30c-Did Giuseppe Comite of Agropoli become Guy Comite in Wilmerding PA?

Acknowledgement

Genealogist Anthony Vermandois has compiled the vital statistics and marriage information spanning the early 19th-early 20th centuries for the inhabitants of Agropoli and other towns in Campania, Italy.  The chart of descent used for this week’s posting on the Comite  family is available at Anthony’s website Imagines Maiorum.

Relationship Notes

Giuseppe Comite accompanied Letizia Scotti Muro and her daughter Giuseppina during the voyage from Agropoli to America in 1912.  Please see 30b-Muro Family-Letizia and Giuseppa leave for America  for details.

At this point we are not sure if there is a relationship by marriage or blood between the Muro and Comite families.  If there is a relationship it would come through the Ruocco family but we cannot find the common link.

Giuseppa Ruocco Muro was mother-in-law of Letizia Scotti Muro.
Antonia Ruocco di Raffaele Comite was the mother of Giuseppe Comite.

Letizia was:
–Sammy’s maternal Grandmother
–EmilyAnn’s Great Grandmother along the maternal line

Researching possible relatives by opening a “case file”

Every research session and database search contains the possibility of a discovering a new relative or family friend.  Rather than keep everything in the Shoebox folder at Ancestry, we’ve started creating our own “case files”.

There are always lulls in the research on the main family lines when new search strategies or findings yield very little. When this happens it’s good to take a break and turn attention to those people like Giuseppe Comite or cousin Sabato Serrapede who interest us in the same way a mystery continually calls the detective back to his case.  Having a case file on hand, complete with records and notes makes resuming the search much easier because it is better organized than the Shoebox which is really just a catchall for records.  With a “case file” on your own computer you can organize the data as you like as well as keep better track of your notes.  This posting gives you an idea of how we opened the case file on Giuseppe Comite.

The Comite Family in Agropoli

Giuseppe’s father Girolamo Comite was born about 1851 to Bernardino and Angela (nee Sessa) Comite.  Angela came from the town of Ogliastro Cilento.

Girolamo married Antonia Ruocco di Raffaele.  They were the parents of:

Giuseppe 9/1/1881-8/12/1890
Angiola 4/5/1884-?
Raffaele 3/27/1886-8/23/1888
Raffaele 4/19/1889-?
Carmela 3/30/1891-?
Giuseppe 8/18/1893-?
Gennaro 10/16/1899-?

Giuseppe (born 1893), according to Anthony’s research, was living in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania in 1917.  Using this information from Anthony’s database we began searching for further information at Ancestry.

WWI:  Giuseppe Comite registers for the draft

30c-giuseppe20comite20wwi20draft20registration20card_zpstqbiwrfd

 WWI Draft Registration Card for Giuseppe Comite.

On June 5, 1917 Giuseppe registered for the draft during WWI.  He was living at 427 Patton in Wilmerding PA.  This information is a match to what Anthony has at his database so we knew we were making progress.  From the registration card we also learned that:

• Anthony’s date of birth was August 18, 1893.
• He already filed his Declaration of Intent for Citizenship.
• His birthplace was Agropoli.
• Like other immigrants from Agropoli he was employed by WAB Co (Westinghouse Air Brake Company).
• He was responsible for supporting his mother.
• He was still single.

We have not been able to determine if Giuseppe’s mother was now in America or if he was sending money back to Agropoli for her support. The other information on the Draft Registration Card made it possible for us to verify if we had a match with other documentation retrieved during searches at Ancestry.

Giuseppe’s Declaration of Intent

30c-dec20of20intent-giuseppe20comite_zps5h7wnuef1

Declaration of Intent for Giuseppe Comite.

Paperwork from the U.S. Dept. of Labor-Immigration Service dated April 9, 1920 confirms that Giuseppe arrived in New York onboard the SS Canada.  The date of arrival was August 12, 1912.  This was the same ship Letizia Scotti Muro sailed on.  We now had another confirmation we were on track.

Other information we obtained:

• Giuseppe was 5′ 5″ tall and weighed 140 lbs.
• His wife’s name was Carmella and she was born on 8-18-1901.
• The spelling of her name as Carmella is different from the more common spelling, Carmela.
• His character witnesses were Victor Pastere and Henrico Fruigo, also of Wilmerding.

We now had the name of a spouse to add to search parameters.  The names of the character witnesses might also be useful in giving us other clues about the relationships in Giuseppe’s life while living in Wilmerding.  Victor was a barber and Henrico was a laborer.

1920 Federal Census:  Is Guy Comite the same person as Giuseppe Comite?

30c-comite20family20192020fed20cen20close-up_zpspoex3iue
 Close-up of 1920 Federal Census entry for Comite family.

A 1920 Federal Census record for a Guy Comite came back in one of our searches.  This one is a little tricky to say is a match for Giuseppe Comite.  This is the first time we have a possible change of name for him.  The wife’s name in this Census record is spelled Carmella.  This is the same spelling used for Giuseppe’s wife on his Declaration of Intent.  The Comite family had two children:  Leonard (1 yr. 11 mo. old) and Fannie (5 months old).  The names of their Boarders (Carmine and Joseph Bellini) may also provide clues during future searches.

Since Anthony Vermandois only has the data for the 1917 WWI Draft Registration we are going to forward the other documents to him for review.  In the meantime we have the beginning of a case file for Giuseppe/Guy Comite which will be used for comparing any future data that comes up.

Ogliastro-Cilento, home town of Giuseppe’s paternal Grandmother

30c-map20ogliastro20cilento_zpsqu9z2tvt

Google Maps showing route from Agropoli on the coastline to Ogliastro Cilento inland.

Giuseppe’s paternal Grandmother, Angela Sessa, came from the town of Ogliastro Cilento which is 7.7 km from Agropoli.  This information also may prove useful as does a map so we can judge the distance from Agropoli as well as the names of any other towns in-between.

Discussion with Uncle Sammy on Sunday, June 28, 2015 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

During our discussion, I asked Uncle Sammy if he recalled the names of these in Wilmerding:

–Comite
–Pastere
–Fruigo
–Bellini

These were the surnames from documentation related to Giuseppe Comite presented in the previous sections.

Neither Uncle Sammy nor I remember these names coming up when we discussed family from Wilmerding.  There were no paesanos from these families either.

We decided that we would keep a list of addresses where the Comite family lived whenever we find documentation on them.  We could compare their location to where Nicola and Letizia settled in Wilmerding.  There is a pattern within the family of relatives living in close proximity after their arrival in Wilmerding.  If the relationship remained inforce between the Comite and Muro families this might be one way to further investigate.  This is why keeping a case file of one’s own is so much better than using the Shoebox at Ancestry as the only repository for documentation which cannot be placed on the family tree yet.

Resources for Giuseppe Comite’s Documentation

WWI Draft Registration Card
Source Citation
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court, 1820-1930, and Circuit Court, 1820-1911, for the Western District of Pennsylvania; NARA Series: M1537; Reference: (Roll 247) Petitions 32301-32500
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Selected U.S. Naturalization Records – Original Documents, 1790-1974 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

Declaration of Intent
Source Citation
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court, 1820-1930, and Circuit Court, 1820-1911, for the Western District of Pennsylvania; NARA Series: M1537; Reference: (Roll 247) Petitions 32301-32500
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Selected U.S. Naturalization Records – Original Documents, 1790-1974 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

1920 Federal Census
Source Citation
Year: 1920; Census Place: Wilkins, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1530; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 854; Image: 397
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Other Resources

Map of Ogliastro Cilento
Google Maps
http://tinyurl.com/nwteqr7

 

 

 

 

 

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