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

Jan1st2014

Happy New Year

by  Phyllis Zeck

FatherTimeClock-(QueenBr) copyI’m afraid I’ve been away from my genealogy fixation far too long. I’ve been teaching myself how to use Photoshop Elements and had a blast building my 2013 digital scrapbook.  Now that the holidays are over I’m itching to get back to my research. 

2013 has brought some devastating losses to my life.  My wonderful brother in law Paul and my beloved Aunt Phyllis both passed away in the fall.   I treasure my memories of Paul who had a kind word for everyone he met and I will miss the sweet ways my Auntie touched my heart.

I’ve also experienced many blessed events in 2013.  The birth of my granddaughter Abigail Rose and her baptism, my son Don Jr’s marriage to Kelly and my nephew Robin’s marriage to Karli.  Our family tree continues to grow and we welcome Kelly and Karli’s families into our fold.  

I have received email from new members of our family who have stumbled upon my genealogy website.  I hope to share photos and stories from them soon in my blog posts.  I am still in awe that the internet is able to help connect us all together.  I also have new research documentation to share with you thanks to Kathy from GenTracer. 

Gold2014-(QueenBr) copy

My goal for 2014 is to attend a genealogy conference.  I have toyed with going to a conference for several years and have researched many different venues. My top choices are RootsTech which is held in Salt Lake City and The National Genealogical Society Conference which this year takes place in Richmond, Virginia.  The techie in me is leaning towards RootsTech.  Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year! 

 

 
 

Jul21st2013

Happy Birthday Luke!

by  Phyllis Zeck

del principe ciolli

Luke and Ashley

My great grandparents, Elvira and Pietro Del Principe, had 17 children.  The youngest was Francesco Nova.  Francesco had two children, Muriel and Frank Jr (Luke).  The photo on the left was taken two years ago when my daughter Ashley visited Luke in Tucson, Arizona.

Luke owns several restaurants featuring Chicago style beef sandwiches based on his mother Edith and his cousin Margie’s original recipe. Next month Luke will celebrate his 80th birthday.  He still works at his restaurant each day, maybe that’s his secret for looking so young.  

The Tucson news highlighted Luke’s restaurant in their morning show called The Morning Blend.  Click on this link to watch Luke’s son Jason show us some mouth watering samples of Luke’s famous sandwiches.

For more blog posts about Francesco’s family click on his name in the categories box in the right column of this website.

 
 

Jul4th2013

Edith’s Baby Shower

by  Phyllis Zeck

Edith Vitullo Del PrincipeEdith Veronica Vitullo Del Principe was born in 1909. Her photo appears on the left.  I just love this photo of her. Edith married the youngest brother of the family, Francesco and they had two children.  Muriel was born in 1932 and Frank Jr (Luke) was born in 1933.  Today Muriel operates restaurants in the Chicago area with her children and Luke operates restaurants in Arizona with his children.  For more blog posts about Francesco’s family click on his name in the categories box in the right column of this website.  To view photos of Frank’s family click on this link to their photo gallery.  

Below is an invitation that Bear emailed to me.  This invitation was sent to Bear’s great grandmother Margaret inviting her to attend a baby shower for Edith.  Edith was pregnant with Muriel who was due to arrive in June.  

Edith Prince Baby shower  
                                                                                         Edith Prince Baby shower Envelope  

The shower was held at 2102 W Harrison Street.  I don’t recongnise that address.  I wondered if possibly Edith lived there and the shower was to be in her home.  I logged into my Ancestry.com account to look at their address but I didn’t have a census record saved for Frank and Edith.  I had noticed on the invitation that the guest of honor was Edith Prince.  We know that Antonio shortened his name from Del Principe to Prince but I did not know that Frank and Edith shortened their last names as well.  I searched for a census record for Frank and Edith with the last of Prince and located them in the 1930 census.  They were living at 1238 W. Ohio St, about 3 miles from the music store.  So perhaps the shower was held at a coffee shop down the street from the music store.

It’s odd that I never thought much about our ancestors having baby shower’s for each other at the turn of the century.  I suspect the showers were for women only and maybe held for the birth of the mother’s first child only.  I don’t remember my mother ever go to a friend or relative’s baby shower but we moved out of the city in 1958 and I don’t believe mom went downtown very often.  What a fun find this was for Bear!  I appreciate that the invitation and the envelope were kept in great condition after all these years. Thank you Bear for sharing.  

  

 

 
 

Jun16th2013

Vacation

by  Phyllis Zeck

Don and Kelly

Wedding bells were ringing on June 1st!  Kelly and Don Jr were married in Kelly’s hometown in Iowa.  Don and I few into Chicago a few days before the wedding to attend the festivities and enjoy the excitement.  Kelly looked gorgeous, Don Jr was very handsome, and Tyler was perfect as his father’s best man.  We felt so blessed to share this wonderful day with Kelly and Don.

I couldn’t leave Chicago without touching base with family and friends.  We crossed over the Mississippi bright and early on Sunday morning and headed to Lake Villa.  Don and I were going to visit Antonio’s cottage and meet some of his descendants.  We arrived in the early afternoon.  I’ve discussed in many previous blogs my joy at communicating with Antonio’s great granddaughter Mary (aka Bear).  Bear stumbled upon my website in July of 2012 and we’ve been email buddies ever scince.  Bear shares my passion for genealogy and has emailed me many wonderful letters, photos, and stories which I’ve shared in my blog posts.  

 Antonio's Cottage 1940This photo was taken in 1940.  Far left is Roy & Elvira (Snook) and Eileen (Turk) with friends.  

 

                      Cottage July 1937

Three brothers?  July 1937.  My grandfather Gilbert is in the middle.                                                                                          

 

 IMG_1033Elvira’s son Greg, Greg’s son Cory, Greg’s daughter Bear, Me, and Greg’s wife Terri.

 

Don and I pulled into the driveway of the cottage and it didn’t look much different from the photos of 1940.  The cottage blends right into the woodsy environment as it’s surrounded by many beautiful tall trees.  Antonio was the first child born to Elvira and Pietro Del Principe and was 1of 17 children.  Antonio and Margaret had two daughters.  Elvira Antoinette (Snooks) and Eileen Lucille (Turk).  Elvira married Roy and they had four children;  Antoinette, Greg, Madeleine, and Margaret.  Greg and his wife Terri have two children; Mary (Bear) and Cory.  To read other blog posts about Antonio’s family go to the navigation bar on the right, scroll down to “categories” and click on “Antonio”.  To see additional photos of Antonio’s family click on this link.

What a joy it was to meet this family!  Bear’s husband Wyatt was also on hand as we were given a tour of the cottage, then settled down near the cozy pellet stove for a lively and animated visit.  We all had so much we wanted to share with each other.  Just think of how happy Antonio and his brother Gilbert (my grandfather) would have been to see their descendants meet here for the first time.  Greg said that Antonio’s brothers helped build the cottage and I’m sure my grandfather was there working along side of his brothers.

Bed Room IMG_1026

Three bedrooms lined the side of the house, off of the living room.  The bed in middle room had a quilt and pillow covers of a full moon, trees, wolves, deer, and bears.  The photo on the left was the bedroom off of the kitchen.  Bedspread, lamps, and window coverings featured a bear motif.  I suspect that Bear had a hand in decorating this room.  The kitchen and bathroom are additions to the 

Kitchen IMG_1024

cottage.  The original siding was left in place and now pots, pans, and cooking utensils hang from the siding.  Before we knew it the afternoon had flown by. We ordered pizza for dinner and then took a stroll down to Miltmore Lake. Greg smiled as he told us how his dad used to drive him down to the community water pump so they could fill the water buckets.  He said his grandfather Antonio did not want lake front property.  He was afraid his little daughters might fall in the lake so he bought a lot one block away.

The photos below left were given to me by Bear.  She was thinking ahead and asked Don to snap some photos in the same locations, very clever of her.  Thank you for thinking of that Bear.  

 011 Snook & Roy Miltmore 012 Bear_Phyllis_IMG_1045
 Elvira and Roy  Bear (Elvira’s
granddaughter) and me
 004 Elvira Eileen Roy 005 IMG_1041
 Elvira, Eileen, and Roy  Bear (with Oso bear)
and me
008 Lake Miltmore Swings  010 Phyl Swings IMG_1043
Swing Sets  
Don and Me

The sun was setting.  It was time to call it a day.  We said goodbye to these good people and thanked them for a wonderful visit.  I’m so lucky that Bear found our family website and that we had this opportunity to met.  

Don and I had one more day left in Chicago so of course I squeezed in three more activities!  We wanted to visit with my brother Tony and my nephew Robert plus meet Tony’s new fiancé Meredith.   

Robert, Meredith, & Tony

Robert, Meredith, & Tony

We decided to meet at Jay’s Beef so we could eat one of our families famous beef sandwiches.  We love Meredith!  Before our lunch arrived we were laughing, joking, and teasing.  It was clear from the start she fit right into this family.  Cousin Muriel dropped in to say hello and we all had a great visit.  My dear high school friend Sue met Don and I for dinner.  A wonderful way to end a perfect day.  Our plane took off the next day, another terrific vacation had come to a close.

 
 

May27th2013

The Music Store (Update)

by  Phyllis Zeck

Below is a post that I published in Oct 2010.  I’ve updated information and added new photos. 

When my great grandfather Pietro Del Principe immigrated from Pescasseroli, Italy to Chicago he opened a music store (probably in the late 1890’s).  The store may have been called the Oakley Music House, it was on the corner of Oakley and Harrison.  

Del Principe Accordion

The photo above was sent to me by Todd who is working on a researching project of the area.  This is the intersection of Oakley and Harrison in approx 1930.  You can see my great grandfather’s name at the top of the building on the left, next to the gas station.  Click on the photo to enlarge it.  This is a priceless photo and I want to thank Todd very much for sending it to me!

Eventually the store was named the Del Principe Accordion Company and was the Chicago agent for Dallape Accordions.  I recently spoke with one of the employees of the Italo-American Store in Chicago named Pompi.  He knew of the Del Principe brothers.  He repairs accordions for the Italo-American store but did not do repairs for us.  He did say that the brothers imported accordions from The Polverini Brothers in Italy.   There is a Polverini store in Chicago.  I spoke with the owner’s daughter.  She said her uncle came to America to open a store but changed the store name from Polverini to Alywind Inc. 

Chromatic Accordion

Chromatic Accordion

The music store address was 2244 W Harrison St in Chicago.  The building had 3 floors.  In the 1920 census Pietro and Elvira were living at this address with Antonio, Hank, Otto, Paul, Gilbert, Frank, Emil, along with 2 daughters-in-law Margaret and Rose.  Also living here were grandchildren Bernie, Anne, Willie, and Eleanor.  Wow, can you imagine the happy noise in that structure!?

In the 1930 census Elvria was living in the home with Hank and Paul.  The apartment on the third floor was split into two apartments.  My grandfather Gilbert, his wife Bertha, and my aunt Phyllis are listed in the upstairs apartment and Antonio, Margaret, Elvira, and Eileen are listed in the other upstairs apartment.  The apartments were shuffled between one or another brother and his family for many, many years.  Uncle Paul and Uncle Otto lived around the corner with their families at 516 Bell Ave.  The apartment building is gone now, the land is part of the University of Illinois campus.

Uncle Otto in front of the store on North Ave.

Uncle Otto in front of the Del Principe Music House at 5516 W. North Ave.

Frank, Otto, John, Joe, and Tony all partnered in running the stores in Chicago.  Other addresses I have for the stores are: 29 S. Cicero Ave, 307 S. Wabash Ave, and 5600 W. North Ave.  Joe’s store address was 5220-5222 W. North Ave.

Eventually one store was passed from Otto to his sons Phil and Pete to run.   Phil’s business card lists the store as Del Principe Accordion
Co. (312) 656-2848 at 6129 W. Cermak
Road in Cicero.

The store was sold when the brothers passed away.  I want to thank Otto’s daughter Susan for many of the photographs and for information about the stores.

Corinne Del Principe Winike (my mother)

Corinne Del Principe Winike (my mother)

My brother Tom recalls, “Uncle Paul and Aunt Mary had an older daughter, Dorothy. She passed away in childhood, and a few years later they moved to a small house in a quiet neighborhood. Uncle Hank rented out the upstairs apartment. The house on Bell Ave had a basement, so it seemed smaller than the huge store on Harrison. Both houses had beautiful woodworking, with elaborate sash windows, and carved oak mantles. Bell Ave had a back yard enclosed by tall fences, and an attached garage. The Harrison St house was more like a commercial bldg., surrounded by alleys and parking lots. We used to love riding in Grandpa Gilberts station wagon, to look at the tall buildings. There was a giant ice-cream place, where all the musical trucks would spread out across the city every afternoon.”

        Uncle Otto
 

  Pete, Elvira (Snookie), and Phil                               Uncle Otto

 

One of my husband’s favorite shows on the science channel is called “How It’s Made”.  Something finally caught my eye.  Check out this 3 minute video explaining how an Accordion is made.

 

       

                     Bobby Winike                               Del Principe Accordion

Last week my brother Tony drove downtown to run an errand and offered to drive by the block of Harrison where the apartments used to be and take a photograph for me.  The photo below is of Tony at the University of Illinois at Chicago at 2242 W Harrison.  Thank you for the photos Tony.

Now I’m on a mission to find a photo of the front of three story building at 2244 W Harrison.  As you know, when I’m on a mission I am relentless.  If anyone has any photos will you please email it to me or mail me a copy?  I will be forever in your debt! 

Anthony Winike

Anthony Winike