United States 1913

Although the ship first docked in Boston, Massachusetts, Gennaro’s final destination was Wilmerding, Pennsylvania.  His cousin Raffaele Matarazzo lived there.  Many Birds of Passage went to Wilmerding because the main employer was the Westinghouse Airbrake Factory which was doing very good business at the time.  It is possible that Gennaro may have gotten work there through Raffaele.  Even if that was not the case, Gennaro still had a relative from Agropli who was established in the town.  Raffaele and his wife would provide lodging and introductions to those who could help him obtain employment.  This would be an example of Social Capital at work.

Details of the 1913 Trip

Gennaro boarded the White Star Line Canpoic on September 2, 1913 leaving Naples and arriving in Boston, MA on September 16, 1913.

The details for this trip come from the “Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists”.

10b-white star 1913

Boston Book Passenger List.  Gennaro is entered at the bottom of the page as number 25.8.

Name:  Serrapede, Gennaro
Age:  45
Where booked to:  Wilmerding, PA
Whether in US Before or not:  Yes

The manifest of the Canopic provides more information:

10b-White Star 1913 2

Passenger List of the Canopic.  Gennaro is entered to line number 8.

Name in full:  Serrapede, Gennaro
Age:  45
Sex:  M  Married or single:  M
Calling or occupation:  Farm Lab.
Able to Read/Write:  No
Nationality:  Italian
Race:  Italian
Last permanent Residence:  Agropoli

The name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came:  Wife, Emilia Pappalardo.
Friend’s name:  Raffale Matarazzo
Final Destination:  308 St. st. Wilmerding, PA
Whether having a ticket to such final destination?  No.
By whom was passage paid?  Self.
Whether in possession of $50 or if less how much?  $20.
Whether ever before in us?  Yes.
If yes–
Year or period of years:  1910 (other numbers are unclear).
Where:  New York.

10b-White Star c

Close-up of Immigration Officer page.  Gennaro’s answers and the doctor’s assessment of his health are entered to line number 8.

Whether going to join relative or friend?  Yes.
Cousin, Rafaelle Matarazzo, 308 (or 508) (unclear) st., Wilmerding.
Condition of health:  Good
Height:  5’ 7”
Place of Birth:  Agropoli

The Matarazzo Family of Agropoli, Another example of Chain Migration

Gennaro’s Cousin Raffaele was the son of Antonio and Maria (nee Battista) Matarazzo.  His father was an agricultural worker.  Raffaele was born on April 5, 1887.

Raffaele’s siblings were:

Rosa, born 1875
Giuseppe, born 1878
Leonardo, 1881-1883
Giovanni (a/k/a John), born 1884
Luigi, born 1889
Gaetano, born 1892
Luigi, born 1895

The immigration of Raffaele and his siblings to the United States is an excellent example of Chain Migration at work.  Giovanni was the first to arrive and establish himself in the United States in 1902.  Soon after the following siblings came to the United States:

Name                                  Year of Immigration to the U.S.

Rosa………………………………          1903

Gaetano…………………………..           1909

Luigi ………………………………            1911

Rafaelle married Carminella di Luccio on February 12, 1910 in Agropoli.  In the same year, according to the 1920 Federal Census, Rafaelle and Carminella (a/k/a Carmela) immigrated to the United States and settled in Wilmerding, PA.

Review of our findings, May 2, 2015

Uncle Sammy and I found the details of the 1913 trip very straightforward.  No further discussion was needed.  We decided we needed further review of Anthony’s genealogical charts and Sammy’s pedigree chart in an effort to determine if the Serrapede and Matarazzo families were related by blood or marriage.

We also needed time to learn how Rafaelle and Carminella settled into life here in the United States.  For this we researched and found Raffaele and Carminela (a/k/a Carmela) in the 1920 Federal Census.

The findings and our discussion will appear in next week’s posting.


Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists 1899-1940

Source Citation

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940; Microfilm Serial: T790; Microfilm Roll: 54

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Original data:  Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940. Microfilm, T790, 107 rolls. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Massachusetts Passenger and Crew Lists 1820-1963

Source Citation

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1917-1943; Microfilm Serial: T938; Microfilm Roll: 204

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006.

Original data:  Boston, Massachusetts. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1891-1943. Micropublication T843. RG085. 454 rolls. National Archives, Washington, D.C.