39b-Muro Family in America: The Death of a Young Mother


There are two versions about the circumstances surrounding Letizia Scotti Muro’s death in 1921. The Death Certificate provides the official version of the story. The other version is the story provided by my late Mother to me. In this posting we will consider the Death Certificate and the events as related by my Mom and try to make a sequence of events that piece together and make sense out of what happened to Letizia.

Relationship Notes

39b-Letizia Chart

Pedigree chart for Letizia Scotti Muro.

Letizia Scotti Muro was the daughter of Carmine and Maria Scotti. She was born in Agropoli, Italy in 1888. Letizia had a sororal twin named Concetta. Both sisters married in Agropoli and immigrated to Wilmerding, Pennsylvania in the late 1900s-early 1910s.

Letizia Muro was:

–Sammy’s maternal Grandmother (through Letizia’s daughter Josie)
–EmilyAnn’s maternal Great-Grandmother (through Josie’s daughter Emily Leatrice)

The Year Prior to Letizia’s Death

At some point in 1919 or early 1920 Leticia and her baby son were injured in an accident caused by a horse and cart. The baby died in February of 1920. Letizia was pregnant during this time and delivered a baby girl in March of 1920.

The Official version on the Death Certificate

39b-Letizia's DC

Death certificate of Letizia Scotti Muro.

According to Letizia’s Death Certificate she was treated at home by Dr. C.H. Bari from February 12-19, 1921. The family was living at 298 State Street where they rented an apartment. The cause of death was Lobar Pneumonia.

Letizia was buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in East McKeesport, a small town near Wilmerding, on February 22, 1921. During the two days prior the family must have held a wake in their apartment. This was the custom at the time. Letizia’s family and paeasanos from Agropoli would have been available to care for her husband Nick and the five children she left behind. Letizia was 32 when she died.

Who was the informant listed on the Death Certificate

39b-Concetta Scotti chart

Pedigree chart for Concetta Scotti.

Antonio Fasano is given as the informant of Letizia’s death. Uncle Sammy and I were not sure who Antonio Fasano was. A quick look-up at Imagines Maiorum brought back the information that he was married to Letizia’s twin sister, Concetta.

Inconsistencies on the Death Certificate with other records

There are several misspellings on the death certificate which are:

Spelling on Death Certificate                                     Correct Spelling

Maria di Giamo                                                                      Maria di Giaimo
(Letizia’s Mother)

Carmine Scotta                                                                      Carmine Scotti
(Letizia’s Father)

Litizia Scotta Muro                                                                Letizia Scotti Muro

My Mother’s version of Letizia’s Death

Mom recounted the story of Letizia’s death to me when I was 7 years old. I frequently asked about Great Grandmother Letizia since I was very curious to know what she was like. I wondered if Grandma Josie inherited her talents in gardening, cooking, sewing, crocheting, and decorating from Letizia.

Mom could not answer that question but she was able to give me a concise summary that never varied no matter how many times she told me the story. The key points are:

  • Letizia was delicate.
  • She was unhappy with the frequent pregnancies.
  • Mom thought she was pregnant at the time of her death.
  • She suffered an infection.
  • Letizia may have treated herself. A medical doctor was eventually called in but it was too late. By that time she was bleeding heavily.

Now that I know about the accident involving the horse drawn cart (see posting 39a-The Accident) my Mother’s retelling of the events gains greater depth.

Discussion with Uncle Sammy, Sunday September 13, 2015 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. 

Uncle Sammy and I thought it best to first list the sequence of events leading up to Letizia’s death in chronological order:

  1. Feb. 27, 1919: Letizia gives birth to Ernest.
  2.  Around June 1919: Letizia is pregnant with Rosie.
  3.  June 1919 to about Jan. 1920: The accident occurs somewhere in this time span. Letizia and Ernest sustain injuries. The degree of damage is not known and was never discussed in the family.
  4.  Jan. 3, 1920: Ernest dies.
  5.  March 20, 1920: Rosie is born.
  6.  Feb. 19, 1921: Letizia passes away.

There is an 11 month period between Rose’s birth and Letizia’s death. She may have gotten pregnant during that time. If she were pregnant the following scenarios were possible:

  1. Letizia experienced internal injuries that were not properly treated after the accident.
  2. She did not have had adequate pre and post-natal care when she was pregnant with Rosie.

More than this cannot be derived from the facts we now have. It is also sad that no photos of Letizia survive.

Uncle Sammy and I created an on-line  memorial for Letizia which you may visit at




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