Thursday, December 26, 2019

Immigration Records Unlock Ferraguti Family History

Sam and Rose Ferraguti

My grandfather's sister was Rose Cimino 1918-2004. She was married to Sam Ferraguti.  Sam's full name was Salvatore Silvio "Sam" Ferraguti and he was born on May 1, 1918, in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was Verardo Ferraguti and his mother was Elvira Settini. Sam Ferraguti married Rose Louise Cimino on June 18, 1937, in Papillion, Nebraska. They had four children in 16 years. He died on November 2, 2003, in his hometown at the age of 85.

Some of the most valuable documents for 20th century immigrants can be found in the naturalization paperwork.  For example, here is the Petition for Citizenship for Sam's father, Verardo Ferraguti.

There are so many useful details on a Petition for Citizenship that I recommend that you make a full transcript.  Here is the transcript that I made for the above document:


To the Honorable the DISTRICT Court of THE UNITED STATES of CHICAGO, ILL.

The petition of VERARDO FERRAGUTI, hereby filed respectfully, shows:

(1) My place of residence is 11401 Watt Ave., Chicago, Ill. 

(2) My occupation is Laborer. 

(3) I was born in Torite, Italy on February 18, 1876. 

[Spelling of surnames and place names in these documents is often questionable. This place name is further obscured by a typographical error placing a "t" in place of an "l." In another source I had recorded that Verardo was born in Parma, Italy.  I googled a list of the comunes or towns in the province of Parma and I found that the correct spelling should be Torrile.  Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about Torrile, Italy. ]

[According to Wikipedia, Torrile is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Parma in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 90 kilometres (56 mi) northwest of Bologna and about 13 kilometres (8 mi) north of Parma.]

My race is North Italian.

(4) I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on June 9, 1925 in the Superior Court of Cook County, at Chicago, Illinois.

(5) I am married. the name of my wife is Elvira [We know through other records that her maiden name was Settini.] We were married on May 28, 1904 at Oro Prito, Brazil. 

[Here is another case of poor spelling.  The actual place name is Ouro Preto and here is the link to the Wikipedia article: Ouro Preto was a gold mining town that is 475 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro by an unlit winding road.]

She [Elvira Settini] was born at Treviso, Italy on March 27, 1884 and [she] entered the United States at New York, City on June 22, 1905 for permanent residence therein, and now resides at Omaha, Nebraska.

[According to Wikipedia, Treviso is a city and comune in the Veneto region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso]

I have 7 children, and the name, date, and place of birth, and places of residence of each of said children are as follows:
Leandro born May 28, 1905 in Ora Preto, Brazil [Ouro Preto]
Arnaldo, born July 13, 1907 in Omaha, Neb.
Luigi, March 25, 1909 in Omaha, Neb.
Antonio, born June 4, 1911 in Omaha, Neb.
Carlo, born April 14, 1913 in Omaha, Neb.
James, born March 2, 1915 in Omaha, Neb.
Sam born May 1, 1918 in Omaha, Neb.
All reside in Omaha, except Leandro who resides in Chicago, Ill.

(6) My last foreign residence was Torile [Torrile], Italy. I emigrated to the United States of America from Rio Di Janiero, Brazil. My lawful entry for permanent residence in the United States was at New York, N.Y. under the name Varardo [sic] Ferraguti on September 19, 1905, on the vessel Tennyson.

[I always find the following phrase disconcerting that so many Americans would have difficulty swearing to this today.]

(7) I am not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government or a member of or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. It is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, and particularly to Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy of whom (which) at this time I am a subject (or citizen), and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.

(8) I am able to speak the English language.

(9) I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of five years at least immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since September 19, 1905 and in the County of Cook this state, continuously next preceding the date of this petition, since October 28, 1922, being a residence within said county of at least six months next preceding the date of this petition.

(10) I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship.

I, your aforesaid petitioner being duly sworn, depose and say that I have read this petition and know the contents thereof; that the same is true of my own knowledge except as to matters herein stated to be alleged upon information and belief, and that as to those matters I believe it to be true; and this this petition is signed by me with my full, true name.

Verardo Ferraguti- (Complete and true signature of petitioner)

I will let you read the Affidavits of Witnesses on the original document. Their names and occupations were Samuel H. Masessa, a Washing Machine Salesman and Joseph Napoli, a painter.

This petition for Naturalization was signed and sworn to by the witnesses on the 4th day of June 1932 and it helped me to uncover several details of dates and places of birth and marriage for members of the Ferraguti family.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Visit to Carlentini, Sicily 1968

Carlentini Postcards

About 1992
Carlentini, Siracusa, Sicilia, Italia
The images are from postcards received from my cousin, Angelo Randazzo, in Carlentini, Siracusa, Sicily in 1992. The lower image shows a panorama of Carlentini with Mount Etna in the background and the upper postcard includes another panorama with citrus groves on the hillside, an archeological site, the Villa Belvedere and the Palazzo Comunale of Carlentini.
For my friends from Carlentini, scroll to the bottom for my rough translation to Italian.
[Per i miei amici di Carlentini, scorrere fino in fondo per la mia traduzione approssimativa in italiano.]

The Cimino family originated from Carlentini on the island of Sicily. Our family immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska in the early years of the 20th century. Our great grandfather, Antonino Cimino 1878-1963 moved to Sioux City, Iowa and then moved across the Missouri River to South Sioux City, Nebraska.  Most of the Italians of Omaha and Sioux City are connected to Carlentini.

I have been searching for historical information on Carlentini for years but very little has been published. Searching the newspapers of Omaha, I came across this article that deserves to be shared with Omaha and Carlentini history buffs. This newspaper account of life in Carlentini was based on the travels of a gentleman named Sam Monaco in 1968.  He chronicles the profound changes in Carlentini between 1954 and 1968.  Here is a transcription of the article with a few images added to spice it up.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 1968 Paper: Omaha WorldHerald
(Omaha, Nebraska) Page: 4

Midlands News-Nebraska

Robert McMorris-

Sun-up Interview:
Sam Monaco

    THE Old Country revisited: When Omaha's Italian-Americans talk about the "old country," they're usually referring to Carlentini, a small city in Sicily.
    The first immigrant from Carlentini was Joseph Salerno, who came here in 1895. He wrote glowing letters home, saying he had found the promised land. That started a large exodus from Carlentini, where "Omaha" became synonymous with "America."

Sam Monaco image from the Omaha World Herald, 1968

    What is Carlentini like today? Our guide to this "mother city" of so many Omahans is Sam Monaco, now an Omaha produce wholesaler. While he was born in Omaha (53 years ago). his parents were natives of Carlentini and he himself spent most of his boyhood there. Accompanied by a friend, he recently returned to his "other hometown" for a two-month
    You would "hardly believe" the changes that have come to Carlentini. he said.

(Left to right) Old Market staples: Angelo Monaco, Carl Buda, Sam Monaco and Joe Vitale at 11 and Howard.
Notice that the Monaco Vitale Fruit & Veg Sign is in the background.
Photo credit: The Encounter July-August 2011 published by Omaha Magazine

No Donkeys
    AT THE height of the migration to Omaha. Carlentini was a city of about seven thousand. Today there are 13 thousand. Mr. Monaco said.
    "In my last trip there, in 1954, things were pretty much the same as had always been," he added. "You saw a lot of donkeys and horses in the streets.
"People did everything the old way. Many of the men worked on farms during the week and they slept there. And they would come into town on week ends to be with their families."
    Now they work in the new plastics factory, or at the nearby oil refinery, and things are booming, Mr. Monaco said.
    "People have cars and indoor bathrooms," he said. "And TV. They see quite a few old American cowboy movies on TV. Also, shows like 'Perry Mason.' But all the actors speak Italian."
Other signs of progress: Cocktail lounges, where the natives, in addition to wine, are experimenting with Martinis and a variety of American-formula mixed drinks.
    "They've got American whisky and everything," Mr. Monaco marveled. "And aspirins and Alka·Seltzer."

The Kids
    MR. MONACO found that the younger generation of Carlentini is spared the harsh realities that drove away so many others of their town in an earlier day.
    "It used to be that a kid would go to work, watching the sheep and cattle, when he was 6 or 7," he said. ""By the time he was 12 or 13 he'd carry large rocks on his shoulders. They'd use them :for construction work.
    Nowadays the kids are in school. It's just like in America. Girls in mini-skirts and the boys in long hair-although I didn't see any of the boys wearing beads. They listen to the same kind of loud music we've got here. They've got their combos and-guitars and all that."

    ONE thing about Carlentinians hasn't changed: "They love to sit around and tell stories," Mr. Monaco discovered. "What kind of stories? Well, like the traveling salesman and the farmer's daughter.
    "They were telling some of the same stories that I had heard in Omaha before I left. But they put more gestures and feeling into it."

Brothers Prosperous
    SAM MONACO was 6 years old, in 1921, when his parents, who were homesick, left Omaha and returned to their native Carlentini.
Sam came back to Omaha in 1932, leaving his family behind.  Since then his brothers have prospered. One is now the head of a bank in Carlentini. Another, who also still lives in Carlentini, is a professor of French and English. A third brother is a plainclothes investigator in northern Italy.
   "I was 17 and an orange peddler when I decided to return to America," Sam said. "I had forgotten all my English, but I was sure I could do a lot better in spite of the depression."

City Market
    IN OMAHA, Sam went to work at the City Market at Eleventh and Jackson Streets, near where he is now located. This was a bustling place where housewives thronged around open air stands to buy potatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, egg plant, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes-all hauled in fresh that morning from farms of the area.
    A couple of years later, John Russo, one of the produce wholesalers, made Sam a partner. Eventually Mr. Russo retired and sold out to Sam, who in turn formed a partnership with
Joe Vitale.
    "In the old days, this area was so busy there were two cops down here directing traffic," Mr. Monaco said. "Now our business is strictly wholesale and we are the only ones left handling local vegetables. It's all changed. The retail business dropped off completely. And we only deal with about 15 farmers now. We used to have more than 30 bringing things in.
    "The airport crowded a lot of the farmers out of business. And a lot of the oldtimers have died or retired. The younger ones aren't so interested. And labor is high."

No Regrets
DESPITE the reverses in the produce business, Mr. Monaco said he is satisfied: "It's a comfortable living. This is still the greatest country in the world. I've never been sorry I came back to it. It's been wonderful to me."
    He said about half of the people of Carlentini today vote for Communist candidates in elections. But the Carlentini Communists are "a different breed than the kind we think
about," he said. "They don't stir up trouble or talk politics. I thought I might get into trouble with some of them. But I didn't have a single argument. You wouldn't know they were Communists if they didn't tell you."
    And whatever the influence of Communist ideology, he added, the traditional image of America hasn't changed for Carlentinians. "I didn't run into any anti-Americanism," he said. "Everybody still thinks this country is the greatest and ( they'd all like to come here if they have a chance. Especially to Omaha."


8/8/2016 Articolo di Omaha World Herald
Data: sabato 27 aprile 1968 Articolo: Omaha WorldHerald
(Omaha, Nebraska) Pagina: 4
Midlands News-Nebraska

Robert McMorris-

Intervista Sun-up:
Sam Monaco

    IL Vecchio Paese rivisitato: quando gli italo-americani di Omaha parlano del "vecchio paese", di solito si riferiscono a Carlentini, una piccola città in Sicilia.
Il primo immigrato da Carlentini fu Joseph Salerno, che venne qui nel 1895. Scrisse lettere luminose a casa dicendo che aveva trovato la terra promessa. Ciò ha iniziato un grande esodo
da Carlentini, dove "Omaha" divenne sinonimo di "America".

    Com'è Carlentini oggi? La nostra guida a questa "città madre" di così tanti Omahan è Sam Monaco, che ora è un grossista di prodotti Omaha. Mentre è nato a Omaha (53 anni fa). i suoi genitori erano nativi di Carlentini e lui stesso trascorse lì la maggior parte della sua fanciullezza. Accompagnato da un amico, è tornato di recente nella sua "altra città" per due mesi
    "Difficilmente crederesti" ai cambiamenti che sono arrivati ​​a Carlentini. Egli ha detto.

Nessun asino
    All'apice della migrazione verso Omaha. Carlentini era una città di circa settemila. Oggi ci sono 13 mila. Disse Monaco.
    "Nel mio ultimo viaggio lì, nel 1954, le cose erano praticamente le stesse di sempre", ha aggiunto. "Hai visto molti asini e cavalli nelle strade.
"La gente ha fatto tutto alla vecchia maniera. Molti degli uomini hanno lavorato nelle fattorie durante il
settimana e hanno dormito lì. E sarebbero venuti in città nei fine settimana per stare con le loro famiglie ".

    Ora lavorano nella nuova fabbrica di materie plastiche, o nella vicina raffineria di petrolio, e le cose vanno a gonfie vele, ha detto Monaco.
    "Le persone hanno macchine e bagni interni", ha detto. "E la TV. Vedono alcuni vecchi film di cowboy americani in TV. Inoltre, spettacoli come" Perry Mason ". Ma tutti gli attori parlano italiano ".
Altri segni di progresso:
Cocktail lounge, dove i nativi, oltre al vino, stanno sperimentando Martinis e una varietà di bevande miste di formula americana.
    "Hanno whisky americano e tutto il resto", si meravigliò il signor Monaco. "E aspirine e Alka · Seltzer."
I bambini
    SIG. MONACO ha scoperto che la generazione più giovane di Carlentini è risparmiata dalle dure realtà che hanno portato via così tante altre persone della loro città in un giorno precedente.
    "Una volta era un bambino che andava a lavorare, a guardare le pecore e il bestiame, quando aveva 6 o 7 anni", ha detto. "" A 12 o 13 anni portava grandi rocce sulle sue spalle. Li userebbero: per lavori di costruzione.
    Oggi i bambini sono a scuola. È proprio come in America. Ragazze in minigonna e ragazzi con i capelli lunghi, anche se non ho visto nessuno dei ragazzi indossare perline. Ascoltano lo stesso tipo di musica ad alto volume che abbiamo qui. Hanno le loro combo e chitarre e tutto il resto. "

    Una cosa sui Carlentiniani non è cambiata: "Amano sedersi e raccontare storie", ha scoperto Monaco. "Che tipo di storie? Beh, come il commesso viaggiatore e la figlia del contadino.
    "Stavano raccontando alcune delle stesse storie che avevo ascoltato a Omaha prima che me ne andassi. Ma ci hanno messo più gesti e sentimenti."

Fratelli Prosperous
SAM MONACO aveva 6 anni, nel 1921, quando i suoi genitori, che avevano nostalgia di casa, lasciarono Omaha e tornarono dal loro nativo Carlentini.
Sam tornò a Omaha nel 1932, lasciando la sua famiglia alle spalle. Da allora i suoi fratelli hanno prosperato. Uno è ora il capo di una banca a Carlentini. Un altro, che vive ancora
Carlentini, è un professore di francese e inglese. Un terzo fratello è un investigatore in borghese nel nord Italia.
   "Avevo 17 anni e sono un venditore ambulante di arance quando ho deciso di tornare in America", ha detto Sam. "Avevo dimenticato tutto il mio inglese, ma ero sicuro di poter fare molto meglio nonostante la depressione."

Mercato cittadino
    A OMAHA, Sam andò a lavorare al City Market a Eleventh e Jackson Streets, vicino a dove si trova ora. Questo era un luogo vivace in cui le casalinghe si affollavano intorno
stand all'aperto per comprare patate, lattuga, ravanelli, cipolle, cetrioli, peperoni, melanzane, zucca, zucca e patate dolci, tutti trasportati freschi quella mattina dalle fattorie della zona.
Un paio di anni dopo, John Russo, uno dei grossisti di prodotti, fece di Sam un partner. Alla fine il sig. Russo si ritirò e si vendette a Sam, che a sua volta formò una partnership con
Joe Vitale.
    "Ai vecchi tempi, questa zona era così affollata che c'erano due poliziotti che dirigevano il traffico", ha detto Monaco. "Ora la nostra attività è strettamente all'ingrosso e siamo gli unici rimasti a manipolare verdure locali. Tutto è cambiato. La vendita al dettaglio è completamente diminuita. E adesso abbiamo a che fare solo con circa 15 agricoltori. Avevamo più di 30 persone che vendevano.
    "L'aeroporto ha affollato molti agricoltori per motivi di lavoro. E molti vecchi sono morti o ritirati. I più piccoli non sono così interessati. E il lavoro è alto."

Nessun rimpianto
CONTRO i rovesci nel settore dei prodotti, il signor Monaco ha dichiarato di essere soddisfatto: "È una vita confortevole. Questo è ancora il più grande paese del mondo. Non sono mai stato dispiaciuto di esserci tornato. È stato meraviglioso per me. "
     Ha detto che circa la metà della popolazione di Carlentini oggi vota per i candidati comunisti alle elezioni. Ma i comunisti Carlentini sono "una razza diversa da quella che pensiamo
", ha detto." Non creano problemi o parlano di politica. Ho pensato di potermi mettere nei guai con alcuni di loro. Ma non avevo un solo argomento. Non sapresti che erano comunisti se non te lo dicessero. "
     E qualunque sia l'influenza dell'ideologia comunista, ha aggiunto, l'immagine tradizionale dell'America non è cambiata per i Carlentiniani. "Non ho incontrato alcun anti-americanismo", ha detto. "Tutti pensano ancora che questo paese sia il migliore e (a tutti piacerebbe venire qui se ne hanno la possibilità. Soprattutto a Omaha."