Entries in Greenport (3)


Anna Quintilia D'Orazio Cervone

Anna Quintilia D'Orazio CervoneMy great grandmother Anna Quintilia D'Orazio Cervone (aka Condelia) was born in San Salvo on April 7, 1866 to Graziano Stanisloa Luigi D'Orazio and Maria Loreto

Condelia had three half siblings from her father's first marriage to Audrie Sorge. Graziano married Audrie in San Salvo on the 26th of January 1854, but was widowed eight years later (April 1862) when Audrie died at the age of 29. Audrie and Graziano had 3 children during their marriage, two of whom died in infancy:

  1. Anna D'Orazio, b. 1854, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 03 Dec 1854, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  2. Giacoma D'Orazio, b. Abt. 1857, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 1886, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  3. Michele D'Orazio, b. 29 Sep 1860, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 01 Oct 1860, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy

Graziano married Maria approximately one year later in San Salvo on March 26, 1863. The couple had seven children together, (at least) three of whom survived to adulthood:

  1. Gaetano D'Orazio, b. 20 May 1864, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. unknown
  2. Anna Quintilia D'Orazio, b. 07 Apr 1866, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Vincenzo Cervone, 14 Sep 1884, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 02 Apr 1946, Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA
  3. Antonia D'Orazio, b. 01 Jan 1868, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 25 Jul 1868, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  4. Michele D'Orazio, b. 09 Feb 1870, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 09 Jul 1871, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  5. Anna Saveria D'Orazio, b. 21 Sep 1871, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Luigi di Nizio 23 Nov 1889, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. unknown
  6. Michele D'Orazio, b. 07 Mar 1873, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 02 Nov 1873, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  7. Berinice D'Orazio, b. 26 Mar 1875, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Giacinto Bracciale, 25 Aug 1895, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. unknown


Birth Certificate for Anna Quintilia D'Orazio

To the left is a photograph of Condelia's birth certificate from San Salvo. (Click on the image to enlarge)  It is in Italian (of course!), but please see below for a partial translation:

 L'anno mille ottocento sessantasei nel giorno nove del mese di Aprile =The year 1866, the nineth day of April

Giuseppe Ciavatta Sindaco ed uffiziale della Stata Civile del questa Comune di San Salvo, Circondario di Vasto, Provincia di Chieti e comparso = Giuseppe Ciavatta, Mayor, an official of the civil registration of the Comune of San Salvo, District of Vasto, Provence of Chieti presents

Graziano d'Orazio, di Giacoma, di anni trentasei, di professione calzolaio, domicilaiato in San Salvo strada del Vasto, il quale ci ha presentato una bambina = Graziano d'Orazio, son of Giacoma, age 36, shoemaker by profession, living in San Salvo on Vasto Street, who presented to us a female baby

ed ha dichiarato che lo stesso e nato nel giorno sette del volgente Aprile alle ore cinque = and he declared that same was born on the seventh day of April of the current year at the hour of five

moglie Maria Loreto di Raffaele, di professione filatrice =  (of) mother Maria Loreto, daughter of Raffaele, (who is a ) spinner by profession

dichiarato di dare il nome di Anna Quintilia = (The same) declared to give (his daughter) the name of Anna Quintilia

The presentation of the child was made in the presence of two witnesses:

Michele Viedi (?) fu Nicola, di anni quarantasei, di professione contadino = Michele Viedi, son of the deceased Nicola, age 46, peasant by profession

e Giuseppe Torino fu Nicola, di anni ventiquattro, di professione contadino, domiciliati in questa comune = and Giuseppe Torino, son of the deceased Nicola, age 24, peasant by profession, (both of whom) live in this town


Marriage Certificate for Vincenzo Cervone and Anna Quintilia D'Orazio Condelia married Vincenzo in San Salvo on September 14, 1884. To the right is a copy of their marriage certificate. (Click on the imagine to enlarge).  Below is a partial translation of the document:

ATTI DI MATRIMONIO = Act of Marriage, or Marriage Document

L'anno milleottocentottanta quattro, addi quattordici di Settembre =  The year 1884, on the day fourteen, of the month September

nella Casa Comunale di San Salvo, aperta al pubblico = in the city hall of San Salvo, open to the public

Avanti di me Livino (?) Cavatta, Sindaco, Uffiziale dello Stato Civile, vestito in froma ufficiale, son personalmente comparsi= Before me Livino Cavatta, Mayor, an official of the civil registration, officially and personally appeared:

1. Vincenzo Cervone, di anni venticinque, contadino, nato in Serramonacesca, residente in San Salvo, figlio del fu Gaetano, residente in Serramonacesca e della fu Teresa Michitti, residente in San Salvo= Vincenzo Cervone, age 25, peasant by profession, born in Serramonacesca, living in San Salvo, son of the deceased Gaetano, who resided in Serramonacesca and the deceased Teresa Michitti, who resided in San Salvo

2. Anna Quintilia d'Orazio, di anni diciotto, contadina, nata in San Salvo, residente in San Salvo, figlia del fu Graziano, residente in San Salvo e di Maria Loreto, residente in San Salvo= Anna Quintilia d'Orazio, age 18, born in San Salvo, living in San Salvo, daughter of the deceased Graziano, who resided in San Salvo and Maria Loreto, who resides in San Salvo

i quali me hanno rechiesto di unirli in matrimonio = who made a request of me to unite them in marriage


Condelia and Vincenzo had six children in San Salvo (three of whom survived to adulthood) and two children in Greenport: 

  1. Teresa Cervone, b. 13 Jan 1885, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 21 May 1885, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  2. Gaetano Cervone, b. 08 Feb 1886, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 02 Jan 1887, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  3. Antonia Cervone, b. 19 Nov 1887, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Antonio Nanni, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 13 Jul 1982, Sag Harbor, Suffolk, New York, USA
  4. Gaetano Cervone (aka Harry Loreto), b. 02 Feb 1890, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Ethel B, Sep 1926, place unknown; d. 01 May 1959, Sag Harbor, Suffolk, New York, USA
  5. Lucia Cervone, b. 17 Jan 1892, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; d. 13 Sep 1892, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
  6. Raphael Cervone, b. 11 Aug 1894, San Salvo, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy; m. Felixa Binkowsky, 15 Feb 1920, Shelter Island, Suffolk, New York, USA; d. 29 Jun 1965, Suffolk, New York, USA
  7. Casmiro R Cervone, b. 04 Mar 1907, Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA; m. Rose J Cervone 14 Nov 1926, Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA; d. 14 Mar 1963, Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA
  8. Frances Cervone, b. 04 Jul 1908; Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA; m. Louis R Reiter 1 Nov 1924, Greenport, Suffolk, New York, USA; m. Otto Sinramm unknown date, Suffolk, New York, USA; d. 13 Oct 1990, Cedarhurst, Suffolk, New York, USA


Over a 15 year period, Condelia, Vincenzo, Antonia, Gaetano, and Raphael all immigrated to New York from San Salvo. Vincenzo was the first to immigrate, probably around 1894. (This appears to be the date of immigration listed on the 1910 census, which I found online. Unfortunately, the online copy is very poor quality, so I will need to go to the NY District Branch of the  National Archives to examine their copy on microfilm.)  Even without official documentation, it is reasonable to assume that Vincenzo immigrated around this time, as the couple had their last child in Italy in 1894. Condelia had my grandfather, Casimero, approximately 15 months after arriving in the US.

Gaetano immigrated to New York from Naples on June 10, 1903, aboard the SS Nord America. He was accompanied by his paternal aunt, Cesidia Cervone Loreto. Gaetano and Cesidia arrived at Ellis Island on June 24, 1903 and were detained until June 25th at 10 AM, when Cesidia's husband (Casimero Loreto) came to collect them. (About 20 percent of immigrants were detained at Ellis Island, mostly due to health and legal reasons.  In addition, unescorted women and children were detained until their safety was assured through the arrival of a telegram, letter, or a pre-paid ticket from a waiting relative. Most were not kept more than five days, and were housed in a dormitory on site. Woman were only released to a male relative.)  On the manifest, it indicated that Gaetano was going to his father, Vincenzo Cervone -- 78 Mulberry Street. Casimero was living in Greenport at that point, but it is unclear if Vincenzo was still living in Little Italy or if he too had moved to Eastern Long Island (in other words, they had an old address).

Condelia and Raphael left Naples on December 31, 1906 aboard the SS Brasile  --  103 years ago today. On the ship's manifest, it indicated that their passages where paid for by Vincenzo. Condelia and Raphael arrived at the Port of New York (Ellis Island) on January 14, 1906. They were detained until 4:30 PM on January 15, 1906, when Gaetano came to get them. At this point, both Gaetano and Vincenzo were living in Greenport.

Interestingly, Condelia indicated at departure that she was in possession of $10.  This sum was subsequently crossed out when she arrived at Ellis Island, and simply replaced with a zero.   Basically, Condelia arrived in New York with the clothes on her back and a little boy in toe.

Antonia, her husband (Antonio Nanni) and her three year old son (Vitale Nanni) were the last family members to immigrate to New York. They left Naples on February 12, 1909 aboard the SS Prinzess Irene.  They indicated that their passage was paid for by Antonia's uncle, Casimero Loreto, and that they were in possession of $20. The family arrived in Ellis Island on February 27, 1909 and interestingly, they were also detained.  The reason for detension was listed as "too late". They were "released to destination" the following morning at 10 AM. Their final destination was "Uncle Casimero Loreto, Greenport NY".

As I noted above, Condelia had my grandfather Casimero on March 4, 1907 in Greenport, approximately 15 months after she arrived in the US.  Frances was born exactly sixteen months later on July 4, 1907. According to the census, Vincenzo, Condelia, Raphael, Casimero and Fanny were living on Fifth Street in Greenport in 1910. Vincenzo was not working at that point, most likely due to failing health (see below). Condelia's occupation was listed as a "laundress", who worked in the home. Rapheal was working as a laborer at the (Sage's) Brick Yard.

On November 5, 1911, Condelia became a widow when Vincenzo died at the age of fifty from Emphysema.  She was fourty five years old. 

I was told by more than one relative that Vincenzo was buried in a "pauper's cemetary".  I took this at face value initially.  But after I received a copy of his death certificate from New York State, I realized that this was actually family lore.  Vincenzo was (in fact) buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Greenport on November 6, 1911.  The undertaker was S B Horton.  I am not sure how she did it, but Condelia scraped together enough money to give her husband a proper burial.

According to the census, Condelia was living in the "rear" of 516 Fifth Street with Raphael (25 years), Casimero (12 years) and Philnino (11 years) in 1920. Her occupation was still listed as a "laundress" in the home; Raphael was working as an "oyster opener" in a shop.  Harry Loreto (aka Gaetano Cervone) was living a few doors down at 449 Fifth Street with Nan Johnson, a single Black woman who was listed as a "servant" (more on this at another time).  Harry's occupation was listed as a "laborer on oyster boat".

In 1930, Condelia was living at 451 Sixth Street.  Her rented home was between Wiggins Street and Flint Street, just before the railroad tracks heading south. By than, she was technically retired; Raphael was working as a "oyster opener" at the Oyster House. On the other side of the tracks (no pun intended), Angelo Corazzo, Louisa, Angelo B were living at 414 Sixth Street.  Casimero Cervone, Rose and Cecila were also living at this address. Tony Nanni and Antionet were living at 428 Sixth Street.

In all, Condelia lived in Greenport for 40 years. During this time, she married off four children and lived to see the birth of 8 healthy Italian American Grandchildren (Cecilia Cervone 1927, Theresa Cervone 1930, Robert Loreto 1931, Vincent Cervone 1934, Ralph Cervone 1936, David Cervone 1942, Otto Sinramm 1942 and his older sister; Vitale Nanni was born in San Salvo in 1906).  She died on April 2, 1946, 5 days before her 80th birthday.

I have not gotten around to ordering Condelia's death certificate from New York State (Cervone, Cornelia A; Greenport; 84 y; Certificate # 25716), so I am not clear what her official cause of death was.  According to my Aunt Ceil, she died in her home of a stroke.  She was also laid out at home "in a room full of gardenias". She is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery.  It is extremely difficult to find her plot in the cemetery, as she does not have a proper headstone. She has a marker, which is flush to the ground, that says "Cornelia Cervone 1861-1946".





Aunt Ceil, Cousin Nic from the Bronx and Uncle Harry

As most of you know, my Aunt Ceil passed away on February 28th after a long battle with cancer.

Ceil was my father's oldest sister. She was born on September 2, 1930 in Greenport, Long Island and spent her entire life on the "East End". Ceil married Henry Stepnoski on June 14, 1949 in St Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Greenport and they subsequently had four children together: Corinne, Josephine, John and Angelo. Ceil did an amazing job raising her kids and her kids, in turn, did an amazing job caring for her at the end of her life.

After her funeral, I went to Ceil's apartment for the very last time. (From the time I was a child, Ceil and Henry lived in that apartment.) While there, my cousins generously let me go through her old photos, which are now part of my genealogy treasure chest.  But truth be told, my most enduring memory of my aunt will be our long talks about our family.  Ceil was, and will always be, my genealogy buddy.  

Ceil taught me alot about my family, and in the course of our conversations, I learned alot about her. At times she could be grumbly and inpatient, but under the chutzpah was a real mensch.

Ceil had vivid memories of my great grandmother, Condelia, and always talked about her with great affection. Ceil shared with me that my great grandmother's favorite flower was a gardenia.  She also told me that Condelia came to my grandfather on the day of her death, and he sent her away impatiently.  (They found her dead later that day from a stroke.)  Ceil remembered how bad her father felt, and over 60 years later, she still felt bad for him.

Ceil could also be colorful and witty -- and some of our converations were like a Laurel and Harry skit. For example, one of our more memorable conversations went like this:

Michelle: "Hi Aunt Ceil. How are you feeling?"

Ceil: "Lousy."

Michelle: "Sorry to hear that."

Ceil: "Grumble, grumble, grumble......."

Michelle: Yap, Yap, Yap.........."I still can't find grandpa's (Vincenzo's) brother, Dominico.  I wish I could figure out what happened to him."

Ceil: "Don't know. Never met the guy. Yap, yap, yap.......(something about) Cousin Nic from the Bronx. He use to visit grandma (Condelia)."

Michelle: "What did you just say? Cousin who?"

Ceil: "Cousin Nic from the Bronx.  He worked for a big bank in the city."

Michelle: "What are you talking about?  You never mentioned a 'Cousin Nic from the Bronx' before. How was he related to us?"

Ceil: "Don't know. He was a relative, yap, yap, yap........."

It turned out that "Cousin Nic from the Bronx" was Dominico Cervone's oldest living son. Ceil helped me find Dominico, without even knowing it.

In another conversation, she talked about her"Uncle Harry". You might want to check the Cervone Family Tree at this point.  No "Harry" Cervone there.

Michelle: "Uncle Harry?  Who are you talking about?"

Ceil: "Grampa's brother. He lived behind Grandma, with 'a half Indian half Black woman'.  He called her his 'squaw'."

        Michelle: "His what?"

        Ceil: "His squaw."

Oh my, this one took some unraveling.  It turned out that my grandfather's brother, Gaetano Cervone, was raised by his Aunt Cesidia (and her husband Casimero Loreto). Ceil later told me that "grandma couldn't raise him, so they adopted him".  "Uncle Harry" Loreto was born Gaetano Cervone in San Salvo, Italy. He married a woman of color. No one but Ceil knew a thing about him. I am still trying searching for information about Harry's kids.

The last time I spoke to Ceil was in November 2009, just before Thanksgiving.  She had just come home from radiation therapy, and things were clearly not good.  She had no patience for my questions, and it was very difficult to engage her.  I knew, at that moment, it was the beginning of the end. Ceil always had time for me.

I will miss her dearly.


The Fascinating Story of Harry Loreto

It turned out that my grandfather's brother, Gaetano Cervone, was raised by his Aunt Cesidia (and her husband Casimero Loreto). My Aunt Ceil told me that "grandma couldn't raise him, so they adopted him".  "Uncle Harry" Loreto was born Gaetano Cervone in San Salvo, Italy. He married an Indian woman. No one but Ceil knew a thing about him. I am still trying searching for information about Harry's kids.

My great uncle, Gaetano Cervone, was born in San Salvo, Italy on February 2nd, 1890.  Gaetano was approximately six years old when his father immigrated to the US in 1896. Based on oral history (see above, and here), he was raised by Cesidia and Casmiro Loreto, his aunt and uncle, who had no children of their own. 

Casmiro immigrated to the US in 1901; Gaetano and Cesidia followed suit two years later in 1903. Based upon the ship's manifest (click on image to enlarge), Cesidia and Gaetano arrived at Ellis Island on June 24th aboard the SS Nord America. They were subsequently detained until the following day when Casmiro came to get them.

Like his father before him, Gaetano disappeared into thin air after arriving in New York, and did not surface again (genealogically speaking) until 1917 -- when he was drafted into the US Army as "Harry Loretto". According to his WWI Draft Registration Card, Harry was living at 444 Fifth Street in Greenport at that time, and was working as an Oysterman at the the Ellsworth Oyster Company in Greenport. Harry listed his marital status as "married" on the draft registration card, but did not list his wife's name.

As you will read below, this is not the last time that Harry indicated that he was married on an official document.  However, I have yet to find a single document that confirms he was ever married -- and I know for a fact that he was never married anywhere in New York State between 1901 and 1959 (which was the year that he died.) 

Harry enlisted in the US Army on September 1917 (103rd Infantry Division) and was honorably discharged on April 28, 1919. (His Aunt Cesidia died on May 6th, 1918, while Harry was enlisted.)According to the 1920 US Census, Harry returned to 444 Fifth Avenue (Greenport) after his discharge. He was 29 years old at the time, and he continued to list his marital status as "married". However, the only person living with Harry at the time (January 1920) was a 28 year old 'Black' woman named Nan Johnson.  He indicated to the Census agent that she was a "servant". 

I am still unclear who Nan was, but I find it highly unlikely that Harry had the means to have a servant. Rather, it seems more likely to me that Harry was living with Fran, and told the census taker that they were married.

Sometime between 1920 and 1926, Harry moved to Easthampton and left Greenport (and presumably Fran) behind.

Harry became a US citizen on May 6, 1931.  According to his naturalization papers, he was living on Springs Road in East Hampton at the time. He indicated that he married a woman named "Ethel B" (in East Hampton, NY) in September 1926 and that they had 2 children:

Madeline Loreto, born 15 August 1927 in East Hampton, NY

Robert Loreto, born 30 August 1931 in East Hampton, NY

A review of the NY State Vital Records Index (at the National Archives), however, turned up no evidence that Harry married a woman named Ethel in East Hampton (or anywhere in NY State) in 1926.  Once more, I could find no record of a child named 'Madeline Loreto', who was born in East Hampton in 1927. 

I did find a birth certificate number for a child named Harry Eugene Loreto, who was born in East Hampton on August 30th, 1931.  I subsequently ordered the birth certificate from the New York State Department of Health and was able to verifiy that Harry Eugene, AKA Robert, was Harry's son.

According to his birth certificate, Harry Eugene was born in Suffolk County, in the Town of East Hampton.  He was a 'legitamate' child and he was born full term.  His father was 40 years old at the time of his birth.  His race was listed as 'Italian' and his occupation was a gardener.  The certificate also indicated that Harry Sr had lived in the USA for 20 years.

Harry Eugene's mother was named Ethel Butler.  Ethel was 39 years old at the time of her son's birth.  Her race is listed as  'Indian' and her occupation was a housewife. According to the certificate, Ethel had 3 children who were "born alive and now living" and 2 children "born alive and now dead".

It is always exhilarating when oral history can be verified, and I was especially happy to realize that my Aunt Ceil's story was correct.  Harry's partner was an Indian woman.  But who in the world was Ethel Butler, and why was I unable to find a record of Madeline's birth?

I found Ethel and her extended family in the 1900 US Census.  At that time, she was 8 years old and was living with her father (Samuel), her mother (Ollie), and 9 siblings.  The family's home was on Three Mile Harbor Road, in a section of East Hampton called "Freetown" - where freed slaves and displaced Montauk Indians lived. A review of earlier census record later confirmed that Ethel's family had lived on Eastern LI for hundreds of years. (Much more on this fascinating story, at a later date.)

When my efforts to find Harry's marriage certificate and Madeline's birth certificate hit a wall, I turned to an unlikely source: Fred Overton, the East Hampton Town Clerk.  I realized that contacting him was a long shot, but in the end, he turned out to be an enormous help. I have included excerpts from our correspondence below:

Dear Sir:

I am currently researching members of my family who resided in East Hampton in the 1930's, and need to obtain copies of birth/marriage certificates.  Is it possible to obtain these records through your office?  If so, how does one request the records........

Michelle Cervone  


Dr. Cervone,

In my free time I have been working on your request. You may know the summer can get and does get a little crazy in this office. I have found this much so far:

Courtland Madison Butler was born to Ethel M. Butler February 17, 1911 (father unknown)

Madelene Elaine Butler was born to Ethel Butler August 15, 1927 (father unknown)

Harry Eugene Lorets (not Loreto-I will check further on the spelling) was born August 30, 1931 to Harry Lorets and Ethel Butler

James Arnold Butler was born November 14, 1932 to Harry Loreto and Ethel Butler

I will be sending information on Samuel and Olive M. soon.



Dr. Cervone,

Samuel Cortland Butler

Born about 1845 died June 30, 1905 at age 60

Father: unknown

Mother: Harriet ?

Olive M. Butler

Born April 1, 1852 in Montauk, NY died January 10, 1921

Father: William Fowler from Montauk, NY

Mother: Mary Cuffee from Montauk, NY

Harry Eugene Loreto. His name was spelled Loreto in the record

Father: Harry Loreto- Italian-Occupation Laborer

Mother: Ethel Butler- Indian-Occupation Housewife

There is no marriage record for Harry and Ethel. 

Based on this information, Harry also distorted his family status to the naturalization officer -- i.e he was not married to Ethel, and Madeline was not his daughter.  From what I can piece together, Ethel had 4 children before she met Harry (two of whom died) and at least 2 children with him. Robert lived to adulthood (see below), but James Arnold died on December 10, 1932 in Southampton (NYS Death Certificate #75750).  He was 26 days old.

Harry died on May 1, 1959. He was 69 years old.  He was laid to rest on May 5th at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY. (Section V, site 3959)

The 1940 Census will be released in 2012.  I hope at that time to better understand the next chapter of Harry's life. But until then,  I will end Harry's story on this fascinating note:  I found multiple pictures of Ethel, Madeline and Robert on the Montauk Tribe Website.  (See Historic Pictures, Gallery 2, #22)

Although I take issue with the racist tone of the accompanying text in the first picture, it did confirm that Ethel never married Harry, and that Courtland, Robert and Madeline lived to adulthood.  It is also uncanny to me how much Robert resembles his cousin (my Uncle) Ralph, when they were about the same age.