Monday, October 12, 2009

D'Ingeo Family Immigration

These are the immigration papers of Maria D'Ingeo (Grandma Gatto) and her family. The information was recorded across the two pages of an open book, so you have to follow the line numbers on one page and then the next. The family is listed near the bottom of the page, as Domenico D'Ingeo, 55; his wife Maria Lupo, 58; and his daughters Angelica, 17; Maria, 14; and Giovanna, 11.

Grandpa tells me he doesn't know who Maria Lupo is. According to the story we've been told of Grandma Gatto's life, by the time they imigrated, Domenico D'Ingeo's first wife had died and his second wife had been thrown out for the sake of his children. Either that is in some way mistaken, or there was, perhaps, a third wife? I don't know yet.

Both Domenico D'Ingeo and Maria Lupo, interestingly, are listed as housewives, and neither could read. The three daughters, however, are literate, and the elder two are servants. All are Southern Italians, and all are listed as having last lived in the town of Toritto. Their nearest relative in Italy is a "sister, Maria" in Toritto. It doesn't say whose sister, but it's probably safe to assume that Maria was the sister of the head of the family, Domenico.

On the next page, we see that they're heading to Brooklyn with $129. They're heading to meet Domenico and Maria's daughter, and Angelica, Maria, and Giovanna's sister, Rosa D'Ingeo, who appears to be living at 1628 Batte Ave. in Brooklyn. (Google Maps can't find this address.)

There's something written across the lines for Domenico and Maria in the next columns, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it says. Take a look at the records yourself (just click to enlarge the image) and see if you can make it out! Let me know what you think it says!

I assume that whatever it says has something to do with this next image, the record of the D'Ingeos being detained upon arrival.

They appear to spend about 3 days (the last column tells you how many meals they ate, because the ship's company had to pay those costs, and the 5 of them ate 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 15 dinners) detained on Ellis Island because of concern that Domenico and Maria Lupo were "LPC" or "Likely Public Charges." The reason for this concern, given as "Cert," is, I think (don't take my word for this) that there was a suspected medical condition. I imagine that the notes on the passenger manifest might shed light on this, if legible. Maria the younger, Maria D'Ingeo, has "HOLD" noted next to her name. I haven't a clue what this means.

Returning for a moment to the original manifest, there are a handful more pieces of interesting information. Everyone's height is given: Domenico is 5'6", Maria is 5'4", Angelica is 5'1", Maria is 5', and Giovanna has no height listed, perhaps because she's so young. They all supposedly have a "regular" complexion with brown hair and brown eyes. So does everyone else on the page, though, so they may not have been making nuanced distinctions here. They also list a place of birth for everyone, and, for everyone, it's given as "Italy." The town doesn't look like it says Toritto, though it could. I'm more inclined to think it's two words, the first of which is "Cento." This would be evidence against my growing suspicion that the D'Ingeo children might have been born in Brazil. (See: 1930 Census). I'm still working on trying to figure that one out.

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