I am currently writing a blog series about how you miss information if you do not sit down to analyze the document after you find it. Over a year ago, I found the Naturalization paperwork for Fred Capelli online. I tossed it into my “to be processed” folder while on a downloading binge and let it sit for over a year. Low and behold, this was a big mistake because I had missed several pieces of very important information. To catch up on the awesome tidbits I missed by not analyzing the Naturalization paperwork of Alfredo (Fred) Capelli, click on these two links: Part 1 and Part 2.
The last item in Fred’s Naturalization Petition that screamed “I need attention!” was his arrival in the United States.
For years I have been trying to pin Fred down in the Ellis Island records. My problem was I found more than one Alfredo Capelli listed. I needed to figure out which Alfredo was mine.
Fred’s Naturalization Petition provided the details I was looking for. Fred left Havre on April 27, 1900 and arrived in New York on May 3, 1900 on the vessel La Lorraine. I am going to make the educated guess that Havre is really Le Havre, France. Le Havre is the second largest port in France and many of my immigrating ancestors have passed through the port there.
I followed up by finding Alfredo Capelli in a manifest at the Ellis Island website. Sure enough, there was an Alfredo Capelli who traveled to the United States in 1900. The details are slightly different though. The Passenger Manifest reads that Alfredo Capelli arrived 18 March 1900 on the La Gascogne. It appears that Alfredo may have come to the United States with family. There are four Capelli men listed: Guiseppe, Guiseppe, Alfredo, and Carlo. I do not know if they are brothers, cousins, or a little bit of both. All are traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and none are meeting relatives at that location. Each man carried $30 or $40 dollars on them.
After doing a little digging, I have to believe the records from the passenger manifest are more accurate than the Naturalization Petition. The answers to the petition were filled in twenty years after Fred came to the United States. I have a feeling he did not remember exactly when he arrived. The La Lorraine supposedly arrived a week before the La Gascogne. Also, a little research into the La Lorraine shows that it was not put into service until August 1900. Lastly, the manifest would have had to be handed over upon arrival to the United States when the ship was processed at Ellis Island.
I have determined the Alfredo Capelli who arrived in the United States in 1903 is not mine. I do have one other passenger list I have identified. Alfredo Capelli made a trip to Italy in 1930. This time he arrived home on September 10, 1930 as a United States citizen. His passport number is listed along with the family address on Vickroy Street in Pittsburgh.