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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Michele, son of Michele, son of Michelarcangelo

In Salandra, in 1847, Maria Giuseppa Iula, wife of Michelarcangelo Ambruso, gave birth to their second child.  Their first child, a boy was named Francesco Domenico after Michelarcangelo’s father.  This second child was also a boy, the second son.  By the naming customs of the time (see my post dated May 17, 2013), this second son should have been named after his mother’s father.  Maria’s father’s name was Francescantonio, but they couldn’t name the child Francesco.  They already had a Francesco.  They could have named him Antonio, but for some unknown reason which we will never know, they named him Michele, the same name as his father.
The naming customs in Basilicata at that time were normally followed very strictly.  As a matter of fact, in later years after Italy was unified, it was against the law to name a child after his father, because of possible confusion of records.  In any case, the second son of Michelarcangelo and Maria Giuseppe was named Michele, with no middle name.  This has been verified by record extracts directly from the town clerk in Salandra.

This Michele Ambruso (b. 1847) had a first son who was born in Salandra in 1890.  Unlike his father, he did follow the naming customs and named this first son Michele, which was the name of his grandfather …but also the name of his father.   But guess what, that Michele (b. 1890) named his first son Antonio, the name his father’s father should have had, the “second” name of his great grandfather Francesantonio Iula. 
Michele Ambruso born in Salandra in 1890 was one of "the four Michaels" I talked about in an earlier post (see my post dated May 10, 2013).  He and his family eventually settled in Hartford Connecticut.  To avoid confusion with the other Michael’s, I have labeled him “Hartford Mike”.   We will talk more about Harford Mike and his family in the next few postings. 


  1. christinaeulo@yahoo.comJuly 4, 2018 at 8:10 PM

    Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I am searching for the Iula's of Laurenzana. I saw in your tree that Maria Giuseppa Iula is included. In your research, did you ever find Francesco Nicola Iula from Laurenzana? He was born in 1854. His wife was Guiditta Laraia. I believe that Maria and Francesco would have been cousins. Any help or pictures you may have come across would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Christina

    1. Christina,
      Thank you for the comment on the blog. My ancestor, Maria Giuseppa Iula was born about 1820 in Laurenzana. Her parents were Francescantonio Iula and Angela Amati. Your Francesco would have been from the next generation of Iula'a, since he was born 34 years after Maria. Boy, pictures would really be nice, unfortunately, they are very rare. I have none.