Documents for the Family History of
Lists of the Family's 86  Known Surnames:
Note: the following three links are all to the same page. In these lists the surnames are linked to transcriptions of the Valente and DiRenzo family's Italian Civil Register records.
Family Tree Charts:
Note: the lists of Surnames and the Family Tree Charts lead to the same information in the Italian Civil Register records. (The Valente and DiRenzo family tree charts in the old format still exist.)
Italian Civil Register Records from d'ALESSANDRO to VALENTE:
The records are arranged alphabetically by Family Name, and within families arranged from Oldest to Youngest, for the most part translated into English.
Women are listed under, what in English would be called, their maiden names (Note that an Italian woman kept her father's surname all her life). Marriage records will be found under the surname of the husband. An asterisk (*) in front of a name indicates direct-line of descent.
di RENZO (DiRENZO)
These records were mostly drawn from microfilm copies of the Stato Civile ("Civil Registration records") from 1809-1910 of Gambatesa (which include copies of related church documents from circa 1750-1808) stored in the Archivo di Stato ("State Archives") of the Province of Campobasso, Italy.
With a map of central southern Italy showing the places named in this history.
This glossary is intended to help with reading Italian Civil Register records.
There were 39  unique men's names, and 46  unique women's names in the Valente and DiRenzo families combined (Direct lines of descent only). The most common names were for men, Giuseppe (13), Francesco (9) and Domenico (8); and for women, Maria (8), Angela (7) and Vittoria (5).
Village History Background:
Gambatesa: Fragments of History and of Art by Salvatore Abiuso, with the collaboration of Palmiro Di Maria, an English language translation with photographs and sketch maps. (There are also links to several older photographs of Gambatesa and to several newer photographs of Gambatesa below.)
Gambatesa is a comune (that is, a township or borough or municipality) in the Province of Campobasso, Region of Molise, Italy; a comune is both a village and its agricultural territory, a paese (native land).
[Maps showing the location of Gambatesa within Italy, and within the Province of Campobasso as that province has been since 1970 | Road map showing Gambatesa and some neighboring villages | Street map of the village center of Gambatesa based on maps from 1927 and 1939]
(The Gambatesa mine in the Region of Liguria in northern Italy is not the subject of this page.)
Map showing the part of the Diocese of Benevento that includes the parishes of Gambatesa and San Marco dei Cavoti, as well as the parishes of Santa Croce del Sannio ("Santa Croce presso Morcone"), Jelsi and Riccia; from 1951.
Two Civil Registry Seals used in Gambatesa during the 19th Century, the first from the reign of Ferdinando II, King of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the second from the reign of Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Italy.
The Sheep Migration Trails of Molise, a summary translation of an Italian Web page that tells the story of Molise's "sheep tracks" (tratturi), the wide grassy paths shepherds once used to herd sheep and cattle between the highlands of Abruzzo and the plain of Puglia, ancient paths that shaped the history of the region.
Summary Outline of the History of Molise, showing the years for Spanish rule, Austrian rule, Bourbon rule, and for the "French decade" of Napoleonic rule over southern Italy.
Tufara, its Historical Origins, a summary English translation. Because Tufara is the comune in the Province of Campobasso that lies directly south of Gambatesa, Tufara's earliest history suggests a similar historical origin for Gambatesa.
Tufara was the village of origin of Felicia BOCCAMAZZO who came to Gambatesa in 1833 following her marriage to Bartolomeo CONTENTO; these were ancestors of Giovanni Valente.
(The subject of this page is not the frazione of Tufara in the Province of Benevento or the frazione of Tufara in the Province of Avellino.)
Life of Blessed Giovanni the Eremite of Tufara, 1084-1170, translated from the Italian, with notes about the religious holidays, traditions and holy places of Tufara.
The Capture of Gambatesa by the Canadian Army. In October 1943 the Carleton and York Regiment ended the German Army's occupation of the valley of the upper Fortore River below the village of Gambatesa. Here is an excerpt from G.W.L. Nicholson's The Canadians in Italy, 1943-1945, quoted here for its description of the geography of the area.
Roccabascerana, its Early History, and Chestnuts, a summary translation of a brief Italian history of the village of Roccabascerana, Italy, with a brief description of the territory's treatment of the chestnuts that grow there.
Roccabascerana is a comune in the Province of Avellino, in the Region of Campania. Height above sea level of the Casa comunale: 1,368 feet. Population: 3,130 (1961 Census), 2,308 (1999 Census). Diocese: Benevento. In the Civil Register of 1809-1811 Roccabascerana is the Università di Bascerana, Provincia di (Principato) Ulteriore.
Roccabascerana was the village of origin of Filippo PORCARO and his wife Carmina TOSA, the parents of Giovanni PORCARO (1700-1756), ancestors of Nunziata DiRenzo.
Il Molise dalle origini ai nostri giorni ["Molise - From its Origins to Our Own Day"] by Giambattista Masciotta, Volume II (Napoli, 1915), selected chapters: Gildone, Gambatesa, Pietracatella, Tufara, Riccia, Jelsi, and Uno Sguardo generale al Circondario di Campobasso ("Overview of the District of Campobasso", with lists of village patron saints and festival days). The texts are in Italian only.
The outline is somewhat focused on the Province of Molise, Italy, and the City of Camden, New Jersey, noting family name arrivals in Gambatesa (when known).
Italy and Camden History Maps:
These maps are meant to supplement the above Historical Outline, although they might also stand on their own.
Map of the Roman Republic and Southern Italy in 264 B.C., showing the region of Samnium (where modern Molise lies), with various notes about ancient Rome and the origins of feudalism in southern Italy.
Map of the 6th-8th Century A.D. Lombard Kindom of Italy, before its conquest by Charlemagne, with a brief chronology for Italy before, after, and during its conquest by the Lombards.
Map of the 11th Century Norman Conquest of Southern Italy, and a map showing the Italian parts of the Holy Roman Empire circa 1100 A.D., with a chronology for southern Italy before, after, and during its conquest by the Normans.
Map of the 19th Century Piemontese Conquest of the Italian Peninsula and Sicily, also known as the Unification of Italy, showing the route taken by Garibaldi's army, with a chronology.
Maps showing the Province Boundaries of the Kingdom of Naples, or, Central Southern Italy, at the time of Napoleon and in the 20th Century, with an account of the 20th Century more-or-less equivalents to the 19th Century provinces.
Map showing the Principal Mountain Ranges of Italy. Note: the ranges are not labeled, although the locations of the cities of Naples, Rome, Termoli, Foggia, and Milan are indicated.
Map of the City of Camden, New Jersey, as it was in 1935, with an early chronology of the city.
The photographs are divided into six groups:
Gambatesa, circa 1960
The Village of Gambatesa, circa 1960; a postcard photograph which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Victory in Gambatesa, circa 1960; a postcard photograph which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo.
Largo Fontana, Gambatesa, circa 1960; a postcard photograph which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo.
Interior of the Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Gambatesa, circa 1960, with a small statue of Our Lady of Victory; a postcard and image from a prayer-card both of which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo. (With a color photograph from August 2001).
The Corso Roma, Gambatesa, circa 1960; a postcard photograph which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo.
Ponte dei 13 Archi (Bridge of the 13 Arches) near Gambatesa, circa 1960; a postcard photograph which belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo.
The Countryside of Gambatesa, and a Boy Watching over his Family's Sheep, September 1960; with the population and altitude figures for Gambatesa and some of its neighbors. The countryside of Gambatesa is highlands, as is most of the Region of Molise.
Women at the Village Fountain, Largo Fontana, Gambatesa, September 1960.
Note: there are links to several newer photographs of Gambatesa below.
Family Snaps, before 1940
Nicola Valente (1853-1939), an agricoltore of Gambatesa, the father of Giovanni Valente.
Photograph taken of Giovanni Valente (1887-1969) for his Wedding to Nunziata DiRenzo (1897-1983) of 23 September 1914.
The Children of Giovanni Valente and Nunziata DiRenzo, with photographs of the deceased children, and with the Second World War military service records of Joseph Anthony Valente (1943-1946). Note: only names and years of birth are given for living children.
Berkley Street, Camden, New Jersey, in the 1930s, showing the house at 337 Berkley Street, and Nunziata DiRenzo at 4th and Berkley Streets.
Italian Cowboys from Gambatesa in the City of Camden, circa 1927-1928, showing Giuseppantonio Iacovelli, Donato Mastrobuono, and perhaps Giovanni Valente's brother Salvadore, with birth and marriage records for Donato Mastrobuono (1889-1968).
Vittoria Donata and Angelina Serafina Valente at 337 Berkley Street, Camden, circa 1929; a photograph for their Uncle Salvadore Valente in Gambatesa.
Maria Vittoria d'Alessandro (1874-1955) and her husband Giuseppe DiRenzo (1876-1943) with their grandson Luigi Giorgi (1928-1993) in Camden, New Jersey, 1939. Luigi Giorgi was the son of Maria Rosaria DiRenzo (1908-1985) and her husband Emidio Giorgi (1903-1961).
Family Snaps, Camden 1940s and 1950s
Maria Vittoria d'Alessandro and her daughter Nunziata DiRenzo in the 1940s, standing in front of the house of Maria Vittoria's daughter Pasqualina at 311 Royden Street, Camden, New Jersey.
Vittoria Valente, her cousin Filomena Iacovelli, and their friend Millie Barnabie on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, about 1940. The bridge, which connects Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, was opened in 1926, the year after the two cousins were born.
Nunziata DiRenzo, Annie-the-Coffee-Lady and Grace Fanelli in the kitchen at 520 Mickle Street, Camden, New Jersey, in the 1950s.
Giovanni Valente and his oldest son's daughter in the backyard of 520 Mickle Street, Camden, New Jersey, in the late 1950s. Giovanni Valente and his wife Nunziata DiRenzo had twenty-two grandchildren, of which this little girl was the second oldest.
Family Snaps, Gambatesa, 1960s
Michele Valente (1883-c.1962), the oldest brother of Giovanni Valente, with his wife Anna Maria DiMaria in Gambatesa. On the back of the photograph is written Questo a Zio Giovanni ("This is for Uncle Giovanni").
Carmina Valente carrying water from the village fountain in Gambatesa in 1960. Carmina (b. 1908) was the second of the eight children of Giovanni Valente's brother Michele. The water-pot on her head is called a "conca" in Abruzzo, a "tina" in Gambatesa.
Esther Valente at Michele Valente's Farm in Gambatesa, September 1960.
Giovanni Valente with his brother Michele's son Salvatore Valente, Gambatesa, 1960; Pasqualina Mucci in Gambatesa, 1971.
Giovanni Valente with his wife, his sister and three of his brother Michele's daughters, August-September 1967. People in Gambatesa (as well as in Camden) called Nunziata DiRenzo "zia Nunziella".
Giovanni Valente with his nephew Antonio Valente, Gambatesa 1960 and 1967, with Antonio's wife Giuseppina Aitella, and Giovanni's sister Maria Vittoria and her husband Giovanni Leonardi. Antonio Valente was Giovanni's brother Michele's son.
Carmelina Valente of Gambatesa, the daughter of Salvadore Valente and Concetta Scocca, with her oldest children Giovannina and Pasqualina.
Family Snaps, New Jersey, 1960s
Donato Valente (1885-1965), Giovanni Valente's older brother in America, at Donato's house in Riverside, New Jersey, in the early 1960s.
Giovanni Valente and his oldest son Nicholas in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, about 1965; and two photographs of Nicholas Valente when he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, the first a portrait from about 1942, the other from Ketchikan, Alaska.
Giovanni Valente in 1967. Passport photograph.
Family Snaps, Gambatesa and New Jersey, 1970s and 1995
Giovanni Valente's sister Maria Vittoria (b. 1896), who lived all her life in Gambatesa. Photographs from 1967 and 1971, the first showing Maria Vittoria with her brother Giovanni and his wife Nunziata DiRenzo; the second is of Maria Vittoria, her husband Giovanni Salvatore Leonardi (b. 1891), and Nunziata DiRenzo.
Nunziata DiRenzo and Giuseppina Canfora (1893-1983) in Gambatesa, Italy, in August 1971. Giuseppina Canfora was the mother of Nunziata DiRenzo's son-in-law Gennarino Macchiarola.
Filomena Valente and Donata Valente of Gambatesa in 1995, two daughters of Giovanni Valente's brother Michele Valente, with an account of the origin of these photographs from St. Joseph's Day.
Nunziata DiRenzo's childhood house in Gambatesa; snap from 19 March 1995.
From Our Correspondent in Geneva
Documents and Stories:
The Orphan Marianna BRICCA - Nunziata DiRenzo's Godmother, with a photograph of Marianna from 1958.
The Birth Records of Giovanni Valente and Nunziata DiRenzo from Gambatesa, Molise, Italy, 1887 and 1897.
Giovanni Valente's first return visit to Gambatesa, fifty years after leaving for America, August-September 1960, with photographs of Giovanni, his daughter Esther (1930-1994), niece Anna-v, and Frank d'Alessandro.
Ship Passenger Manifests
The Ship Passenger Arrival Record for Giovanni Valente, Philadelphia, 9 December 1911, SS Ancona.
The Ship Passenger Arrival Record for Nunziata DiRenzo, New York, 21 July 1913, SS Ancona.
The Ship Passenger Arrival Record for Giuseppe DiRenzo, Philadelphia 11 May 1910, SS Verona
The Ship Passenger Arrival Record for Luigi DiRenzo (1895-1912), Philadelphia, 5 June 1912, SS Ancona.
The Ship Passenger Arrival Record for Maria Vittoria d'Alessandro (1874-1955), Maria Rosaria DiRenzo (1908-1985), and Antonio DiRenzo (1910-1987), New York, 20 September 1922, SS Colombo.
World War I Selective Service Registration Card of Giovanni Valente, 5 June 1917, City of Camden, New Jersey; with a reproduction of the Registration Certificate card given to Giovanni when he registered for the draft.
The 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census records for the family of Giovanni Valente and Nunziata DiRenzo, residents of 212 Mickle Street and 337 Berkley Street, City of Camden, New Jersey.
Documents from the life of Pasquale Di Renzo of Gambatesa, Italy, and Camden, New Jersey. Pasquale was a parente ("relative") of Nunziata DiRenzo; he had a grocery store in Camden.
Map of Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, showing the locations of the graves of some of the family and friends of Giovanni Valente and Nunziata DiRenzo.
Saint Joseph's Day in Camden. The Feast of St. Joseph the Husband of Mary (19 March) as commemorated by the Italians in the city, with notes about the fasting days of Lent and about St. Joseph's Day in Gambatesa.
The Victrola label from 'A Vucchella (A Little Posy) sung by Enrico Caruso; hear a short selection from the recording, as Giovanni Valente heard it. Streaming RealAudio, or Media Player (Wave File)
Nunziata DiRenzo's biscotti - a Recipe, with a photograph of Nunziata DiRenzo and Giovanni Valente, circa 1968.
Descriptions of what the lives of our ancestors were like, in the words of various writers.
The URL of this Web page: http://www.roangelo.net/valente/
Copyright © 1998 by Robert W. Angelo and others as noted