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

Jan22nd2011

Don Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli

by  Phyllis Zeck

Arco (Arch) Ciolli

Joe Del Principe has been corresponding with Salvatore Toscano in Pescasseroli.  Salvatore is an Innkeeper who owns a Bed and Breakfast called Via Della Piazza.  Please visit Salvatore’s website at www.viadellapiazza.it

During their correspondence Joe and Salvatore discovered that they are relatives on the Ciolli side of the family!  Joe’s grandmother Elvira Ciolli Del Principe and Salvator’s great grandmother  Ester Ciolli Saltarelli were sisters.

Ester and her husband Francesco Saltarelli had 5 children: Carmela, Amelio, Maria, Paolo, and Angelo.  Paola immigrated to the US aboard the S.S. Duca Degli Abruzzo on April 1, 1920 and settled in Detroit Michigan.   Amelio immigrated in March of 1914 and lived in Chicago, Detroit, and Ann Arbor Michigan.  Ester died when her children were very young.  Salvatore’s grandfather Angelo Saltarelli was just 5.

Angelo Saltarelli married Ines Pistilli when he was 25.  He was a Shepherd like his father Francesco.  He would follow the livestock during the winter to Apulia and in the summer on the Pescasseroli mountains.

Winter in Pescasseroli

After he was married he and his father worked for the same employer building roads.  In 1937 he left for the then Italian colony in Africa – first Libya and then Somalia & Ethiopia to build roads.  In 1941 he was captured by the British army (even though he was not a soldier) and sent to a Raf camp in Uganda on Victoria Lake.  In 1945 he was taken to Glasgow Scotland and finally in 1948 he was set free and went back to Pescasseroli.  He did not see his family for about 11 years.

Angelo had 5 daughters, the eldest is Salvatore’s mother Ester who was born in 1931.  The other daughters were: Benedetta born in 1933,  Zelia born in 1935, Anna born in 1937, and Franca born in 1950.  Angelo had to wait 11 years to meet Anna.

Ester married Arnaldo Toscano and they had a son named Salvatore.

Click here to look back in time at our family tree.  You will see that another member of the Saltarelli family married a Del Principe back in 1789 when Mattia married Maria Scholastica Saltarelli.

The Ciolli home is behind the peach house

Salvatore told us that he recently spoke with a woman who is a direct descendent of the Ciolli family.  Her name is Ofelia Vitale and her grandfather was Florindo Ciolli, Ester & Elvira’s brother.  She lives in the house in the oldest part of Pescasseroli that was the dwelling of Elvira and her family.  A whole block seemed to belong to the Ciolli family.

Salvatore remembers some of the stories  that his grandfather Angelo, Elvira’s sister Gemma, and Ofelia have told him over the years.  Ofelia remembers that during the second world war the times were very hard.  American relatives helped the family in Italy by sending parcels to them.

This sign says “Salita (Uphill) Dott (Dr.) Ciolli”

Elvira’s father was Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli.  He was the town’s Apothecary (pharmacist/chemist).  His wife Filomena Ursitti was a property owner.  Amabile and Filomena had about 17 children.  One of the children was a priest at Pescasseroli’s parish.

During one of her research project’s Kathy from GenTracer discovered that the 1854 marriage record shows 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 father Medici Carmine’s occupation is a doctor.   There is a sign hanging on a building leading to the Ciolli home that says “Dott (Dr.) Ciolli.  Does this sign refer to Dr. Medici Ciolli or to Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli?

Salvatore told me that many people from Pescasseroli left for the United States the same time my great grandparents did.  A lot of the town folks abandoned the Catholic religion to follow a popular Protestant group in Southern Italy.   The town split in two and there were many arguments about important issues such as education.  The Bishop sent some missionaries to intervene and in the end they defeated the Protestants.  Most of the Protestant people left for America.  They may have gone of their own free will, or they may have been pressured to leave.  Salvatore relays this story from a very important Historian/Philosopher named Benedetto Croce born in Pescasseroli in 1867.

Thank you Joe for linking us to our new friend.  Thank you Salvatore for the wonderful photographs and all the information.  I hope to communicate with Salvatore again to learn more about the Ciolli side of the family.

 

 

One Response to Don Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli

  1. 10 years ago by Andrea Maxwell

    Hi. Came across your website while researching the “Saltorelli” name. My ggggrandmother was Anna Saltorelli, born in Pescasseroli, probably around the 1830’s. She married Giovanni di Pirro and their daughter, Lucia Carmelitana married my gggrandfather, also a di Pirro, by the name of Filippo. They in turn had my great grandmother, Sabina-called “Sadie”, who was born here in the US. In my research I have seen all the names from this website associated with my di Pirro family…Del Principe, Ciolli, Saltorelli, etc. ! I am glad to make your acquaintance and am looking forward to finding out the rest of my family tree ! By the way, my ggrandparents families all lived in the Buffalo, NY area, except for my ggrandparents, and we lived in Western PA.


 

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