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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Marriages & Families - Eugene and Carmella Ambruso

Eugenio Ambruso's
World War 1 Draft Registration Card
For a genealogist, World War 1 and 2 Draft Registration Cards provide a wealth of valuable information.  Since the card is a serious, official government document that was filled out by the person himself, the information is usually very accurate.  The photo to the left shows the WW1 card filled out by Eugenio Ambruso the second son of Giuseppe.  First, we notice that, when the card was filled out in 1918, he was still using the name Eugenio instead of Eugene, or "John" as everyone later called him.  He states that he was born on Novber (sp) 25, 1893 in "itley".  It should also be noted that his WW2 Draft Registration Card says he was born on Nov 25, 1892 (different year) in Salandra, Italy, which proved that this is indeed Giuseppe's son Eugenio. 

Eugenio came to the United States with his father Giuseppe and his older brother Michele in October of 1900.  They went to Giuseppe's brother Francesco in Philadelphia.  Eugenio's mother, Maria, came over with the rest of the family in 1901.

The WW1 card also tells us that Eugenio is living at home with his father, mother and brother at 812 South 12th St. in Philadelphia.  However, he is working as a farm hand in Moorestown, NJ.  In 1918, it would have been very difficult to commute from Philadelphia to Moorestown every day.  He may have stayed at the farm during the week and come home on weekends, or it might have only been a seasonal job during the harvest. 

Two years later, in 1920, he married Carmella Laina in Philadelphia.  They had two girls: Mary "Mae", born in 1921, and Theresa, born in 1925.  Eugenio applied for U.S. Citizenship in 1923.  By that time the family was living at 2321 Percy Street and he had a job as a punch press operator.   According to his WW2 Draft Registration Form, he was working at that same company, Pillings & Sons Surgical Instruments in 1943, but living at 1229 Wolf Street, where he resided for the rest of his life. 

Eugenio, (or John as he was called for most of his life) became fairly successful, and owned eleven properties in South Philadelphia.  He died in May of 1973.

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