Sunday, 20 Aug 2017 The di Tota families of Campobasso, Molise, Italy   
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di Tota

Clemente di Tota

Clemente di Tota is believed to be the first member of the di Tota family from Campobasso to come to America (of those that would eventually settle in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut). Research has shown that there were others from Campobasso with the di Tota surname who arrived before Clemente, but we do not yet know if there are any family connections to these individuals. There is no known photograph of Clemente, but it is certainly possible that one may exist - as yet, undiscovered by family historians.

Birth / Nascita
Clemente di Tota was born on Saturday, 28 May 1853 in the comune of Campobasso, within the province of Campobasso, region of Molise, Italy. He was the son of Pasquale di Tota (1818+1877) and Anna Maria Villano (1816+____). Clemente is believed to have had at least one sister, Josephine di Tota.

Marriage / Matrimonio
Clemente di Tota wed Maria Luisa Pietrunti on Saturday, 24 November 1877 in the comune of Campobasso, within the province of Campobasso, region of Molise, Italy. The Atti di Matrimonio (marriage certificate) from Campobasso notes that Clemente is the 24-year old son of Pasquale di Tota (deceased) and Anna Maria Villano. The bride, Maria Luisa, was the 19-years old daughter of Nicola Pietrunti and Angelica di Tota.

Immigration / Immigrazione — Emigration / Emigrazione
Having fathered at least nine children between 1878 and 1895, Clemente di Tota departed the Port of Naples on the ship Chandernagor and arrived at the Port of New York on Saturday, 09 May 1896. Clemente appears on page ten of the ship manifest, line number 511. He is documented as a male peasant, age 43 from Italy who could not read or write. Little is known about his voyage, reason for coming or what he did upon arrival. We can speculate that he came to America in search of opportunity for himself and his family which included a wife and children ranging in age from one to seventeen. Upon his arrival in New York, Clemente would have certainly seen the Statue of Liberty before being processed through the original facility at Ellis Island.

Clemente di Tota - 1896 Passenger Manifest (Port of New York)
(click to view larger manifest image)

Death / Morte
Clemente di Tota is believed to have died in the United States on 13 May 1898, possibly in Hoboken, New Jersey. Although no record of his death could be found in either New York or New Jersey, there were several unidentified males listed as 'John Doe' deaths in Hoboken during this time period.


The following is a translation done from the Italian document on file at the Archivio di Stato di Campobasso detailing the circumstances surrounding the death of Clemente di Tota.

In the year 1899, 4th of July, at the hour antemeridian otto (8 in the morning), at town hall in front of notary public, ...... from the 8th of November 1895 (the notary’s term of office)....... Pietrunti Maria Luisa, age 41, resident and born of this city (meaning Campobasso), daughter of the now deceased Nicola and the living mom Di Tota Angelica, widow of Clemente di Tota, she had presented to me a copy of ..... Resolution ..... for this court (she presented some papers to the court to prove that he is dead, they were presented in front of a notary with a seal).

[Transcribe from the other notary]

"In the year 1899, 18 April, city of new york, united states of America, in front of me, Faust Malzone, notary, legally authorized for the city in which office 88 Mulberry St, in the suburb of Manhattan, presented testimony, which was requested in the office by the lady Pietrunti Maria Luisa and Nicola from Campobasso Italy, who are personally requesting (a man, Felice Fatica Da Giovanni born in Oratino, his address is biato in Campobasso), also another man Donato Picciano(?) Di Giuseppe, born a……..) Michele Caruso Di Andrea, born and living in Oratino (assumed Campobasso) and Michele Ransello Di Domenico, born and living in Campobasso, all four actually living in the city of New York, and who personally say under oath (deposition) that on the day of 13 May 1898, Mr. Clemente Di Tota (they know Clemente, they know he was from Campobasso, they don’t know his parents or his paternity), he is a native of Campobasso, and died in the hospital of Santa Maria della Borgata, Hoboken, New Jersey, United States of America, and because there was not a request from the hospital, to offer the relatives a certificate of death, it has been impossible to verify the certificate at the hospital, (nobody requested his body……….) he was registered with a number and not with a real name, this is verified (it’s evident) (it seems consistent) that the person who died that day with the description that the hospital offers that the deceased was Clemente Di Tota. It would seem that he was close to 50 years old at the time of his death. (the body appeared to be that of a 50 year old man)

In this deposition, in which all these people, gave testimony (give fate) to the notary (notario) already described and to present to the other notary who will be in Italy in order to inform, which one after I read it with no variation confirms again that under oath (promise) Donato Picciano and Michele Ransello (his first and middle name) give sign that they know him (these 2 men gave verbal testimony because they cannot read/write), and the other two described have testified that they all know each other and they are who they say they are, they testify in front of Faust Malzone, (he was an official notary that was approved by the Italian Gov’t), this deposition took place at the Italian Consulate in New York, 2 May 1899, and the vice consulate F. Prost (sp?) art. Fl Dorilto Per # 3097 ministry of the _________________________ to certify the authenticity of the signature of the lawyers (Liz Prat?) Roma, 17 May 1890 by order of the minister (signed) After this translation and after reviewing the notary papers with a copy of the sentenece presented to this court which has ordained the transcription to the certificate of death to be presented to the officials of civil registration. With all this and confirm the presence and testimony of Lucivo Felice of 46 years old, resident of Zantonelli in this town.

Having reading this document, to all who is concerned,

Signed Celestino __________



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