"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."


Janice Christine Winike 1958 – 2011

by  Rob Winike

“You’re in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here.” – Sarah McLachlan

Janice’s grade school picture from Villa Middle

Janice Christine Winike, (May 6, 1958 – November 21, 2011) was the fifth child of Robert and Corinne Winike. She is survived by seven siblings: Robert, Steven, Thomas, Phyllis, Holly, Anthony, and Lori; as well as nephews Robin, Dominick, Jared and Robert, nieces Lindsay and Ashley; grand nieces Gracie and Ava, and grand nephew, Tyler.

Since our sister’s passing my siblings and I have been sharing many memories about our family. In particular, I want to thank Phyllis for helping to edit and compose this blog; without her, publishing the blog would not be possible. Holly, Tony, and Lori all contributed suggestions and ideas through emails and phone calls to me – in addition to helping with funeral arrangements and a service at Janice’s gravesite with Fr. Joseph Mills from Westchester Community Church on Dec 5, 2011. My brother Steve and I spent hours on the phone the past couple of weeks, recalling and verifying details that I incorporated into the blog. It’s a fitting labor of love that I hope will convey our family’s respect and reverence for Janice’s memory. (more…)



Carmino (Charles) J. Ciolli

by  Phyllis Zeck

This fall I received email from two of Charles Ciolli’s descendants, Barbara and Jamila.  I just love it when that happens!  Charles and my great grandmother Elvira were brother and sister.

Charles was born in Pescasseroli, Italy on March 20, 1875.  He died on April 12, 1941 in Chicago and is buried at Mt Carmel.  Charles and his brother Oreste Emilio Fortunato arrived in New York on May 1, 1890 aboard the ship The Britannia.  Charles married Anna D’Aquila in 1908 in Chicago at Holy Guardian Angel’s Church.

Charles and Anna had two children.  Their daughter Filomena died at 3 months old in April 1909.  Robert P. Amabile Ciolli was born on March 9, 1910, and he passed away in 2000.  Robert married Emily (Carmella) Picerno on September 18, 1937.

Robert and Emily had two daughters.  Annette was their first born.  Annette married Michael Davey and they had two children (Maureen and Robert).  Robert is married to Jamila.

Robert and Emily’s younger daughter is Barbara.  Barbara married William Kucera and they had two children (Lauren and William).

Charles & Anna with Annette 1940

So now I am able to trace my relationship to my two new email friends; Jamila and Barbara.  They both share my passion for geneaology so the three of us quickly became email buddies. Jamila sent me the photo on the left.  This is Charles and Anna D’Aquila with their first granddaughter Annette (Jamila’s mother in law), taken in 1940.

The photo below was sent to me from Barbara and is Charles and his son Robert (Barbara’s father) in front of the bar Charles owned on Loomis Street in Chicago.  It was taken about 1913-1915.  Charles is in the middle, the man on the left is unknown.  The child is Robert, age 3.


Barbara writes “Charles and Anna owned a two-flat on Lexington Street in Chicago and that is where my father was raised. When my father married Emily they lived in one flat and Charles & Anna lived in the other. That is where they lived when my sister Annette was born in June of 1940. Charles died the following April 1941.  Shortly after that the building was sold and my parents, along with Anna and my sister moved into a two-flat with my maternal grandparents (Frank & Justine Picerno) at 1034 South Hoyne in Chicago. I was born in 1946 and we all lived there until 1950.”

Charles Ciolli’s Bar

Barbara remembers Frank & Otto Del Principe and the Leones, and of course she took accordion lessons at the music store.  Barbara recalls “I guess I saw Frank and his family the most and remember going to his home with all the gorgeous Dresden figures and lamps.  I knew Frank’s children Muriel and Luke and remember eating at the beef stand”.

I’m very excited to know a little about the male side of the Ciolli family.

We’ve grown this tree so much in the last year.  I posted my first blog in October of 2010 and I am astounded by how much I’ve found out about my ancestors.  I hope that anyone who reads my blogs will help spread the word about our growing family.  I welcome any stories and photos you are willing to share with me.  Together we can  connect with family and learn about our ancestors.



Historical Records for Ciolli – Part 2

by  Phyllis Zeck

In September I collaborated with three of my Ciolli cousins to dig further back into the archives of our family history.  The information below is the result of the research conducted by Kathy from GenTracer.  I will scan the documents and add them to the blog as time permits.  Please click on the tab above titled “Del Principe & Ciolli Family Tree” to see more family tree charts like the one below.

During this research project Kathy discovered that the 1854 marriage record has the title “Don” before the name of my great great grandfather Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli.  I asked Kathy about this and she said “Don is a title, as is Donna.  It is usually applied to landowners and is the top of the social strata in a town, topped only by a title (Baron, Duke, Prince, etc)”.  Also, the 1828 marriage records of Raffaele Ciolli states that Raffaele’s grandfather was named Medici (Dr.) Carmine Ciolli.  Now a new question arises about the photograph from my blog on Jan 22, 2011.  There is a sign hanging on a building leading to the Ciolli home that says “Dott (Dr.) Ciolli.  Does this sign refer to Dr. Carmine Ciolli or to Don Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli? 

Documentation from GenTracer:

The goal of the Zeck #4 research project was to comb through the civil registration records of Pescasseroli, L’Aquila in order to extend the client’s ancestral lines. Emphasis was to be placed on the Ciolli family.

The project began with the birth, marriage and death records of Pescasseroli for 1828-1833 (FHL #1360877). They included #33, the birth of Pietrantonio Ciolli, filed on 4 May 1830. The birth was reported by a midwife (Innocenza di Nella). The male child was born to Speranza Tudini, 21 years old and a property owner living in Pescasseroli and Raffaele Ciolli, 23 years old and a property owner living in Pescasseroli on 4 May in their home. The right column shows that he was baptized on 4 May in the parish of Pescasseroli. Source #1 (more…)



Historical Records for Del Principe – Part 2

by  Phyllis Zeck

Below is continued research from Kathy at GenTracer.  She has dug deeper into our family roots to uncover more of our Del Principe ancestors.  Click on the page above titled “Del Principe & Ciolli Family Tree” to see more charts like the one below.

Documentation from GenTracer:

The goal of the Zeck #4A research project was to comb through the civil registration records of Pescasseroli, L’Aquila in order to extend the client’s ancestral lines.  Emphasis was to be placed on the Ciolli and Del Principe families.  However, any other family lines could be extended where needed.  Because the targeted family members of this project were born and married before civil registrations began, our search was limited to the death records of Pescasseroli.

The project began with Raffaele Ciolli and his wife, Speranza Tudini.  In previous research their marriage was sought but not located.  As Raffaele and Speranza were noted as alive in the marriage banns for their son Pietrantonio Amabile in 1854, their death records were searched for after that year.  The death indexes of Pescasseroli were examined for 1854-1857 (FHL #1360904), death records for 1858-1861 (FHL #1360905), death records for 1861-1863 (FHL #1360906), and death records for 1864-1865 (FHL #1360907), the last available year of the microfilmed civil registration records of Pescasseroli.  Their deaths were not found. (more…)



Tyler – A New Branch On Our Family Tree

by  Phyllis Zeck

Tyler Michael was born last month.  Tyler’s father is Robin Tyler (my nephew) and his mother is Karli.

Tyler’s great great great grandparents were Pietro Giovanni Del Principe and Elvira Ciolli.  They immigrated to the United States in the late 1890’s from Pescasseroli Italy and settled in Chicago.

Big sister Kayla, Tyler, Karli, and Robin

Rob, Robin, and Janie 1979

Tyler Michael, Robert Gilbert (my brother), Robin Tyler








Family members anxiously awaited the birth of Tyler this year.  We couldn’t wait to meet the little guy and shower him with love. Click below to listen to Robin’s sister Lindsay sing “The Five Pennies” lullaby to her new nephew.