46c-D’Agosto and Carnicelli Families in America: Family and Work, Part 2


The charts of descent from ImaginesMaiorum-Ancestors of Campania were used to research details about families appearing in this series of postings. To view these charts please click on the surname to open a new navigation window to the site. We thank Anthony Vermandois for making this valuable data available.








In Part 1 of 46c-D’Agosto and Carnicelli Families in America: Work and Family we learned about the relationships between Giuseppe D’Agosto and his cousins Joseph and Anthony. They were his first cousins through his maternal line.

In 1925 Joseph appears as a member of Giuseppe D’Agosto’s family who lived in an apartment in Brooklyn. Joseph’s marital status is entered as “Married” but no wife appears with him in the census record. Initially Uncle Sammy and I thought that Joseph’s job as a shoe shiner may not have enabled him to support a family. We wondered if his marriage suffered some financial strain.

Further research at ImaginesMaiorum provided details into the pain and loss Joseph Carnicelli suffered during the years of his first and second marriages.

Personal sadness: Losing a spouse in 1919 and again in 1924

Joseph’s first marriage was to Anna Communale. She was born on June 3rd, 1890 to Costabile and Giovanna (nee Ruocco) Comunale. There is no date for the marriage. Joseph and Anna’s son Saverio was born in 1914. Anna died in Agropoli on June 21, 1919. We do not know the reasons why baby Saverio does not appear with Giuseppe’s other children in the records of his second marriage.

Francesca Margiotta was Joseph’s second wife. She was born on April 1, 1895 to Luigi and Anna (nee Ciao) Margiotta. Francesca had three children by Joseph: Vincent (b. 1921), Anna (b. 1923) and Raphael (b. 1924). She died on December 15, 1924.

The 1925 New York State Census page on which Joseph Carnicelli appears as a member of the D’Agosto household was dated June 1, 1925. His marital status is entered as “M” for married. Given that Francesca died on December 15, 1924 we think that Joseph did not observe the traditional period of 1 year of mourning before marrying again. He had three young children to care for. We think at the time of the New York State Census, Joseph’s third wife was in Agropoli waiting to come to America.

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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.

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9-Serrapede Family in America: Birds of Passage, Late 19th-Early 20th Centuries

  • Many of the Birds of Passage were from Eastern and Southern Europe.
  • Some online sources say the birds of passage came here alone.  In the case of our Serrapede, Muro and extended family from Agropoli there was a network beginning to establish itself.
  • From the research so far we know that in addition to the Scotti, Serrapede and Muro families, we also have the Mattarazzo, Di Luccio and Cuoco families coming here. We still need further research to distinguish who came to stay and who came just to work for a certain period of time.
  • The goal was to save as much money as possible and bring it back to the home country.
    • The goal of Italian  Birds of Passage was to accumulate enough money in the U.S. that would enable them to realize an improvement to their life in Italy.  For example, an improvement in the quality of their life would be the purchase of a home or a plot of land.

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7b-The Serrapede Family-Gennaro and Rosa in New York, 1897


Anthony Vermandois has conducted research into the families from the town of Agropoli and their descendants who immigrated to the United States.  The data he has compiled is a valuable resource for those of us who do not have access to overseas records or the linguistic skills to translate them.  Anthony has made his findings available at his website, Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania.

We continue with the presentation of Gennaro and Rosa Serrapede and their children.  For the first part of this series please see:  7a-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli:  Gennaro and Rosa.

Summary of our relationship to Gennaro and Rosa Serrapede

7b-Gennaro and Rosa chart

My Uncle Sammy and I are direct line descendants o f Sabato and Filomena (nee Ruocco) Serrapede.  Sabato was born in 1834.  Sabato’s brother was Gennaro, born in 1843.  Gennaro was married to Rosa Scotti.

Gennaro and Rosa were:

Sammy’s Great Uncle and Aunt
EmilyAnn’s Great-Great Uncle and Aunt

Note:  It is necessary to reiterate the relationships in each posting because of the repetition of the names Sabato and Gennaro among the succeeding generations.

Review of Research Findings of Anthony Vermandois at Imagines

The very first direct line Serrapede ancestor that I knew of in America was my maternal Grandpa Sam’s eldest sister, Filomena.  Filomena and her husband, Giuseppe D’Agosto, arrived in the mid-1920s.

7b-Gennaro and Rosa manifest

Passenger List for the SS Scotia.

All that changed after I used Anthony’s research as the starting point to search for earlier arrivals.   I was able to locate a ship’s passenger list for the SS Scotia.  The story which unfolded as Uncle Sammy and I reviewed the list took the arrival date of our family further back than we had ever known.

In 1897 Gennaro Serrapede was living at 88 Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of Lower Manhattan.  He had saved enough money to send for his wife Rosa and some of his children.

Rosa and her children Saboto, Giuseppe, Anunziata, Concetta and Antonia sailed on this ship from Naples and arrived in New York City on November 9, 1897.

The passenger list has a column in which was entered how much money each passenger had.  $50 was the ideal amount.  Rosa and Saboto had $10 each.  In 2014 dollars that would equal about $200.  For 1897 that was a good amount of money.

What I found interesting for Rosa is that she used her maiden name.  She is entered as Rosa Scotti, not Rosa Serrapede.  We also see this when other ancestors give their wives’ names as contact back in Agropoli.

Gennaro is given as the person with whom the family will be staying.  The passenger list also specifies that Gennaro paid for everyone’s passage to New York so he must have been making a good amount of money.

Rosa was just 53 years old but in the column where the health of each passenger was noted, the doctor on board the ship entered “senility”.  All of the children were noted as being healthy.

At first Uncle Sammy and I thought that the entire family was here for an extended stay until we reviewed the entries again.

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