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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Adeline and the Indian - Questions Finally Answered

Photo of Adeline Ambruso and her husband Albert Kane (ca. 1955)

In a previous blog post three years ago, I mentioned the mystery concerning Adelina Ambruso (b. 1897), Giuseppe’s daughter.  Family members said she moved out West and married an Indian.  As is the case with most family stories, truth and fiction are always intertwined.  Her grandniece, Maryanne Jordan Warrick, gave us the facts as she knew them.  Yes, Adeline did move out West, and yes, she did marry a Native American.   

Adeline separated from her husband, Joseph Bonviglio sometime in the 1920’s.  Joseph died while they were separated.  She suffered from tuberculosis and moved to Arizona for a better climate.  It was there that she met Albert Kane, a Native American.  They married in a Catholic ceremony.  Many years later, they moved back to Philadelphia and lived near 19th and Wolf.  Al worked at the Atlantic Oil Refinery.  They later moved to Pennsauken, NJ where they lived a block or so from her brother Frank.  They never had any children.  Tragically, Adeline suffered a broken hip from an automobile accident and died in surgery.

Those are the facts, so the mystery has been cleared up.  However, there is one question that still remains.  The family says that Albert Kane was a Mohawk Indian originally from upstate New York or Canada.  The 1940 Federal Census from Mullan, Idaho clearly lists Adeline and her husband Albert, a lead/zinc miner.  It also clearly says that Albert was born in Arizona.  Well, where ever he was from he was certainly a Native American.

In my experience, family stories passed on orally are never 100% wrong, no matter how implausible they may seem.  On the other hand, it is also been my experience that they are never absolutely correct either.  Keep the stories coming so we can all enjoy them.


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