Tag Archives: Morianti

52 Ancestors, Week 1: Arnaldo Morianti

Arnaldo was born December 3rd, 1882 in the comune of Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Italy, not far from Venice. He had at least one brother, who was named Vittorio “Vito”. Arnaldo and Vittorio are said to have been foundling orphans. This means basically their parents abandoned them – likely either their economic situation was poor and did not allow the parents to care for them properly or they were illegitimate. This was definitely not uncommon in Italy at the time, and usually churches would govern over the care of these children, in orphanages. If the children arrived anonymously at the orphanage, occasionally the orphanage authorities would give them names – “Esposito” is a common one for example, it means “exposed”. I have an inkling that “Morianti” is also a made-up surname, as the only holders of this surname I have found so far either descend from Arnaldo or Vittorio. In any case, Arnaldo grew up and worked as a laborer in Castelfranco Veneto and at age 28 he married Maddalena DeGrandis on February 7th, 1911 in Castelfranco Veneto. Their first son, named Augusto Luigi was born almost exactly 9 months later on October 4, 1911. A strong custom in Italy is to name your first born son after the paternal grandfather. This could hint at Arnaldo’s parentage, if he had known of his parents at all. Unfortunately, I will probably never know if this is the case for sure, given Arnaldo’s foundling history.

On February 25, 1912 Arnaldo set off from the port of Genoa on the SS Ancona, a steamer operated by the Society di Navigazione a Vaporetti Italia, bound for the port of New York. He was leaving his wife and new baby son behind in Italy, as many other young Italian men did at this time in history. The Veneto region of Italy was extremely poor, and many of them were lured to Canada by higher paying jobs working on the railroad, in the mining and forestry industry, or in some of the new factories sprouting up after the industrial era. They would work hard for a few years and then return home, bringing the money home to their families. The ship passed through the port of New York, USA and he signed his name at Ellis Island on March 13th, 1912.

He didn’t stay in Canada long, and returned to Italy in 1914. This is the year World War One broke out, and trans-Atlantic immigration screeched to a halt. Italy joined the side of the United Kingdom and France, effectively ending it’s former alliances with the German and Austrian-Hungarian Empires. Interestingly, the SS Ancona was torpedoed and sunk in 1915 by an Austrian u-boat, causing the loss of 200 lives. Veneto, being in the northern part of Italy, close to the Austrian border was a major battlefront for the duration of the war, and Venetians would have felt the effects of the war quite deeply. Arnaldo and Maddalena had 2 more sons in Castelfranco Veneto at this time, one in 1916 and one in 1919.

At the end of the great war, Maddalena was pregnant with their fourth and final son and Arnaldo left for Canada again, this time aboard the SS Grampian. He landed in Quebec, Canada on November 2nd, 1920 and like his last voyage to Canada, was bound to meet his brother Vittorio in Montreal. Shortly after his arrival, he moved to Windsor, Ontario to work at Chrysler’s assembly plant. Vittorio is said to have gone to Argentina. On June 3rd, 1923 Maddalena and his four sons boarded the SS Conte Rosso and joined him in Canada with the intent to stay. The family became naturalized Canadian citizens exactly 90 years ago today on July 22, 1924. Arnaldo worked as a laborer in Windsor for the remainder of his life, and passed away on his 71st birthday – December 3, 1953. He rests in St. Alphonsus Cemetery in Windsor, Ontario. His headstone can be seen HERE.

Advertisements

Document: SS Conte Rosso Passenger Manifest

This is the passenger manifest for my great great grandmother Maddalena DeGrandis’ trip to Canada from Italy with her four sons to join her husband Arnaldo in Windsor, Ontario.

Morianti, Guerrino - Conte Rosso Passenger Manifest

SS Conte Rosso
Passengers sailing from Genoa, Italy, June 3, 1923

Family Name: DeGrandis, sons Morianti
Given Names: Maddalena, sons Augusto, Guerrino, Elio and Bruno
Ages: 37, 11, 7, 3, 2
Sex: Female for Maddalena, male for her sons
Married or single: married for Maddalena, single for her sons
Calling or Occupation: Housewife for Maddalena, Scholar for Augusto and Guerrino, none for Elio and Bruno
Can read/write? Yes for Maddalena, Augusto and Guerrino
Language: Italian
Nationality: Italian
Race or People: North
Last Permanent Residence: Treviso, Castelfranco Veneto
The name of the nearest relative in the country whence alien came: Santa Ambrosi, Maddalena’s mother and the boys’ grandmother, widow in Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso)
Final Destination: Ontario, Windsor

Document: SS Grampian Passenger Declaration

Morianti, Arnaldo - Grampian Passenger Declaration

SS Grampian
Port: Anvers
Page: 23
Line: 16
Class: 3rd
Date: 2.11.20
Passenger’s Declaration
1. Name: Morianti, Arnaldo
2. Age: 37/Male/Married/Labourer
3. Birthplace: Castelfranco Veneto
Race or People: Italian
4. Citizenship: Italian
5. Religion: Catholic
6. Object in coming to Canada: to work
7. Ever lived in Canada: Yes, in Montreal 1912-1914
8. Why left Canada:
9. Money in posession, belonging to immigrant: 50
10. Able to read: yes
Can you write: yes
11. What language: Italian
12. By whom passage paid: Himself
13. Intend to remain permanently in Canada: yes
14. If admission refused, cause of rejection:
15. Destined to: relative, brother Vittorio Morianti in Montreal
16. Name of Railway on which passenger has order or ticket:
17. Nearest relative in country from whence passenger came: the wife DeGrandis, Maddalena in Castelfranco Veneto

2 NOV 1920

Document: Maddalena DeGrandis’ Border Crossing

Maddalena Border Crossing

MANIFEST
Port of Detroit, Michigan June 26, 1928
Family Name: Morianti
Given Name: Maddalena
Accompanied by: Husband Arnaldo
Age: 44 years, 7 months
Sex: F
Married or Single: M
Occupation: Housewife
Place of Birth: Castelfranco, Italy
Nationality: Canada
Born: Italian
Read and write: yes
Languages spoken: Italian
Money shown: None
Last Permanent Residence: Canada, Windsor
Destination: Detroit, Michigan
Passage paid by: Husband
Ever in U.S.: ?
Going to join: Sister Josephine DeGrandis 11821 Russell St, Detroit
Purpose in coming: to visit
Height: 5 ft, 2 inches (?)
Complexion: Dark
Hair: Blk
Eyes: Brown
Name and address of nearest relative or friend in the country from whence alien came: Friend Mr. Carasin, 331, Wellington St, Windsor
Port of Landing: New York
Date of Landing: 1920
Name of S.S.: Ancona

This is a record of my great great grandmother Maddalena DeGrandis crossing the US/Canada border at Windsor/Detroit, apparently to visit her sister Josephine (Giuseppina in Italian). I am not sure if Josephine really was her biological sister though. I did find records for Giuseppina as well, noting her birthplace as Castelfranco Veneto.  However, in her marriage record to an Edward Barduca, her parents are not the same DeGrandis couple in this record as Maddalena’s. Perhaps they were actually cousins?

I found this record on Ancestry.com, in their collection “Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1957