Thursday, February 20, 2014

A DAY OF FINDINGS - YEAH!! Campion & Petrucelli surnames

Today I have had - not ONE, but TWO big breakthroughs. And in both cases, they are NOT direct ancestors of mine.  But I'm just as excited as if they were!!        

We used to get beautiful hand-painted Christmas cards years ago, from "a relative Tony Petrucelli" when we were kids. I have no idea where they are by now - I suspect when Mom went into hospital or before, they got tossed out, probably by accident because we all treasured them.  He was a commercial artist who designed marvelous covers for FORTUNE and the NEW YORKER in the 30s and 40s.   Here is one link to find more about him; and another link. He was apparently a very well-liked person all his life, and was an excellent artist with a marvelous control of perspective.

But I had no idea how we were related to him.  In fact I assumed he simply knew our Aunt Dot - my mother's older sister who was a textile artist in Greenwich NY. In other words, I assumed he was a friend of the family, not a real relative at all. It was quite common to call an older friend of the family, Aunt or Uncle when I was growing up.

But today on a 1940 Census, there he is: Antonio Petrucelli, aged 33, b. NJ, living in NJ in 1935.  And his wife, Lillian, aged 31, b. NJ.  Occupation, Commercial Artist, own business.  Living with son, Michel, aged 5.  AND, his widowed mother-in-law, Florence Tyler, aged 81, b. NY.  Wow!  What a find.  I know that name! Mom referred to Florence as "Aunt Toto". There were many nicknames in my mother's family.

Florence is the younger of the three children, all daughters, of Charles Giles GRAVES.  Lillian is the only child of Florence and Ernest Tyler, and she would be my 1st cousin 2x removed. The middle daughter, my great-grandmother, whom we called "Madee", was Clara Augusta "Gussie" GRAVES.  I have a lovely photo of the older sister, Lillian, who married lawyer, Gabriel Wisner.  I've know of the other two sisters and their children for some time.  But seeing this Census record, it all falls into place to me. Of course!  Whew - another mystery solved. Nice to find that there are more Petrucelli cousins running around, too.

On my ex-husband's family line, I've been stymied with the end of the line: Charles LEWIS, b. 4 Oct 1828 in Bath, Ontario. Bath is a little town in the "Loyalist Township" of several towns with extensive history of United Empire Loyalists - I wrote about this only a few days ago!  He must have read the posting, because today I was able to find a listing on FindAGrave, with photos of the large dark red granite obelisk which has his and his wife's details, plus details of his middle son and wife.  Charles & Elizabeth had 8 children, 6 sons, 2 daughters, some of whom moved to British Columbia.

Ah-ha!  Confirmation:  His wife's maiden name is indeed CAMPION, just as I'd suspected but I'd had difficulty in finding documents or further evidence about her maiden name.  I recently purchased the marriage certificate from Manitoba, of Charles & Elizabeth's older daughter Ellen & James Carrick Miller, and it also confirmed Campion as her mother's maiden name. No confusion any longer.

Of course, you know what this information means.  More research, of course!! Lots more research.  What fun, eh?  Who knows what else I will find about the Lewis and Campion lines...

And, if you have information on any of these people, I'd love to hear from you, via calewis at telus dot net, or in the comments below.  Thanks for dropping by to read my good news!


Jill Ball said...

Shall we dance? Great news Celia.

Unknown said...

Ever thought of writing mysteries with a genealogist as the protagonist?

Patricia Dever said...

Wow!! Great day for sure, plus two golds! I have a feeling your going to be up all night seeing what else you can find!

Celia Lewis said...

No kidding, Jill! As soon as I saw my great-grandmother's sister living with them, it all clicked into place! Cheers.

Celia Lewis said...

Well, sure, "Unknown" - but I'm not quite so good at writing mysteries. I think that would require spreadsheets with lots of planning... I have enough trouble writing romances! Thanks for commenting, whoever you are - I always appreciate comments.

Celia Lewis said...

I made myself go to bed by midnight. But... today... is another day! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Patricia. :)

Celia Lewis said...

UPDATE: My older sister has told me she remembers Tony & Lil coming to Vancouver to visit Mom and Dad when we were in our teens - maybe late 1950s. Sigh. I have no memory at all of this visit. But I could have been either babysitting or working - I always had some sort of part-time job in my teens. Darn. I'll check through Border Crossings to see if I can pin down the date. Plus, my sister thinks Mom visited them when she went back to New York to visit her older sister, Dot. Hmmm. We weren't so out of touch as I thought!

John D. Tew said...

Congratulations Celia on solving the Tony P. puzzle. Those eureka moments are what we live for! ;-)

Celia Lewis said...

These two feel like big ones to me, John. I'm dancing around telling everyone who might be interested even just a smidgeon! Cheers.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis