I Sgraditi – The Unwelcome

As you read in A Door To Their Hearts, each steamship voyage had carried thousands of immigrant passengers to America, including my grandparents, granduncles and aunts, their cousins, and their children, the Ferro. In last months blog, you lived their processing experience at Ellis Island through photographs. Included this month are the immigration records themselves that were written about and where I attained the research. I encourage you to take the voyage into the past as I had.

After reviewing each manifest, you’ll also find photographs that I’d amassed at the Italian American Museum in New York City’s Little Italy during my research of the early years that the Italian immigrants settled across the US. There, I found artifacts, stories, and the proof that while adjusting our forefathers had endured an excruciating hell. Obviously, while reading the book it all makes much more sense, but it’s true that pictures are worth a thousand words.

In 1903 the SS Vancouver sailed with my granduncle Carmelo Ferro and his young cousin aboard, before the steamship was scrapped in 1910. Antonino Ferro took his voyage on the SS Republic in 1904. In Waltham he housed on Moody Street with his cousin Giuseppe Ferro. Ship officials counted 2826 passengers onboard the SS Massalia sailing in May 1905 with Graziano Ferro, a cousin of my grandfather. In July 1905, another of my granduncles, Sebastiano Ferro, was among 2202 steerage passengers who disembarked the SS Romanic and processed through the Immigration Station. Can you imagine so many in one ship compartment for weeks?

Signorino Ferro was one of 2220 passengers on the SS Cretic arriving in NY in June 1906. And in the same year and on the same ship, but on a different voyage entirely, my granduncle Salvatore Ferro arrived to the port of NY at Ellis Island with 2535 other passengers. My grandfather, Giuseppe Ferro, sailed again, in July 1906, on the SS Canopic, and arrived at the port of Boston. It was the beginning of May 1907 when the SS Barbarossa reached port in NY. A passenger by the name of Antonino Ferro touched land and joined his brother Sebastiano in Waltham. But why didn’t he stay? 

Signorino Ferro completed another passage from Naples aboard the SS Finland in 1909, with 1804 other countrymen in steerage, including his brother Antonino Ferro.Just a year later, in 1910, another 4004 passengers were packed tightly onboard the SS Barbarossa during another voyage, with Rosalia Mancuso and her daughter Rosaria, age one. The two were meeting husband and father Signorino Ferro, and during the voyage they were escorted by Cousin Vincenzo Ferro, the tailor. 

Salvatore Ferro was one of 2020 when he sailed again, this time on the SS Red Italia in April 1911. Following his brother a month later, Giuseppe Ferro and his wife, Angelina Luca, and son, Carmelo Ferro, a youngster then, were three of 1361 passengers who sailed across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic on the SS Duca d’Aosta in May 1911. It was the first voyage for Angelina and Carmelo, but not Giuseppe. Two of 2320 passengers aboard the SS Madonna, from Sicily to New York in 1913, were my aunt Vita Ferro, a youngster herself, and her uncle, Vincenzo Luca. Hers is the photograph that I proudly display on the opening page of the website. That journey was one of trial and tribulation for the two travelers.  

Feisty, Vincenza Ferro was the first Ferro female on record to arrive in the US in 1914 aboard the popular steamship, the SS Cretic. She traveled in the company of her sister’s new husband, Antonio Rigoli, also a relation of sorts to our Ferro ancestry. Newly married Filippa Ferro Rigoli, Vincenza’s sister and one of 2548 passengers on the SS Dante Alighieri, finally joined her husband in the summer of 1920. Vincenzo the tailor’s wife, Domenica Scalisi Ferro arrived in the summer of 1929 on the SS Roma and their son, Ignazio Ferro, arrived in the autumn of 1930 on the same steamship. 

Note: To access the records below, simply click on the images to open them in a new tab. Once in the new tab, click the image again to activate the magnifying glass feature which will allow you to find our family’s immigration records.

I Sgraditi; The Unwelcome

Photographs that follow the storyline in A Door To Their Hearts.

To learn more about other Ferro ancestors who came to settle in Waltham, follow the family memoir. Available for purchase here. Join me next month as I continue to follow the storyline and share more images with you. A presto! 👌🏼

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