Thursday, January 27, 2011

Full Circle 19

Recently this photo headed home.
Hilda Gloria and Albert Pam one
This is Albert, Gloria and Hilda.  Mike contacted me and said that Hilda was his Grandmother (Nonni) with Prozio Alby and Prozia Gloria ( Uncle and Aunt). 
Hello!  My Aunt has this picture still. Curious as to how it made it's way to Massachusetts. My mom actually posted to the site, and don't know if she contacted you yet. Hilda was my Grandmother (Nonni) Prozio Alby and Prozia Gloria :)

Then an update from Mike: My Aunt says that my great grandfather had a sister living in Massachusetts.  This picture was sent to their (Hilda, Gloria, Albert) relatives (Aunts and Uncles aka Zii). 
If you recall this was a photo that belonged to one of my blog readers Pam..she writes about the Antique Shop, Art blog and Forgotten Old Photo blog that all were part of this photos journey home.  Abra was instrumental in helping find the right people to contact!  Here is the story that Pam wrote: The Unlikely Antique Shop-Art-Blog Connection. 

Another success story..Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)

Here is the background that Abra sifted through to find this family:)

Ooh, I am so happy this photo has been reconnected with family. Although I have been given the credit, and while it may appear I solved this on my own, this is really not the case. A great deal of the credit goes to those responses about the Italian wording that led me to search where I did. Had I not had that information, I wouldn't have had some of the 'terms' I tried in the search engines to find these three children. So, it is important when you have a clue or inkling about a photo, no matter how small it may appear, you put it in the comments, because it really helps piece the puzzle together!! It takes all of us! 

Now that the suspense has been lifted, here are the rest of the details. I extracted much of the identifying information of the living, without removing the pieces about the photo subjects.

When I found the match to this photo, every part of the puzzle appeared to fit. I first found the family in the 1930 census (as I was about to call it quits—they were on the very last page I was going through--I felt as though I hit the jackpot). I built on the information with other records once I had a last name. Here goes:

The 1930 census lists Joseph Pepi, an Italian immigrant(arriving 1913), living in a rented home ($20 month), age 38, unable to read, write, or speak English. He works as a fur dresser at a tannery. He was married at age 27 to Annie, another Italian immigrant who arrived in 1920; in 1930 she is 32 (married at 22), so I assume she married almost immediately after arrival--perhaps it was an arranged marriage. She can't read or write, but does speak English. Hilda(age 8) and Albert(age5) are both in school and can read and write. Gloria is 23 months old. 

Using a combination of California birth, marriage, and death records, as well as military records, I have determined that Joseph was born Jan or June 2 1892. His full name was Guiseppe, his mother's maiden name was Barsi. He died August 21, 1963. His wife's full name was Nella S. Ramoni (not sure why it is Annie in the census, unless perhaps it is Annella). Her mother's maiden name was Magnani, she was born April 11, 1898, and died March 21st, 1963. It is quite plausible Guiseppe/Joseph had at least one more brother in California, as Fortunato Pepi was born in 1884 and his mother's maiden name was also Barsi. 

Joseph Pepi registered for the WWI draft while still single. He was tall and medium build. brown eyes, black hair. He was employed by (?) Schroeder, as a fur dresser. He was born in Pia Gai Luuca Italy. 

Hilda Francesca was born 10/4/1921 and died 8/9/1984 in San Francisco. She was married to Russell William Spadoni (born 8/21/1920, died 3/23/1969). They had at least one daughter who had 2 children(although I believe the response to the photo indicates there was more than one child). 

Albert L. Pepi was born March 17 (?) 1925. He enlisted in the army during WWII (June 12, 1943). He married Lorraine Lepiane, born in 1926. They had at least two children, & several grandchildren. Albert L. Pepi died in 1993 in Gardenville, Nevada. It is possible his wife is still alive.

I didn’t search on Gloria, because at that time, I had enough information for contacts. Perhaps Hilda's family can fill us in on Gloria a little more! As always, this is just a small snapshot of this family and I am sure there are many more descendants then I have found. 



  1. Marvelous! This was one of those Abra "miracle" research jobs. :)

    She awes me!

  2. Such a satisfying story.

  3. Ah, one from my neck of the woods. I love this photo. It looks like it could be one of my old family photos. My great grand parents (Paligrini and Cataldo) "hosted" hundreds of Italian immigrants to come from the Old Country to the Brockton, Mass area. They had high hopes of turning Brockton into a "Little Italy". At that time, they owned a large section of the town, and would allow the immigrants to work off the payment for land lot (at dirt cheap rates) by working in their vineyard. I still have family members who live in the original house they moved into in 1905. I wonder if the people in this photo and my relatives ever crossed paths.

  4. What a great story and always such a great feeling to know a photo is going back 'home' to its family. Keep up the great work Connie!

  5. I am thrilled this photo went full circle. While I was given the credit for this, I would like to say on this particular photo, had we not seen so many responses about the Italian comments/writing on the photo, I would not have had all the clues necessary to find these children. It would have been much more like finding a needle in a haystack. While finding someone on first names only is not impossible, it can be difficult with more common names. Albert, Hilda, and Gloria are fairly common names for that time frame, and all my relatives with those names are German, so knowing I was looking for Italian surnames and possible Italian immigrants, helped me focus, and ultimately is what helped me find them. I encourage all readers of Connie's blog to share clues or ideas about time-frame, location, manner of dress, or as in this case, ethnic heritage, as it might be the one piece that solves the puzzle & helps reunite the photo with family.

    To know that the family recognizes the photo and has seen another copy, of course, cements the match, as you think you are correct in your assumptions, but there is always a slight chance it is a coincidence. (I had this happen in a previous photo.)

    I did put the details of the family in the comment box on the original photo page, for those who want the secrecy unveiled, though the comment was awaiting approval, so it may not show up yet! ~Abra

  6. I brought Abra's search info forward and added it to the Full Circle 19 you could all appreciate the effort. Thanks Abra! :)

  7. You are welcome, Connie!! I love being a part of the reunification process! I haven't been able to input much these last couple weeks, as I have been swamped with completing my reports for last year's work, as well as a multitude of family issues & home projects. This is supposed to be my slow season...not turning out that way! I hope to be able to participate more in the near future, and I really want to revisit a few photos from last year. I also need to continue work on my own family history. Still waiting for you to turn up some of my family photos!;-) I do have a few relatives in your neck of the woods!


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie