An Italian Project – Studying Those From Ricigliano, Italy

Disclaimer: I was given permission by one of my client’s to discuss his project and surnames in an attempt to bring more family members into the project and learn new information.

I am researching several families in Chicago, from the town of Ricigliano, Italy. This project began last summer, in 2011 and will continue into 2013. The goal of the project was to put together a history of this client’s family which was to include photos, stories, recipes, maps, and family history data. Last year I prepared a short book for the client and his family for Christmas. This book outlined what had been located in the three months or so of research.

This Christmas I am working on a new set of books for the client which are being created as three volumes. Volume I contains the family history information and some social history and Chicago history. Volume II contains analysis of the data from the database. Volume III is a photo book which will contain hundreds of photographs.


Some of the surnames I am working with are: Iacullo/Yacullo, Meccia, Serritella, Malpede, Pacelli, DeLeonardis/De Leonardis, Catena/Catino, Parrilli, Bagnuolo, Tortoriello/Turtoriello, Menella/Mennella, Zaccardo, Pintozzi, Parrillo, Palumbo, Sangiacomo, Indelli, Altier/Altieri/Galtier, Pascente, Sabia/Sabbia, Sacco, and Sarracco.

Watch the blog for more posts about the Rigis. I will be sharing bits of information over the coming weeks.

If your family was from Ricigliano and settled in the Chicago area, I would love to talk to you. We are especially looking for authentic Rigi recipes for inclusion in the book. Please feel free to contact me.

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178 thoughts on “An Italian Project – Studying Those From Ricigliano, Italy

  1. James Fredo

    My grandparents – both fraternal (surname: Freda changed to Fredo) and maternal (surname: Saracco)- immigrated to Chicago from Ricigliano. I have a Manifest of Alien Immigrants that lists my grandfather, Vito Freda, as being aboard the S.S. Gran Ontilla which sailed from Naples to New York on 18 May 1920. I assume “Freda” was accidentally changed to “Fredo” by the immigration officials at Ellis Island. Members of the family and relatives were Fredo, Saracco and Seritella. I recently discovered a photograph of my grandfather, Vito, in the book “La Storia” by Jerre Mangione & Ben Morreale. He is shown with others carrying a statue of SantaMaria Incoronata in a parade in Chicago. Plese provide me wiht information regarding your books.

    • Richard J. Russo

      My grandfather, Guiseppe Serritella was from Ricigliano, Italy and migrated to the USA around the 185?. One of his sons, moved to Chicago and married a cousin (Rocco). They had 6 girls. I have many cousins in the Chicago Area. Most of them lived off Roosevelt Blvd in the 1960’s.

    • Deborah

      Hello: My Grandfather was Vito Fredo also. I am not sure my grandmother whose name was Mary was a Saracco. They had six children, 3 of which married, 2 had families. I am very interested in finding information on their extended family because I would like to look any relatives up when I go to Italy. I know there are DeLenordis and I think Seratella’s and Piegare’s. Please share with me anything you find also. I believe he came over in 1900 not 1920. Thanks in advance. Deborah

    • Deborah Alfredo Giese

      I have a cousin Jim and our grandfather was Vito Fredo. He had six children and I believe there is a cousin names Seritella. Am trying to find info on my family.

  2. Joseph Mitria

    Is this the man who was in Ricigliano this past September with Antonio D,Ambrosio? If so I spoke to him and we were going to exchange e-mail. Remind him, I was speaking american with him at Tatinas bar. I’m from Chicago.

  3. Gerard Catrambone

    I have been researching my wife’s family for several years. Her father is Charles Letizia. His father, Sebastiano Letizia emigrated from Ricigliano in 1902 and settled in Chicago and eventually Melrose Park. He married Mary Parrillo. Mary was the daughter of Christoforo Parrillo and Vitella Antonia Serritella. Both of Mary’s parents emigrated from Ricigliano in the early 1880s. They were married in Chicago at Assumption. I see many families living in the same neighborhood in the early 1900s with the same surnames as Mary’s parents but have not been able to tie any of them with my wife’s family. Have you come across any of these names in your research?

    • Thank you for your comment! I’m going send you an email soon about this.

      • Joyce Iasillo Gipson

        Hello – I am the niece of Mary Iasillo. Mary will be 100 on May 4, 2013. We were on the internet today doing research on our family and came across your article. We would love to contribute. My grandfather, Anthony Iasillo, operated a newstand on Madison and Cicero for over 50 years. Our Iasillo family is buried in Queen of Heaven and Mount Carmel Cemeteries. My grandmother was also a Rigi. Her name was Isabella Bagnuolo. She came to this country when she was 14. Anthony was born in 1891 and Isabella in 1895. Please contact me at and I will give you my phone number. Thank you for this research.

    • Paulette Serritella Davies

      Mary Parrillo was my father’s first cousin. Her mother, Vita Antonia was my grandfather’s sister. My grandfather was Paul Serritella and he was born on Jan. 25, 1882 at 539 S. Clark St. Chicago. Later, when he married my grandmother, he moved to Melrose Park. They lived upstairs from the Parrillos and that is where my father, Ben, was born.

    • Cathe Martin

      I believe that Christoforo may be my great grandfather, Francesco’s brother. Was he born April 20th 1858? And was his father Servio and mother Vita?

  4. T Eileen Williams

    My son in law, Mario Parrilli was born in Riccigliano, Italy. His mother, brother, sister and extended family still live there. He may be of help to you, would you like to contact him? Let me know and I will forward your message to him.

    • Thank you for visiting my blog. I sent you an email about your post. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Andria

      I am also a Parrilli!! I did not realize how common our surname was! Never been to rigi, but we still have a lot of family there. We are also part serritella.

      • Hi Andria,
        Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just emailed you about getting together to chat about the Rigi names.

      • Bob parilla

        Great grand Father was from Riccigliano Surname Parrilli .First name Vito settled in Chicago late 1800s.We would like to make contact with unknown family before 2014 trip to Rigi.

        Bob (Rocco) Parrilli changed name to Parilla early 1900s because Italians get work in America.

        • Cathe Martin

          My great grandfather was Francesco Parrilli who later changed his name to Parilla. His father’s name was Saverio, born 1825. His father’s name was Francesco. Does any of this sound familiar?

    • Bob parilla

      Eileen, I believe my ancestors would be from the same area as your son in law. Could I receive his contact information to talk to him about our families? Thanks

    • Bob parilla

      We Are Parilli from Rigi looking for contact in Italy before leaving in 2014! Family immigrated in late 1800 s .Great Granfathers name was Vito and settled in Chicago.

  5. Maria


    My mother Assunta Serritella is from Ricigliano. We live in Chicago. I have several family members there in Ricigliano that I last visted October 2011. Feel free to contact me. Thanks,


    • Hi Maria. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I sent you an email earlier this morning. Would love to chat with you.

    • Marylou Ricigliano

      Dear Maria
      We will be visiting Rome Italy in August of this year. Not sure if our family is from Ricigliano, but since that is our surname we would like to visit this town. Unfortunately, we are having a hard time locating it exactly and also how we can travel there. Any help you can give us would be appreciated.
      Thank you
      Marylou & Daryl Ricigliano

  6. Nick Altier

    My paternal grandparents, Joseph Guy Altier and Mary Rose Iasilli Altier, were born and raised in Ricigliano and emigrated to Chicago in 1905 and 1907. Their last name was actually Galtieri before going through Ellis Island. My wife and I honeymooned in Italy and visited family in Ricigliano in 1999. Our nephew and his fiance are planning on visiting Ricigliano during their honeymoon in May and we would love to connect with you.

  7. Mary Bagnuolo Jozwiak

    Hi. My great grandfather, Vito (seen on some census reports as “Veto”) Bagnuolo came from Ricigliano. My family pronounced it “Riggi” or “Reggio.” I’m not sure of Vito’s wife’s name, but I think it may have been Josephine. Vito had four sons, Joseph, William, Peter and my grandfather, Daniel. Daniel married Anntoinetta Iuzzolino also, I believe whose family came from Riggi. Her mother’s name was Vinchenza. I can get her father’s name from my father, Daniel and Antoinetta’s son.

    I believe Vito came to the US in the 1880s or 1890s. He lived to a very old age. I remember him only as a very old man. He had a few very funny stories from his childhood in Riggi.

  8. Judy Oxley

    My grandfather’s family was from Riciglianno where his parents returned when he was age one. Savino Simone married Mary Saritella, (not sure of the spelling) and they returned to the states to raise their family. Grandpa “Sam” had a news stand in the Loop, on State and Monroe, through 1972 when he retired~at age 85. He was known as “State Street Sam”. He recited Italian poetry and sang beautifully!

  9. Rheanna Serritella

    My father-in-laws family is from Riciglianno. My husbands grandparents names were John Serritella and married Catherine ( Freda ) Serritella. They lived in Chinatown/Bridgeport area and raised there family there. My in laws still live in the area and more than half the names you mentioned is your above article are families we all grew up with and stayed very close to the Serritellas of Bridgeport as well. Would love to know what you have discovered about these wonderful families. Oh and John Serritella I also worked a newspaper stand but right on the side of the stock exchanges. Thought that was very interesting :)

    • Rheanna thanks for stopping by my blog. I just emailed you and I have information on this family. Let’s talk soon!

  10. Sara Sansone

    Hello! My husband’s maternal family was from Ricigliano. His mother was Carmela Saracco (known as Helen), who married Nick Sansone. She was the daugter of Giuseppe Saracco, born 1876, in Ricigliano, and Caterina (D’Ambrosio) Saracco, born there in………

    Giuseppe Saracco was the son of Antonio Saracco, b. 1844, and Margharita Turturiello,b. 1853 in Ricigliano. Antonio’s parents were Giuseppe Saracco, b. 1807, and Maria Burti. Margharita’s parents were Giuseppe Turturiello and Maria Serritella.

    The Chicago family lived in Bridgport on 24th near Wentworth Ave. Joe’s mother’s brother, Sam Saracco, had a newstand at State and Lake for many years. Her sisters were Mary (married Dan Moscato), Della (married Ben Drozd) and she had another brother, Tony Saracco, who had two children, Bobby and Eleanor.

    We visited Ricigliano in October, 2012, and found some old records in the Town Hall. We also have a copy of the book containing all the early records.

    We would love to make contact with any relatives from the family in Chicago! Thanks for doing this project.

    • Judi Wiggins

      Have very little info to share Hope this will help My dtrs great grandmother was Carmella Salvatore of 220 W 24St Chicago Il, born Oct 14, 1891, Riciglianos, Italy. Carmella would be great gramother to Angela Marie Love, and grandmother to the late William Salvatore George Love of Bridgeport in Chicago. Angela now resides Elgen, Il. 3 children born to Angela Carmella had 4 childrenThe Late Vickie Noto, Grace,Charles Salvatore, Florence Love Grace

      • Hello Judi! Thank you for posting about Carmella Salvatore. I emailed you about more information. Looking forward to speaking with you!

  11. Kathy Corson

    I am doing research on my family. The Sabbia (Sabia) branch immigrated 1882. My grandfather was Joseph Sabbia (b abt 1877 d 1957), He was married to Cristina Stolfa (b about 1886 d 12/27/35 im 1902), According to her death certificate her parents were Nick Stolfa and Antonette Serritella and that she was born in Reggio Calabria< I believe that Joseph was from Ricigliano, His parents were listed by many different spellings of their names on various census reports as is Josephs and Critinas. It lists his father as Anofia or Onofrio and Nufria and his mother as Vonata. My grandmother is still living she was born in 1919, She is listed as Donatella in some records and Mary in others. i do have a pic of Josephs and Cristinas wedding, He was an electrician for ComEd and traveled with the Chicago Cubs when they trained, They lived near Taylor Street and also where the Cook County Hospital is now, Western/Ashland/Oakland, My grandmother told me that many of the people in the area were related or knew each other in Italy.
    I would love to see your project when it is completed.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. I just emailed you. Looking forward to talking with you!

    • Joe Sabbia

      this message is for Kathy Corson. I believe we are second cousins. My father is Joseph Sabbia, Mary’s younger brother. how can we get in touch to discuss family tree further?

      • Joe Sabbia& Kathy Corson. I just joined up and spotted the Sabbia. That was my grandmother’s maiden name. Her name was Antonia. Her sisters’ names were Mary, Gertrude,Minnie and Martha. Her brother was Donald. My great grandmother was Rose Sabbia. She was born in Italy. Perhaps this may help you. Peggy Rose Palumbo

        • Kathy Corson

          Peggy, I remember my Grandmother talking about an Aunt Minnie. She is now 96 so I am not sure that would be accurate. This branch lived in the Chicago area.

      • Kathy Corson

        Joe, i have not been on this site in quite awhile. I think we are cousins. I remember your father quite well. All my sisters and I thought he was so handsome. My mother’s name is Frances. If I remember correctly your sisters name is Jody? Mother’s name Clara?

    • Sean Sabbia

      Hello, My grandparents were Joesph and Cristina as well. My father is Joseph Sabbia and grew up in the Taylor Street neighborhood. He had a sister Mary, and brothers Nick, William, and Charles. I see below the mention of Minnie and I had an Aunt Minnie and her son was my Uncle Donald and his brother Uncle Hank. There are quite a few of us siblings from my father Joseph Sabbia, eleven to be exact. I would really like to see the completion of this as well. Thank you and let me know if you need any further information.


        Well we are truly related. My mother is Frances, Mary’s oldest. My grandmother Mary is still alive in Phoenix. She will be 98 this year. I now live in Philadelphia but will be moving back to the Chicago area. Mom keeps in touch with Paula, Auntie Martha and Uncle Chuck’s daughter. I have a copy of Joseph and Christina’s wedding picture, if you are interested. I would really like to know more about the Sabbia and Stolfa families, too.
        Please stay in contact.

        • Sean Sabbia

          I would love a copy of the photo! My email is So we are cousins, we definitely need to keep in touch and perhaps one day meet in person!

  12. Pamela Caponigri Dineen

    Francis Caponigri and Mary Indelli are my grandparents. They had newsstands in the downtown area. I remember a Kedzie avenue address…there were also deleonardis and sarratellas and pirellis as cosins.

  13. Kathy Hickey

    My maternal grandfather, Carmen Manella, came over from Ricigliano in 1901 with his brother and mother. They were Mennella in Italy, but it was changed to Manella when they came to the US. My mom visited Ricigliano in October 2011 and found their records at the city hall. She would love to share information and stories about her family.

  14. Nicolette

    Hi Jennifer,

    My mother’s mother & father & their entire families are from Ricigliano. My father’s mother’s side of the family is also from there. I am related to five or six of the surnames you listed in your blog. I am so eager to speak with you. Please contact me @ Thank you!

  15. Vince Serritella

    Sorry so late discovering your work. My great grandfather came to Chicago in 1860’s. His father Vito, born in Ricigliano in 1800. I have the documentation. My nephew has completed large amount of research all documented. Our Serritella clan intermarried with Deleonardis, Altiers, and Sabbias. Family resided at 725 S Loomis through the 1940’s. Contact me if you want information or connection to my amateur genealogist nephew. I have visited Ricigliano many times.

    • Peter Fazziola


      I grew up in NYC and we frequently visited my grandfather’s first cousins, the 4 Pintozzi sisters who lived at 917 South Loomis. My great-grandmother, Maria Panza was from Ricigliano; her husband was from the neighboring town of San Gregorio Magno. My Ricigliano ancestors include Panza, Pinto, Galante and Salvatore. I’m told my great-great grandmother, Lucrezia Salvatore (b. in Ricigliano in 1839) ran a saloon in lower Manhattan. Our family always enjoyed our visits to Chicago and S. Loomis! Best wishes from Austin, TX.

      • Maria Cornacchio

        I read your post Peter,and in was very interested because my Great grandparents were Panza’s and they were from Ricigliano, Italy. My Great grandfathers name was Pasquale Panza. I don’t know my Great grandmothers name. Thought maybe you can share some of the Panza family history that you have. They came from Italy settled in Newark, NJ and then to New York. Their cousins, went to Chicago.

        • Peter Fazziola

          Hi Maria,
          My great-grandmother Maria Panza had a brother Pasquale Panza, but I doubt he’s the same person you’re descended from. He lived in Brooklyn (on President Street, I think) and had a number of children (we knew as “the cousins from Brooklyn): one son Sebastian (Benny) and several daughters we knew by their “English” names which were not their baptismal Italian names: Mary, Lizzie, Jenny and Hattie. Sorry, but I never heard mention of any relatives in Newark.

          With best regards,

      • Joe Sabbia& Kathy Corson. I just joined up and spotted the Sabbia. That was my grandmother’s maiden name. Her name was Antonia. Her sisters’ names were Mary, Gertrude,Minnie and Martha. Her brother was Donald. My great grandmother was Rose Sabbia. She was born in Italy. Perhaps this may help you. Peggy Rose Palumbo

      • Peter Fazziola. I’m responding to your comment. I believe my family knew the Pintozzi sisters. However, there were more than four. At least the ones my family knew. The reason I say this is because my family lived at Taylor and Loomis. They were Pacellis.

        • Julie

          Hello, Peggy Rose. My father, Anthony Pintozzi, grew up on Taylor and Loomis. He had several Aunts. The names I remember are Mary and Della.

    • I just started this. Our family had Sabbia -my grandmother’s maiden name. My grandmother’s sister married a DeLeonardis. Also, I believe we knew Altiers.

      • Peter Fazziola

        My relatives (the Pintozzi Family) lived close by: 917 South Loomis. They used to take the train, later the plane, to NYC to visit us. Aunt and uncle from Ricigliano–the cousins I knew were born in Chicago–, and we have Panza, Serritella, and Salvatore ancestors.

        • helen depinto

          My father-in-law and his wife lived on Loomis street. His name was Joe Depinto. I wonder if they all knew each other.

      • Kathy Corson

        Margaret Smith has done lots of research on Sabbia’s on

        Kathy Corson

        • Christine Corbo

          My grandmother was Maria Cristina DeLeonardis from Ricigliano. She married Onofrio Gorga

  16. Sarah serritella

    My fathers family are from here… I’m visiting in august this year to meet up with family I have never met since I was born… I know my father has relatives in U.S but not sure which areas… Would love to find out about my family surname Serritella
    I currently live in the uk

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I tried to email but the mail was returned. I’d love to know who your main lines are – names, dates, etc. to see if they are in the database already. Please feel free to post a different email address if you’d like to chat.
      Jennifer (Owner Generations)

      • luigi serritella

        hi i think the above comment is from my sister sarah jane,yes my father antonio serritella came to the uk when he was a young.we visited ricigliano in august we drove all the way from the uk.i have two brothers luciano and marcus and another sister maria.i know we have reletives in chicago as i met them a long time ago in visit last august was the first time in 30 years that i visited what a great place!! regards luigi antonio serritella…

  17. April

    Hi Jennifer!
    I am doing ancestry research and came across your blog. My maternal grandparents’ families all came from Ricigiliano and settled in Chicago. Last names Bagnuolo and Serritella. Feel free to email me if you would like some of the information I have been able to find.


  18. Christine Corbo

    my grandmother, Maria Christine de Leonardis and grandfather Onofrio Orga both came to United States, he in 1901 and she in 1905. My grandfather had a brother who went to Chicago but I do not know his name. My grandparents immigrated to Newark New Jersey with the de Leonardis family. Steven, Vito were my grandmothers brohers. I am just wondering if I can trace family to Chicago.

  19. ann Parrilli

    My grandparents emigrated from Rigi in the early 1900’s. I have visited the town several times and stayed there during the summer of 1974. During that time I took many pictures of the medieval castle that used to sit atop the town but which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1980. If you would like to see the pictures feel free to contact me. Good luck with your project.

    • Dianna Saracco-Farish

      My grandparents also were from Ricigliano, my grandfather was born in Chicago, my grandparents returned to Ricigliano some time later. I still have family in Ricigliano. My Grandmother was a Angelicchio ND HAD COUSINS named Parrilli. I would very much like to see some of your pictures. My Grandmother sold her house just before the earthquake however it is still in the family. Grandmother returned to Ricigliano many times over the years. I have a picture before and after the earthquake in almost the same spot. You can also contact me at my other email of Hope to hear from you soon!

      • Hi Dianna,

        Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to hear from you again! Good luck with your research.

        • Dianna Saracco- Farish

          Hi It has been a long time since I was on your site. Amazing that little town in Italy, Ricigliano, so many people came from there. If one digs deep enough u will find many connections. Jennifer I am still trying to get a copy of the Family Records in Ricigliano. I have misplaced much info,
          (Health troubles). I have also changed my email address. I also have an yahoo Hope to hear from you soon. Great ,job on the site!

    • Fran Blake

      So many familiar names! Great to see your name in this blog! Frankie posted it on Facebook, first time I’m seeing it!

  20. Linda Stein

    Dear Jennifer, I posted the comment below on another of your blogs. I would love to know if my grandmother’s family is related to any others here, or if you have any information on her family.
    Linda Stein
    My maternal grandmother Genoveva (Jenny) Meccia was born in Chicago approx 1890. Her father, John Meccia, worked on the railroad and was called “John Mitchell” because he had red hair (and one of her daughters, my aunt, had red hair and blue eyes as well). Through the DNA site 23andMe, I learned that her family was probably from Ricigliano. Any information would be appreciated.
    Linda Stein

    • Kathryn Moran

      Hi Linda, ye, Meccia is a surname that does show up in records for Ricigliano. Do you know of any other Italian surnames in your line?

      Kathryn Moran (Serritella, Parrilli, DeLeonardis)

      P.S. Patrick Laughlin, you are not alone! 😀

  21. Marianne De Leonardis

    Hi Jennifer! Thanks for this posting. My cousins and I come from generations of Parrilli’s, Malpede’s, D’Ambrosio’s – and De Leonardis’.

    Please feel free to contact me.


    • Christine Orgo Corbo

      My grandmother Maria Cristina deLeonardis is from Ricigliano. She came to America in 1905 to meet her husband and settled in Newark NewJersey. I know she had a brother Steven DeLeonardis also settled in Newark New Jersey.

  22. Marie Palumbo

    Hi Jennifer! Just found this site and am so excited about the possibility of finding out more about my relatives Palumbo, Mennello, and Parillo. My great-grandfather was Guisseppi Palumbo. He married Filomena Mennello. Filomena and my grandfather, Michaelangelo Palumbo came over to Chicago in 1902. My grandfather married Ann Parillo in Chicago. Any information would be appreciated. Thank You.

  23. marie guarino osterman

    Hello. I am researching the parrillo and leonardis families who emigrated from ricigliano to Newark NJ. I am trying to locate records at the family history library in Salt Lake City but can’t find any. Do you know what circulatore (district) ricigliano is part of? I think knowing that is key to finding the lrecords for ricigliano. Thank you.

    • Mike

      Hi Marie. I live in New Jersey and would be more then happy to help get you records. NJ Archives charges only 50 cents a copy. Let me know and I can help. I also have access to The Star Ledger obituaries. Is there anyone in Chicago that can help find some records for me?
      Thank you

      • Marie

        Hi Mike,
        Thanks for offering but I have a handle on the NJ relatives. I’m trying to reach back from Newark to Ricigliano, but apparently Ricigliano records are not available on microfilm yet.

      • Christine Orgo Corbo

        I am also researching the DeLeonardis family from Newark. Jennifer has unlocked the door to my grandmother DeLeonardis back several generations.

    • Christine Orgo Corbo

      Contact me. I have some names dating back to 1840 of de Leonardis from Ricigliano who moved to Newark New Jersey

  24. Barbara Pintozzi

    My parents’ are related to the Iacullos, Meccias, Pacellis, Tortoriellos, Parrillis, and Pintozzis. My maternal grandparents visited Ricigliano and hosted many visitors from there between the 1920s and the 1970s. Both my grandfathers were officers in the Societa Allenanza Riciglianese in Chicago. My mother has many old photos from Ricigliano, and my parents & I both visited there in e 1980s. If you are interested in any of this information, you can contact me and I can pass along the message to my parents.

    • Hi Barbara. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I just emailed you about your message. Look forward to talking with you!

    • Pamela Pacelli

      Hello Barbara. My grandfather was Antonio Pacelli and I distinctly remember my dad (Al) talking about the Pintozzis, epsecially, I think, MArie.
      If you can contact me, I would love to know more and maybe I can fill in some of your gaps.
      Pam Pacelli

    • Julie

      Hi, Barbara! My father is a Pintozzi and he grew up on Taylor and Loomis streets on Chicago. His father–my grandpa–was known as “The Sheik.” We are probably cousins!

  25. Dan Serritella

    I believe my grandfather and grandmother were both from Ricigliano, As near as I can tell my grandfather was born in 1888 and was Rocco Serritella. My grandmother was born in 1893 and was Carmella Caponigri. The family grew up around 24th and Princeton near Chinatown. My grandfather had several news stands at Clark and Kinzie streets. The spelling of my grandmother’s surname is all over the place so I am not exactly sure which is correct. it could be Caponigro, or Cofonigro. Her Mother was Anna Parrillo, not sure of the proper spelling for that either!

  26. Marianne Basham


    My grandmother Rosa Vernieri was born in Riciglliano in 1889. Her parents were Vito Antonio and Vitella Vernieri. My grandmother told me her father (Vito) was in the military and away from home quite a bit. She told me that when he would return for a visit he would come on horseback which she found impressive. It was obvious that she was proud as well as impressed with her father and his stature.

    My grandmother (Rosa) emigrated to the US in 1909 when she was 20 years old. She married Nicola Dodaro on 11/06/1920 at the Holy Guardian Angel Church in Chicago. They lived in Chicago for remainder of their lives. They had nine children (incl my father). My grandmother worked as a housekeeper for wealthy people and my grandfather was a carpenter. If it means anything my grandmother could read and write in Italian. My grandmother died 04/18/1983 and is buried at Mt Carmel Cemetery in Chicago.

    Birth records of my Uncles and Aunts show that they lived at 628 Sholto Dr. in 1911, 1342 Edgemont Ave in 1917, and 1534 Elburn Ave in 1923.

    I have been trying to trace my grandmother’s family tree in Italy and I can’t find anything on Vito and Vitella Vernieri. My grandmother told me that her mother and I believe an older sister stayed in Italy. I seem to recall that that she said her father did not come to the US.

    I can trace my grandfather Nicola Dodaro back to the 1700s in Italy. However, I can’t find anything on my grandmother’s side.

    Any help on tracing the family history for Vito Antonio and Vitella Vernieri would be most appreciated.

    Marianne Basham

  27. Marianne Basham

    Correction to my earlier email. My grandmother Rosa Vernieri married Nicola Dodaro on 11/06/1910 not 1920. Sorry.

  28. Patrick Laughlin

    I may be the only one to reply to your blog with an Irish surname!! I am menza menz….Half Irish/Italian. My Italian side came from Ricigliano, Cristoforo Iacullo was my great grandfather. He and his family lived in Chinatown in Chicago and he also had newstands on State Street. Other family surnames from Rigi are Caponigri, Marra, Marchese, Parillo, Parilli. I am planning my first trip for either May or September of 2014. I have more information, just have to dig it out. Would love to get more information as well.
    Thank You

    • Hello Patrick! I tried to send you an email about this family but it came back. If you want to exchange info please email me at jenniferholik at Looking forward to chatting with you!

  29. Michael DeMasi

    Hello. My great grandfather was Donato Iasillo who came from Ricigliano. He died in Newark, New Jersey and was married to my great grandmother, Maria Giuseppa Serritella who was also from Ricigliano. She had family in Chicago. She died in 1940 in Newark, NJ. According to some family members, she had a sibling (possibly more then one) that died in a fire in Chicago. Does anyone have any information? Thank you.

    • Hi Michael. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I just sent you an email regarding this family.

      • Dianna Saracco Farish

        My Grandmother Elisabetha Angelicchio married Vito Antonio Saracco. Her family were also Serritella. My family lived in Chicago on Ada, later Taylor Street. I am sure many other places, originally came from Ricigliano and some from Muro Lucano. P
        lease feel free to email me and we can share info. Most of the names posted on this website are names in my family as well. My Grandfather Vito Antonio Saracco also had news papers stands and often traveled back and forth to Ricigliano. Also his first wife Maria Salvatore’s mothers family was a Vernieri. Maria and Vito split up as he wanted to return to Italy where his family was she did not want to go back to Italy. She remarried and became Amico. After her death Vito Married again this would be Elisabeth Angelicchio, my grandmother. If any body has any info on theses families please reply. I will answer ALL emails. I have found many family members I knew nothing about however have proof of the family from records, btw the records were not ALL destroyed in the Earthquake!
        Danna Saracco-Farish

        • Marianne


          My grandmother Rosa’s maiden name was Vernieri. She was born in Ricigliano Italy in 1889. Her parents (my great grandparents are Vito Antonio and Vitella Vernieri. (Please see my post dated October, 2013 for more details on the Vernieri line that I am trying to trace.)

          Any information that you may have on the Vernieri family from Ricigliano mentioned in your post would be most appreciated.


        • Marianne Basham



          I am trying to trace the family tree for Vittoria Vernieri. Vittoria married Pasquale Salvatore and they lived in Chicago in 1909.

          My Grandmother is Rosa Vernieri (see my other posts for more details). I believe my Grandmother arrived from Ricigliano on the ship Verona in December, 1909. It is my understanding she had a sister in Chicago that she lived with when she arrived. I don’t know the sister’s name. I am trying to determine whether Vittoria (Vernieri) Salvatore was the sister she talked about.

          (There were no other Vernieri’s listed on the ship manifest. The surnames of other passengers on the ship from Ricigliano are Saracco, Salvatore, Parelli, Perello and Magnnolis.)

          Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.

  30. Debra Saracco

    My grandfather was Sam Saracco who operated a news stand in Chicago .He was married to Josephine Pintozzi. My father was Carmen Saracco. I would be interested in contributing any info you may be looking for……

    • Hi Debra,

      I just sent you an email. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

      • Dianna Saracco Farish

        Sam Saracco was my grandfather Vito Antonio Saracco Born 1889 brother. Yes Josephine was Sam’s wife. For many years we were told that Sam was not our Saracco Family. After doing research I found our family connection. As a matter of a fact I do have a list of the family, mother ,father, sisters and brothers. Jennifer I talked with you sometime ago. This is my Saracco family.
        Dianna Saracco- Farish

  31. Renee Rudman

    My great grandfather was Savino Simone he was born NYC Dec 31 1887 and his parents were Antonio Simone and Antonia Palumbo. Savino married Marie Serritella in Ricigliano 11/1908 her parents were Vito Antonio Serritella and Caterina Salvatore. Savino and Maria were both born in NYC and then went back to Ricigliano and the families met by having neighboring farms. Savino bacame a newsdealer on State and Madison when he met Vito Vernieri. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Marianne Basham

      Hi Renee,

      My Grandmother was a Vernieri from Ricigliano. (See my earlier posts) I am trying to trace her family tree. She was born in 1889 and emigrated to Chicago in the early 1900s. She told me she had relatives in Chicago which is why she came here. I seem to remember her mentioning a brother or a male cousin and a sister that lived in Chicago and a brother (Eugenio) in Tacoma, WA.

      Any information that you may have on the Vito Vernieri referred to in your post such as relatives, approx age, photos, etc… would be most appreciated.


      • Cathe Martin

        Hello, my great grandmother was Vittoira Vanieri and her father was Vencenzo. She married Francesco Parrilli and lived in Chicago. When here they changed their name to Parilla. Is this the family you are looking for?

        • Kathy Hickey

          Hi Cathy,
          My great-grandmother was also a Parilli. Her name was Vitantonia, and she was born in Ricigliano in 1868. Her father was Vito Parilli, and her grandfather was Sabato Parilli. She married my great-grandfather, Pia Mennella, in Ricigliano, and it is where my grandfather, Carmen, was born. They came to Chicago in 1901, where the name was changed to Manella.

          My parents visited Ricigliano a few years ago. There were lots of Parilli’s in the town. They were able to see a census record in the city hall with some of the family information.

          • Cathe Martin

            Hi, my great great grandfather was Saverio Parrilli and his wife was Dila (although it could be Vila it is hard to read) Prignano. They had a daughter, Vitantonio, who was born in 1851. Is this the same one? I know her brothers Francesco and Christofero and sister Donata came to Chicago. Does this help?

        • Kathy Hickey

          Hi Cathe,
          My great-grandmother was also a Parilli. Her name was Vitantonia, and she was born in Ricigliano in 1868. Her father was Vito Parilli, and her grandfather was Sabato Parilli. She married my great-grandfather, Pia Mennella, in Ricigliano, and it is where my grandfather, Carmen, was born. They came to Chicago in 1901, where the name was changed to Manella.

          My parents visited Ricigliano a few years ago. There were lots of Parilli’s in the town. They were able to see a census record in the city hall with some of the family information.

          • Cathe Martin

            Yes theat is the same family. Francisco and Vittoria had a son named William Parrilla who married Ann McGuire. They had a son, Frank Parilla who is my father. All of William and Ann’s four children are still alive and range in age from 93 to 89. Francesco had a sister, Vitantonia but her father was Saverio. Our Vitatonia was born in 1851.

    • Diane Lauk

      Hi, Renee,

      I am your father’s cousin and I really appreciated what you wrote. One tiny change, though: Grandpa’s newsstand was on the northwest corner of State and Monroe. It seems like these people really had the market cornered on newsstands. My sister Doris and I along with our better halves visited Rigiliano about 6 or 7 years ago and we met what I assume was our cousin, the former Antonia Palumbo and her family. They were extremely gracious and hospitable and spent a lot of time with us. We actually used a copy of your grandfather’s (my Uncle Tony) notes on his background that Aunt Jo had given us. I know Uncle Tony was born there and then the family came over here to Chicago and raised their large family here. Give my best to your beautiful mother, Shari.

      Your first cousin, once removed,

      Diane (DiCarlo) Lauk

  32. Kathy Saracco Preissner


    My great-grandmother Saracco came to American from Ricigliano and settled in Chicago with her husband. My father, Tony Saracco knows more of the details, and I can get you in touch with him if you like. Also, I’m very interested in any Saracco history that you’ve found — please let me know if/how I can obtain such information.


    • Deborah Alfredo Giese

      Hello: You posted a comment to me. Would like any info on the Freda’s. My grandfather came to this country as an Freda, but believe on Ellison Island it was changed to Fredo and then was changed again to Alfredo. Am interested in anything having to do with them. Would like to see if I can find any of them on a future trip to Italy. My grandparents have both past and some aunts and uncles too. I know a few 1st cousins that we were close with growing up. If you could ask your relative if he has any knowledge we could communicate via e-mail. Well, will talk more later.

  33. Rob Traviss

    I am trying to find information on great-great grandparents who were marries in Italy. Giraldino Ciorlieri and Donata Meccia. They are from Ricigliano originally.

  34. Mike

    Does anyone have any information on Dorotea Catena? She was married to Crescenzio Iasilli in Ricigliano and came to the US in the early 1900s. Most of her family was in Newark, NJ but I heard that she came to Chicago.
    Thank you.
    I am also looking for descendents of Vito Serritella and Maria Palumbo

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for stopping by again. I don’t have anything new since we last emailed. But I’ll keep my eyes open as people respond and my research continues.

    • stefano

      Hi,My name is Stefano Piccirillo and i live in Ricigliano, my mother is Serritella …If you need help for your research and for curiosity, you can ask to me. Among other things, i’m a relative of Mario Parrilli, the son-in-low of Mrs. Eileen Williams

      • Mike

        Hi Stefano. I would love any help I could find. I am trying to find information about my great grandmother, Maria Giuseppa Serritella (Born on March 19, 1870 to Vito Serritella and Maria Palumbo in Ricigliano). She married my great grandfather, Donato Iasilli (Born March 24, 1867 to Crescenzio Iasilli and Dorotea Catena in Ricigliano) on March 10, 1887. I am looking for siblings and other family members of the Iasilli and Serritella families that I am related to. Thank you so much. You can email me privately at
        Thanks again

  35. Mike

    Thank you Jennifer. I appreciate it. Any ideas on how I can find information on Ricigliano ancestors? I can’t seem to find anyone on that have the same parents as my great grandmother (Serritella). I also saw on the passenger list of my great grandfather that he was coming to Newark, NJ to stay with his mother, “Catena.” Is there an alternate spelling of the last name in Ricigliano? Thank you so so much

    • Christine Orgo Corbo

      My grandparents are from Ricigliano and they settled in Newark New Jersey. I believe they had relatives named Serritella that lived on Chestnut Street in Newark New Jersey and were from Ricigliano 1901 thru 1971 when I moved

  36. Dianna Saracco-Farish

    I saw your note Mike and wanted to touch base with you. My Great grandfather was Domenico Angelicchio b 24 March 1887 was married to Angelmaria Serritella (which was the daughter of Donato Serritella & VitaMaria Pascente.)
    My Grandmother Elisabetha Angelicchio B,Feb 27, 1914 was the daughter of Domenico Angelicchio & Annamaria Serritella married (1935 Ricigliano) Vito Antonio Saracco B. 1889. Both my Saracco side of the family and the Angelicchio families were in Ricigliano. Italy I do know from manifest records show that Angelmaria Serritella was married to Domenico Angelicchio in Muro Lucano in 1908 They arrived 21 April 1911 were in New York for some time before moving on to Chicago.
    Does any of this fit with your family? From reading I found out that many names on this list are also mentioned in family records from Italy. I myself am from Chicago living on the east coast of US.

    • Mike

      Hi Dianna. I have very little information about my Serritella family. I only know that my great grandmother had a sibling that died in about 1940 in a Chicago fire. My great grandmother lived in Newark, New Jersey and died shortly after learning about her sibling dying in the fire. I am not even sure if it was a brother or sister. Thank you so much for reaching out. I will let you know if I could make a connection.

  37. kit batina

    I am one of those you are looking for. My grandfather (his family) was from Ricigliano, Italy – last name Malpede. He lived and died in Chicago. I even got a small college scholarship from the Italian Catholic Federation because of it. Curious about your research on this topic …and findings.

  38. Jacquie

    My name is Jacquie, I am trying to find any information I can on my family!
    My Grandmother – Mary Josephine Conforti mother was from Ricigliana her name was Philomena Serritella, born 1859?, married to Pasquale Conforti, settled in Chicago, Il.I would be happy to learn any more information I can and hopefully find new relatives?
    Thank you,

  39. TIna Serritella Reising

    My name is Tina Serritella Reising and My father is Alfred Serritella born 1936. He lived at 26th and Wentworth and his grandmother’s maiden name was Tortoriello. His grandfather was Onofrio Serritella. Both grandparents were from Ricigliano. Would love to talk with you further!

  40. Jacquie

    Hi Jennifer

    I was just wondering if any of the information I sent was helpful to you?


  41. Christine Orgo Corbo

    My grandfather Onofrio Gorga said he had a brother who went to Chicago instead of Newark New Jersey. 1901-thereabouts. Also a sister Pasquelina who also went to Newark N.J. She was married to a SanGicomo. My grandfather became Onofrio ORGO at Ellis Island. His wife, my grandmother was Maria Cristina DeLeonardis and she came from Ricigliano in1905 with her 5 year old daughter Vita. A brother Steven also came and Vito is a prominent name in our family.

    • Hi Christine,
      I will email you about the information you sent as soon as I go through what’s in my database so I can see where things line up.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  42. Anne

    Hi, Are you still working on this blog? We’re also Rigis. Surname is DeLeonardis. I have scanned about 100 family photos and would love to get them out to other Rigis to see if people could identify them. They are at I’m hoping that people can show them to older family members and comment on the photos to help identify the people in them. My mother is Dorothy DeLeonardis. Her father, John, ran the Loyola L newsstand and others around Chicago over the years.

    • Hi Anne. Thank you for sharing your blog. I just emailed you about it and my client and some Rigis I work closely with. Let’s see what we can do to help you identify these people. I will also write a separate blog post because sometimes the information gets lost in all the comments and your site could be missed.
      Looking forward to speaking with you.

  43. Tony Kenck

    My grandmother was Mary Deleonardis, born around 1897. She had brothers Paul and Tony, sisters Lucy, Angela, Theresa. They mostly lived around Taylor street.

  44. If you didn’t see my latest blog post, I just posted a lot of unidentified Chicago Rigi photos on my website. Please see:

  45. Mike DeMassi

    Hi. Does anyone have any information in Vitantonia Iasilli who married Vit0 Bagnuolo in March 19, 1893? I am looking to find out who her parents were and if she had any siblings or children. Thank you.

  46. Mary K Marr


    My grandfather was Rocco Marra who was married to Carmella Pragnano and Grace Indelli. His son was Albert Marr. I am looking to see if anyone has any knowledge of this family, as I know nothing or my Italian heritage.


    • Kathy Corson


      I have a Donata Marra in my family tree. She was born in 1845 and died in 1900, in Chicago. I have a copy of her death certificate. Her husband was Guiseppe Sabbia. That is all the info I have on her.

  47. Diana Gordon

    My great grandmother was Marie Serritella born 1910 in Chicago. She married Ralph Caprio in 1932. Her parents were Philip Serritella (alias jack galligan) and Angelina Senese. He owned a saloon on Harrison street. The closest information I have found regarding Philip’s parents is possibly Michael Serritella born 1847 in Italy. I would love to find out anymore information since I have been searching for 14 years.

    • Hi Diana,
      Thanks for stopping by my blog. The records for Ricigliano are unfortunately not online and not yet on microfilm or digitized by LDS. You have to contact the town or hire a researcher to pull the records overseas.
      Good luck!

  48. Kim

    My great grandfather, Pellegrino Nappi, was from Ricigliano-came to the US in 1906. He was born in 1888.

  49. Anthony Tortoriello

    My family is from Ricigliano. There is a website which has a lot of family information

    • Thanks for your comment Anthony. I have seen that website and it does contain a lot if you are looking primarily for the Tortorello/Tortoriello/Turtoriello and all the other variations of that surname.

  50. Renee Rudman

    My family is Serritella, Salvatore, Palumbo, and Simone. Families from Ricigliano and settled in Chicago. I would be interested in information on these families. Thank you.

    • Judy Oxley

      To Renee Rudman, my family has the same surnames: Simone, Seritella, Salvatore, Palumbo and cousins mainly live in Chicago-and came from Ricigliano. We may be cousins.

  51. Donna greco

    My grandparents were from there Lucy pintozzi Antonio serrittella

  52. helen depinto

    My mother-in-law’s family is from Ricigliano. Her mother was Mary Pacelli, daughter of Carmella and Vito. She married Peter Palumbo who died in 1917. She then married Vincent Taglieri in 1893. He died in 1925. We visiting the area this summer and wonder if we can find any relatives.

  53. My name is Bruce Ricigliano and I live in Rochester NY, I am totally captivated by the town with our last name. I hope to hear back and have a chance to gather more information about the town of Ricigliano

  54. Daniel Serritello

    Just prior to his death in 1995, my Father, Daniel (Dean) Serritello, left me a hand written story of our family history. I have it stored as an adobe acrobat doc. My Great Grandparents were Vito and Vitantonia Bagnola. They immigrated from Ricigliano, Italy (province of Campagnia) to Chicago. My Father moved to New York City on his own in the late 1940’s, or early 1950’s. He was highly decorated after his service in World War II. If anyone is interested, please e-mail me at

  55. Cathe Martin

    My father’s family is Parrilli, and live in Chicago. His great grandfather is Saverio Parrilli born 1825 and married Vita Prignana born 1829. Their son Francesco born 1855 married Vittoria Venieri. They moved to Chicago along with Francesco’s brother Christopher and sister Donato. I have the Certificate of Family Status That my cousin got from a visit to Ricigliano. Any other information would be great. Thanks

  56. J Taglia

    My grandfather (Dr. Vito Taglia) was a physician and surgeon who had his practice on Taylor and Racine from 1920-1957. He was affiliated with Columbus Hospital. I have a detailed history of Ricigliano that was written in 1950 that covers hundreds of years. Anyone interested in Ricigliano should join Club Maria SS Incoronata which is an active 125 year old club located in Chicago and was formed by Chicago Italians from Ricigliano. They have a procession in Chinatown every year on the same date as the one still held in Ricigliano.

    • Hi. Thanks for your comment. The Rigi book was written by Joseph Potuto and contains many years (he doesn’t specify which) population schedules. Unfortunately some are missing and the info isn’t complete as he left out the occupations. But the book is tremendous. Several of us have a Word file of the book which allows searching. The book itself is not indexed. Valuable resource for anyone because it provides enough clues to keep tracing forward and backward.

      • Marianne Basham

        Hi Jennifer,

        Can you tell me where I can get a copy of the Rigi book referred to in J. Taglia’s post that you said was written by Joseph Potuto?

      • J. Taglia

        Hi, what I have is a 10 page document detailing “the authentic history of Ricigliano” going back to when Greeks from Peloponnesus settled ancient Italy. It was written by Comm. Vincenzo Pintozzi and condensed and translated by Rev. Raphael Pazzelli in 1950. It was given to me by a relative of a contractor who worked for me about 20 years ago. I’m happy to provide it to anyone who is interested. My email address is .

        I have a question for anyone who can answer: why did settlers from Ricigliano end up operating newspaper stands all over Chicago? My uncle used to say they all ran numbers, but I’d like to think that’s an urban legend. However, there does seem to be a disproportionate number who owned newspaper stands. Thanks!

        • I believe I have that “Authentic History” but would you please email me a copy

          The Rigis did run news stands, and numbers, among other things in Chicago. No one has yet done a study on Rigis who ran news stands, but talk to anyone and they likely have someone in the family who did. The info shows up on census records and probate files, sometimes in court cases for tax evasion. I’ve been researching them for just about four years and have almost 4,000 in a database. Lots of news vendors.

        • Pam DeLeonardis W.

          My grandfather John DeLeonardis also had a newsstand in Chicago. Had no idea that was the common profession for Rigis. Also heard that he also took bets.

      • Pamela Pacelli

        I have just discovered your website and blog.
        When you mentioned that the book about Rigis was written by Joseph Potuto, it rang a bell for me.
        My grandfather, Antonio Pacelli, emigrated to Chicago in 1909 and worked as a tailor, first on Forquer St., then on Halsted. In 1927 or 1929, he bought some newsstands which he and my family ran until 1973, I think. The best known newsstands were next to the Chicago Public library ( now the cultural center) at Randolph and Michigan, downstairs in the IC station, at GArfield Court on the other side of the library, and one other place.
        In any event, Grandpa Tony bought some land in Naperville IL in the early 30’s I think, and one of the families he bought with were the Potutos.
        He married Lucia Marzano, whose mother was a Vernieri.
        He had several sibs who came here–I think William Pacelli, who was an alderman, Cristofaro, and maybe Vito. Others stayed back in Italy.
        We are also related to the Pintozzis, Altieris and I think my grandfather’s mother was a Tortoriello.
        Would love to put all of this together with some of the others pieces of information here.
        Names I remember from my childhood: Rocco Marr, Della Pintozzi, Potuto, MAry Altieri.
        Hope I can be of help and can have some blanks filled in for me.
        Thank you!

  57. ChristineCorbo

    wonderful document on the history of Ricigliano

  58. Antoinette Iacullo

    My paternal grandparents were from Ricigliano. They came to Chicago about 1915, on the same ship as the statue of Santa Maria Incoronata that still resides in the church that is now St.Terese Mission on, believe, 24th Street. They lived at 26th and Wentworth. My grandfather owned a newsstand at Fullerton and Halsted, near De Paul. Small world, even smaller city! I would love to hear from any of you regarding our shard history.

  59. Andria

    My grandfather also owned and operated news stands threw out Chicago. Parrilli.

    • Cathe Martin

      Hi Andria, would you mind sharing your grandfather’s first name?

  60. Jim DeNapoli

    My mother’s maiden name is Yacullo. Her mother’s maiden name is Sarrocco. Both her parents were born in Ricigliano. My mother is 95 but still a fount of knowledge regarding the families from Ricigliano that emigrated to Chicago. If you are still working the project you may want to interview her.

  61. Jim DeNapoli

    My mother’s maiden name is Yacullo. Her mother’s maiden name is Saracco. Both her parents were born in Ricigliano. My mother is 95 but is still a fount of knowledge regarding the Italians who emigrated to Chicago from Italy. Feel free to contact me.

    • ChrIs time Corbo, nee Gorga

      i am searching for my grandfathers brother who located to Chicago. The last name would be Gorga. My grandfather was Onofrio Gorga who came to New Jersey. He was married to Maria Cristina DeLeonardis. He had a sister Palsqulina in Newark New Jersey

    • andria

      WOW! Great that your mom is still with you!! She would be the same age as my Grandmother Angie Parrilli.(Sbacasi) I never met her, as she died before I was born. (possibly 1965?)

    • Pamela Pacelli

      Jim, I would love to know if your grandmother knew the Pacellis from Taylor and Grenshaw or the Marzanos. She is about the same age as my father, Al Pacelli, would be ( b March, 1920). He and his brothers operated the newsstands by the Chicago Public Library and down in the Randolph St IC.
      I’ll be in Chicago at the very end of June and would love to talk with her then ( live in Boston now)

      • Christine Orgo Corbo

        I am looking for members of the Gorga family who settled in Chicago. My grandfather Onofrio settled in New Jersey but had a brother who went to Chicago. Also DeLeonardis on my grandmothers side also New Jersey and Chicago. Please contact me of you have any information on these two families

      • Jim DeNapoli

        I let my mom know you would be coming to Chicago. She was born on Erie Street not Taylor. Let me know when you are going to be there and you can give her a call or stop by and see her if it works out.

  62. Jane

    I have been researching the Malpede, Mecchia, Pacelli, and Ciorlieri families. I have some copies of documents from Ricigliano with a cover letter explaining that these particular records were reclaimed from a sinkhole after an earthquake on November 23, 1980. The Ciorlieri family is related to me by marriage and most of its members are still in the Chicago area. Does anyone have an Ricigliano information on these families before the early 1800s?

    • Pamela Pacelli

      would love to know anything you have on the Pacelli family. I may be able to help you fill in some gaps.

  63. Mary Ann DiNartolo

    My maternal grandfather’s name was Joseph Ricigliano. He came from Ricigliano Italy. He came to America pre-Ellis Island. Is it possible he took the name of his town but had a different surname in Italy? Would that be the case with other people I have found with the surname of Ricigliano? Would you know from the research you have done?

    • Mary Ann, so far I have not encountered that. I think there is another town where the surname Ricigliano is found, but right now I can’t think of where I’ve seen it.

  64. Frank Mandarino

    My paternal grandmother, Florence Mandarino, lived in Chicago until her death in 2007. Her mother was Filomena Malpede, and her father was William Indelli. My family and I accompanied my grandmother to Ricigliano in 1998, and met a number of family members over lunch. That was one of the greatest afternoons in recent memory.


    • Mary Katherine Fregoso Bett

      Hi Frank

      My grandfather Rocco Marra was married to a Grace Indelli. Does any of this sound familiar to you or your family. I am trying to find my grandfathers family if any.

      Thank you,

      Mary Marr Fregoso Bett

  65. Megan Malagoli Patterson

    My Grandmother was Antoinette Iuzzolino Bagnoulo, My Grandfather was Daniel Bagnuolo came from Ricigliano. My Cousin Mary Bagnoulo Jazwiciak has already replied but our Grand Parents and Great Grandparents immigrated from Ricilgiano family pronounced it “Riggi” or “Reggio. I studied in an immersion program in the florentian province of Pinzano (Chianti Country) for 3 months when I was 16 and attempted to find and visit Ricilgiano and research our family history. It was similar to finding a needle in a haystack as the name seemed to leave those I asked for clues just as confused. Many had no idea what or where I was talking about or tried to convince me I was mispronouncing “Reggiligiano” or Region. I recall stories growing up and would love to uncover more about this place my family came from.

    • Anna Marie Hogan

      Hi Megan, My husband and I had a very difficult time finding Ricigliano in 1973, our first visit. We were told by the Italian Motor Club in Salerno that it did not exist! We drove around anyway looking for it all over the area, as we knew that it was near Salerno. An off-duty postman helped us find it by the zip code. Now all you have to do is google it and there it is! Complete with map.

  66. Anna Marie Hogan

    Hi Jennifer Holik, I am thoroughly Riciglianese on both sides of my family. In fact, my parents met at a wedding of mutual friends. My maternal grandparents were Josephine Galante Marzano and Anthony Marzano. My paternal grandparents were Antonia Parillo Anglesano and Donato Anglesano (original name was Angrisano, which was changed at Ellis Island. My father Michael Anglesano was born in Ricigliano and came to the U.S. at 30 days old! onboard the White Star Ship Cedric,in early March 1907. Anthony Marzano was educated in Italy, probably through grammar school and served in the Italian army. He and my grandmother immigrated in 1913. He also owned a news stand in downtown Chicago at the corner of Lake and Wells Sts. Both Great-Grandfathers came to Chicago several times to work in order to save money for passage for their families. But the Great-Grandparents were not able to come for various reasons. My Grandfather Marzano used to write letters on behalf of many Riciglianese relatives and friends who wanted to communicate to their relative in Italy, and when the responses came he would translate the Italian for them. My husband and I have been to Ricigliano three times. Once before the earthquake in 1973 and again in 2000 and in 2011. In 1973 we met the Indelli family who welcomed us and invited us to dinner. They were wonderful. When we returned in 2011 we met Donato Parilli who is the Police Chief there who took us around and introduced us to many. We are still in touch with him by email and facebook. Were you aware that there was an association of Riciglianese who pooled their money to provide help for members who needed it? It was disbanded about twenty years ago. There was also a small write up about Ricigliano that they had published regarding the origins of Ricigliano which claimed to be inhabited “before the Romans.” There is a map in the Vatican Museum in the Hall of Maps which dates from the 16th Century where Ricigliano appears next to a small drawing of a castle.
    A few years ago I made up a cookbook of family recipes passed down from my mother and grandmother, that I would be happy to share with you. I also have many family photos from the early 1900’s and the 1930’s and 1940’s in Chicago. I also have recent photos from Ricigliano. The names you have listed are all very familiar and some I know could be relatives.
    We live in Florida now, but get back to Chicago occasionally. I would love hearing more about your project.

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