Pennsylvania Vitale Family – Montalbano Ionico, Argusto, Satriano…

1 Mar

The Vitale family moved around from 1700s  to 1900s.  James (Vincenzo) Vitale (b.1892 in Montalbano, Province Matera) moved to western Pennsylvania in 1910 — meeting half-brother, Gregorio Giorgio Vitale, who married in 1909 in Italy, but soon went off to find work in America.  Gregorio’s whereabouts after that is a mystery.  He may have died (he was much older than James).  James ended up living in Charleroi (Wash. Co., Pa) and then Ford City (Armstrong Co).  Their father was born in Argusto (Prov. Catanzaro) in 1851. He married second wife, Vittoria Ricciardi, in 1881 in her native village of Montalbano– according to tradition (wedding in the parish of the bride).  People in that area often chose marriage partners from outside their own village.  James and siblings were born in the mother’s village, but the half- brother was born in a different town, because his mother, Teresa Strano, was from another place.  When James went to America, his father was in Roggiano Gravina (CS).  Jame’s grandfather was born in Satriano (Prov. Catanzaro).  Each time a direct ancestor chose a marriage partner and raised children in a new place, there were also sideline relatives who remained in the original village.  The surname Vitale shows up today in various provinces. If you are seeking a Vitale from a particular village, those from other nearby towns should not be discounted as family, because they could well be related.   Many (not all) Vitales who exist in different villages  are related by blood–today spread throughout the Basilicata Region.  The link to the common ancestor could be in the 1800s or the 1700s or earlier.

To follow their trail, research must proceed backwards “from the known to the unknown” each step of the way in proper order.  From Jame’s death record in Penn.his date of birth and names of parents were learned;the ship record  mentioned his place of birth.  The birth certificate was then located in Italy, with his parent’s marriage in the same town.  This revealed year and place of birth for his father, providing names of the next generation back.  Proceeding to the other town, we found the marriage record of that next older generation.  One step at a time, a tree was built that included all siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles etc.  The Vitale tree now has over 1,200 people on it !  This includes the maternal lines of Vallone and Vecchio families of Argusto.  Pallante does a thorough job. 

But James Vitale who died in Ford City, Pa. left only daughters, and his surname did not carry on in the new country.  It remains unknown whether  Gregorio left sons in America.  The wife he left behind in Italy in 1909 died there “a widow” in 1931.  That village reports no children of Gregorio found, nor his death (1909-1931).  Jame’s family didn’t realize he had a brother, but would like to know what happened to him  after 1910.  A sponsor for a Pennsylvania research project is needed to solve this problem.   Also, many of the Vitale’s on our big tree in Italy who were sideline relatives of James  had descendants who also immigrated to America– to various cities. You may be wondering about the town of origin of your Vitale immigrant. Chances are the Pallante Center would only need to do a short project to connect your Vitale immigrant to the tree that is already built.

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