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


The Documents Can Wait

by  Phyllis Zeck

You see this cute little fellow?  He’s part of the reason that I haven’t had time for genealogy research this year. Kingston, my youngest grandchild, was born in January. I’m so lucky that we live close to each other and I babysit at least once a week. My house is a mini day care with high chair, changing table, a toy box bursting at the hinges, blocks, and trucks. I love every minute we spend together. The documents can wait.

Since Kingston’s mom is on vacation, I’m on vacation, and I’m cleaning up some of my research documents that have been waiting on my computer desktop to be shared. I ran across a few unexpected surprises in the docs.  

Click here to view my grandmother Bertha Del Principe petition for naturalization filed Aug 4, 1943. This record notes that Bertha’s eyes were green and she had a scar on her throat. The second page shows Bertha’s witnesses and has her signature. My daughter Ashley points out that perhaps Bertha was trying to disassociate herself from her place of birth due to WWII. Bertha was born April 22, 1901 in Hamburg, Germany.

My brother Tom remembers “Grandma Bertha’s witnesses were close friends of the Del Principe family. Mrs Esther Corbel lived across Harrison Street, in 1 of the 2 or 3 story houses that are long gone. Grandpa’s house had a huge first floor store front, and 4 apartments on the upper floors. Mom and Dad lived in Grandpa’s unit, and he rented out the unit facing Harrison St to Auntie Theresa & Uncle Gus. Uncle John, Aunt Jeanette and their family lived on the 3rd floor which also had a rental unit. The houses across the street were similar. There were shops on the corner so everyone saw one another all the time. Bertha’s other witness was Grandpa’s good friend Johnny DeLeo, who lived a few blocks south with his huge family. In between the DeLeos and the Del Principes was Saint Callistus Church and Catholic school which Mom & Auntie Phyllis attended. It once had fountains, gardens, chapel bells and flower beds. The church was closed long ago, and the buildings were empty for many years, The school Mom attended is now a private Christian Academy.”

I also found Emil Del Principe’s 1937 two page petition. Emil’s application renounces all allegiance to Victor Emmanuel III, King Of Italy.

Click here to read Onesto Ursitti’s Petition For Naturalization and his Declaration page. My 2nd great grandparents were Filomena Ursitti and Pietrantonio Ciolli. I’m still digging to find out how I’m related to Onesto. I was thrilled to see that Onesto’s Declaration of Intention has a photo of him! When searching for records I try to remember to look at the page before and after the document I’m looking at. When I turned the page for Onesto’s declaration, I stumbled upon one file for Vito Di Nella.  Hmmm, what other documents could I find for Vito? May as well pop over to Family Search’s website to see if they’ve scanned any of Vito’s docs. I’d fallen down the rabbit hole.

This set of documents is Cesidio Gerrardo Del Principe’s Declaration & Petition. Another photograph! I believe that Cesidio is the grandson of Vincenzo Del Principe. Pietro Del Principe (my great grandfather) and Vincenzo (1830-1888) were brothers. Vincenzo and his wife Lionarda Liboria Rossi had 4 children that I’ve been able to document: Giuseppe Donato (Daniel), Carmello Antonio, Leonardo, and Dominick. Giuseppe Donato (1863-1924) and Leonardo (1866-1946) resided in Pennsylvania. By the 1930 census Leonardo had moved to Chicago and lived at 2234 Irving Ave.

I have not yet been able to confirm that Cesidio Gerrardo’s grandparents were Vincenzo and Lionarda. Cesidio was married to Lucia (1885-1922) and they have at least 4 children: Mary, Joe, Della and Carmella. You can find more blog post about Vincenzo’s family by clicking his name in the “Categories” section. I will continue digging in the Naturalization documents to see what other ancestor’s photos I can uncover and will of course share them with you. Happy New Year to all!


6 Responses to The Documents Can Wait

  1. 4 years ago by Vickie

    Interesting. You translated “Donato” as “Daniel”. My family translated it as “Donald”

    Also I see that Francesco put some geneology of my family on Familysearch. I am working with a DiNella third cousin to connect some of the dots.

    Happy 2020. Your grand baby is precious.

  2. 4 years ago by Valerie Ciolli Stockmar

    Your grandbaby is an angel.
    How wonderful that you get to babysit.
    That’s what Nonnas do! You’re right;
    The Documents Can Wait.
    Wish some of my first cousins on my father’s side,
    Robert R. Ciolli, son of Enrico and Carmella Petrella Ciolli, would find your website. Some are in Chicago and some in FL.

    • 4 years ago by Michael Vitale


      Thank you for your detailed family tree. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Someone posted on Ancestry that Vincenzo del Principe (B:Jul 2, 1830 in Pescasseroli, D:Aug 1, 1888) had a child Cesidio Joseph del Principe Sr (B:Mar 1, 1855, D:Mar 31, 1937) before having Carmello Antonio (Anthony), Giuseppe Donato (Daniel), Leonardo Vincent, & Dominick del Principe. Since your website does not mention Cesidio Joseph, do you have information why you ruled him out, or do you have any ideas to whom he could possibly be related to in your family tree, as his children hail from Pescasseroli. I’d love to hear from you what you know.

  3. 2 years ago by Carol Del Prince

    Hello! My husband, Joseph Aldo Del Prince, is a great-grandson of Vincenzo Del Principe and Lionarda Rossi. Joe’s grandfather was known as Antonio Del Principe, then changed his name to Anthony Del Prince to aid employment. He settled in Buffalo, NY and had many children; my husband’s father was Joseph, born in Buffalo in 1914. My husband has 4 sisters. Joe and I have 2 sons & 1 daughter; our 2nd son has 3 children: Francesca, Vincent & Luca Del Prince. We would be happy to add our branch’s info to your wonderful genealogical work here.

  4. 9 months ago by Ralph Papa

    Thank you Phyllis for this wonderful blog!
    My name is Ralph Papa, grandson of Michele Arcangelo Papa (1876-1935) and Maria Filomena Morisi Papa (1874-1951). Both were born in Pescasseroli and baptized in the Church of STS Peter and Paul. Michele was the son of Giovanni Papa (B:1847) and Chiara di Paola (B:1852). My grandmother Filomena was daughter to Domenico Morisi (B:1839) and Raffaella Carapellucci (B:1839} I grew up in Manhattan and live now in Boynton Beach, Florida. My grandfather at 15 came to New York with his father Giovanni who left him there with a family named Smith. It was assumed that Giovanni returned to Italy, but we have no other information about him. Filomena Morisi and her sister Lucia left Pescasseroli and came to New York in 1902 at ages 27 and 33, respectively. Filomena married Michele Papa in Feb 1903. Her sister Lucia had later married Pasquale Dinella who was also born in Pescasseroli. This coming August, I will be painting in Italy and visiting Pescasseroli for the 4th time and will be trying to attain Italian Dual Citizenship and also gather more information on my family genealogy. Thank you again.

  5. 6 months ago by Marco Mastrogiovanni

    Ciao! Mi chiamo Marco Mastrogiovanni e ho dodici anni. Sto cercando informazioni sulla famiglia della mia Trisavola Alessandrina Ursitti e ho scoperto che la tua bisnonna, Elvira Ciolli è la nipote dei miei sestavoli Domenico Ursitti e Nicodema Serafina Cocuzza.


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