Many of the descendants of Baldassare & Maria Luiga RIZZUTO of Poggioreale, Sicily are now living in Australia. In recent times their grandchildren have reunited and are keen to make contact with anyone who may be able to provide further information in addition to what is recorded hare.
We understand Baldassare was born on 1st March 1863 to Paulo RIZZUTO & Rosaria SALVAGGIO. He was their last child and had six older brothers (names unknown). He was the only son to marry. Some of the brothers died young, others due to feuding over properties. There were litigations over land for many years. His father was a wealthy man who apparently lost everything.
His wife Maria Luiga was the only child of Pietro & Gatina BALSAMO. Her mother left when she was a young child and she was raised by her father.
Baldassare & Maria had 10 children who are all now deceased.
1. Francesca (1888 to 1966). Married Antonino BONANA and had 3 children - Francesca, Maria & Peppina.
2. Antonino (1892 to 1962). Married Caterina AVVENEVOLE and had 4 children - Maria, Baldassare, Tony & Giuseppe.
3. Paul (1895 to 1898)
4. Sarida [Rosaria] (1894 to 1983). Married Tommaso PALERMO.
5. Paul (1899 to 1917). Killed in the war.
6. Giuseppe (1902 to 1978). Married Ignazia TRAMONTE and had 3 children - Mary, Nina & Frances.
7. Salvatori (1905 to 1964). Married Maria PERI and had 3 children - Paul, Mary & Angela.
8. Rosalia (1908 to 1997). Married Vincenzo ADAMO and had 2 children - Mario & Anthony.
9. Petro (1910 to 1957). Married Angela LOSURDO and had 5 children - Maria, Vincenza, Frances, Josephine & Paul.
10. Giovanni (1914 to 1985). Married Maria PITTORINO and had 5 children - Louise, John, Anthony, Anne & Mark.
Giovanni (John) RIZZUTO migrated to Australia by cargo ship in April 1938. His brothers Giuseppe (Joe), Salvatori (Sam) and Pietro (Peter) had migrated earlier. Their sister Rosalia migrated a few years later. John became an Australian citizen in July 1946.
In the year 2000 there was the first family reunion of all their descendants in Sydney, Australia after many years of separation. This has opened the door for more regular get togethers and we hope to continue the practice well into the future.
We are very keen to hear from anyone who may be related, associated, interested or able to offer any information which may assist in tracing the family's history.
In particular we are keen to hear from anyone who can assist with information on the families of Baldassare's parents, Paulo Rizzuto & Rosaria Salvaggio, or Maria Luiga's parents, Pietro & Gatina Balsamo.
Please respond to the address supplied below.