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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Other Ambruso Family in Philadelphia

For the last month I have been posting articles about the family of Francesco Domenico “Frank” Ambruso.  It’s time to move on to the other branch of the Ambruso family that also settled in Philadelphia. 
Between 1845 and 1858, Michelarcangelo Ambruso and Maria Giuseppa Iula had four sons and two daughters, all born in Salandra, Italy.  Two of those six children came to America and settled in Philadelphia.  As we learned previously, Francesco was the first son to emigrate.   He came over in about 1881.  By 1900 he was fully settled in Philadelphia.  His three children were grown and newly married, and he even had a grandson born in the USA.  By that time he was already a naturalized US citizen and was going by the name “Frank”. 
In that same year, Frank’s younger brother Giuseppe decided to follow his older brother and venture into the New World.  Frank may have sent him a letter urging his brother to join him in Philadelphia.  Giuseppe arrived at Ellis Island on October 17th 1900, on the S.S. Alsatia, with his sons Michele (age 9) and Eugenio (age 7).  On the ship’s passenger manifest it says that he was headed to his brother Francesco’s house at 714 South Mildred Street in Philadelphia.  
Ship's Passenger Manifest  from the S.S. California showing Maria Giuseppa Di Dio Ambruso
arriving with her three children at Ellis Island on May 22, 1901

Seven months later, in May of 1901, Giuseppe’s wife Maria arrived at Ellis Island on the S.S. California, with three children:  Maria (age 6), Adelina (age 4) and Francesco (11 months).  There were a few other people from Salandra making the voyage with them and listed on same page of the ship’s manifest.  I’m sure they helped this young mother with her three small children traveling without her husband.  The next line below them on the manifest was Nicola Puzitiello, a 31 year old married man from Salandra who was going to his relative at (would you believe) 810 Bainbridge Street in Philadelphia, just around the corner from South Mildred Street.  He probably accompanied Maria and the children on their train journey from New York City to Philadelphia.
If you look at the far right side of the manifest shown above, you will notice that Maria listed that she and the children were going to her husband at 723 South Mildred Street.  So it seems that in just a few months, her husband, Giuseppe, already had a home ready for the family, just up the street from his brother Frank.  Giuseppe and Maria eventually had three more children who were born in Philadelphia, making eight children in all.  Most of the descendants of these children stayed in the Philadelphia area, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.  There are probably over fifty direct descendants of Giuseppe and Maria alive today. 

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