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 Ancestry.com, New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Name: Ancestry.com 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 (http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it/v/Archivio+di+Stato+di+Roma/Stato+civile+italiano/Cave/Matrimoni/ : 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. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com 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. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com 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.

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