41-Muro Family in America-The sisters of Letizia Scotti Muro

Introduction

Letizia Scotti Muro, wife of Nick Muro, passed away in 1921 at the age of 32. She left behind 5 children. Her daughter Josie often spoke of a relative named “Titsie” with great fondness. The correct Italian word for “aunt” is zia but I have heard it pronounced like “zitsie” or “titsie”, too. Whenever I visited my Grandma Josie, she got very lively if the relative named Titsie called. There was always a big smile on her face and a glow afterwards that told me this caller was someone special. My Mom said that this person was my Grandmother’s Aunt. I never asked what her name was.  I took it for granted that some day I’d get around to that.

Since I hadn’t asked more questions about who Titsie was I could not be sure if she was my Grandmother’s maternal or paternal Aunt. As Uncle Sammy and I study the family history I am gaining more insight into which direct line relatives played a role in the lives of Letizia’s children after her death. This posting will provide an overview on how I came to know the identity of who my Grandmother’s Auntie (Titsie) was and why she was an important part of her life.

Relationship Notes

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Pedigree chart for lineage of Letizia Scotti Muro. The names of her siblings are included.

Letizia Scotti Muro was:
–Josie’s Mother
–Sammy’s maternal Grandmother
–EmilyAnn’s Great Grandmother

Josie Muro Serrapede was:
–Emily Leatrice & Sammy’s Mom
–EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandma

Concetta Scotti Fasano and Elisa Scotti Errico were:
–Letizia’s sisters
–Josie’s maternal Aunts
–Sammy’s Great Aunts
–EmilyAnn’s Second Great Aunts

The Sisters of Letizia Scotti Muro

Our research has not turned up any immigration records for the sisters of Josie’s father, Nick. As of this date (10/3/2015) the only immigration records we have for our branch of the Muro family are Nick’s.

This past summer I located documentation that Letizia’s twin sister Concetta and younger sister Elisa immigrated to Wilmerding, PA around the same time as Letizia did. Both sisters still resided in Wilmerding at the time of Letizia’s death. We will review the 1920 Federal Census entries to gain a snapshot of what their lives were like at that time.

Meet Concetta Scotti Fasano

41-concetta20scotti20fasano20and20family20fed20cen201920_zpscjw1ybsb

Close-up of part of the entry for the Fasano family in the 1920 Federal Census.

Concetta married Tony Fasano. His profession as stated in the 1920 Federal Census was that of “machine hand in a forge shop.” The Fasano family rented an apartment at 204 State Street. Their children were:

Lucas, b. 1916
Basil, b. 1920

The landlord of the 2 family house where they lived had the same profession as Tony did. Although not mentioned by name we think that their employer was the Westinghouse Air Brake Company since they were the only manufacturer in town that would employ such a diversity of laborers.

In our review of this census we were pleasantly surprised by another family connection. The landlord, Gaetano Carola, was also from Agropoli.

Gaetano Carola grew up in a family of business people who ran a hotel in Agropoli. Gaetano was known as Guy after he immigrated to America. His daughter Angeline married Letizia’s son Peter in the 1930s. We will feature the Carola family when we start posting about the developments of the 1930s.

Meet Elisa Scotti

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Close-up of part of the headings for the 1920 Federal Census page where the Errico family is entered.

 41-elisa20errico20192020fed20census_zpstdgdcbof

Part of the Errico family entry for the 1920 Federal Census where Elisa is entered as Alicia.

41-elisa20scotti20errico20and20family20192020fed20census203_zpsex68rwmh

The children of the Errico family in the 1920 Federal Census.

Elisa was the youngest child in the Scotti family. Like her sisters, she also lived on State Street. Elisa was married to James Errico. They owned the house at 174 State Street where they lived with their growing family. In 1920 they had four children:

Teresina (Theresa)b. 1914
Concetta, b. 1915
Antoinette, b. 1916
Matteo (Matthew), b. 1919

James worked as a “machine hand in a machine shop” according to the 1920 Federal Census. Men with similar job descriptions sometimes have “WABCo.” entered as their employer instead of “machine shop.” Again, we think that James also was employed by Westinghouse Air Brake Company.

It took some time to track down what happened to Elisa and James after 1920. The delay was caused by search results that brought back a Vincenzo and Alicia Errico from Brooklyn in 1940. I also pulled up a James and Alice Errico from Brooklyn in the 1930 Federal Census. I had put these Federal Census files into the Ancestry shoebox over the summer but did not think to analyze them. I thought this was just another dead end.

Discussion with Uncle Sammy on Sunday, October 4, 2015

Once Uncle Sammy and I reviewed the records we concluded that there were transcription errors in the original entries. The names of the children matched the names of the Errico family our Josie was related to. They lived in Brooklyn on the same block when Uncle Sammy was growing up. The Elisa Errico he knew was Letizia’s youngest sister. Elisa was known affectionately as “Zia Elisa” by neighbors on the block and she did not mind if everyone called her “Titsie” (Auntie).

Uncle Sammy helped me resolve the question of who Grandma Josie’s Auntie was. The “Titsie” she loved to talk with on the phone was her mother’s sister, Elisa.  Uncle Sammy thinks Elisa played an important role in Josie’s life after the death of Letizia. Josie left Wilmerding, PA when she was 19 years old. She came to Brooklyn where she found a job and met her future husband. The Muro family had no other relatives that we know of in Brooklyn during this time period. The 1930 Federal Census records that Elisa and her family were living in Brooklyn since 1925. So we think that Josie went to live with Elisa when she came to Brooklyn. They remained so close that Josie encouraged her daughter Emily Leatrice to be best friends with her cousin Rita. Rita was Elisa’s youngest daughter.

I learned from this week’s session how important it is to question living relatives about the details entered to the research records. One other relative confirmed that he knew Auntie Elisa’s husband as Vincenzo. Neither this relative nor Uncle Sammy heard him addressed as James or Jimmy. Since he may have used that name in Wilmerding we are going to leave it on the record as an alternative name for now and submit a comment to Ancestry.

We also corrected errors to the names of Concetta and Tony Fasano’s children. “Brazilio” was really Basilio. He was known as Basil by the family as Uncle Sammy grew up. Lucas, his brother, was also incorrectly entered as “Luicidio.”

Resources

1920 Federal Census

1930 Federal Census

1940 Federal Census

 

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8 thoughts on “41-Muro Family in America-The sisters of Letizia Scotti Muro

  1. From the moment I follow this story on your blog, I find it really exciting to do such an investigation and to share it in public
    The idea also interests me to talk about my family, my origins via my blog, but I wait to have the right time to realize it as you do Emily
    Thank you for sharing and have a very nice day
    Kisses from Madagascar
    Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Emily. I have also had many “adventures” with mistranscriptions on census records. One trick I’ve used is city directories. I search for the person (sometimes page by page) in the directory to find their address, then use stevemorse to find that address on the census. Just last night I did this to find relatives in Philadelphia. Their surname and first names had been terribly butchered by the transcriber so that searching for them in Ancestry had failed to find them at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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