Giuseppe Siragusa

27 Nov 1865 - ?

Giuseppe was my Great Grandfather Buonaventura's brother, the youngest child of Luciano Siragusa and Rosaria Pizzillo. His story is somewhat of a mystery, with more questions raised as each new piece of information is discovered. Unlike his older brothers Buonaventura and Stefano, he was unmarried (at least through age 49) and had no family of his own. He made the journey to America (twice), but I have not yet been able to find any trace of him beyond Ellis Island in the summer of 1914.

Record of birth for Giuseppe Siragusa, Collesano 1865

He first came the United States in the spring of 1909, at the age of 43 and single, en route to Braddock, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Traveling with Giuseppa Panzarella, on the manifest he states that he is going to the home of his "nephew" Filippo Bifarella (Giuseppa's son). While this destination is confirmed by his Pennsylvania residence (with the Bifarella family) in the 1910 Federal Census, there is no evidence that he was actually related to Filippo. It's possible that he simply felt more comfortable indicating he was in the United States to see family, rather than just an acquaintance. It's also not know what his relationship was to Giuseppa Panzarella, 15 years his senior, who indicates she is widowed.

Giuseppe and Giuseppa aboard the SS Campania, arriving at New York, April 1909

A year after Giuseppe's arrival, we find him living at 1946 Lithgow Avenue in Pittsburgh with the Bifarella family. This census record is a classic example of how a combination of misspellings, language barriers and Americanization of names can result in making vital information extremely had to find. Filippo Bifarella is listed with the first name of Tony and last name of Biforille, his daughter Giuseppa is Josaphina, Giuseppa Panzarella is Josaphina Ponsorella, and Giuseppe Siragusa is listed as Joe Sorose. I found this record searching for variations of Bifarella living in Pennsylvania. Conspicuously missing from the household is Filippo's wife, Anna D'Angelo.

Giuseppe Siragusa with the Bifarella family in the Pittsburgh area, 1910

Giuseppe and Giuseppa's stay in the United States appears to have been short lived as they returned to Sicily in 1911 (as referenced on their 1914 Ellis Island manifest). It is not known why they left, but it does appear that the young Giuseppa Bifarella went with them, and then all three returned to America in August 1914.

Giuseppe and Giuseppa returning to America with Giuseppa Bifarella, August 1914

Beyond this second arrival at Ellis Island, I have found no trace of Giuseppe or Giuseppa. The search will continue.