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


Abigail Rose’s Love Blanket

by  Phyllis Zeck

Ashley, Abby, and Me

Ashley, Abby, and Me

Abigail Rose was born on March 7th.  It seemed like my daughter Ashley took her sweet time being pregnant!  We were all so anxious to meet this baby.  Abby was named after Matt’s grandmother Rose.  Ashley and Matt chose to be surprised and not learn the gender of the baby until her arrival.  Now we can stock up on pink and purple clothes.  

We’ve been busy getting ready for baby’s arrival.  I described in Baby Miller Surname Family Tree blog post the genealogy album I made for Abigail.  Don built Abby a co-sleeper.  Ashley and Matt decorated the nursery.  Matt’s father Walt sanded and stained an old dresser that used to belong to Ashley.

Matt’s mother Shirley sewed Abby her Love Blanket.  The blanket is made from the clothing of Abby’s ancestors.  The squares labeled #1 (Oregon State University) is the college that Matt and Alicia (Matt’s sister) graduated from. The material is from a shirt that belonged to Alicia. The checked squares labeled #2 are from the shirt that Matt wore to his wedding rehearsal dinner. The squares labeled #3 are pieces from the dress that Ashley wore to her wedding rehearsal dinner.

Quilt1_IMG_8878The squares labeled #4 are of embroidered flowers and lady bugs from a blouse that belonged to my mother.  The peach lace square #5 is from my wedding dress.  

The squares labeled #6 are from a blue denim work shirt that belonged to Don that I had embroidered.  Don and I met in 1975 and it was popular to embroider designs on shirts and purses.  

My wedding dress

My wedding dress

The rest of the squares are pieces from Matt’s ancestors.  I will add specific details when I get them.  Matt’s parents will be here soon to visit little Abby and Shirley will tell us more about the pieces when she arrives. Some of Matt’s ancestors traveled to Oregon on the Oregon Trail.  I wonder if Matt and Shirley have any family stories they can share with Abigail about adventures on the Oregon Trail.

Shirley’s gift is such a treasure.  Every quilt tells a story.  This quilt is the story of Abby’s ancestors.



Giuseppe Donato Del Principe’s Descendants

by  Phyllis Zeck

My great grandfather Pietro and Vincenzo Del Principe were brothers.  Vincenzo had at least two sons who immigrated to the United States.  Giuseppe Donato and Leonardo.  I wrote a blog post last August about a letter that Leonardo mailed to the Del Principe  brothers upon hearing of grandpa’s brother Antonio’s death.  I have since become acquainted with a descendant of Giuseppe Donato (Daniel).  Her name is Catherin Shafer and she is Giuseppe Donato’s great great great granddaughter.  Catherin is my 3rd cousin, three times removed.  Click here to see a relationship chart between myself and Catherin’s grandmother (Patricia Mary Mucci). 

Giuseppe Donato was born 01 Apr 1863 in Pescasseroli, Italy.  He arrived in the United States aboard the ship Hindoustan on 14 Nov 1891.  He applied to become a US citizen on 11 Aug 1902 at the age of 36.  In the 1910 census he was living in Clearfield county in Pennsylvania and his occupation was a coal minor.  Daniel died on 22 Feb 1924 at the age of 60.  The cause of death was Tuberculosis of the lungs.  He is buried at St Catherine Cemetery in Sandy, Pennsylvania.  Click here to see his death certificate.  

Liboria Laura Del principe Mucci

Liboria Laura Del Principe Mucci with Patricia who is the bride.

Giuseppe married Marie Concetta DiAddezio and they had the following children: Nocola Vincenzo Loreto (James), Liboria (Laura), Vittorio (Victor), Leonardo (he died in 1929) and Angelo.  

Liboria is Catherin’s great great  grandmother.  She is pictured in the photo on the left and is in the dark dress.  Liboria married Carmino Mucci.  They had the following children: Nicholas, Michael, Carmen E., Pasquale, Anna Marie, Adeleo Edward (Skip), William, and Ethel.  

Carmino Mucci was also a coal miner.  He died on 23 Nov 1917 at the age of 34.  His widow Liboria was left to raise their 8 children.  Carmino was killed in a coal mining accident at the Cascade Mine and Coke Works in Sykesville, Pennsylvania.  Click here to see his death certificate.  The cause of death is hard to read but it looks like he died from “shock following ?? blow chest with internal injuries.  Accidental ?? ?? of coal”.  I can’t even imagine the conditions an employee endures working at coal mines, especially at the turn of the century.

Cascase Mine

From “The Old Miner” web sites, Raymond A. Washlaski, Editor

Click on this link to see a map of the area, some historic photographs of the mine and details of the history of the mine.  Click on this link and scroll to the “M’s” for a memorial to Carmino Mucci.  Liboria would eventually move with her children, her mother Marie Concetta DiAddezio and her 3 brothers James, Leonard, and Angelo to Buffalo, New York.  She married Phillip Ventura and had two more children Angeline and Olga. 

Adeleo and Patricia Mucci

Adeleo and daughter Patricia Mucci

Liboria’s son Adeleo Edward (Skip) Mucci married Gladys Louise Scheu.  They had three children, Ronald, Barbara and Patricia Mary.  Patricia is Catherin’s grandmother. The photo on the left is of Catherin’s great grandfather Adeleo Edward (Skip) Mucci with his daughter and bride Patricia.

Thank you Catherin for sharing this valuable family history, documents, and photos.   We had many family members who worked in the coal mines, a hard and dangerous way to make a living.  I am in awe when I learn about our ancestors who lost their lives at such young ages.  Their struggles helped to make life easier for future generations.  They are our guiding stars!



Send A Card

by  Phyllis Zeck

W1a_Send A Card-001


My cousin Toni sent me a copy of a letter that our grandfather wrote to her in 1980.  Click here to read it Letter from Grandpa 1980.  Thank you Toni for sharing this. 


W2a_Send A Card-002 copy



Baby Miller Surname Family Tree

by  Phyllis Zeck

Baby Miller Surname Tree sml
Last weekend was my daughter Ashley’s baby shower.  Her first child is due in 6 weeks.  I’ve been busy this winter preparing surprises for the baby shower. I gave Ashley the baby cup and silverware she used when she was a toddler. Twenty nine years ago my mother gave me a card to celebrate the birth of Ashley.  I kept that card and read it often.  I bought a new frame for the card and gave it to Ashley.  The card now sits on the baby’s bookshelf.  I gave Ashley the rocking chair that my mother bought for me so Ashley can rock her sweet babies to sleep the same way I rocked Ashley to sleep.  

My favorite gift that I gave to Ashley was Baby Miller’s genealogy book. It includes photographs of Ashley and of her husband Matt from the time they were babies through college.  There are also photos of Ashley and Matt from their wedding and Ashley’s pregnancy.  Pages are ready for photos of the baby shower, the baby’s arrival, and the baby’s baptism.  And of course the album includes photos of Ashley and Matt’s ancestors. 

The photo above is on the second page of the baby’s album.  This is a clever idea that I got from one of the genealogy blog posts that I follow.  I exported a report from Ancestry.com of the baby’s family surnames.  Then I copied and pasted the names over and over in a word document.  I printed the document and Don took a pencil and shaded in the tree.  Back on the computer I changed the color of the tree to brown in the word document.  I saved the file as a jpg and printed it!  

"The Newest Twig On The Family Tree"

“The Newest Twig On The Family Tree”

Now for a little down time as we wait out the next six weeks.  We don’t know if the baby will be a girl or a boy.  Our little bundle of joy is already showered with love and we can’t wait to meet her (or him)!  



Who Arrived First?

by  Phyllis Zeck

I’ve been gathering immigration documents from our Del Principe and Ciolli relatives to try to determine who was the first to arrive in the United States.  

The Belgravia

The Belgravia

Pietro (my great grandfather) arrived in the United States on May 21, 1891 onboard the Belgravia.  Click below for the record, you will be taken to a new page, click it to view.  Click the back button to return to the blog post.  Immigration Pietro Del Principe 1891 Ancesty.com. If you look closely at the record, the name after Pietro’s is the name of another Del Principe with the initial of M.  I have no idea who this is.  Darn those record keepers, would it really have hurt to write out the passengers full first name?! Listed next is D. Saltarelli, then L. Saltarelli, and G. A. DiPirro.  We have many Saltarelli’s in our family tree and Frank DiPirro married Anne Leone (daughter of Gemma Ciolli).  I can just imagine the partying that took place on that ship!

Pietro had a brother named Vincenzo who was born Jul 2, 1830. Vincenzo and his wife Lionarda Liboria Rossi were married on Jul 15, 1856.  They had at least two sons both born in Pescasseroli Italy; Giuseppe Donato (Daniel) born Apr 1, 1863 and Leonardo born Jun 1, 1866.  

Leonardo Del Principe’s port of departure was Naples, Italy aboard the ship Chateau Yqeum.  He arrived at the port of New York on May 21, 1888 at the age of 22, three years before Pietro.  Click here for the record Immigration Record Leonardo Del Principe Ancestry.com from Ancestry.com.  I did not find Leonardo in the census records of 1900, but I did find a marriage record for him and Alimarinta Barile on 30 Jul 1904 in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  Click here for the record  Del Principe Marriage Record Family Search.

Leonardo’s brother Guiseppe Donato’s (Daniel) port of departure was Naples, Italy aboard the ship Hindoustan.  He arrived at the port of New York on Dec 14, 1891.  His occupation is listed as a farmer and his last residence was Pescasseroli.  Click here for the record G. Donato Del Principe 1891 Hindoustan FamilySearch.org.  Four years later Leonardo traveled from Italy to New York aboard the ship Werra.  Click here for the records Donato Del Principe 1895 Werra Ancestry.com and G. Donato Del Principe 1895 Werra FamilySearch.org.  There is one more record of Donato coming to New York from Italy this time in 1898.  G. Donato Del Principe 1898 Kaiser Wilhelm II FamilySearch.org.  The record states he was aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm, his occupation is a Porter, his home town is Pescasseroli, and he is able to read and write.

Pietro had one more brother who came to America.  Antonio Luigi Del Principe was born on Mar 12, 1839 and died on Mar 11, 1928 in the Bronx in New York.  He had three sons that I know of; Nicholas, Henry, and Peter.  I was unable to locate any immigration information for Antonio in either Ancestry.com, Family Search or the Ellis Island webseite.

The Weser

The Weser

The first Ciolli’s to immigrate appear to be Carmino J. age 15 and Oreste Emilio age 33.  They arrived on May 1, 1890 aboard the Britannia.  Click here for the record  Emilio and Carmino Immigration 1890 Ancestry

Following her brothers was Elivra Ciolli (my great grandmother) age 25 with three of her sons Antonio, Giusepppe, and Amelio.  They arrived on Aug 21, 1893 aboard the Weser.  Click here for the record Elvira Ciolli 1893 Ancestry.com Record.  The Weser was 351 feet long and 40 feet wide and could accommodate 880 passengers (60 first class, 120 second class, 700 third class aka steerage).  It was built in 1867 and scrapped in 1896.  How is it possible that a ship this size could hold that many people?  Perhaps the crew is included in the third class count. I wonder if Elvira ever got any sleep trying to keep track of 3 toddlers.  I’d be worried that they might fall overboard or get lost in the crowd! 

Angelica Ciolli arrived in New York on board the ship Columbia on Dec 6, 1900 when she was 19 years old.  The spelling of her name is wrong in Ancestry.com, it’s spelled Angelia.  Click here for the record Angelica Ciolli 1900.  Her information is on line 1.  She is listed as single, occupation is seamstress, she is able to read and write, her nationality is Italian, her residence is Pescasseroli, her final destination is Chicago, she did not have a ticket to Chicago, she paid her own passage, she had $20.00, she had never been to the United States, she is joining her sister Elvira Ciolli, she was never in prison or supported by a charity, she was not a polygamist, her mental and physical health was good, she not deformed or crippled.  What a treasure trove of information!  Angelica was so brave if she traveled alone.  I did not recognize any family names listed along side her name.  Maybe she traveled with a neighbor or friend.  

Gemma Ciolli arrived in New York on Aug 16, 1901 aboard the Patria.  She was 46 years old.  Click here for the record Gemma Ciolli Immigration 1901 Ancestry. Gemma appears on line 54 of the ships manifest.  She was detained because she had “insuff. money to Chicago”.  The disposition column reads “to go to husb, Giacomo Leone, 165 Forquer St Chicago, Ill”.   Gemma was discharged Aug 21st at 10:00 am.  She was detained 4 days.  How scary must that have been?!  Under the meals columns the following was logged: Breakfast 4, Dinner 4, Supper 4.  Was she charged for her meals?  What if her husband wired money for transportation from New York to Chicago but not enough to pay for the 4 days of food on the ship?  She was probably terrified that she would be sent back to Italy.

Bibbiana Celestina, Henry, and Speranza (Mary) also came to the United States however I have not been able to locate their immigration records.

The Hills of Pescasseroli

The Hills of Pescasseroli

And so the answer to the question Who Arrived First? seems to be Pietro’s nephew Leonardo Del Principe, Carmino & Emilo Ciolli were next, then Pietro followed closely behind.  I wonder what took Leonardo to Pennsylvania and Carmino, Emilo, and Pietro to Chicago.  Just think, if they had not ventured to America along with all the Del Principe and Ciolli’s who followed, we would all be running around the hills of Pescasseroli, Italy instead of spread out across the United States of America.