Paternal Ancestry of Perry Vito Zizzi:Information about Vitantonio Zizzi
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Vitantonio Zizzi (b. 08 Jun 1881, d. 22 Mar 1972)Vitantonio Zizzi (son of Giuseppe Domenico Zizzi and Margherita Zizzi)4681, 4682, 4683, 4684, 4685, 4686, 4687, 4688, 4689, 4690, 4691 was born 08 Jun 1881 in Cisternino, Brindisi, Italy, and died 22 Mar 1972 in Utica, New York.He married Elisabetta Maria Semeraro on 08 Feb 1914 in Cisternino, Brindisi, Italy, daughter of Nunzio Semeraro and Anna Isabella Molendini.
Notes for Vitantonio Zizzi:
Vitantonio's godmother was his aunt Maria Concetta Zizzi and his godfather appears to have been his paternal grandfather.
Vitantonio may have traveled from Italy to the United States three times.With several cousins, he may have sailed from Napoli on May 31, 1907 on the Königen Luise, arriving in New York on June 14.Destination:the home of a cousin, Francesco Zizzi, in Corinthe, West Virginia, perhaps to scout out work possibilities.If that Vitantonio Zizzi was indeed he, it is not known when he returned to Italy.Immigration records indicate that he probably re-entered the United States, via New York, on November 25, 1910, this time with his brother Giovanni, on the König Albert, which departed Napoli on November 11.Vitantonio and Giovanni then probably journeyed to Kayford, West Virginia this time, to the home of their cousin Vito Domenico Zizzi.
Again, if that was indeed my grandfather, exactly when he went back to Italy is unknown.Apparently, he traveled all the way back to Cisternino to find a bride.According to his daughter Margherita (Mary) Zizzi, Vitantonio went to the home of Nunzio Semeraro to request the hand of one of his daughters in marriage.Cosimo wanted to marry off Elisabetta, the eldest, but she was not immediately taken with Vitantonio.Only reluctantly did Elisabetta consent to wed Vitantonio.The couple soon found themselves leaving the Bay of Napoli on the Regina d'Italia, on March 17, 1914, arriving New York on April 3, 1914 after port calls in Palermo and Genoa.
In 1986, when my Uncle Cosmo and Aunt Ruff Zizzi and I spent an afternoon at the U.S. Archives in Washington, DC, we found what we concluded were immigration records for Vitantonio Zizzi and his family.I have no doubt about the relevancy of the records for the Semeraros (see information on Nunzio Semeraro and Anna Isabella Molendini) and for the time Vitantonio and his wife Elisabetta entered together.The record from November 1910, for a Vito Zizzi and a Giovanni Zizzi, is also probably relevant, although the age listed for Vito is drastically inaccurate (by around 6 years).This record probably pertains to my grandfather because (1) Vitantonio's brother Giovanni is not listed in later entry records with any other immigrating family members, (2) family tradition has it that the two brothers arrived together but that Vitantonio returned to Italy alone and (3) Giovanni's wife's obituary states that she immigrated to the United States from Italy in November 1910 -- making it likely that she met her future husband en route.The first record that we saved from 1907 is, however, questionable.We decided it related to Vitantonio Zizzi simply because of the name and the destination, and because the 1910 record indicated that he had been in the United States previously.That "Vito Zizzi" may, though, have been a cousin.There were numerous Vitantonio and Vito Zizzis from Cisternino, all about the same age, all related.Why?The practice of naming children resulted in the eldest male grandsons getting their paternal grandfather's name.So in a Vitantonio Zizzi family with six sons (i.e. the family of my great-great-grandfather), THEIR firstborn sons were all named "Vitantonio."That's five "Vitantonio Zizzis" besides my own grandfather.Plus, to confuse matters, "Vito" was considered a different name:hence my grandfather's brother was named "Vito", after his MATERNAL grandfather, Vito Zizzi.The upshot of all this is that I am only confident of the later two immigration records (the Zizzi-Semeraro record and the later Semeraro family record) and reasonably comfortable with the 1910 record.
More About Vitantonio Zizzi:
Baptism: 09 Jun 1881, Church of San Nicola, Cisternino, Brindisi, Italy.Vitantonio Zizzi stood as godfather and Concetta Zizzi as godmother..
Burial: Mt. Calvary Cemetary, Utica, New York.
Naturalization: 05 Apr 1939, Utica, New York.
More About Vitantonio Zizzi and Elisabetta Maria Semeraro:
Marriage: 08 Feb 1914, Cisternino, Brindisi, Italy.
Marriage Notes for Vitantonio Zizzi and Elisabetta Maria Semeraro:
Their marriage date is shown as 16 Feb. 1914 in the annotations beside their baptism records. Yet an extract of their marriage record issued on 8 August 1941 shows date as Feb. 8, 1914. And Margaret Zizzi, their daughter, told me 9 Feb. 1914. Oddly, Feb. 16 was a Monday. So it would seem likely that the date of Feb. 8 is correct.
Children of Vitantonio Zizzi and Elisabetta Maria Semeraro are:
- +Peter Nunzio Zizzi.