Genealogy and Frankie Valli, Part 3: Don’t Forget Mama Rose!

Genealogy researchers know that searching for family members can take you to many different census entries. Sometimes there is one person
who appears every time. Our RecordClick professional genealogist Joan Shurtliff finds that one person in Frankie Valli’s family: Mama Rose.

Every genealogy researcher knows that families are such wonderful things. Some families are fun loving. Others are serious. This RecordClick genealogist has seen some families face disaster and survive quite nicely. Other families seem to be getting along okay. Then something happens and they fall apart. This is what keeps genealogy interesting. Every individual and family is different.

In the past couple of blogs, this professional genealogist has been looking at the family of Frankie Valli, of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fame. In each blog, this genealogy researcher has found one individual who played an important role in the family. Now I realize that there is one person who has not received the recognition she deserves. I need to rectify that.

While doing family history research, a genealogy researcher often focuses on one specific family member. If the surname is a common one – no matter what the nationality – following the correct family can get tricky.  The genealogy researcher knows that this happens especially when a nickname is used instead of the proper given name. We genealogy researchers know how many names are derived from Elizabeth or John!

RecordClick genealogists research Italian dual citizenship

Frankie Valli’s Italian family has lots to track

Every genealogist knows the value of the census. There is always information that verifies children’s birth and growth. A census also provides the genealogy researcher with evidence of that one family member who is always there when the census is filled in.  There is that one person who keeps the family organized. Such a person is a genealogy researcher’s delight. In Frankie Valli’s family there is such an individual.

Let’s take a look:

In the 1910, U.S. Census, the Castelluccio family had five members listed:

Millie Head 27 Widowed Mother of 3, 3 living Italian Immigrated 1899
James Son 5 Single b. NY
Dau. 2 Single b. NY
Susan Dau. 12-Feb Single b. NY
Rosalie M-I-L 52 Widowed Mother of 1, 0 living Italian Immigrated 1899

Here is the family from the 1920 U.S. Census:

Frank Head 44 Married Immigrated 1899, Alien B. Italy Barber
Wife 37 Married Immigrated 1899, Alien B. Italy
James Son 14 Single b. NJ
Marie Dau. 12 Single b. NJ
Asuntu Dau. 9 Single b. NJ
Son 8 Single b. NJ
Fred Son 5 Single b. NJ
William Son 3 Single b. NJ
Rose Dau. /12 Single b. NJ
Rose Mother 63 Widowed Immigrated 1910, Alien b. Italy

This is what appeared in the 1930 U.S. Census:

Frank Head 54 Married at 24 b.Italy Immigrated 1902, Naturalized
Wife 49 Married at 19 b. Italy Immigrated 1902, Naturalized
Dau. 21 Single b. NY
Asempta Dau. 20 Single b. NY
Son 18 Single b
Fred Son 15 Single b. NJ
William Son 13 Single b. NJ
Dau. 10 Single b. NJ
Rose Mother 74 Widow b. Italy

And now for the 1940 U.S. Census (Information provided by daughter Rose):

Frank Head 64 Widower b. Italy Alien
Rose M. Dau. 20 Single
Rose Mother 86 Widow b. Italy Alien

OK, genealogy fans, out of all the family members listed each census, who is the one constant?

Who is the family member found by this genealogy researcher who is listed in every census?

The answer from your’s truly, the professional genealogist: Mother Rose.

This genealogy researcher has found that she was the matriarch of the family. With each census found by this professional genealogist, Mother Rose wore her age proudly as she got older. Her husband evidently died fairly young because Frank was her only child. As was the practice in Italy, a widowed parent often lived with adult children.  So, Mama Rose came to Frank and Mildred’s home and stayed. She was an integral part of the family—and a lucky thing for the genealogy researcher.

That could be the end of the story. But a good genealogy researcher likes to try and find the bodies. The obvious place to look is on FindAGrave. There aren’t that many Castelluccios listed. No Frank. No Mildred. No Mother Rose. So the genealogy researcher should know that FindAGrave has millions of burials listed, but does not have all of them.

Genealogy researchers can verify facts including those of famous groups such as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Genealogy researchers can verify facts including those of famous groups such as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Since the Castelluccios are an Italian family and a Catholic family, this professional genealogist searched and found “Catholic Cemeteries – A Ministry of the Archidiocese of Newark”. Under “Find a Loved One,” there is an online data base of burials in Catholic Cemeteries in Newark, New Jersey.

Buried in Holy Cross Cemetery are:

  • Castelluccio, Carmela     burial 05/11/1936             Block 11                Sec-C     Tr-M      Gr-4       1A
  • Castelluccio, Francesco  burial 01/11/1955             Block 11                Sec-C     Tr-M      Gr-4       1C
  • Castelluccio, Rosa M.      burial 10/16/1940             Block 11                Sec-C     Tr-M      Gr-4       1B

A family history researcher seeking accuracy needs always to double check the cemetery information with church and death records.  Here, it looks like Carmela became Millie became Mildred. Francesco became Frank. And Mama Rose was Rosa M. with a granddaughter named after her. Now we genealogy buffs see it clearly: Mama Rose, not to be left out, will be in the middle of things through eternity.

Having problems keeping family tree branches straight? Want to understand practices of various nationalities? The genealogists for hire at RecordClick will help you. We organize, provide research strategies, do the footwork and create your special family history.