view of Salandra, Matera, Basilicata, Italy by Antonio DiPersia

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Four Michaels

From my research I have found that Michelarcangelo Ambruso and Maria Giuseppa Iula were not originally from Salandra.  Actually they both grew up in the nearby village of Laurenzana where they were married in 1843.  For some reason, shortly after they were married, they moved to Salandra which is about 18 miles away.  From examining records from Salandra, I can safely say that their family was the only Ambruso family living in Salandra during the second half of the 19th century.  All the Ambruso’s from Salandra were descendants of Michelarcangelo and Maria.
Over the course of 13 years, they had four sons and two daughters: Francesco Domenico, Michele, Angela, Anna Maria, Giuseppe Maria, and Rocco Vincenzo.  As would be expected, they followed the naming customs of the time, so the first son of each son of Michelarcangelo was named Michele.  (More on naming customs in a future post.)  These first sons were all named after their grandfather. There were four grandsons named Michele and all four of them came to America, forming four separate branches of the Ambruso family in the United States.  One branch settled in Harford, CT; one in northern NJ and New York City, and two branches settled in the Philadelphia. 
On this blog we will talk about all four of these family lines and invite stories and comments from members of all four clans.
There were many other people with the Ambruso surname who also came to America.  Nearly all were from other nearby villages in Basilicata.  Most were from Laurenzana, but a few Ambruso’s also came from villages such as Grassano, Ferrandino, Stigliano, and San Mauro Forte.  On this blog we will only cover the history of the Ambruso families from Salandra, the descendants of Michelarcangelo and Maria Giuseppa. 


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