Category Archives: Massachusetts Families

Tracing the American families – POLSONETTI

On the Nocciano side, we’ve got the POLSONETTI family with several children that came to Boston. There’s only one Polsonetti family in Nocciano – the father, Giustino Polsonetti, was born in Manoppello (another town in Pescara) in 1858, and married Teodora Cuzzi on 08 Mar 1833 in Nocciano. Teodora Cuzzi is in my tree, with Cuzzi, di Rupo, d’Orazio, Napoleone, di Virgilio ancestors (the main connection is Domenica di Rupo, wife of Pasquale d’Orazio, who I’m pretty sure her grandparents are Giuseppe di Rupo and Fiorenza/Laurenzia Marchionne).

Teodora Cuzzi tree

I haven’t yet done all the birth records for Nocciano, but here’s what I have so far for their children who lived past infancy.

  • Luigi Polsonetti (1885-1951) , married Pasquarosa Maria Maddalena Olimpia della Piana (1884-1963), and had 3 children Mary, Agostino, and Fred
  • Giuseppe Polsonetti (1887-1957), married Michelina Giardino (1903-1959), and had 9 children
  • Franco Polsonetti (1889-1941), married Filomena della Piana (1892-1949), and had one daughter Louise
  • Elettra Maria Elvira Polsonetti (1891-1919) – she died in Boston
  • Camilla Polsonetti (1893-1917) – she died in boston
  • Antonio Polsonetti (1896-), married Palmina/Pauline, and had one son Agostino
  • Innocenzo “Charles” Polsonetti (1898-1975), married Crocefissa “Fannie” Rizzo (1906-1994), and had two children

All of these families were raised in Boston, and all Polsonetti’s in Massachusetts originate from these siblings who came over together.

Here’s a snapshot of the 1930 census with Antonio and Charles’s families, with their mother Teodora (it says “Teonora”). They were living at 1064 Bennington Street in East Boston:

Antonio Polsonetti 1930

We’ve also got the 1930 census for Giuseppe’s family, with 6 of his children, living at 8 Cheever Court in East Boston:

Giuseppe Polsonetti 1930

Ancestry recently released a collection of citizenship records from the 30s and 40s that are super helpful in connecting immigrants to their original towns and birth records, as well as seeing all their children and even the birthdates of the children. Here’s the Petition for Naturalization for Giuseppe. It also tells us he came over to the the port of New York on 10 Oct 1905 on the Prince of Naples.Giuseppe Polsonetti citizenship application

Check back for more postings on our Massachusetts cousins from Nocciano and Civitaquana – I have a ton of families from there!

– Anthony

Tracing the American families – Tito Ranieri

I’ve been MIA for a bit – not because I haven’t been working on genealogy though. Quite the opposite, I’ve been putting together family tree books for cousins with the photos of all the original images that prove the names and dates and places of our ancestors. I’ve also been focusing more on the US families in the last month or two. They say genealogy is the one hobby that as you get better, it gets harder. Well, my experience has proven that’s definitely true, whether you’re going back to the 1700s or tracing a family to the US and following his descendants up to the present day. And I try to stay extremely organized, or else things get very confusing!

I thought I’d do a write-up on a family I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to piece together – that of Celestino Tito Ranieri, my great-great-uncle. His parents were Franco Ranieri (b. 1858) and Elvira di Santedicola (b. 1863). He was born 13 Nov 1885 in Civitaquana and came to Boston (my home) in August 1907 with his brother Aurelio. Here’s our ancestry:

Vertical Pedigree Chart for Celestino Tito Ranieri

That’s not even the whole thing! Or else the image would have been way bigger. He married Concetta di Profio on 27 Jul 1908 in Boston. Once I started learning about the Civitaquana families, it became obvious Concetta was also from Civitaquana, and so I’ve been researching her family for my cousins as well to include in the family book.

Vertical Pedigree Chart for Concetta di Profio

She was born 22 Nov 1890 in Civitaquana. No surprise that Tito and Concetta have many common ancestors in Civitaquana when you go back far enough!

Tito Ranieri marriage

They had their first child, Elvira, on 12 Jul 1909 in Boston, and then returned to Civitaquana shortly thereafter. I only found this out because on their original birth records it was stamped saying that they got married in Civitaquana in 1910. That was curious, since I had already found their marriage in Boston in 1907! I guess it wasn’t considered a legitimate marriage until a ceremony was held in the mother land, because on the bottom of the Civitaquana marriage record it says their daughter Elvira was a “natural” child – aka biological but not legitimate as if they weren’t married, and that this marriage legitimized her.

Tito-Concetta 2nd marriage in Civitaquana

They returned to Boston right after this marriage and proceeded to have a total of EIGHT CHILDREN including Elvira. Naturally this makes for quite the project, digging up all their birth, marriage, and death records, and trying to discover all of their children and families to complete the tree. To start, I had a snapshot of the children they had by 1930:

Tito Ranieri 1930

Looking at the 1940 census you can see several of the children married with a few kids. Their children were:

ELVIRA RANIERI (1909-2003), married Carmine DiGiacomandrea of Popoli, a town in Pescara, and had 4 children
ANNA RANIERI (1912-2001), married Giovanni “John” Grillo and had 4 children
OSCAR RANIERI (1913-1976), married Helen Frances Zubryzycki and had 2 sons
CELESTINO TITO “SONNY” RANIERI (1915-2005), married Sylvia Lamberti and had 4 children
ANTONIO JOHN RANIERI (1918-1970), married Helen “Yola” Luciano and had 4 children
GINA GERTRUDE RANIERI (1920-1997), married Bruno “Joe” Beddia and had 2 sons
ALFRED A. RANIERI (1922-1989), married Nancy Femino and had 2 children
LUCIA DOROTHY RANIERI (1931-1969), married Nicholas D’Agostino and had 3 children

Tito and Concetta died just 2 weeks apart from each other in August of 1965 in Cambridge, Mass. They had 8 children, 25 grandchildren, 30+ great-grandchildren. It took me long enough to just to uncover all of their children’s records, never mind tracing the families even further! Here’s Tito’s obituary in 1965:

Tito Ranieri obituary clipped

You can imagine how challenging it was to figure out how many children each of their kids had – which required tracking down obituaries for all the children and their spouses. This is why I do this though, the satisfaction of completing a family and knowing who all of your cousins are! It also wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a few cousins in that family. I’ll be posting a few more stories like these for other Nocciano and Civitaquana cousins that I’ve been researching. Eventually I hope to have a whole section of the site devoted to our cousins who came to Massachusetts and their families.

– Anthony