Ulisse Uncertainty

September 23, 2012 | 5 Comments

Some time ago I wrote a post about my great grandfather‘s rather untraditional but pragmatic way of getting heirs (here).  The mother of his two sons was Catherina Gionti, and she was not his wife.

I have just basic facts about Catherina’s family.

Ulisse Family Tree

Ulisse Family Tree, Stella Cilento (click for full size)

You’ll see on the family tree that Catherina had a brother named after their father, Ulisse Gionti. There’s a problem here: Catherina was born in 1839; Ulisse was born in 1888. Catherina’s father remarried late in life, and I thought at first that Ulisse was the son of the second marriage — but the genealogist found birth records for children born of that second marriage, and he’s not on it:

  • 9a. Carmela Gionti born 29 NOV 1855  daughter of Ulisse Gionti and Cristina Massanova;
  • 9b. Nicola Gionti born about 1858. I found his death record, it reads: DR 26 JUL 1862 Nicola Gionti age 4 son of Ulisse Gionti, farmer and Cristina Massanova. Note, the deposition of death was made by Giuseppe Gionti age 50, farmer.
  • 9c. Nicola Gionti born 7 MAR 1862 son of Ulisse Gionti age 48 and Cristina Massanova.
  • 9d. Lucia Maria Filomena Gionti born 10 DEC 1863 daughter of Ulisse Gionti age 49, farmer, son of the late Francesco Gionti and of Giustina Massanova age 35, farmer

It seems highly unlikely that the Ulisse Gionti born in 1888 was a child of the marriage of Ulisse Gionti and Cristina Massanova, as the last recorded birth is for Lucia in 1863. However, Ulisse 1888 could be the son of the Nicola Gionti born in March of 1862. Or, there might have been some confusion or a technical glitch about the 1888 birth date… but then I found Ulisse  1888 here in the States:

WWI Draft Registration for Ulisse Gionti (1888)

WWI Draft Registration for Ulisse Gionti (1888)

This Ulisse Gionti was born in 1888 in Stella Cilento, and in 1917 he’s living in Williamstown NJ with a wife and three children. He’s still recorded as an ‘alien,’ but this card indicates that he registered for the WWI draft. Whether he fought or not I haven’t yet figured out; nor do I have information about his immigration or anything else. I will keep looking for some indication of his father’s name. At this point I’m willing to bet (but not very much) that he’s Nicola’s son.


5 Responses to “Ulisse Uncertainty”

  1. Cathy Lloyd
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Hello Rosina,
    This is your long lost cousin. I was in touch with you almost 10 years ago. Today I stumbled across your website again and thought I would see if you had any updates. I noticed this post and thought I could help you in your quest for information. I have a picture of a baptismal record for Ulisses Gionti that I would be happy to share with you. It may or may not be the same one that you are interested in because the date is off by a year, but I thought you might be interested anyway. In it, his baptism and birthday is listed as (VI) 6 February 1889. His parents were Giuseppe Gionti and Rosa Papa and they were legally married. His full name was Ulixe Raphael (in Latin). His god-parents were Raffale Vassallo and Caterina Itri. There is a note in the margin that says he was married to Giuseppa Itri on 27 October 1910. If you would like a copy of it, I’d be happy to e-mail it to you. Just contact me at my e-mail.
    Hope this helps. And thanks for all your work on this website. It is wonderful.

  2. rosina
    January 18th, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    Cathy! How nice to hear from you. I was just looking at the photos you sent of the headstones (if that’s what you can call them) from Stella Cilento, thinking about scanning them. When I have time.

    This website has been neglected for a couple months because well, life gets in the way. But thank you so much for your kind comments about it, and of course I would very much love to have that image. I’ll have to sit down and try to piece together a new picture with the new information, but that’s the interesting part of the whole undertaking. There are some huge mysteries that will likely never be solved, but you know the difference between an Italian mother and a rottweiler, right? The rottweiler eventually lets go.

    I’ll email you in case you don’t see this comment/reply.

  3. Anthony Zarrella
    January 26th, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    I am the grandson of Ulisse Gionti whose baptismal certificate you have. Note, that I have a copy of his birth certificate as well as a copy of Giuseppa Itri’s, my grandmother. They had six children with only one still surviving.I would like to have a copy of any and all documents relating to either grandparent or other relatives. I am willing to share what I have.

  4. rosina
    January 26th, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    Anthony — Thank you so much for getting in touch. You will see that a distant cousin of mine (Cathy Lloyd, see below) has also posted here about the Ulisse Gionti documents. She has a lot of material she is willing to share. I don’t have as much as she has, but you are welcome to anything of interest. I will contact you by email to send what I have. Also, I will create an account for you on the genealogy database so you can look around there. I’m really looking forward to more information that will help me figure out the mystery of my great grandmother’s (Catherina Gionti) family history.


  5. Cathy Lloyd
    January 27th, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    Anthony, I am happy to share!! Contact me at my e-mail (cilento@comcast.net) and I will send you what I have. I know from looking through the records last week that I have baptismal records for several of Ulisse’s siblings. Also, you may be interested to know, my maiden name is Itri. Maybe a connection?
    I await your reply.

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