Sunday, May 3, 2009

De Luca Family: Intro

As stated in previous posts, I have been researching the paternal line of my brother-in-law the last few months. I will mainly post about his great-grandparents because one of his paternal grandparents is still living. I have not found too much yet beyond his great-grandparents, who immigrated from Italy in 1907. This has been exciting for me because all of my ancestors have resided in the US or Canada since the 1850s or 1860s. Furthermore, I don't have any Italian ancestors at all, so this has been a new journey for me.

Pietro "Peter" Louis De Luca, Sr. was born about Oct 1877 or 1878, probably in Atina or Belmonte Castello. At that time, both villages were part of the Terra di Lavoro province in the Kingdom of Italy. Today, they are in the Frosinone province in the Lazio region of central Italy. They are about 90 miles southeast of Rome and about 70 miles northwest of Naples. Belmonte Castello is about 5 miles south of Atina. Atina currently has a population of about 4,500 people, while Belmonte Castello has a population of about 800 people. I've found a wonderful website about Atina by a British woman named Louise. Her maternal grandparents immigrated to the UK from Atina in 1911. Louise also has a page about Belmonte Castello. Louise fell in love with Italy after visiting family there, and she and her husband now live in the South Lazio region. It is a great website with lots of photos and even surnames of the areas of Atina and Belmonte Castello. You can tell that Louise is very passionate about Atina and Italian culture.

Peter married Clementina Matilda "Clara" Trillo between 1900 and 1903 in Italy, possibly in Arpino. Arpino is about 20 miles northwest of Atina and Belmonte Castello and is also in the Frosinone province. Clara was born 9 Jan 1886, possibly in Arpino. She was about 8 years younger than Peter. She was somewhere between 14 and 17 years old when they married. Peter was between 23 and 26 years old.

Peter and Clara had one child, Maria Puenta "Mary A." De Luca, in Italy before immigrating. Mary was born 15 Aug 1904. Peter, Clara, and Mary immigrated to the US in Sep 1907. They first settled in St. Louis, Missouri, before moving to a little Italian village called Rosati in St. James township in Phelps County, Missouri. In addition to Mary, they had six more children after they arrived in the US, two sons and four daughters: Elizabeth, Julius, Rose, Anna, Peter Jr. (my brother-in-law's grandfather), and Lena.

There is another wonderful website about Rosati and the Italian families that settled there. Steve Zulpo is the author of the website. He has several pictures of the De Luca family members:

Mary De Luca in the Knobview (aka Rosati) class picture of 1914

Julius, Elizabeth, and Rose De Luca in the Knobview class picture of 1918

Peter, Sr. with Rose and Anna processing grapes

Mary De Luca with the First Communion Class of 1920 at St. Anthony's Church

Peter, Sr. and Clara

Peter, Sr. and Peter, Jr.

Peter, Jr. and Anna with the First Communion Class of 1924 at St. Anthony's Church

Clara harvesting grapes

Quarry at the old De Luca farm

Tombstone of Julius De Luca

Over the next several days, I will be posting several documents I have found on the De Luca family. These include a ship passenger list, census records, a WWI draft registration, and death certificates. I will also present my analysis of these documents. I invite any of the De Luca family members to make corrections or contribute additional information. Enjoy!

Links to other posts in this series:
De Luca Family: Immigration Records
De Luca Family: 1910 US Census
De Luca Family: WWI Draft Registration
De Luca Family: 1920 US Census
De Luca Family: 1930 US Census
De Luca Family: Death Records

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