Sunday, September 3, 2017

Finding Sarah’s Name - Wild Card Clues Offer Potential Link to Benjamin Mac/Mack and Andrew Entz

The family stories from Marie D. Barrett (née Hurst) indicated that Hiram Hurst married Sarah Mock/Mack.  Joseph A. Barrett passed the story of Sarah being either expelled/excommunicated from her church after a visit to her cousin’s home where she wore their clothes.  The family believed Sarah may have been Amish or Mennonite, possibly from the Lancaster area or King of Prussia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  The cousin’s were believed to be in Philadelphia, which is where Sarah likely married Hiram Hurst eventually settled in the Mt. Airy area of Philadelphia. A final family story was that Sarah’s father may have fought in the Civil War but there was never any indication of his name.

Hiram Hurst and Sarah were living in Philadelphia according to the 1880 U.S. Census on Allen Lane in Germantown.1  Sarah was 26 years of age and the census indicated they had two children, Theodore, 3, and William, 1 month.  Sarah’s father is reported to be born in Pennsylvania and it appears her mother was born in Germany. By 1900, the Hurst family is living on Springer Street in Philadelphia.  Sarah is 46, listing her birth as October 1853.  The census indicates they had been married 24 years, which would indicate a marriage date of about 1876.  Sarah reported having 7 children, 5 were living.2  The household as of 1900 was as follows:

Name Relationship Birth (Month and Year) Age
Hiram Hurst Head July 1853 46
Sarah Wife Oct 1853 46
Wm Verner Son May 1880 20
Benjamin R Son Oct 1884 15
Susan Daughter Sept 1886 13
Bella M Daugter Feb 1888 12
Andrew Son Aug 1894 5

The death certificate for Theodore indicates he died 17 Nov 1883 in Philadelphia.3  Similarly, a death certificate for Eugene Orville Hurst was discovered indicating that he died 9 July 1890 in Philadelphia.4  Eugene’s was born 4 Feb 1890,5 and he was baptized on 29 Jun 1890.6 No maiden name for Sarah was provided in either record. In addition, the marriage record for Hiram Hurst and Sarah has not been located from various searches.

Sarah died 16 Apr 1938 in Philadelphia.  Her death certificate listed Wm. Mac Verner as her father and her mother is unknown.  The informant is listed as Verner Hurst, which is her son, William Verner Hurst. The record appears to confuse Sarah's family with that of Hiram's based on the potential name of Mac and the name Verner. Prior research on Hiram Hurst identified his parents as Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner.  Rebecca Verner is thought to be the daughter of William Verner.  A potential theory is that William Verner Hurst confused the names of his grandparents between the Mack/Mac/Mock name and Verner surname. 

A search was performed in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates on for the death certificates of Sarah's children, which may provide additional information regarding her maiden name. The certificates for William Verner Hurst7 and Susan May Elder (née Hurst)8 were located while the New Jersey death certificate for Benjamin Russell Hurst9 was obtained from the New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics. The three records identify both parents’ as follows:

Child Date of Death Father Mother
William Verner 2 Nov 1963 Hiram Hurst Sarah E. Mack
Benjamin Russell 31 May 1947 Hiram Hurst Sarah Mock
Susan May 21 Nov 1957 Hiram Hurst Sarah E. Mac

The SS-5 application of Benjamin Russell Hurst listed his mother as Sarah Mock10  providing further evidence that Sarah was a Mock/Mack/Mac. However, the marriage record application for Andrew Entz Hurst presented conflicting information.  Andrew indicated his mother as Sarah Entz11 while his WWI service record indicated his mother as Sarah Walsh Hurst.12

Marriage license application of Andrew Entz Hurst

Andrew E. Hurst’s marriage license application reported Sarah’s birthplace as Norristown, PA. Norristown is about 4 miles from King of Prussia, both in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The application information seems to align more to the family stories indicating King of Prussia as Sarah’s birthplace rather than Lancaster county.

It is difficult to conclude if Sarah is a Mac/Mack/Mock or an Entz. Her son, Benjamin Russell indicated in his application for social security that his mother was Sarah Mock. Her other son, Andrew, whose middle name is Entz, identifies his mother as Sarah Entz in his marriage application. The death certificates for three of her children indicate she was Sarah Mac/Mack/Mock, with Sarah’s grandchildren as the source of that information. Examining the names of Sarah and Hiram’s children provide additional clues.

Naming patterns are common throughout genealogy, and with little else to refer to the names of Hiram and Sarah’s children were explored relative to what was known. Hiram Hurst’s mother was Rebecca Verner. Rebecca’s father was William Verner. Thus, William Verner Hurst, Hiram and Sarah’s second son, may have named their second child after Hiram’s maternal grandfather, William Verner. None of the other children were named for any known Hurst family members. The question is who, if anyone, might Theodore, Benjamin Russell, Susan, Bella, Eugene and Andrew Entz be named after?

William Verner (abt 1800-unk) Eliza UNKNOWN (1802-unk) Joseph Hurst (abt 1814–1863) Rebecca Verner (1832–1856) Hiram Hurst (1853–1920) Sarah Entz or Mock (1853–1938) Theodore Hurst (1876–1883) William Verner Hurst (1880–1963) Benjamin Russell Hurst (1884–1947) Susan M Hurst (1886–1957) Bella M Hurst (1888–1971) Eugene Orville Hurst (1890–1890) Andrew Entz Hurst (1894–1970)

Andrew Entz Hurst's middle name seemed unique that a search for Entz's in the area of Montgomery County, PA led to a 1860 U.S. Census record for the family of Andrew Entz in Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.13   Andrew Entz was married to a Susan and had a son named Theodore.  This record is interesting in that it hit on the name, Andrew Entz, such that the family of Andrew and Susan may represent an unidentified connection. In addition, Hiram and Sarah’s firstborn son was named Theodore and their first daughter was named Susan, while their youngest is Andrew Entz Hurst. The similarity in names appears more than a coincidence.

1860 U.S. Census - Andrew Entz, Norriton, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
Name Age Occupation Place of Birth
Andrew Entz 28 Daylabor Pa
Susana Entz 27 Pa
Theodore Entz 3 Pa

Wild-card searching, a valuable tool for genealogy research, offers the ability to do single letter substitutions or multi-letter substitutions to broaden searches including various spellings.  Multiple searches using various wild-cards for the Mock/Mack/Moc/Mac in and around Montgomery County led to the 1870 U.S. Census record for a Benjamin Mack and family living in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.14  Among the children was Sarah Mack, born in 1854. The birth date is similar to multiple reported dates of Sarah in the U.S. Census records. Sarah was reported to have been born in Morristown, per Andrew E. Hurst's marriage application, the place identified the 1870 census for Benjamin Mack and family.

1870 U.S. Census - Benjamin Mack, Lower Ward, Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
Name Age Occupation Place of Birth
Benjamin Mack 46 Coach Trimmer Pennsylvania
Christiana Mack 47 Keeping House Pennsylvania
Sarah Mack 16 At Home Pennsylvania
Christiana Mack 12 At Home Pennsylvania

Building on the name research, Sarah and Hiram’s third child was Benjamin Russell Hurst, such that if the evidence continues, is possibly named for this Benjamin Mack. A further search using wild card techniques and varying the spelling led to an 1860 U.S. Census record for a family of Benjamin Mac living in Whitemarsh Twp, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.15   Whitemarsh Township is adjacent to Norristown in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Within the family was a Christiann Ence, age 60. Once again relying on various spellings, this may represent a connection between the name Entz and Mac/Mack. If Christiann is related, her age would suggest that she may be mother-in-law to Benjamin Mac. This might be another link for the Entz name and the Mac/Mack/Mock family.

1860 U.S. Census - Benjamin Mac, Whitemarsh Twp, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
Name Age Occupation Place of Birth
Benjamin Mac 40 Coach Trimmer Pennsylvania
Louisa Mac 40 Pennsylvania
Sarah Mac 10 Pennsylvania
Christiann Mac 2 Pennsylvania
Christiann Ence 60 Pennsylvania

However, notable differences are observed between the 1860 and 1870 census records. The ages are not 10 years apart when comparing each person in the census. Benjamin's wife in 1860 is Louisa/Louesa, while in 1870 his wife is Christiana.  Yet, Benjamin's occupation in both years census is the same, coach trimmer, making it likely that this is the same Benjamin.  Thus, the question is whether Benjamin's spouse in each census is the same and is Louesa actually Christiana, having gone by a different name to distinguish herself from Christiann Ence and Christiann Mac, a daughter or did Benjamin remarry if Louesa died between the 1860 and 1870 census records.

A marriage record was located for Andrew Entz. The record identifies his wife as Susannah Arp, and they were married in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1854.16  Andrew’s parents were identified in the record as Jacob and Christiana Entz.  This may link the Christiann Ence from the 1860 Census, the Mac/Mack/Mock family from 1860 and 1870 an the Andrew Entz family from the 1860 Census.  The record indicates the ceremony was contracted as Lutheran.

Based upon the information, there is nothing to confirm Amish or Mennonite heritage. It appears that Sarah Mac/Mack was from the Norristown area of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Additional research on Benjamin Mack may determine if he fought in the Civil War.

A proposed family tree is represented suggesting that Andrew Entz and Louesa/Louisa/Christiana were siblings.  Andrew and his family may represent cousin’s from family stories. Sarah likely moved to Philadelphia, met Hiram and married between the 1870 Census and the birth of her first son, Theodore in 1876.

William Verner (abt 1800-unk) Eliza UNKNOWN (1802-unk) Jacob Entz Christiana UNKNOWN Joseph Hurst (abt 1814–1863) Rebecca Verner (1832–1856) Benjamin Mack Louesa or Christiana Entz Andrew Entz Hiram Hurst (1853–1920) Sarah Mack (1853–1938) Theodore Hurst (1876–1883) William Verner Hurst (1880–1963) Benjamin Russell Hurst (1884–1947) Susan M Hurst (1886–1957) Bella M Hurst (1888–1971) Eugene Orville Hurst (1890–1890) Andrew Entz Hurst (1894–1970)

A special thanks to Tony Proctor of Parallax-viewpoint for sharing the SVG program to generate a more legible and interactive family tree.

1 and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010;), Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1181; Family History Film: 1255181; Page: 520C; Enumeration District: 457; Image: 0673.
2, 1900 United States Federal Census (Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 18;), Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1464; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0500; FHL microfilm: 1241464.
3 Index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 Nov 2012), Theodore Hurst, 1883, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 Nov 2012), Theodore Hurst, 1883.
4 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 Nov 2012), Hiram Hurst in entry for Eugene Hurst, 1890.
5, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2011;), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
6, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2011;), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
7, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2014;).
8, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2014;).
9 New Jersey, Department of Health, Death Certificate (31 May 1947), Benjamin Russell Hurst; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Trenton
10 Benjamin Russell Hurst, 197-09-5794, 30 March 1937, Application for Account Number (Form SS-5), Social Security Administration, Baltimore, MD.
11 Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 December 2016), Schuylkill > Marriage license applications, 1923, vol 51, no 100-598 > image 144 of 358; county courthouses, Pennsylvania.
12 Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
13 Year: 1860; Census Place: Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1145; Page: 453; Family History Library Film: 805145
14 Year: 1870; Census Place: Norristown Lower Ward, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1378; Page: 35A; Family History Library Film: 552877
15 Year: 1860; Census Place: Whitemarsh, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1145; Page: 649; Family History Library Film: 805145
16 Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 June 2016), Andrew Entz and Susannah Arp, 1854.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Transatlantic Journeys of Ricardo Chialastri - Settling in America and Identifying Family in Italy from Ship Manifests

Immigration to the United States has occurred over many years in waves, from those seeking freedom from religious persecution, land, escaping wars or to make enough money to return home more comfortable than when they left.  Italian immigration to the United States reached a peak in the decade of 1900 - 1910 with over 2 million Italians coming to America.1 The number of Italian immigrants to the United States was thought to have topped 4 million with 30% - 50% returning back home after taking advantage of higher wages in America.
Ricardo Chialastri came to America on the SS RE D’Italia at the age of 19 in 1911.   
 RE D’Italia  
He boarded in Naples, Italy on 1 February 1911 arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 17 February 1911. The ship manifest2 indicates that Ricardo, 19, was from Cave, Italy and single.  His father Salvatore was the nearest relative “In country whence alien came” and Ricardo was headed to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
According to the manifest which spans two pages, Ricardo had never been to the United States prior to this visit.  He arrived with $40 and was described was described as 5’ 5” and unable to read or write English.  An entry on the manifest asks “Whether going to join a relative or friend: and if so, what relative or friend, and his name and complete address.”  Ricardo was going to see his cousin, Pietro Milani, on 25 Mississippi Avenue.  A scan of other immigrants led to the name, Umberto Lupi, who was noted to be visiting the same cousin, Pietro Milani.    
Prior research led to the marriage record of Ricardo Chialastri to Maria Sapochetti which was recorded in Cave, Italy on 4 Dec. 1912.3  Thus, sometime between Ricardo’s arrival in February of 1911 and his marriage in Cave, Italy in December of 1912, he departed the United States back to Italy.  
Riccardo and his wife of 2 months, Maria Sapochetti were located in an immigration record coming to the United States in February of 1913.  They departed on the  S.S. Berlin from Naples, Italy on 24 January 1913 arriving in New York on 5 February 1913.4  Ricardo and Maria are both 20 years of age, he is either a peasant (farmer) or farmhand, though the writing is unclear.  Maria is listed as a housewife.  Neither is able to read or write English.  Ricardo’s father Salvatore is listed as the nearest relative whence they came (Cave, Italy) and Ricardo and Maria are headed to Atlantic City, New Jersey.  
The second page of the manifest indicates Ricardo has paid for their passage on the Berlin.  He indicates previously being in the United States for 10/12 months.  Assuming his arrival in February 1911 was the previous time in the United State, Ricardo likely left the U.S. for Italy around November 1913, arriving back in Cave before marrying in early December.  
SS Berlin
Continuing the analysis of the 1913 immigration record, Ricardo and Maria were going to join their cousin, Alessandro Chialastri who lived on North Mississippi Avenue, possibly 12 North in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  A survey of the record reveals that the passenger listed above Ricardo and Maria was visiting the same cousin, Alessandro Chialastri.  The passenger was  Antonio Coluzzi, the record indicates that the closest relative whence he came (in Cave, Italy) is Rosa Chialastri, who according to family stories may be the sister to Ricardo.  
The  WWI registration card for Ricardo, dated 5 June 1917 indicates he was employed by Shore Fast Line Railroad as a track walker.5 
Ricardo and family were found in the US Census of 1920 living on South Mississippi Ave. in Atlantic City, NJ.6  Ricardo (listed as Antonio) was employed as  a laborer at the Railroad yard. In the 1922-23 Atlantic City  Directory, the family was living at 6 N. Mississippi Ave.7  Ricardo  (listed as Antonio) was employed as a laborer.
The family left for Italy in 1927, arriving in Italy 1 September 1927. Ricardo and his family lived in Cave for about 2 months, when according to an immigration record the family boarded the Conte Rosso on 23 November  1927 setting sail from Naples, Italy and arriving in New York on 2 December 1927.8  The ship manifest indicates they intend to settle permanently in the United States.  
Conte Rosso
Riccardo and Maria, both 35 years of age as of 1927 when they arrived in the United States.  Their children were listed as follows: Elisabetta, 14, Nannina, 12, Salvatore, 10,  and Amelia, 6 (spellings according to the ship manifest).  Riccardo was described as being 5'5" with a  natural complexion and chestnut hair and eyes.  Maria was 5'3" similar  descriptive features.  Elisabetta was 4’9" with natural complexion and chestnut hair, Nannina, Salvatore and Amelia did not have those entries filled out in the manifest.   
A final clue from the manifest indicates that the nearest relative in the country whence they came (Cave, Italy) was Eugenio Pasquazzi, listed as Ricardo’s brother.  Elizabeth (Chialastri) Sacco had indicated that Ricardo, her father, had a brother named Pasquazzi as well as several other siblings from the Pasquazzi line, including an Emilia and Estherina.    
Ricardo made three trips across the Atlantic Ocean prior to settling in the United States.  The manifests helped piece together the timeline for these trips.  In addition, the manifests offered additional clues to the family history by providing names of potential family from Cave, Italy including the Pasquazzi and Coluzzi name, and Rosa Chialastri.

1 “Italian - The Great Arrival - Immigration...- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources - Library of Congress.”
2, New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010;), Database online. Year: 1911; Arrival: , ; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_1630; Line: 4; List number: .
3 Ricardo Chialastri and Maria Sapochetti, 4 December 1912; digital image, Antenati Gli Archivi per la Ricerca Anagrafica ( : downloaded 22 July 2017); Portale Antenati.
4 Year: 1913; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2011; Line: 5 and 6; Page Number: 159.E
5 Registration State: New Jersey; Registration County: Atlantic; Roll: 1711901; Draft Board: 2. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
6 Year: 1920; Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 4, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1015; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 31.
7 Atlantic City, New Jersey, City Directory, 1922. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
8 Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, Dec. 1, 1927 (Name: National Archives, Washington, DC;), 680 of 1043; Roll 4178; Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. Microfilm Publication T715, 8892 rolls. NAI: 300346.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

New Family Lines for Riccardo Chialastri and Maria Sapochetti - Stepping Back Generations Through The Portale Antenati (Ancestors Portal)

Italian records present an ideal chance to reach through the generations and build the family tree. The digitization of Italian State Archives records in Italy and published via the Italian National Archives on what is generally called the “Antenati” has been invaluable to those with Italian ancestors and lucky enough to have their State records published online.  According to the Anetenati website (, 49 state archives are available totaling over 57 million images.  These records are valuable when researching both the male and female lines, but particularly for the female.  The reason stems from the fact that the taking of the husband’s name upon marriage is not practiced uniformly across cultures.  I and Specifically, Italian women often kept their maiden names upon marrying making the records valuable since the female surname’s could be across birth, marriage and death certificates.

A critical component to researching ancestors who immigrated to the United States or any country is being able to identify where your ancestors came from in the old country.  The identification of the exact town will be very helpful to narrow a search when using the Antenati records.  The Chialastri-Sapochetti line was stalled at the parents of Riccardo Filippo Antonio Chialastri and Maria Flavia Sapochetti, who were married in Italy, immigrated to the United States and are the focus of this analysis.  

Riccardo and Maria were from Cave in the province of Lazio and the state of Roma. Cave is located about 40 km southeast from Rome. 

Cave is on the western side of Mt. Prenestini between its slope and the Valle del Sacco. 

Riccardo’s daughter, Elizabeth (Chialastri) Sacco passed down the information that Riccardo was born in 1892 in Cave to Salvatore Chialastri and Anna Maria Scacchetti.  Riccardo married Maria Sapochetti, daughter of Salvatore Sapochetti and Anna Maria Cleri in Cave.  Maria was also born in 1892 in Cave.  Ricardo and Maria Sapochetti had the following children all born in Atlantic City, New Jersey1,2: 

  •     Elizabeth Chialastri was born 19 November 1913. 
  •     Nannina Chialastri was born 7 May 1915. 
  •     Salvatore N. Chialastri was born 29 April 1917. 
  •     Emilia Chialastri was born 12 February 1921. 
  •     Richard Chialastri was born 26 November 1931. 

Elizabeth told how sometime between 1921 and 1931, the family left the United States for Cave, Italy.  According to these family stories, the children, Elizabeth, Annie (Nannina), Sam (Salvatore), and Mim (Emila) were upset with leaving the United States and threatened to leave as soon as they were old enough such that Riccardo and Maria finally settled in the U.S. prior to their last child, Richard’s birth.  The immigration will be covered in a separate analysis since the focus of this work is trace the ancestors in Cave.

The 1930 U.S. Census3 entry provided the first clue to search the Antenati for marriage records for Riccardo and Maria.  A census question asked the age at which they married, both indicated 20 years old. Since both were listed as 38 years old in 1930, the likely year of marriage for Riccardo and Maria in Cave was approximately 1912. 

Cave records for various years for birth, marriage and death certificates were available on the  Antenati website.  The “Pubblicazioni  di Martimonio"4, which is essentially the declaration of Riccardo and Maria to marry, typically a marriage bann.  The record is dated 24 October 1912 and contains a trove information related to Riccardo and Maria.  

Riccardo is 19 years old with occupation of “contadino”, farmer.  His father, Salvatore, is 62 years old, also a farmer and Riccardo’s mother is Anna Maria Scacchetti, no age provided.  They are all residents of Cave.  Approximate birth dates calculated from the ages suggests Riccardo’s was born about 1893 close to 1892 and presents a range to search, while his father, Salvatore was born about 1850, again providing a range to search for birth records if available.

Maria Sapochetti is 20 years old, providing a birth year of about 1892.  Her father, Salvatore is 65 years old, born around 1847, and he works as a farmer in Cave.  An important notation is also on the form relative to Maria’s mother, it reads, “della fu Cleri Anna Maria”.  This identifies her mother as Anna Maria Cleri, but the designation of “della fu” in Italian records indicates she is deceased.

The witnesses to the bank are Pietro Milani and Vincenzo Foschi.  The document is signed by Riccardo, Pietro and Vincenzo.

Searching the records resulted in the Atti di Matrimonio or Act of Marriage is the actual certificate for the marriage of Riccardo and Maria.  This was found as well in the Antenati records for Cave.  The marriage date was 4 December 19125, no new information was noted on the record. 

A family tree with some additional data was constructed based on these records. 

Initial information was that Anna Maria Cleri died after giving birth to Maria. Focusing on Maria Sapochetti (b. 1892), specifically her mother, Anna Maria Cleri, who died before the Publicazzioni in October of 1912 a potential range of search years spans 1892 to 1912. The Atti di Morte for Cave includes this range and the record for Anna Maria Cleri was found, she died according to the record 1 June 19016.  The record confirms this is the wife of Salvatore with the statement, “moglie di Sapochetti Salvatore”, with moglie meaning wife of.

The record indicates that Anna Maria was 48 years old when she died (quarantotto) indicating a birth year of approximately 1853.  The record also identifies Anna Maria’s parents as Giovanni Cleri and Giacinta Milani.  Giacinta Milani is deceased by the preposition “fu” prior to her name.  It is unclear what designation proceeds Giovanni.  The identification of the next generation provided enough information to search for a marriage record for Salvatore Sapochetti and Anna Maria Cleri.

The marriage record for Salvatore and Anna Maria was located in Cave records on the Antenati website and provides a marriage date of 30 December 18747.  The handwriting is difficult to discern but from the left side, it is certificate #11.  An important note is Salvatore is the son of Antonio, who is likely alive by the use of “di” while Anna Maria is the daughter of Giovanni, with the designation “fu” typically used if the parent is deceased.  This might help clarify what precedes Giovanni from Anna Maria’s Atti di Morte where the writing was unclear. 

The marriage record lists the parents for Salvatore Sapochetti and Anna Maria Cleri.   Salvatore’s parents are listed as Antonio, as previously noted, and his mother is Francesca Calajacomo. The designation preceding both parents is “di” indicative that they were living at the time of the marriage.  

Anna Maria’s parents are Giovanni, as previously mentioned, who appears to have died prior to the marriage.  Her mother is Giacinta Renzi.  This is different from what was listed in her Atti di Morte, where Giacinta Milani was identified as her mother.  It is not clear from the record whether the mother is living or not.  The records provided details to Maria Sapochetti’s parents and helped provide a generation back.  

The focus turned to Riccardo and his family.  The Atti di Morte for Anna Maria Scacchetti was located, certificate #1 dated 13 January 1918.8  Anna Maria is listed as “moglie di Chialastri Salvatore”, the wife of Salvatore Chialastri.  Anna Maria was 65 years of age when she died in Cave, putting her birth year at approximately 1857.  Anna Maria Scacchetti’s parents are identified and both appear to have the “fu” designation indicating by 1918 they are deceased.   Her father is Francesco Scacchetti and her mother is Annafelice Traversi, both of Cave. 

Salvatore Chialastri, Riccardo’s father, Atti di Morte was found and indicates he died 16 September 1919 at the age of 69.9  This suggests he was born about 1850.  He is predeceased by both parents as noted again by the “fu” prior to their names.  Salvatore Chialastri’s father is identified as Filippo and his mother is identified as Anna Moroni.  A cross-check with regards to his wife, Anna Maria Scacchetti is provided with the statement, “vedovo di Scacchetti Anna Maria”, where vedovo means widower, aligned with the previous record for Anna Maria Scacchetti.

A final discovery was the Atti di Morte for Anna Moroni “fu Domenico” dated 3 December 1891.10  This information can add another generation to the tree with the identification of Anna Moroni’s father.  The record indicates Anna is “vedova di Chialastri Filippo”, the widow of Filippo Chialastri.  Her father is Domenico, deceased and her mother, Giroloma Fari, is also deceased as noted by “della fu”.  Anna Moroni was 76 when she died, putting her birth at about 1815.

The records found in the Antenati provided enough information to create the most current family tree, and yielded important information to continue searching the records.  Through analysis of the records, an additional generation has been added to what was known for Maria Sapochetti and two generations in part were added for Riccardo Chialastri. 

Giroloma Fari (?-?) Domenico Moroni (?-?) Anna Moroni (1815–1891) Filippo Chialastri (?-?) Anna Felice Traversi (?-?) Francesco Scacchetti (?-?) Francesca Calajacomo (?-?) Giovanni Sapochetti (?-?) Giacinta Milani Renzi (?-?) Giovanni Cleri (?-?) Salvatore Chialastri (1850–1919) Anna Maria Scacchetti (1857–1918) Salvatore Sapochetti (1847-?) Anna Maria Cleri (1853–1901) Riccardo Filippo Antonio Chialastri (1892–1983) Maria Flavia Sapochetti (1892–1972)
1, 1930 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2002;), Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: 1309; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 28; Image: 54.0; FHL microfilm: 2341044 
2, 1940 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;), Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T627_2301; Page: 9B and Page 10A; Enumeration District: 1-67.
3, 1930 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2002;), Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: 1309; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 28; Image: 54.0; FHL microfilm: 2341044 
4Riccardo Chialastri, Pubblicazioni Di Matrimonio, Parte-1, Year 1912: Numero 44, A Cave, Roma, Lazio, 
5 Riccardo Chialastri, Atti Di Matrimonio, Year 1912: Numero X, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano Cave, Cave, Roma, Lazio,
6 Anna Maria Cleri, Atti Di Morte, Year 1901: Numero 36, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano Cave, Cave, Roma, Lazio, 
7 Salvatore Sapochetti, Atti Di Matrimonio, Year 1874: Numero 11, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano Cave, Cave, Roma, Lazio,
8Anna Maria Scacchetti, Atti Di Morte, Year 1918: Numero 1, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano Cave, Cave, Roma, Lazio,
9Salvatore Chialastri, Atti Di Morte, Year 1919: Numero 35, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano Cave, Cave, Roma, Lazio, Italy, 
10 Anna Moroni entry, Atti Di Morte, Year 1891: Numero 121, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Stato Civile Italiano, Cave, Roma.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Johann Jacob Gossart and Maria Louise Saar: Evidence and Handwriting Lead to Immigration and Potential Parents

Johann Jacob Gossart has been a mystery in the family for many years. Commonly referenced as Jacob Gossart in U.S. Census, it is believed that Jacob immigrated from the area of Achtelsbach in Germany in the early 1850s or late 1840s. Family stories said that Jacob’s wife, Marie Louise Saar was a servant girl who worked for the Gossart family (multiple spellings include Gosart and Gossert). Louise and Jacob fell in love, and it was unsure whether his family sent him to America and she followed, or she was sent to America and Jacob followed.

The lore continued with stories that Jacob ran off twice, the first time Louise chased him on a stagecoach (suckling an infant the entire time) and found him somewhere in the midwest and brought him back. The second time Jacob left his family and rumors include that Jacob ended up in the Northwest running into issues with the law.  Elusive as he might be, determining Jacob’s lineage has proved just as difficult.

A search of immigration records for Jacob and Louise led to two potential findings that included an analysis of the ship manifests handwriting. When taking into consideration the family story that either Jacob or Louise preceded the other in immigrating to the U.S. a search was conducted for each individually.

The first finding was an interesting entry for a Louise Saar immigrating to the U.S. in 1852.1 The ship’s manifest for the John T. Lucy (or John & Lucy) dated 2 August 1852 as indexed listed Louise Saar, 79 years of age, clearly an unlikely candidate at first glance. However,

John Lucy Ship Manifest Listing Louise Saar, Age 79 or 19

analyzing the record, one may challenge the indexed handwriting when reviewing additional numbers from the same manifest. The potential is the indexed seven could be a one putting Louise’s age as 19 not 79 with a birth year of approximately 1833. As the comparison shows, the seven is usually distinctive with definitive up-down-up, u-like, appearance. The number one is less repetitive, sometimes being straight up and down and other times, having the more European look with “top” having an upward slant from left to right before connecting with straight up and down portion.
Handwriting Sample for the Number 7 (Top) and Number 1 (Bottom) from Ship John Lucy
Bottom Right Image is Entry from Louise Saar Line

The second entry involved additional analyzing the handwriting from the manifest for the ship John L. Bogert. Jacob Gossart, age 30 years old2 is listed, which if the Jacob of interest, would make him about ten years older than the U.S. census entries.
John L. Bogart Ship Manifest Listing Jacob Gossart, Age 20 or 30

However reviewing how the numbers were written for other passengers relative to how they were indexed, the age may be twenty rather than thirty which would suggest Jacob’s birth year to be approximately 1832, in line with the census information.

John L. Bogart Manifest Handwriting Sample for the Number 3 (Top) and Number 2 (Bottom)
Bottom Right Image is from Jacob Gossart Line

If the handwriting analysis is correct, these records represent the likely immigration records for Jacob Gossart and Louise Saar which were previously missed due to focusing on the indexed ages. The threes are straightforward with a slight top to bottom initiation at the top. The twos are more unique and varied, the top right image shows similar start to a three but a definitive loop and tail at the base. Comparing that to the bottom, one could interpret the bottom two right images as fancy twos or a three.

An attempt to provide additional circumstantial support for the analysis was undertaken using another passenger with similar potential for a 2 to be interpreted as a 3 (middle bottom photo above being either 26 or 36). A search was conducted for the passenger, Rosina Durr (or Dunn)2 since the family had unique names. An 1860 U.S. Census record for the Doerr (Duerr) family3 was found matching the family in the ship manifest, however the names were Americanized. It was interesting to note that the age of Rosina per the census was off by ten years, in that Rosina was 10 years younger in the census than the ship manifest similar to Jacob Gossart. For Rosina, the indexed record of the ship manifest was 36 rather than 26.

The first evidence of Jacob in the United States after immigrating is a listing in the 1855 Philadelphia City Directory for a Jacob Gossart living at Coates bel Nixon.4 According to the immigration records, Jacob and Louise arrived within a month of each in 1852, it is assumed they married between arrival and 1854 when their first child, Indeman, was born in November 18545 according to a baptismal record. Jacob and family were found in the 1860 US Census living in the 19th ward of Philadelphia, PA. Jacob is a laborer and his birthplace listed as Wirtenburg. He is living with his wife, Louisa and sons Inder (Indeman), Jacob, and Edward. All three children, according to the census, were born in Pennsylvania6, with Indeman and Jacob being baptized in 18577 and Edward being baptized in 1862.8

Jacob and Louise eventually settled in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area where according to the US 1870 Census they lived in Plains Twp, Luzerne Cty, PA.9 He was employed as a stable boss. The real estate was valued at $150, about $2600 in today’s dollar.
1. Indeman Gosart was born on 17 Nov 1854 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died on 31 Oct 1927 in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Rosa Jones in 1887 in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA.
2. Jacob Gosart was born on 07 Oct 1856 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died on 22 Nov 1918 in Courtdale, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Amelia Geiser in 1874 in Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA.
3. Edward Gosart was born on 06 Nov 1858 in Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 25 Dec 1937 in Jessup, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Cecelia Jane Flynn in 1880.
4. Albert J Gosart was born on 06 Feb 1861 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 22 Nov 1908 in Livermore, Alameda, California, USA. He married Sarrie Gosart in 1887.
5. Charles Gosart was born in 1863 in Pennsylvania, USA. Date of death unknown. He married Lavina Lillie Martin on 22 Jan 1895 in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA.
6. Louisa M Gosart was born on 05 Jan 1867 in Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 23 Jul 1948 in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Edward J Smith on 30 Apr 1891 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
7. Emma Gosart was born on 07 May 1875 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She died on 26 Feb 1939 in Wilkes Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA. She married William George Worth in 1898 in Luzerne, PA.

In Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona: Commemorating the Achievements of Citizens who Have Contributed to the Progress of Arizona and the Development of Its Resources, Jacob’s son A. J. Gosart had a biographical sketch which provided some information on his father Jacob:10
"His father, Jacob, led an interesting life, and when a young man came to America from his native land of Germany. He was a gold-beater by occupation, and in Philadelphia earned a fair competence by the exercise of his trade. The severe strain of constant confinement told on his none too robust organization, and he died in Wilkesbarre, PA., when a comparatively young man."

A review of the 1880 Census finds that Jacob is no longer listed with the family, however Louise lists herself as married denoted by the slash mark in the second column after listing her “Relationship” as wife.11 This suggests that Jacob has either passed away or as family stories suggest, he may have left the family sometime between 1870-1880.

1880 U.S. Census Line for Louisa (Saar) Gossart

The obituary for Louise from The Wilkes-Barre record 23 Mar 1898, page 8 of 12 provides some additional insight into Jacob’s death:12
Obituary for Louise (Saar) Gossart in Wilkes-Barre Record

The newspaper states that Jacob died twelve years prior to Louise, which was about 1886 at the age of 56, though no records have been found to confirm this event.  There was little information to help determine the parents of Jacob. Jacob’s birth date was estimated at about 1831 from the few records discovered such that a search of German Births and Baptisms led to two potential records:
Jacob Gossert13
Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898
birth: 28 Jun 1829 Eisen,​ Oldenburg,​ Germany
residence: 1829 Achtelsbach,​ Oldenburg,​ Germany
parents: Jacob Gossert,​ Louisa Alt
Johann Jacob Gossert14
Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898
birth: 24 Feb 1830 Achtelsbach,​ Oldenburg,​ Germany
residence: 1830 Achtelsbach,​ Oldenburg,​ Germany
parents: Jacob Gossert,​ Louisa Ruppenthal

The closest date being the 24 Feb 1830 entry that identifies the parents of Jacob Gossart as Jacob Gossert and Louisa Ruppenthal. The birth and residence location of Achtelsbach being the same for Louise. The first record was for Jacob Gossert born 28 June 1829 in Eisen, Oldenburg to Jacob Gossert and Louisa Alt. The second entry was for Johann Jacob Gossert born 24 February 1830 to Johann Jacob and Louisa Ruppenthal in Achtelsbach.

The first entry was ruled out as further research found a marriage record for that Jacob dated 11 June 1856 in which he married a Katharina Philippina Alt. The age of Johann Jacob is aligned to John Jacob found in the U.S.

A final piece of evidence that may lend support to family stories regarding the connection of the Gossart and Saar families was found in the birth record for Maria Lousia Saar. The record lists the Taufzeugen as Johannes Saar and Louisa Ruppenthal, possible the same Louisa Ruppenthal listed as Jacob’s mother. Johannes Saar may be the brother to Peter Saar, identified as Jean Charles.

Baptismal Record for Maria Louisa Saar Listing
Godparents: Johannes Saar and Louisa Ruppenthal

The importance of reviewing the actual records versus relying on an index cannot be overstated.  The importance of using family stories to guide research is critical to examining details in fresh ways. The immigration records for Jacob and Louise had not been located for years based on the indexed information, where time and improving research skills led to a re-analysis of previously rejected records. Analyzing the handwriting helped potentially identify the ship manifests for Jacob and Louise based on the story of them immigrating separately from one another. Additionally, ensuring a thorough review of the record for all names has led to further evidence of the identification of Jacob Gossart’s parents through the identification of the godparents of Louise Saar.

1 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 April 2015), Louise Saar, 1852; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm
2 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 April 2015), Jacob Gossart, 1852; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm.
3 Year: 1860; Census Place: Rochester Ward 6, Monroe, New York; Roll: M653_783; Page: 561; Family History Library Film: 803783
4 Vol. 1855 A. McElroy & Co, Orrin Rogers (Firm), and E.C. & J. Biddle (Firm), McElroy’s Philadelphia City Directory.
5, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date:  2011;), Database online.
6, 1860 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date:  2009;), Year: 1860; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 19, Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1169; Page: 227; Image: 231; Family History  Library Film: 805169
7, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date:  2011;), Database online.
8, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date:  2011;), Database online.
9, 1870 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date:  2009;), Database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Plains, Luzerne,  Pennsylvania; Roll: M593.
10 Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona: Commemorating the Achievements of Citizens Who Have Contributed to the Progress of Arizona and the Development of Its Resources. Chapman Publishing Company, 1901.
11 Year: 1880; Census Place: Wilkes Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1149; Family History Film: 1255149; Page: 558C; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 0440
12 The Wilkes-Barre Record, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Wed, Mar 23, 1898 – Page 8
13 Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898," database, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2014), Jacob Gossert, ; citing Eisen, Oldenburg, Germany; FHL microfilm 1,053,721
14 Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898," database, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2014), Johann Jacob Gossert, 07 Mar 1830; citing ; FHL microfilm 493,233