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Re: [FraDiavolo] Re: Itri - Marseilles Connection?

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  • Rick J
    Linda, I had a chance to do some research on this today. I didn t come up with any specific info on why Marseille was the choice destination or why families
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 29, 2007
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      Linda,
       
      I had a chance to do some research on this today. I didn't come up with any specific info on why Marseille was the choice destination or why families split up prior to leaving for America, but I did learn some interesting things.
       
      As you mention, the conditions for most of the population in southern Italy became significantly worse after the unification. They were bad to begin with. Many southern Italians were for generations what we would call sharecroppers (they rented a piece of land from a landlord, grew crops, and kept a percentage of the take from the sale of the crop, a very meager living given that plot sizes were very small).
       
      Over-population was also an enormous problem; it turns out that Italy (and particularly southern Italy) was probably the most over-populated area in Europe at that time, and poverty was rampant and severe.
       
      It appears that the unification drive that picked up steam in the late 1850s, after 45 years of stops and starts, was very popular among most segments of the "common" Italian population (not so popular with the landowners and the church). Ordinary Italians developed expectations that unification would lead to improved living standards and a more democratic society.
       
      After unification, however, not only were none of these expectations realized, but the situation actually got worse, as the land-use policies that caused a lot of the chronic poverty conditions were left unaddressed and taxes were actually increased. Many families were paying 75% of their income just for food alone. Over-population left the region with a crisis of too many mouths to feed, not enough resources to feed them, and no hope that new resources could be developed. For millions of poor Italians, the situation simply became untenable, so the incentives to leave, all of the so-called economic "push" factors were in place.
       
      Add to this the new availability of relatively cheap travel via steamships and trains, and the means to leave were also in place. All that was needed was a destination.
       
      Marseille during this same period was experiencing a boom. Marseille had for millenia been a major center of trade. It was literally the gateway for trade between the rest of France and beyond and the majority of Mediteranean Europe and North Africa as well as points east. At about the time of Italian unification, Marseille was entering the industrial age and the need for labor was great. Marseille was also home at that time to a substantial Italian population. So all of the economic "pull" factors were in place there. 
       
      And the geographic location of Marseille made it easily accessible by boat (and was also an easy destination to return from, should anyone get homesick). 
       
      I'm starting to believe that this is what occurred in my great-grandfather's family. Severe poverty probably caused them to leave Itri. Not far, at first, as they may have wanted to stay close enough to Italy for easy visits back. Marseille had jobs, a large Italian population and was easily accessible. My great-grandfather and great-grandmother had 2 children while living in Marseille, so possibly the move there was intended to be at least semi-premanent. Maybe they were undecided.
       
      I know that my great-grandmother was listed as a widow on the passenger list of the ship that took her and her children to New York. So I think it's likely that my great-grandfather died in Marseille, and finding herself with a house full of children and not enough income, my great-grandmother (who by then had at least one brother in NYC) decided to take the (long) trip to La Havre for the boat to America.
       
      That's my theory for now, at least.
       
      Rick     
       
        

      Linda Peloquin <miyukichan0987@...> wrote:
      Rick,

      I think you might have been refering to my post when you started this thread.  I, too, was puzzled as to why a poor family, and lets face it, our Itrani ancestors were way on the opposite end of the wealth spectum from the likes of Vanderbuilts and Astors, would go to the expense of sending part of the family to Marseilles and paying for them to live there for awhile before rejoining each other and continuing on to America.

      Initially, given that my Grandmother gave birth to my Aunt Caroline in Marseilles, I had though that perhaps complications with the pregancy had led to her and my toddler Aunt Angelina getting off a boat and staying in France while my Grandfather went back to Itri to earn additional funds.  I've been poking around trying to answer my original question since.

      Now, I don't know for certain if this is the correct answer, but it does seem to make sense.  I was told by an Italian instructor at some informal evening classes I've attended that after the reunifcation which, economically,  was great for the North but not so for the South, there was a large migration of population from the agriculturally based South to primarily the US.  I think we would all agree to that being accurate. 

      But, the Italian government, not liking the loss of population, imposed a quota on the number of people who could leave which was what percipitated the family splits with some members of the family making the temporary stop over in Marseilles that so many of us have observed.

      I haven't been able to find out much more than that so far but it did seem that there was an Italian district in Marseilles which would be consistant with the whole migration by stages to beat the quota theory.  Maybe someone else with a better nose for history than I will be able to turn up some definative information on a quota and/or the history of the city of Marseilles in the late 19th early - 20th cent.

      Linda

      rickj100001 <rickj100001@ yahoo.com> wrote:
      Great points - all of them. Maybe I am reading too much into all of
      this.

      But my great-grandmother had 2 children after moving to Marseilles
      from Itri, so she wasn't there just to catch the boat.

      So it still makes me wonder why this happened at this particular
      time and why so many families moved at the same time. It just seems
      unusual because it had not happened previously to the extent that it
      happended then.

      Just another needle in a haystack of needles.

      --- In FraDiavolo@yahoogro ups.com, marie saccoccio <saccocciom@ ...>
      wrote:
      >
      > 1) Poverty and the myth that America's streets were paved with
      gold. Perhaps the unification of Italy was also a precipitating
      factor though. Hard to ignore that.
      >
      > 2) Far fewer French were immigrating so I assume not much of a
      wait list. Also, some of the immigrants actually worked on the
      ships so essentially got a free passage. Perhaps that was easier to
      get from Marseille.
      >
      > 3) Such a demand from Naples since that location was the closest
      for Southern Italians. Genoa was also an important port of
      departure, as was Palermo. But I have seen reported that Marseille
      was the 3rd busiest of the bunch for immigration. Naples, the
      first.
      >
      >
      > rickj100001 <rickj100001@ ...> wrote:
      > Marie,
      >
      > I wonder if the reason fewer people were sailing from Marseilles
      > than Naples isn't part of the answer.
      >
      > It just seems to me that such a protracted separation between
      > husbands and wives and children must have been driven by something
      > more profound than easy access to boats to America. Jason made the
      > point that maybe it had to do with the availability of jobs.
      >
      > Maybe these really are the real explanations, but it still makes
      me
      > wonder:
      >
      > 1) Why was it so important to leave Italy at this particular point
      > in time that families would separate and immigrate to a foreign
      > country (France, eventually USA)?
      >
      > 2) Why was it so much easier to get a boat to America from Havre
      > than from Naples at the time? Why so much demand to leave from
      > Naples?
      >
      > I don't know the answers. I do know that Italy only became a
      united
      > republic in 1871. I know that the largest thrust of Italian
      > immigration to the USA began about 1880.
      >
      > Based on this, I can only suspect that some kind of political
      > upheaval was at the root of the Itri-Marseilles migration. Of
      > course, this is all my own speculation.
      >
      > I will continue to research, and I'd love to hear other opinions
      > about this.
      >
      > Rick
      >
      > --- In FraDiavolo@yahoogro ups.com, marie saccoccio <saccocciom@ >
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > I also saw this in my research. I assumed it had to do with it
      > being easier to get a boat from Marseille to NY, than Naples to
      NY.
      > Far fewer people were sailing from Marseille.
      > >
      > > rickj100001 <rickj100001@ > wrote: I read in another
      > thread where someone had questions as to why one of
      > > his female ancestors left Itri for Marseilles, France, while the
      > > female ancestor's husband remained behind in Itri. Apparently,
      > this
      > > occurred in at least a few Itri families.
      > >
      > > This same phenomemon occurred in the Iacueo family when my great
      > > grandmother and her children left Itri for Marseilles in the
      late
      > > 1800s/early 1900s. They eventually immigrated to the USA from
      > > Marseilles to New York in 1908.
      > >
      > > Does anyone have any information regarding the reason all of
      these
      > > families moved from Itri to Marseilles? It's a great mystery to
      me.
      > >
      > > Rick
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Marie Elena Saccoccio
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------ --------- --------- ---
      > > Need Mail bonding?
      > > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers
      users.
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Marie Elena Saccoccio
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------ --------- --------- ---
      > Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative
      vehicles.
      > Visit the Yahoo! Auto Green Center.
      >



      Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
      Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search.


      Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha!
      Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

    • Rick J
      Speculation on the splitting up of families: The immigration quota theory seems to make sense, but I have also read that the Italian gov t really didn t resist
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 29, 2007
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        Speculation on the splitting up of families:
         
        The immigration quota theory seems to make sense, but I have also read that the Italian gov't really didn't resist emigration. They had an over-population problem anyway, and the repatriation of money from immigrants living abroad back to Italy in the early 1900s actually equaled about 5-10% of total Italian GDP in that period. Of course, emigration restrictions could have been enforced selectively, and that would make sense for southern Italy where the emigration was greatest and the situation the most chaotic.
         
        As I mentioned in my previous post, many families were the equivalent of sharecroppers.They both lived and worked on land owned by landlords. Perhaps the wives and children needed to be settled in their new locations while the men needed to go back to fulfill crop or other commitments to their landlords before departing themselves.
         
        Another possibility is potential military commitments. I don't know what the laws were in Italy back then, but probably since the beginning of time males had been conscripted for military service. As everyone knows, Europe was home to chronic warfare for virtually its entire history, and that era was no exception. Maybe some military draft law prevented men from leaving as easily as women and children.
         
        Rick


        Linda Peloquin <miyukichan0987@...> wrote:
        Rick,

        I think you might have been refering to my post when you started this thread.  I, too, was puzzled as to why a poor family, and lets face it, our Itrani ancestors were way on the opposite end of the wealth spectum from the likes of Vanderbuilts and Astors, would go to the expense of sending part of the family to Marseilles and paying for them to live there for awhile before rejoining each other and continuing on to America.

        Initially, given that my Grandmother gave birth to my Aunt Caroline in Marseilles, I had though that perhaps complications with the pregancy had led to her and my toddler Aunt Angelina getting off a boat and staying in France while my Grandfather went back to Itri to earn additional funds.  I've been poking around trying to answer my original question since.

        Now, I don't know for certain if this is the correct answer, but it does seem to make sense.  I was told by an Italian instructor at some informal evening classes I've attended that after the reunifcation which, economically,  was great for the North but not so for the South, there was a large migration of population from the agriculturally based South to primarily the US.  I think we would all agree to that being accurate. 

        But, the Italian government, not liking the loss of population, imposed a quota on the number of people who could leave which was what percipitated the family splits with some members of the family making the temporary stop over in Marseilles that so many of us have observed.

        I haven't been able to find out much more than that so far but it did seem that there was an Italian district in Marseilles which would be consistant with the whole migration by stages to beat the quota theory.  Maybe someone else with a better nose for history than I will be able to turn up some definative information on a quota and/or the history of the city of Marseilles in the late 19th early - 20th cent.

        Linda

        rickj100001 <rickj100001@ yahoo.com> wrote:
        Great points - all of them. Maybe I am reading too much into all of
        this.

        But my great-grandmother had 2 children after moving to Marseilles
        from Itri, so she wasn't there just to catch the boat.

        So it still makes me wonder why this happened at this particular
        time and why so many families moved at the same time. It just seems
        unusual because it had not happened previously to the extent that it
        happended then.

        Just another needle in a haystack of needles.

        --- In FraDiavolo@yahoogro ups.com, marie saccoccio <saccocciom@ ...>
        wrote:
        >
        > 1) Poverty and the myth that America's streets were paved with
        gold. Perhaps the unification of Italy was also a precipitating
        factor though. Hard to ignore that.
        >
        > 2) Far fewer French were immigrating so I assume not much of a
        wait list. Also, some of the immigrants actually worked on the
        ships so essentially got a free passage. Perhaps that was easier to
        get from Marseille.
        >
        > 3) Such a demand from Naples since that location was the closest
        for Southern Italians. Genoa was also an important port of
        departure, as was Palermo. But I have seen reported that Marseille
        was the 3rd busiest of the bunch for immigration. Naples, the
        first.
        >
        >
        > rickj100001 <rickj100001@ ...> wrote:
        > Marie,
        >
        > I wonder if the reason fewer people were sailing from Marseilles
        > than Naples isn't part of the answer.
        >
        > It just seems to me that such a protracted separation between
        > husbands and wives and children must have been driven by something
        > more profound than easy access to boats to America. Jason made the
        > point that maybe it had to do with the availability of jobs.
        >
        > Maybe these really are the real explanations, but it still makes
        me
        > wonder:
        >
        > 1) Why was it so important to leave Italy at this particular point
        > in time that families would separate and immigrate to a foreign
        > country (France, eventually USA)?
        >
        > 2) Why was it so much easier to get a boat to America from Havre
        > than from Naples at the time? Why so much demand to leave from
        > Naples?
        >
        > I don't know the answers. I do know that Italy only became a
        united
        > republic in 1871. I know that the largest thrust of Italian
        > immigration to the USA began about 1880.
        >
        > Based on this, I can only suspect that some kind of political
        > upheaval was at the root of the Itri-Marseilles migration. Of
        > course, this is all my own speculation.
        >
        > I will continue to research, and I'd love to hear other opinions
        > about this.
        >
        > Rick
        >
        > --- In FraDiavolo@yahoogro ups.com, marie saccoccio <saccocciom@ >
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I also saw this in my research. I assumed it had to do with it
        > being easier to get a boat from Marseille to NY, than Naples to
        NY.
        > Far fewer people were sailing from Marseille.
        > >
        > > rickj100001 <rickj100001@ > wrote: I read in another
        > thread where someone had questions as to why one of
        > > his female ancestors left Itri for Marseilles, France, while the
        > > female ancestor's husband remained behind in Itri. Apparently,
        > this
        > > occurred in at least a few Itri families.
        > >
        > > This same phenomemon occurred in the Iacueo family when my great
        > > grandmother and her children left Itri for Marseilles in the
        late
        > > 1800s/early 1900s. They eventually immigrated to the USA from
        > > Marseilles to New York in 1908.
        > >
        > > Does anyone have any information regarding the reason all of
        these
        > > families moved from Itri to Marseilles? It's a great mystery to
        me.
        > >
        > > Rick
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Marie Elena Saccoccio
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------ --------- --------- ---
        > > Need Mail bonding?
        > > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers
        users.
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Marie Elena Saccoccio
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- ---
        > Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative
        vehicles.
        > Visit the Yahoo! Auto Green Center.
        >



        Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
        Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search.


        Building a website is a piece of cake.
        Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.

      • gcpezza@aol.com
        Hi everyone, I talked to my father today. Many Itrani s went to France for work. Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz in Northern
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 30, 2007
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          Hi everyone,
           
          I talked to my father today. Many Itrani's went to France for work. Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz in Northern France was another area where Itrani's went. They went to work the coal mines.
           
          Greg Pezza




          See what's free at AOL.com.
        • marie saccoccio
          Now here is a very different account, but much earlier; however, I could only access this one page on the web: gcpezza@aol.com wrote: Hi everyone, I talked to
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 30, 2007
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            Now here is a very different account, but much earlier; however, I could only access this one page on the web:
             
            First page of requested article:


            gcpezza@... wrote:
            Hi everyone,
             
            I talked to my father today. Many Itrani's went to France for work. Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz in Northern France was another area where Itrani's went. They went to work the coal mines.
             
            Greg Pezza




            See what's free at AOL.com.



            Marie Elena Saccoccio


            Building a website is a piece of cake.
            Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.

          • marie saccoccio
            I have also read on rootsweb one member describing her ancestor from Itri (female) who started out from Itri and landed in Marseille and then that same ship
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 30, 2007
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              I have also read on rootsweb one member describing her ancestor from Itri (female) who started out from Itri and landed in Marseille and then that same ship went on to NYC.  this could be about money.  I know many Irish immigrants ended up in Canada originally and then came down to Boston.  It was about money for passage.  It could be that they had enough money for part of the trip but not the whole trip to USA at that moment.
              gcpezza@... wrote:
              Hi everyone,
               
              I talked to my father today. Many Itrani's went to France for work. Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz in Northern France was another area where Itrani's went. They went to work the coal mines.
               
              Greg Pezza




              See what's free at AOL.com.



              Marie Elena Saccoccio


              It's here! Your new message!
              Get new email alerts with the free Yahoo! Toolbar.

            • Domenic Livoli
              Hello, I asked my mother last night and she also did say that the Itrani people went to Marseilles to work the coal mines. They also went to Germany and
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 1, 2007
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                Hello,

                 

                I asked my mother last night and she also did say that the Itrani people went to Marseilles to work the coal mines.  They also went to Germany and Australia.  It was all about work.  Anywhere they could, doing anything that would make money to survive.  There was no work in Itri at the time.  Maybe there was some connection to someone that knew they could find work there.  Some went back, some never did.  She said that someone said, “This is your family now.” meaning that you had to leave Itri behind and start a new life. 

                 

                Domenic Livoli

                 

                 

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From:
                FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com [mailto:FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of gcpezza@...
                Sent:
                Saturday, June 30, 2007 8:39 PM
                To:
                FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [FraDiavolo] Re: Itri -
                Marseilles Connection?

                 

                Hi everyone,

                 

                I talked to my father today. Many Itrani's went to France for work. Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz in Northern France was another area where Itrani's went. They went to work the coal mines.

                 

                Greg Pezza




                See what's free at AOL.com.

              • rickj100001
                So many great responses to this topic. All of your observations have been a great help to me personally (and hopefully to the group as a whole), and I want to
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 1, 2007
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                  So many great responses to this topic.

                  All of your observations have been a great help to me personally
                  (and hopefully to the group as a whole), and I want to say thanks. I
                  feel that I know a lot more today than I did even a few days ago.

                  More than anything though, Domenic's quote from his mother
                  that "this is your family now" probably holds more poignency than
                  anything else I've seen. These families were strong in a way that
                  I'm still trying to comprehend.

                  Rick

                  --- In FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com, "Domenic Livoli" <dlivoli@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I asked my mother last night and she also did say that the Itrani
                  people
                  > went to Marseilles to work the coal mines. They also went to
                  Germany and
                  > Australia. It was all about work. Anywhere they could, doing
                  anything that
                  > would make money to survive. There was no work in Itri at the
                  time. Maybe
                  > there was some connection to someone that knew they could find
                  work there.
                  > Some went back, some never did. She said that someone said, "This
                  is your
                  > family now." meaning that you had to leave Itri behind and start a
                  new life.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Domenic Livoli
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com] On
                  > Behalf Of gcpezza@...
                  > Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2007 8:39 PM
                  > To: FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [FraDiavolo] Re: Itri - Marseilles Connection?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi everyone,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I talked to my father today. Many Itrani's went to France for work.
                  > Marseilles the main area where they worked the ports. Also Mentz
                  in Northern
                  > France was another area where Itrani's went. They went to work the
                  coal
                  > mines.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Greg Pezza
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > _____
                  >
                  > See what's free at AOL.com <http://www.aol.com?
                  ncid=AOLAOF00020000000503> .
                  >
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