Monday, August 1, 2011

Yet another set of Italian names I can't trace

I have thoroughly enjoyed researching my husband's Italian ancestry. It is mostly because deep down inside I wish I were Italian. But I also enjoy the successes I find when I hit brick walls in Italy. They seem that much sweeter because they were difficult to overcome.

I have a new set of Italian names I can't trace. The main line I am researching is Pagano. I have long since traced them to Ventimiglia, Sicily and have found birth and marriage records for the family via LDS research. The Ingraffia family married in to this Pagano line following their immigration to New York City. I have not had as much success with this line. Although I know they immigrated in 1898, I don't know from whence they came. The father of this line, Angelo Ingraffia, died prior to the immigration and the mother, Catherine Spalitto, remarried...which caused all kinds of confusion in my research. Now it is her maiden name that causes me untold grief.

I have seen this name as Spragleti, Spalliffan, and Spalletto. I recently received a copy of her death certificate:
Yes, yet another spelling. The cherry on top is her mother's maiden name. Normally a wondrous thing, but in this case it opens up another can of worms. During a brief research foray on the above names I find nothing. I can find little to no trace of the surname "Narfia." Not even a hint of where the name originates. I'm not sure if the Spalittos, Narfias and Ingraffias are from Sicily or somewhere else in Italy.

I have found two ship manifests that may help in my search. One manifest lists a Giovanna Ingraffia (possibly my husband's great-grandmother) arriving in New York November 16, 1899, her last residence listed as Mezzojuso. A second manifest lists a Catherina Spalletto and Pietrina Ingraffia arriving in New York on June 28, 1899, last residence listed as Mezzojuso. I do not have conclusive proof that these manifests are for the individuals I'm researching, but at this point it's all I have to go on. Ah, the joys of research.

1 comment:

Jennifer Trahan said...

One time I found a surname of Yenata in my bro-in-law's Italian line. Come to find out, I think it is actually Iannotta. At least, that's the closest match I can find to that pronunciation. But I would have never guessed if I hadn't happened upon a website about the area I knew they came from. Too bad you don't know the area.