Friday, September 4, 2015

What's in a Name - Perhaps More Than One Spelling Provides.

Dabbling in Italian Genealogy: Identifying Teresa Frangione Sacco's Parents - A Passport, Alternative Spellings and Potential Ship Manifests

The family story told for Teresa Frangione Sacco, was that she was born in Italy, married, had a daughter, called Maggie. Teresa was then widowed, came to the United States and married Raffaele Sacco and together they had 11 children. Notes taken in 1998 indicate that she might have also been adopted by a family named Siriano.

Teresa Frangione was born in 1879 in Italy according to the U.S. Census1,2. She married Raffaele Sacco in 1904 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at Star of the Sea Church3,4. Raffaele was born in 1878 in Jacurso, Cantanzaro, Italy5. Raffaele and Teresa had 11 children. In addition, one child, Maggie was not born to Raffaele, but is thought to have been Teresa's daughter from a prior marriage. The family stories indicated that Teresa married a Morelli or possibly was married to a Frangione, had Teresa, her daughter, then her husband died. Teresa immigrated to the United States and she married Raffaele in 1904.

However, as with many stories, no sources or verification were provided for the information. A review of all materials led to a re-analysis of Teresa Frangione's Italian Passport. The website,, offered an opportunity to question fellow researchers regarding Italian genealogy, which I am not well versed in today. A reply to my post confirmed my question regarding the practice of Italian women to retain their maiden names in records. Thus, from the passport, she is identified as Teresina Frangione. Teresa's parent are clearly identified as Vincenzo Frangione and Teresa Morelli. She was born 16 October 1879 in Maida, Catanzaro, Italy.

The Passport is stamped from Nicastro, Italy in 22 January1903.

The date is close to immigration dates provided in the U.S. Census. Searches for Teresa's immigration were met with little luck when looking at Frangione or Sacco. However, remembering a basic tenent of genealogy that often what is often recorded in a record is what is heard by the information taker, I expanded the possible spellings of Teresa's name from Frangione to Francione. A hit for a Teresa Francione with a daughter named Teresa Francione was found on Ellis Islands website, arriving 5 May 1903 in New York on the Citta di Genova6.

The record indicates that Teresa Francione is a widow, her child is 7 months old and is named Teresina, not Maggie. A search for Teresa Francione on led to the same manifest but additional interesting information. Turning to the manifest, Teresa is listed as widowed with a daughter, Teresa. The manifest identifies the ship as the Citta di Genova arriving in New York on 5 May 19037. Teresa is listed as having been from Maida and heading to be with her mother, Teresa Morelli who was living it appears at 809 South 8th Street in Philadelphia, PA.

Additional searches resulted in finding a record from the Citta di Genova for detained passengers8. Teresa was found listed here, however she is now identified as having 2 children with her. It is unclear but it seems the cause of detention was “to hus. Phila.”. The disposition of Teresa and however many children were with her is to her Step Brother, “Ferd. Siriando” to 809 So. 8th st. Phila., Pa. Interesting to note is that there were a total of 6 breakfasts, lunches and dinners for Teresa. Either the total of 3 aliens were held 2 days or if there is an error, Teresa and her daughter were held 3 days. We now have the following potential link to her presumed mother, Teresa Morelli, and the new information that Ferdiando Siriano was not an adoptive parent but rather a step brother.

The 1905 New Jersey States Census, Teresina Sacco is living with Ferdiando and Teresina Siriano (Sarianno)9 while a Gaffalo Sacco (possbily Raffale) is living with 2 children, Teresina and Nicolo10. Raffaele and Teresa had a son, Nick was born in 1904. The N.J. census indicates that Nicolo is 1 year of age. These records continue the connection of Teresa with the Siriano family.

In 1910 the U.S. Census11 shows Fred Sirian and wife Theressa living with a woman named Therese, identified as the mother, suggesting that by 1910 Teresa Morelli is now living with her step-son. Living right near by is Raffaele Sacco and his wife, Teresa, daughter to Teresa Morelli according to the passport. The notations are odd on the census in that there seems to be a name correction and a note next to the mother, saying "no such person".  Also to note is lightly above Fred Sirian's name is Sirianno.

If we keep track of the potential name mis-spellings:
Frangione - Francione
Siriano - Siriando - Sarianni - Sirian - Sirianno
Raffaele - Gaffalo

The remaining hole in the compiled evidence is the marriage record from the state of New Jersey12. The record indicates that Teresina and Raffaele had no prior marriages, which does not align with Teresa Francione being a widow. One might speculate that they answered the question as if it was asked had they ever been married in NewJersey or the United States before, to which they would have replied no. The other explanation is that as a woman traveling alone with her child, was assumed to have been a widow and was not.

Finally, expanding the research to Teresina's children (last name maybe Frangione, adopted by Sacco; aka Maggie), the daughter of Teresa Frangione results in some interesting findings. First, Teresina married Guiseppe (Joseph) Pileggi in Atlantic City, NJ. Among their children, Theresa Pileggi married a man named Hale. In Theresa Hale's obituary, her mother is listed as Margaret Pileggi and father Joseph Pileggi13. Thus, with all the Theresa/Teresa's in the family, she might have used her middle name of Margaret, which gets to Maggie. 

Furthermore, another daughter, Marie Pileggi married a man named Larocca. A record in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, for Marie Larocca identifies her father as Joseph Pileggi and her mother as Teresa Siriano14.

Once again, the name Siriano is in the family, however the evidence suggests that Ferdiando Siriano is a step-brother to Teresa Frangione from the immigration information which would have been first hand accounts. Teresina/Maggie is likely Teresina Margaret _____ - last name listed as Francione on immigration yet, Teresa was listed as a widow in the immigration files but claims to have been married only once, so it is unknown what last name her child had prior to her marriage to Raffaele Sacco and if she was married prior to 1904.

A few next steps will be to obtain the death certificate for Fernando Siriano who passed away in 1934 and is buried in Atlantic City Cemetery (Pleasantville, NJ).  Determine if Vincenzo Francine immigrated and passed away in the United States since the family appeared to have been in Philadelphia and the 1910 Census indicate Teresa Morelli immigrated in the 1880s.  Attempt to locate marriage records in Maida, Italy for Teresa Frangione's mother, Teresa Morelli, looking for her marriage to Vincenzo Frangione and then a possible second marriage to a Siriano since evidence suggests Ferdiando Siriano might have been her step-brother. A baptismal record, for Teresa Morelli for Teresa Morelli and determine if and when she died in most likely New Jersey.

Of course, linking the various spellings, the circumstantial records and luck of names being close may all be wrong, in which case, perhaps a trip to Italy will help any wounded pride in trying to be clever.

1Year: 1940; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T627_2301; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 1-69
2Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: 1309; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 27; Image: 20.0; FHL microfilm: 2341044.
3Star of the Sea (Atlantic City, New Jersey), Sacco Frangione Marriage Certificate.
4New Jersey, New Jersey, Marriage Certificate, Sacco-Frangione Marriage Certificate.; New Jersey State Archives.
5The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of New Jersey; State Headquarters: New Jersey; Microfilm Series: M1986
6Search Ellis Island Passenger." Liberty Ellis Foundation.
7Year: 1903; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0351; Line: 1; Page Number: 66
8Year: 1903; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0351; Line: 1; Page Number: 115
9New Jersey, State Census, 1905," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 August 2015), Teresina Sacco in household of Ferdinando Sarianni, , Atlantic, New Jersey, United States; citing p. 33, line 38, Department of State, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,688,587
10New Jersey, State Census, 1905," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 August 2015), Teresina Sacco in household of Goffole Sacco, , Atlantic, New Jersey, United States; citing p. 31, line 99, Department of State, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,688,587
11Year: 1910; Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 4, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_867; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 1374880
12New Jersey, New Jersey, Marriage Certificate, Sacco-Frangione Marriage Certificate. 16 February 1904.; New Jersey State Archives.
13Publication Date: 11 Jul 2012; Publication Place: Pleasantville, New Jersey, USA. United States Obituary Collection [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015

© 2015 William C. Barrett

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