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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Did Adelina Really Move Out West and Marry an Indian?

Adeline Kane in the 1940 U.S. Census from Mullan, Idaho
According to her husband’s Petition for Naturalization, Adelina “Lena” Ambruso was born in Salandra on September 12, 1898.  We know she arrived at Ellis Island with her mother Maria Giuseppa, her older sister Maria, and her infant brother Francesco in May of 1901.  They were all going to Adelina’s father in Philadelphia.  In 1915, she married Joseph Bonviglio in Philadelphia.  Joseph was from Garaguso, a town near Salandra.
Then, on the 1930 U.S. Census, she was back living in her parent’s home and listed as “divorced”.  In doing this research I have pouring over many 1930 census records.  I can say with certainty that it is extremely rare to see anyone listed as “divorced”.  Divorce was not very common in 1930, especially in South Philadelphia. 

From that point on, the record of Adelina’s life becomes a little fuzzy.  An Ambruso relative found a funeral prayer card for an Adelina Kane who died on January 16, 1971, at age 71. The funeral home was in Pennsauken, NJ.  However, there is also a family rumor that Adeline was married to an Indian out West.  Recently we found a 1940 U.S. Census record from Mullan, Idaho which lists an Adeline, married to Albert Kane, a lead/zinc miner who was born in Arizona.  It lists her age in 1940 as 40 years old and born in Italy, naturalized and it says that she was living in Philadelphia in 1935.  Could this Adeline be Giuseppe’s daughter? She must be.  All the facts match.
Was Albert Kane a Native American?  Why did Adelina move out West?  How did she wind up in such an out-of-the-way place as Mullan, Idaho?  Where did she meet Albert Kane?  Why did she later come back to the Philadelphia area?  Did Albert Kane also come back to the Philadelphia area?  Why did she get divorced from Joseph Bonviglio in the first place?  These are questions we are still trying to answer.  Sounds like it would make a good novel.  If you could shed any light on the Adelina Mystery, please send me an e-mail. 


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    1. maryanne warrickFebruary 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM
      My grandfather, John (Eugenio) Ambruso was Adeline's brother. Aunt Adeline, or Aunt Ad, as we called her, moved to Arizona when she was ill with tuberculosis. While there, she met Al Kane, her second husband. He was a Native American. They moved back to Philadelphia and lived on 19th and Wolf Street in South Philadelphia. Her husband Al worked for the Atlantic Refinery. Later they moved to Pennsauken, NJ, where they lived about a block or so from her brother Frank. Frank lived in Pennsauken for many years before he retired to Florida. Aunt Ad suffered a broken hip from a car accident. She died in surgery. ----Maryanne Jordan Warrick, daughter of Theresa (Terry) Ambruso Jordan

    2. Maryanne,
      This is great information. Thank you. If you have any more stories or photos, please send them to me.