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THE DILELLA LINEAGE: ANNA MARIA DILELLA AND ACHILLE ANTONIO DELLA MONICA ...

THE DILELLA LINEAGE: ANNA MARIA DILELLA AND ACHILLE ANTONIO DELLA MONICA
The story of our family history begins around 1800 in the small town of Apricena, in the
province of Capitanata, in the Kingdoms of the Two Sicily’s when Domenico DiLella married
Girolma Di Nunzio and Matteo Barone married Celesta Merlino. While Napoleon was waging
war against Austria in the northern Kingdom of Piedmont, these two couples each had one child
that we know of. Domenico and Girolma had a son, Giovanni, born 1800. And, Matteo and
Celesta had a daughter, Maria Giuseppa, born 1804. (1)

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  • 1. THE DILELLA LINEAGE: ANNA MARIA DILELLA AND ACHILLE ANTONIO DELLA MONICAThe story of our family history begins around 1800 in the small town of Apricena, in theprovince of Capitanata, in the Kingdoms of the Two Sicily’s when Domenico DiLella marriedGirolma Di Nunzio and Matteo Barone married Celesta Merlino. While Napoleon was wagingwar against Austria in the northern Kingdom of Piedmont, these two couples each had one childthat we know of. Domenico and Girolma had a son, Giovanni, born 1800. And, Matteo andCelesta had a daughter, Maria Giuseppa, born 1804. (1)On November 28, 1824, when Giovanni was twenty four years old and Maria Giuseppawas twenty, they married. (2) They had three children; two daughters; Anna Maria, born 1830and Girolama, born 1834 and a son Vincenzo, born 1835. (3)Their son Vincenzo, at the age of nineteen, married Filomena Nargiso, on September17th, 1856. Filomena was one year older than Vincenzo. (4) Vincenzo and Filomena had threechildren; Giovanni born January, 7th, 1859, Mariangela born July 15th, 1862 and Maria Guiseppaborn February 10th, 1866. (5)Giovanni and Maria Guiseppa’s, second daughter, Girolama, married Leonardo Crudo onMarch 1, 1857. It is unknown if and how many children they had. (6)During Italy’s Second War of Independence, their eldest child, Anna Maria at the age oftwenty married twenty two year old Matteo Ferrazzano, on May 2nd, 1850. (7) Anna Maria andMatteo had two daughters; Maria Giuseppa, born December 24th, 1853 and Luca born January30th, 1856. (8) Sometime between 1856 and 1860, Matteo died.
  • 2. It is a mystery as to how and when Matteo died and what happened to Anna Maria andMatteo’s two daughters. No marriage records could be found for Luca and Maria Giuseppa.And, if they were married the marriage would have taken place in Apricena. This is becauseaccording to custom, marriages are performed and registered in the town of the bride. (9)Furthermore, there are no death records prior to 1866 and records of their deaths after 1866could not be found. Since there are no records of marriages, and deaths, it is possible thatMaria Guiseppa and Luca died during childhood. If this is so, not only did Anna Maria sufferthe loss of a husband, but also two children.As you read through this narrative you will note that childhood death was a commonoccurrence that many families experienced. During nineteenth century Italy, it was notuncommon for women and children to die in childbirth or later from complications of childbirth, or men to die in the civil war and rebellions that erupted in various parts of Italy,particularly in the south, or children as well as adults to die of influenza and other diseases.During the years of the ‘Rigorgimento’ the death rate exceeded the birth rate in Apricena. (10)Perhaps the commune experienced an epidemic , or perhaps men from the commune foughtand died in the southern rebellions or both of these occurrences happened simultaneously.After the death of Matteo, the widow Anna Maria fell in love with a young local man,Achille Antonio Della Monica. Achille at this time was married to Rosina Cocca. Achille andRosina married on July 13th, 1848 and both were eighteen years old at the time of theirmarriage. (11) It is unknown as to whether Achille and Rosina had children, but what is knownwas that they had a discontented marriage. Whether Achille fell in love with Anna Maria before
  • 3. he left Rosina, or whether he left his marriage first and then fell in love with Anna Maria, isunknown. (12)Whatever the circumstances, the young couple found themselves in a difficult situation.Divorce was against the law, both civil and church, and incompatible couples who left theirmarriages, were only able to form common-law relationships. In a country where the Catholicfaith dictated society’s morality and families were close, the relationship between Anna Mariaand Achille was most likely met with controversy among family members and the town folks ofApricena.The Della Monicas were a well known family and had been residing in Apricena forgenerations. Their ancestry can be traced back to the mid 1700’s. Raffaele Giuseppe MariaDella Monica, Achille’s father, was born in Apricena in 1791 and earned his living as a‘negoziante’ (shopkeeper or storekeeper). (13) He married Felicia Polichetti. Felicia andRaffaele had two children we know of; Annibale Pasquale born 1816 and Achille born 1830. (14)Felicia died sometime between 1830 and 1854. Raffaele remarried to Anna Maria Fiorentinoon November 28th, 1854. He was sixty three and she was fifty six. (15)Raffaele and Felicia’s first son, Annibale married Nunzia Stella Troiano on October 24th,1842. (16) Between 1842 and 1852 Nunzia died. Since birth records are not available prior to1851, it is unknown as to whether Annibale and Nunzia had children. However, Annibaleremarried to Maria Giuseppa Tartaglia on May 22nd, 1852 and had three sons and onedaughter. (17) Maria Felica was born June 27th, 1854, Raffaele Alfonso Maria was born June 4,
  • 4. 1857, Pasquale Giuseppe was born November 17th, 1859 and Matteantonio born June 3rd, 1862.(18)While Raffeale’s son, Annibale had settled into the traditional style of family life, hisyoungest son Achille had not. Regardless of church and civil law and commune controversy,Anna Maria DiLella and Achille Della Monica lived together and had five sons. Because Achilleand Anna Maria were not legally married their children were considered illegitimate. Whenchildren were born out of wedlock, the mother’s name appears on the birth record and thefather’s does not as they are not considered legally his children. And this was so with all fivechildren that Anna Maria and Achille had between 1861 and 1868. The only way that Achilleand Anna Maria could marry would be if Rosina Cocca died. (19)Anna Maria and Achille had their children during the period of the ‘Risorgimento’; acritical time in Italy’s history. Civil war raged in both the north and south and death rates dueto war and epidemics were particularly high in the south and in Apricena as was previouslymentioned. Their first child, Pasquale was born on July 14th, 1861. (20) However, it is assumedthat this child died because Anna Maria named another son Pasquale, which she gave birth toin 1868. It was a common custom to give a dead child’s name to one of the new born children.It was also common to name children after parents or grandparents.Their next four children, all sons, would live into their adult years. Their eldest childRaffaele was born on August 20, 1863, the second son Vincenzo was born on August 22nd, 1865and Pasquale was born in 1868. (21) Anna Maria and Achille had a fourth son, Felice.However, a birth record for Felice cannot be found to indicate his date of birth. It is unknown
  • 5. as to what work Achille did to support his family, however, it could be assumed that he assistedhis father Raffaele in his store.Sometime prior to 1884, Rosina Cocca died, because on July 2nd, 1884, Anna Maria andAchille were married. They were both fifty four years old at the time. (22) After they weremarried, their four children continued to use the DiLella name. Since the children were bornout of wedlock, they were still considered illegitimate regardless of the marriage. Also, thechildren were adults when their parents married and probably saw no need to change theirname to Della Monica.Anna Maria and Achille saw their children marry and have their grandchildren andsettle in the commune of Apricena. Their eldest son Raffaele, married Maria Gaetana Leggieri.They had three children. Their first son, Achille Matteo was born on September 23rd, 1891.However, he died four months later on January 30th1892. A year later a second son, Achillewas born to Maria Gaetana on March 11th, 1893. Their daughter Anna Maria was born August23rd, 1905. Raffaele earned his living as a ‘calzolaio’ (cobbler/shoemaker). (23)Vincenzo married Lucia Castellitti on September 12th, 1888. Vincenzo, like his brotherwas also a ‘calzolaio’. Perhaps the brothers owned a business together. (24) Lucia andVincenzo had seven sons. Her first child Achille was born on December 17th1891. (25) Thebirth date of her second son Raffaele is not known, however, he died on October 25th1895.Her next two children would survive. Frederico was born on October 14th, 1896 and Raffealewas born on October 25th, 1900. Their next two children born on September 23rd, 1904 were
  • 6. twins; Michele and Guiseppe. However, Guiseppe died two months later on November 17th.Their last child, Guiseppe, was born on February 10th, 1908.(26)Pasquale married Anna Maria Cardella on August 20th, 1892. (27) Anna Maria was theeldest daughter and child of Luigi Cardella and Maria Michele Lauriola. Like the DiLella’s, andDella Monica’s, the Cardella families had been living in Apricena for generations.The Cardella line can be traced back to the early 1800’s. Carlo Cardella marriedMaddalena Lombardi and they had eight children Vincenzo, Antonio, Maria Caterina, Teresa,Donato, Carlo, Dominic and Luigi. (28)Their son Luigi married Maria Michele Lauriola in 1872. (29) They had five knownchildren, four daughters and a son; Anna Maria, Maria Maddelena, Lucia, a second child calledMaria Maddelena, and Guiseppe. Anna Maria was born on December 14th, 1873, (30) MariaMaddalena was born on October 30, 1876. However, she died at the age of three on March15th, 1879. (31) A son Guiseppe was born in 1879. (32) A third daughter and the youngestchild, Lucia was born on August 25th, 1884. (33) Luigi and Maria Michele had a fourth daughter,Maria Maddelena, but the birth date is unknown. (34) Luigi earned his income as a ‘contadino’(peasant farmer).Pasquale and Anna Maria settled amongst family members in Apricena. Anna Mariagave birth to ten children, however two died during childhood. Pasquale and Anna Maria’s firstchild Achille was born on October 5th, 1893. Their second son Raffaele was born on February
  • 7. 27th, 1896. (35) In 1898, Achille at the age of five and Raffaele age two died two weeks apart.Raffaele died first on October 29thand Achille died on November 14th. (36)Fortunately, their next eight children survived childhood and lived into their adult years.Achille their eldest child was born January 2nd, 1899, Raffaela the eldest daughter was bornAugust 12, 1901, Luigi was born January 5th, 1904, Lucia was born April 29th, 1906, Adelina wasborn October 24th, 1908, Assunta was born December 4th, 1910, Michele was born June 18th,1913, and Antoinetta, the youngest, was born in December, 1919. (37)According to family oral history, Pasquale was employed by wine companies to sell theirwines to local farmers. However, in Pasquale and Anna Maria’s marriage record and the birthrecords of their children and the death records of their first two children Pasquale is listed as a‘barbiere’ (barber). (38) This is not to say that Pasquale didn’t sell wine. Since his grandfatherand father were storekeepers, wine was a most likely an item sold in the store. PerhapsPasquale was connected to the family business and sold wine as well as being a ‘barbiere’.A year after Pasquale married, his brother Felice did the same. On September 23, 1893he married Stella Maggio. (39) Felice and Stella Maggio had six children of which three died.Achille their first child was born in 1895, however, he died at the age of three on July 1st, 1898.(40) Their second child, Angelo was born on November 8th, 1896 and their third child adaughter, was born on September 18, 1898 and named Anna Maria after Felice’s mother.Their fourth child, Achille was born on November 5th, 1900. Their next child Raffaele born July5, 1903 died five months later on December 27th. Felice and Stella’s last child whom they
  • 8. named Raffaele was born on November 24th, 1907, but again this Raffaele also died two monthslater on January 27th, 1908. (41) Felice worked as a ‘bracciante’ (labourer) to support his family.On March 18th, 1896, Achille Antonio Della Monica died in Apricena at the age of sixtysix. Seven days later his wife Anna Maria DiLella died on March 24th. (42)This is an interesting and unique story of the DiLella lineage. It not only tells us who weare and where we came from, but of the political, social and economic times our ancestors livedthrough and the hardships they endured. It gives us a glimpse into the traditions, customs andlife of Italians living in southern Italy. Our history tells the story of two young people, AnnaMaria DiLella and Achille Della Monica who fell in love and regardless of what societal pressuresthey faced, raised a family of four children who married and settled in Apricena and had theirgrandchildren.REFERENCES1. Western Europe Vital Records Index—Italian Region, FamilySearch, Family HistorySupport and Church History Department, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City,Utah, 2000, Film 1177259. Domenico DiLella and Girolma DiNunzio, Mattero Baroneand Celesta Merlino were probably born during the late 1770’s or early 1780’s. Thesurname DiLella is used in this record.2. Ibid.3. Western Europe Vital Records Index—Italian Region, Film 1177260.4. Ibid. In Vincenzo’s marriage abstract the surname DiLella was used.5. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177253 and ‘Italia, Foggia, Lucera, StateCivile (Tribunale), 1866-1910. Images FamilySearch.ttps://familysearch.org. Nati,matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1866 to 1873, Image 11 and 150. This latter referenceis for Maria Guiseppa. Her surname in the birth abstract is spelled de Lella, but her
  • 9. father’s surname is spelled DiLella. Her siblings Mariangela and Giovanni’s surnames arespelled DiLella.6. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177260. Leonardo was 33 years old andGirolama was 23 years old when they married. In their marriage abstract Girolama’ssurname is spelled Delellis. Maria Giuseppa Barone is listed as her mother andGiovanni Delellis as the father in the abstract. The mother was used as the reference.7. Ibid. In the marriage record Anna Maria’s surname name is Delellis and Giovanni herfather’s surname is also spelled Delellis. Maria Giuseppa Barone is listed as her motherin the abstract, therefore using the mother as a reference.8. Ibid. Film 1217518. In Maria Guiseppa’s birth record Anna Maria is listed as the motherand her name is spelled DiLella, whereas in Luca’s birth record her name is spelledDiLello. Cross checking was used with Matteo Ferrazzano as the father.9. Italian Records Extraction—An Instrumental Guide. Copyright by Corporation of thePresident of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, on-line familysearch.org. With regardsto Matteo Ferrazzano, since there are no death records available prior to 1866, there isno proof of death before this time. Also, no record of death was found after 1866. So,it is assumed he died a young man. Furthermore, Anna Maria and Achille DellaMonica’s marriage record indicates she was a widow.10. Italia, Foggia, Lucera, State Civile (Tribunale) 1866-1910. Images Death Records. In1866 there were 152 births and 424 deaths, in 1867 there were 228 births and 257deaths, in 1868 there were 253 births and 311 deaths, in 1869 there were 209 birthsand 228 deaths, and in 1871 there were 195 births and 265 deaths. After these yearsthe births began to out- number the deaths.11. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177260. In the marriage abstract Achille’sfull name is listed as Achille Antonio La Monica. However, his father Raffaela uses thesurname Della Monica.12. Family Oral History.13. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177259. The birth date was calculated fromthe age at which Raffeale remarried to Anna Maria Forentino. Although not mentionedin the text, we can trace the Della Monica’s back one more generation. Raffaele’sfather, (Achille Della Monica’s grandfather) was Pasquale Della Monica and his motherwas Carmina Lamberti, born during the mid 1700’s. Also, Anna Maria Fiorentino’sfather was Vincenzo and her mother, Cristina Modola, also born mid 1700’. The
  • 10. surname was spelled Della Monica in these abstracts. Raffeale’s occupation in Nati,pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1874-1885 Image 2805 (Achille’s marriage record)14. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film1177259 and 1177260. Even though there isno birth record available for Felicia Polichetti, the two marriage records of her sons,Annibale and Achille show her as their mother and Raffaele as the father.15. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177259. Anna Maria Fiorentino was born in1798.16. Ibid. In Annibale’s first marriage to Nunzia Stella, his surname in the marriage abstractis spelled Della Monica.17. Ibid. In this abstract the surname La Monaca is used. However, Maria Felicia Polichettiis listed as Annibale’s mother, therefore indicating Annibale Della Monica is also LaMonaca.18. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1217518 and 1177253. In these birthabstracts the surname is spelled Della Monica.19. Italian Records Extraction: An Instrumental Guide. Divorce was not legal in Italy untilthe early 1970’s.20. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177235. Anna Maria DeLellis is listed as themother and no father is listed. Pasquale’s surname is spelled DeLellis.21. Western Europe Vital Records Index, Film 1177253 and Nati, pubblicazione, matrimoni,morti 1866-1873, Image 436. In the birth abstracts of Raffaele and Vincenzo, AnnaMaria DiLella is listed as the mother and no father is listed. Their surnames are spelledDiLella. Pasquale’s complete birth record also indicates Anna Maria DiLella as hismother and her father is shown as Giovanni and her mother as Maria Guiseppa Barone.The surnames are spelled DiLella. Also, this record was near to impossible to readbecause of illegible handwriting and smudging, therefore, it is unclear as to the monthand day of Pasquale’s birth.22. Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1874-1885, Image 2805 or 2846. Anna Maria usesthe surname DiLellis. Giovanni is listed as the father of Anna Maria and Maria GiuseppeBarone, the mother of Anna Maria. There was no death record for Rosina Coca foundin Apricena. So, it was assumed she had died recently, because Anna Maria and Achillemarried.23. The marriage record of Raffeale and Maria Gaetana could not be found. Perhaps shewas from another commune and the marriage was performed and registered therebecause there were very few Leggieri’s in the registers. The parents were listed in the
  • 11. children’s birth and death record. Achille Maetto birth and death records Images 223and 435, and Achille birth record Image 545 in Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti1891-1901. Achille married Natalina Rinaldi and they had three children; Maria,Vincenzo, and Giovanna. Achille and his descendants use the surname DiLellis. AnnaMaria DiLellis birth record Image 999 in Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1902-1910. Raffaele’s occupation is mentioned in Achille Maetto’s birth record.24. Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti, 1886-1890. Vincenzo and Lucia’s marriagerecord. Image 796. Anna Maria uses the surname DiLella when listed as Vincenzo’smother. Vincenzo’s occupation is mentioned in his marriage record and his children’sbirth and death records.25. Ibid. Achille’s birth record Image 251.26. Frederico’s birth record in Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti, 1891-1901. Image1526. First son Raffaele’s death record Image 1432 in Ibid. Birth record for RaffaeleImage 2831 in Ibid. Raffaele immigrated around 1927 to New York. Michele andGuiseppe the twins Image 639 in Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti, 1902-1910.Guiseppe’s death record Image 847 in Ibid. Guiseppe (no. 2) birth record Image 1735 inIbid. All of Vincenzo and Lucia’s children use the name DiLellis.27. Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti, 1891-1901. Image 395. Anna Maria DiLella islisted as Pasquale’s mother with the surname spelled ‘DiLella’.28. The known history of the Cardella family is as follows: This some of the marriages ofCarlo and Maddalena Lombardi’s other children: Vincenzo Cardella married MariaVincenza Nardella on October 2nd1873. (Image 1809 in Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni,morti, 1891-1901.) They had one known son Paolo Emilio born April 4th, 1895. ( Ibid.Image 1202. ) However, Paolo died at the age of two on September 12, 1897. (Ibid.Image 2006.) Maria Caterina married Pasquale Savonne on November 10th, 1856. Shewas twenty five and he was 38 and previously married. (Western Europe Vital StatisticsFilm 1177260. Antonio was born on June 2nd1852. (Ibid. Film 1217518). Teresa died in1892. (Ibid. Image 443) Donato married Angelamaria Lauriola in 1871. (Nati,pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1866-1873. Image 1191.) They had five knownchildren. The two twins Vincenzo and Vincenza were born on September 19th, andSeptember 20th, 1874. ( Ibid 1874-1885, Images 65 and 66. Vincenzo died at the age ofseven in November of 1881. (Ibid. Image 2162.) Guiseppe was born on November 30th,
  • 12. 1876, Luigi was born on August 31st, 1881 and died February 11th, 1903 Image 489 inIbid. 1902-1910 and Vincenzo the youngest was born on March 13th, 1884. (Ibid. Images683, 1973, 2718.)29. Nati, pubblicazione, matrimoni, morti, 1866-1873. Image 1549. They are shown in theindices, but can`t be found in the register; several pages are missing.30. Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1866-1873. Anna Maria’s birth record Image1734.31. Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1874-1885. Maria Maddelena’s birth recordImage 667 and her death record Image 1591.32. Ibid. Image 1873 or 1878. His name was listed in the Indices, but can`t be found in theregister.33. Ibid. Image 2743.34. Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1891-1901. Marriage record Image 2624.Maria Maddalena married Michele Palermo on January 7th, 1899. The record lists Luigias Maria’s father and Maria Michele as her mother.35. Ibid. Achille birth record Image 602. Raffaele birth record. Image 1469.36. Ibid. Achille death record. Image 2370. Raffaele birth record. Image 2365.Ibid.37. Ibid. Achille’s birth record Image 2712. The image is of the Indices as the birth registerfor 1899 was destroyed; pages were torn out. Luigi’s birth record Image 567 in Nati,matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1902-1910. Assunta’s birth record Image 2472 in Ibid.Adelina’s birth record Image 1833 in Ibid. Raffaela’s birth record Image 3068 in Ibid.38. Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, 1891-1901. Pasquale and Anna Maria’smarriage record Image 395.39. Felice and Stella’s marriage record in Ibid. Image 720.40. Achille’s birth record in Ibid. Image 1182 and his death record Image 2337.41. Ibid. Anna Maria’s birth record Image 2129 and Angelo’s birth record Image 1536.Achille’s birth record Image 2833 in Ibid. Raffaele’s birth record Image 345 in Nati,
  • 13. pubblicazione, morti, 1902-1910. Raffaele’s death record Image 552 in Ibid. Raffaele’sbirth record Image 1583 in Ibid. Raffaele’s death record Image 1984 in Ibid.42. Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti, 1891-1901. Image 1666 and 1667. Anna Mariauses the surname DiLellis in Achille’s death record and the name DiLellis is used in herdeath record. Achille`s surname is spelled Della Monaca.