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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marriages & Families - Michael and Mary Ambruso

Michele, the first son of Giuseppe Maria Ambruso, was born in Salandra on 1 Feb 1891.  That was the date and place he gave on his World War 1 Draft Registration form in 1918.  He came to Philadelphia in 1900 with his father and brother when he was 9 years old.  Twelve years later, in 1912, he married Maria Giuseppa Coscarella in Philadelphia.  According to Michael’s Naturalization Petition, she was born on 25 Jan 1895 in Cosenza, Italy. 

Their first child, Joseph (Giuseppe), was born in January of 1914.  He was named after his paternal grandfather.  Their next child, May (Maria Giusefina), was born in March of 1915.  Their third child was a son named Anthony (Antonio Giuseppe), born in May of 1917.  Their last two children were girls, Rita, born in 1919; and Violet born about 1923.  All children were born in Philadelphia. 
Over the course of his life, Michael had several occupations and the family lived at several different addresses.  This information is found on a number of different documents over the years.  In 1914, Michael(still calling himself Michele) filled out a Declaration of Intent for citizenship.  He listed his occupation as cabinet maker and his address as 1238 Christian Street.  In 1918, his Petition for Naturalization, listed his occupation as “driver” and his address was 1508 South 12th Street.  The 1920 U.S. Census, he is a driver for the Steel Works and living at 928 Snyder Ave.  By 1930, he and the family had settled at their final, permanent address of 1725 Tasker Street.  His occupation is listed as grocer. We know he operated a grocery store at that location, but in 1942, he lists his address as 1723-25 Tasker and he is also listed as a bartender.  He probably bought the adjoining storefront and also operated a tavern as well as the grocery store. 
Michael did well for himself and also bought a house at the shore in Sea isle City, New Jersey.  That became the gathering place for members of the family.  Michael died in 1957.  His widow, Mary, died in Sea Isle City in 1996.  All five of their children married and had families of their own.  Today, there are many descendants of Michael and Mary living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

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