Family History Research

Murabito and Microsoft OneNote

Today I am concentrating on my husband’s Italian side of the family. I am using MS OneNote to keep a more detailed research log and have spent the afternoon mapping out my Concetta Murabito against Charles (Cirino) Murabito and the Coco uncles, in Chicago.

I believed I found a ship log for Concetta and the address looked like one for my Cirino. She listed brother Murabito Cirino as the person who paid her passage. Below is how my afternoon was spent mapping things out.  I did find enough evidence to connect her to my family. Success! I exported the OneNote page as an HTML file. The OneNote page below is not as “pretty” as the actual thing but it still works.

Monday, July 05, 2010

3:58 PM


1893 – Salvatore Coco

1902 – Antonio Coco

1903 – Charles Murabito & Sis Rosa

1905 – Concetta Murabito ???? I think this is her.

1909 – Salvatore Murabito

1922 – Josephine

B: 2/14/1882

M: 1/21/1909

D: 10/27/1933

Arrival: 3/30/1903 listed as Cirino Morabito

2117 (?) S. Clark Street, Uncle Antonio Coco

Charles (Cirino) Residences

1909 – Ship Log Brother Salvatore – 203 22nd Street, Chicago, Cook, IL, USA

1910 – Census – 257 W. 23rd Street, Chicago, Cook Co., IL  Ward 4, ED 1580

1918 – Draft reg – 257 W. 23rd Street, Chicago, IL

1920 – Census – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

1922 – Ship Log Sister Josephine – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

1930 – Census – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

Antonio Coco Residences  UNCLE TO CHARLES

1903 – Brother Cirino Ship Log -2117 S. Clark, Chicago, Cook, IL,

1910 – Census – 2416 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook, IL

1920 – Census – 2416 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook, IL

1930 – Census – 5301 S. Richmond, Chicago, Cook, IL

Salvatore Coco Residences  UNCLE TO CHARLES

1900 – 1938 Archer Ave, Chicago

1910 – 268 W. 23rd Street, Chicago   Ward 4, ED 250

Concetta Murabito m. Domenico Grasso 1/2/1910

1911 – Jennie born

6/12/1912 – Salvatore born   307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

8/2/1912 – Salvatore died

9/28/1913 – Ida born

11/28/1913 – Agatina born  307 W. 23rd Street

1/19/1914 – Ida died   307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

9/24/1915 – Salvatore Savior born  307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

8/11/1918 – Tony born   2315 Princeton Ave, Chicago

1920 – Census 2315 Princeton Ave

10/13/1921 – Alfred born  225 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

Cannot locate on 1910 census. Checked Ward 4, ED 250, Ward 4, ED 1580, Ward 4 ED 1613 (go check again)  CHECK 249 – likely in there

Created with Microsoft OneNote 2010
One place for all your notes and information

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Women and the Naturalization Process

This week I came across a Naturalization Record Index Card for my husband’s great grandmother, Rose La Mantia Murabito. It stated she was repatriated. This confused me a great deal because she was born in Chicago, which is in the United States last I checked. I doubled checked her birth certificate to make sure I had it and it was her. It was. So why in 1939 was Rose being repatriated?

A kind blog reader commented on my post regarding this issue and sent me to a website regarding loss of citizenship due to marriage. This thought crossed my mind before I wrote the post but I could not locate anything specific on this. When researching both my lines and my husband’s, I suppose I just assumed all of the women in our direct lines became citizens. It never occurred to me that one of the women in my tree would have lost her citizenship until I found this index card. Due to this discovery, I took a closer look at my direct lines. Rose was the only woman on either side that was born in the U.S. but married an Alien after 1907. The rest of the women were either married upon arrival; married an Alien after arrival and was naturalized with him; or obtained naturalization on her own.

Today as I dig further into the Naturalization process and the information I thought to be correct, until this case arose, I am learning a lot about the changes in laws. KindredConnections has a fantastic article on the Naturalization Process called “Where are they? Finding Your Ancestors’ US Naturalization Records.”  In the article’s section about Women, the author, Karen Clifford, states, “An act passed in 1907 stated that a woman’s nationality depended entirely on her husband’s. This meant that if her husband gained citizenship, so did she. It also meant that if a woman who had been born a US citizen married an alien, she lost her citizenship. She could repatriate only if and when her husband naturalized.”

That completely explains Rose’s case. Isn’t it funny that I have read many articles on Naturalization and listened to speakers, yet never heard or saw this tidbit of information? I guess it is a good example of having blinders on and only seeing or hearing what we need at the time for the research we are doing.

Another great resource I discovered is from the National Archives. There is an informative article on their website from the Prologue Magazine, Summer 1998, Vol. 30, No. 2, called “Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married . . .” Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940 By Marian L. Smith

If you have other great Naturalization Process websites, please post them in the comments section.


Mind Boggling Question

I just stumbled upon a mind boggler and I’m hoping someone can help me understand what is going on here. I was on looking at my tree and pulled up Rose La Mantia Murabito. She had a hint for a historical record. The record is a Naturalization document index card. Stamped on the card it says REPATRIATED.

Here is the puzzling thing, Rose was born in Chicago on March 3, 1892. I have a copy of her birth certificate. Yet in 1939 she was repatriated and granted citizenship. She wasn’t born in Italy. Her father became a U.S. citizen in 1899 and applied for a passport in 1906. Why was she repatriated? What caused her to lose her U.S. citizenship?

If you have run across this in your research and can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it.

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Death Certificate Discoveries

Death certificates can contain very interesting causes of death, or the “usual” causes of death such as heart disease and cancer. I discovered two certificates for my husband’s Italian side that caused quite a stir in the family when I revealed how these men died.

First we have Fortunato Fratto. Fortunato was born about 1854 in Taverna, Italy. He immigrated to the United States 21 November 1890 and set his sights on Chicago. Fortunato died 31 January 1921 in Chicago, Illinois due to what the death certificated stated as “Hemorrhage due to gun shot wound. Inquest held.”  Wow! He was shot! After the initial shock of this discovery wore off I began to search for records.

Thanks to the work of Northwestern University, the Chicago Homicide records from 1870 – 1930, are in a database located at the Homicide in Chicago website. Their site contains historical background information, an interactive database, crimes of the century and much more. To find my Fortunato Fratto I searched the database. The search options include keyword search, case number, date of offense, victim name, address, circumstances, defendant and relationship between the victim and defendant. The database does include a note that all information was transcribed exactly as it appeared on the records with no corrections being made to the data input. And as we know when researching records, the data on the document isn’t always 100% correct.

The database shows under a search for Fratto, nothing. I had to search several different criteria in order to find his case. When I found it, the name was misspelled as Fortunato Fratts. Not Fratto. The blurb that comes up with the search states, “January 30, 1921 Fratts, Fortunato – Age 55 – Fatally shot 1/29/21 during an altercation with Guisseppe Tellerino, in the latter?s home at 230 W. 25th St. Tellerino escaped. 15 Pct., Case number: 5987, View case details.” Clicking on case details gives more information about the circumstances of the homicide, victim and defendant information.

Take a look at the Chicago Homicide Database. There are lots of interesting cases. You never know what you will find.

Now, on to our second Italian, Charles Murabito. Charles was born 14 February 1882 in Trecastagni, Italy. He immigrated to the United States 30 March 1903 and came to Chicago. He lived a full life, dying 27 October 1933 in Elgin, Kane County, Illinois. I looked for his death certificate on the Illinois State Archives death certificate database.  I searched by Cook County because that is where he resided. It was only when I opened the search to the entire state that I found a possible record for him, in Elgin. When I read the death certificate, the information matched and Charles had indeed, died in Elgin!

Elgin is a long way from Chicago, even by car in 1933, and there was a lot of farm land out that way, so what was a “city boy” doing in Elgin when he died? His death certificate stated the cause of death was, “General paralysis of the insane.” Huh? What is that? A little Googling brought me to understand this was Syphilis. My jaw hit the floor when I discovered this bit of information. Did my husband’s family know this? More Googling brought me information related to the old Elgin State Hospital that no longer exists. This was a mental hospital where the “mad and insane” where taken from all around the area.

My husband’s family found all of this information interesting but also a bit shocking. Can you blame them? I think it is all extremely fascinating. These are the things that make every family different and interesting in their own way.

What interesting Death Certificate Discoveries do you have?

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