Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sepia Saturday 294: Traveling

I haven't posted for Sepia Saturdays in a long time, but I am so happy to be starting again. I found it so much fun to find that *perfect* photo for the theme and browse everyone else's  photos. So thanks for having me!

                     My photo for this Saturday comes from my husband's Iuzzolino family that I've been working on lately. It's a photo his great grandmother's brother, Louis. After a little more research I plan on doing a write up on him. He seems to have been quite the character!

                 This photo always makes me laugh. The hard Italian city boy with his suit, cigarette  and newsie cap driving an oxcart in Arkansas...
              The sign on the cart reads, "Travelin thru Arkansaw on a slow train. Be home soon"

    Researching Louis, I've found him linked directly to some unsavory characters in the Chicago Labor Union that were clearly part of the Mob at the time. Which to me, makes the image of him on the cart even more humorous. It has the makings to be right out of a scene from an old comedy! "My Cousin Vinny" comes to mind. lol!
    There are other funny photos of Louis, but I am not sure if those are also at Hot Springs. Looking through his pictures and postcards he really seemed like a little guy with a BIG personality.

  Doing a quick search on Happy Hollow in Hot Springs, I see it used to be a tourist attraction for posed photos/ amusement park in the earlier half of the 1900's. People used to come and get their pictures taken, playing up the "hillbilly" element to give their family and friends back home a laugh. Some quick history of Happy Hollow can be found here, and a rootsweb page linking up other past travelers' photos of their visit to Happy Hollow can be peeked at here

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli

Lucia, or, Lucy, is my husband's 3rd great aunt. Sister to his great great grandmother, Jennie. I decided to do a write up on her because there happened to be so many photos and documents on her in my in law's possession. From what I've heard I can gather two things about her: She suffered through much sadness early in her life. and her family seemed to be very fond of her.

   Lucy was born February 17, 1885 in Chicago, Il. She was the daughter of Pietro Iuzzolino and Vita Antonia Pacelli, both immigrants from Ricigliano, Italy. Lucy, also known as "Aunt Sal" was a Catholic, baptized at The Church of The Assumption in Chicago, IL 9 days after her birth on February 24th. Her Godparents were Savino Pacelli and Antonia Bagnoli.
   At the time, the church was still under construction and wasn't completed until 1886. But Assumption was built specifically to care for the influx of Italian immigrants who were settling in Chicago at the time. It was the very first church in Chicago to be dedicated strictly to that purpose. The city grew up around the original building, but it still stands today. History on Assumption Church can be viewed here, along with photos of it's architecture.

Baptismal Record of Lucia Iuzzolino

    Sal was married to a Rigi, 22 year old Sebastiano Pacelli November 21, 1901. It appears she fudged the numbers a little bit on her marriage license, because she was supposedly 19 at the time, putting her birth year as 1882, (which doesn't line up with her baptismal records, or her obituary, or the information she gave on her censuses. I am most inclined to rely on the baptismal record since it's the record closest to the time she was born.)  Of course this is pure speculation, but it was not uncommon for underage girls to get married at the turn of the century. If this was the case, all that was needed was a parent's signature on the marriage license. Sal, being born in 1885, would have been only 16 and would have needed her father's signature. Maybe he would not give it? Maybe this is why she gave her birth year as 1882, so she could be considered legal? Also, they were married not by a priest, but by a Justice of the Peace, which also makes me wonder if there was disapproval of this marriage. I cannot answer that, so it's only a thought but I suppose it could be a possibility.  Anyway, little is known about Sebastiano, except for what is found in their marriage record, which isn't much. According to her obituary, Lucy was widowed 18 months after her marriage. She also lost her baby, who I assume was fathered by Sebastiano. After all that sorrow, She never remarried or had any other children.  I'd really like to be able to eventually find out what happened to him.

A copy of the marriage certificate of Lucia Iuzzolino and Sebastiano Pacelli, found in family belongings.
Photo of Lucia Iuzzolino and Sebastiano Pacelli

According to her obituary and word of mouth, Aunt Sal had a son, Frank, who died in infancy. I found a photo of a woman holding a deceased baby and when I started getting better at putting faces with names I realized it was Sal in the photo who was holding the infant. I can't confirm this was her baby she was holding, and to me, she looks a tad older than I would've thought but I can't imagine her having a photo taken with someone else's dead child. Also, as time went on, it became less and less common to take post-mortem photographs. At the turn of the century, when she would have had her baby, Frank, it was still fairly common.

Through her widowed years, Sal lived with members of her extended family. In 1930 she was living with her sister Jennie in the Schiavone (found as Schavone, Schavonne or Schiavonne) household in Oak Park, who by this point was also a widow.

By 1940, the same household looked much different. Her sister Jennie was still the head of the house but some of the Schiavone children had moved out, while Antoinette and her husband Harry Charuhas moved in, along with their daughter, (My husband's grandmother) Connie. In total there were 7 people from 3 different "families" living under that roof. The only two job holders were Harry, who was a bartender, and Charles Schiavone, who was a building wrecker for a wrecking company (and unknown to him at the time, would soon be leaving for war.)

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli died March 21, 1959 at the age of 73. (The birth year given here on her prayer card isn't correct. It is either a typo, or the contact person who gave the information after her death was not aware of the mistake.)

Sal's obituary was published in Oak Park's newspaper as follows:
"Ill Since Christmas, Mrs. Sebastian Pacelli Dies at Home Here A 10 a.m. high mass was sung at Ascension church on Wednesday, March 25, for Mrs. Sebastian Pacelli of 704 South Austin, who died Saturday, March 21 at her home. She was 74. The former Lucy Iuzzolino, she was born on February 17, 1885 in Chicago, and was married to Mr. Pacelli in 1891[sic]. He died 18 months after their marriage. She was also preceded in death by a son, Frank, who died in infancy. A resident of Oak Park for the past 38 years, Mrs. Pacelli had been in failing health since Christmas, when she was injured in a fall. She is survived by four nephews, Nicholas Schavone of the Austin boulevard address, with whom she had lived since the death of her husband; Anthony Schavone of South Dakota; Eugene Schavone of Chicago; and Charfes Schavone of 917 South Humphrey; and a niece, Mrs. Harry Charuhas of the Austin boulevard address. She was a member of Ascension church. Burial was in Mount Carmel cemetery."



Photographs of Ricigliano families in Chicago

Some of the photos I promised are below. I've identified those here that had been labeled on the back or who family had been certain of. I will add more as they come available.
   Each photo will have a reference number by it. If you are family and would like to help in identification, which I would LOVE, please leave a comment referencing the number of the photo you are referring to. Also, if you have any memories about a particular photo, such as the occasion, or place it was taken please include that! Stories to go with the photos are always important to preserve!

     It will definitely be a group effort to get all of these identified! My hope is that after the post has been online for a while, that others researching their Rigi families will wind up here and connections can be made. High hopes. :)

More photos will be coming, so please check back often.

1. Grandma Jenny (Jenny Iuzzolino Schiavone), Ethel, and Aunt Sal (Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli) at 704 S. Austin Blvd. in Chicago

 2. Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli

3. Christine Iuzzolino Rocco (Married to Tony Rocco)

4. Bride is Constance Charuhas, Woman on far right holding baby is Jenny Iuzzolino Schiavone. The woman in the middle I am unsure of.

5. This was grandma Jenny's coin purse. Inside were buttons containing photos of Little Peter Schiavone, who I believe drowned as a child, and the couple in the middle is her sister, Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli and her husband Sebastiano Pacelli.

6. This was Sebastiano Pacelli, Aunt Sal's husband who died 18 months after their wedding, according to her obituary. I haven't found any death record for him and have trouble locating him in any census. I only know him by their marriage record. Any other information on him would be greatly appreciated!

7. Great photo, Back left is Antoinette Schiavone. Back right is Della Iuzzolino?. Front row, left to right is Lucia Iuzzolino, Vincenza Leonardi, Louis Iuzzolino and Jenny Iuzzolino.

8. . Pietro Iuzzolino
 9. Boy in front unknown, 
Men sitting, left to right: Louis Iuzzolino, Pietro Iuzzolino, Anthony Schiavone. 
Women left to right: Unknown, Vincenza Leonardi, Vita Antonia Pacelli Iuzzolino, Jenny Iuzzolino, Lucia "Sal" Iuzzolino.
**Update 8/25 It looks to me like it would be Sal on the far left not the far right. She is also the only one wearing black... mourning her husband? And may possibly have glases on? The far right looks more like Christine. Can anyone weigh in on this? Thanks!**

10.. Pietro Iuzzolino and his wife, Vita Antonia Pacelli, Chicago, IL

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ricigliano Families in Chicago

I am in the process of putting my husband's family history together. Upon going through his grandmother's belongings after she passed, my Mother in Law ended up with boxes FULL of photos. BOXES. I have scanned many with my phone but haven't made a huge dent. I will continue with those and begin to upload them as I can.

  My hopes in posting this is to find other Rigis to link up with, hopefully obtaining help in locating old documents that aren't available online or by email or mail, and identifying some of these photos, (as not all of them are labeled) as well as exchanging them with other members of our tree, should we stumble across one another.

   So far (and I expect this list to grow and will update accordingly) the surnames we have in our tree coming out of Ricigliano are:
   Iuzzolino, Pacelli, DeLeonardis, Malpeda and Coponigro (Coponigri)

Below, I have included a list of our Rigis and their information. If any of them are familiar, drop me a line! I'd love to hear from you and hopefully learn more about our Ricigliano families.

Onofrio Iuzzolino - m.
Christina Coponigro
Pietro Iuzzolino b. 2/22/1852- d. 10/21/1939
Vita Antonia Pacelli b. 7/6/1854 (sometimes birth year is listed as 1851) d. 7/2/1927 in Oak Park, IL
Pietroangelo Pacelli m.
Vincenza Malpeda
Vincenza DeLeonardis b. abt 1882

Photos to follow shortly.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mueller Madness!

     As an ongoing project, I am researching my step father's family in hopes of gaining more "in person" experience in research. I have no family native to Wisconsin beyond my own generation, as opposed to my step father, whose family has been here in the state since the 1800's. What a great opportunity to FINALLY get to stretch my legs and do some local digging!

     I hope to compile photos of the Mueller family for Grandpa Mueller, so if you've arrived at this page part of the Mueller family looking to unload some of those old family photos, email them to me HERE
    Along with the photos, please include as much information as you can about those photographed, and whether or not you'd like them shared here on the blog for other family members, or would rather keep them private. I of course want to respect your privacy!
  Baptismal, church,vital, immigration records, and others are also welcome!! The goal is to get what the family has in one place, so everyone can access it, whether it be here online or by mailing some disks out.
    If you're here after the Mueller bash that's planned for August, and did not get any family info or photos in before then, please don't hesitate to send them as this is an ongoing project.

I hope to learn a lot about those Muellers. A wild bunch, I bet! ;)

Thanks for all your help!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


 My paternal grandfather, Arthur Helge Jonsson, the only child of his Swedish immigrant parents, enlisted to serve in the United States Armed Forces early in his life. Fortunately for him, he entered The Navy when WWII was coming to a close.

Art Jonsson, Navy Photo

For all we knew, he had served on the USS Walker. It wasn't until I was able to do a search for military documents that I learned he was not only on the the USS Walker, but also another ship, called the USS Hale.

The USS Walker

In my search I was able to locate two muster rolls, showing he was on the USS Hale, but was also recruited for duty from the USS Hale onto the USS Walker. I was unable to find a muster roll for him on the USS Walker.

Arthur Jonsson, Seaman First Class, Recruited from the USS Walker for duty. 

   These are my grandfather's photos from part of his time in the U.S. Navy. I do not know who the men are, besides one photo labeled "Wagnon" and "Cook". The Cook fellow shows up quite a lot in my grandpa's photos so I imagine they were buddies during their time in the Navy. so if you happen to find this page in a search for your own sailor on the Walker and the Hale, and recognize a family member please let me know!!

Somewhere out there there is a photo of my grandpa on the other end of that guys camera. :)