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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › The Tale of the Two Josephs

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The Tale of the Two Josephs
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Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 1251
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

I guess this falls under the topic of why so many of us are so passionate about pursuing our ancestry.

My paternal grandparents had eight children, six of whom survived childhood. The two who died were both named Joseph. The first Joseph was my father's twin who died shortly after birth in 1917. The second Joseph was born two years later and died at 18 months. There was a third Joseph, my uncle Junior, who lived till he was 80.

From my aunts, I learned about the first two Josephs when I began my journey over six years ago. Although they knew about them, they did not know when they died or where they were buried but said they were not buried in the same cemetery as my grandparents.

A short time ago an online index appeared for St Rose Cemetery in Carbondale compiled from the Church records by an individual who posted them on the web. Both of the Josephs were on this list and the dates matched other information I already knew. By way of explanation, St Rose operates two cemeteries--the one in Carbondale proper which reached capacity in the 1940s and one outside of town called Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery where my paternal grandparents are buried. As far as I knew the only relatives I knew of who were buried at St Rose Cemetery were my grandmother's parents the Mancuso's, their son, two grandsons and one granddaughter all in the same plot.

Unfortunately, the online listing only gave the death dates and not the location where the two Josephs were buried. So I had my brother go to the Church to determine where their graves were which he did.

My grandmother Fannie's mother Rosilia passed away in 1912 and was the first one buried in the plot. Sad since she died young and did not live to see any of her children marry and thus never had the joy of holding any of her grandchildren. Well, turns out that the two Josephs are buried on top of their grandmother Rosilia in the Mancuso plot. So Rosilia is holding them close to her for eternity.

Unfortunately, the two Josephs names do not appear on the Mancuso headstone so my brother and I are going to have a flat marker engraved with their names placed at the foot of the headstone this spring or summer. I hope to be well enough to make the trip to PA and be there when the marker is placed.

Of all the information I found over the past years nothing has moved me more nor means more than being able to share the tale of the two Josephs.


"There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings." -- Hodding S. Carter

"You live as long as you are remembered." -- Russian proverb
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Joined: Aug 05, 2007
Posts: 547
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

That is a very sad and touching story Biff.

I also found info about my Dad's siblings that was truly shocking and very sad; I'm not sure he was even aware of this himself (he passed away in 1989). I knew about two brothers (Cataldo and Vincenzo - both were 1/2 brothers) and a 1/2 sister named Serafina. Cataldo and Vincenzo passed away as adults (one just 45 years old and the other 65)....I met Zia Serafina when I was 19 and stationed in Europe; she lived until she was 86. I found another 1/2 sister Antonia who died at 18 mos. These children were all from my Grandparents "first marriages".

After their spouses died they got married. It turns out that my Dad was the only child to survive from this marriage out of 6 children and he was sickly too. He had three full brothers (all named Domenico after their GF) and two full sisters (both named Anna after their GM). Somehow he was named Giuseppe (for no relative and probably a good idea). His 5 siblings all died at very young age:

--- 3 mos / 6 mos / 18 mos / 21 mos and 6 yrs. I couldn't imagine how my Grandparents could deal with so much sorrow; my Dad said he was also very ill as a child and almost died too. I think he only knew about the brother who died at age 6 as he never mentioned any of the others.


Researching: Corato, Provincia di Bari in Puglia e San Giorgio Albanese, Provincia di Cosenza in Calabria.
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Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 4363
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

Wow - both are just sad stories. It's amazing some of the things we find when we look long and hard enough, isn't it?

Biff, I think that you are doing a beautiful thing by placing the marker on names on the grave - I think the more we dig into our ancestry the more we want to honour the memories of our people, past and present. I wonder if the day will come when those we leave behind will respect what we are doing here today and maybe, just maybe a little try to in some way continue what we started and appreciate how much we have worked to leave some type of legacy for them.

Italian Surname Database

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Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

What a beautiful story Biff, it really does bring everything home. I think as genealogists we all strive to honor those names which time has taken from us. In my research, I have come across a similar story to Charlie's.

My G-G-G-Grandparents had a total of 17 children. Out of these 17, only 3 out lived their parents. My G-G-Grandmother died at the age of 32, and another daughter died at the age of 16, the rest dying as infants. For their mother, I just cannot imagine what it must have been like. To lose a child is something impossible to get over, but imagine having to bury 14! These stories of hardship really do humble a person, and make me proud to come from such strong people.

Researching- Savoca, Farfaglia, Mamazza, DiSano, Lomonaco, and Ponticello from Castiglione Di Sicilia (CT)
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Joined: Jul 11, 2007
Posts: 984
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

Biff: very touching. It seems like those losses were quite common at the time. I wonder if the pain was so great that they were seldom talked of. I think a cousin of mine found similar unknown losses on our tree.

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Joined: Jul 11, 2007
Posts: 959
Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

Such sad stories.

When I first began my genealogy, I used to come home from the FHL so depressed after seeing the death certs of so many babies and small children. All I could think of was how much these mothers suffered. Both my grandmothers lost children. One was a few months old..and the other lost a 10 year old daughter. So sad.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tale of the Two Josephs Reply with quote

Very sad. I have many stories like this. It makes you realize what a miracle it is that we are here.

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