Sunday, April 27, 2014

Four Seghieri immigrants to San Francisco all worked in family construction businesses

Monday, April 21
I recently heard from descendants of Severino Seghieri, a distant cousin who immigrated to San Francisco in the early 1900s. I wrote about discovering our family connection in a blog on April 8. I gave them information about their ancestors, and they added to my knowledge about their branch of the family. It turns out that our connection is quite distant, dating back to the 1400s.

My confusion about the family has gradually cleared up, although I still have some unanswered questions. I originally thought Severino and Alessandro Seghieri were the same person, because Severino’s middle initial was A, but it turns out the A stood for Adolfo. When I realized they were not the same person, I next assumed they were brothers, because the business was listed in 1905 as A. Seghieri and brother, and later as Seghieri Brothers. This was also incorrect. It’s now apparent that Alessandro started the business with his brother Alfredo. Severino was not their brother but instead was a cousin. When Severino went to San Francisco in 1906, along with his uncle Dante Antonio Seghieri, they worked for Alessandro and Alfredo, who were first cousins to Dante. Alfredo returned to Italy around 1910 and did not come back. What happened to Alessandro is not clear, because his business no longer appears in the phone directory after 1917, but soon after that Dante and Severino had their own cement business, so it is likely that they took over Alessandro’s business. Alessandro may have died or returned to Italy, because neither I nor the descendants of Severino who still live in California can find any records of Alessandro in the United States after 1917.

Severino’s brother Giulio also come to America in 1921 and joined his brother in business. He is listed in the 1921 phone book as a carpenter and living with Severino, so the business once again had two brothers involved. However, Giulio died in 1923 at age 30. I'm not sure when Dante died, and I don
t find any evidence that either Giulio or Dante married or had any children. Severino’s daughter Gloria wrote me, “Severino was a contractor and built a number of homes, one of which I lived in until I was married.  He also was part of a group that laid the mosaic tile in the state capitol building in Sacramento, California.  I believe the name of his business was the Bay Concrete Company. He spoke almost nothing about his family and only through my mother, Ada, did I know of his parents and siblings. I only know about Giulio and Dante because they are buried with Severino in Colma, California.”

Severino has another tie to our family. He married Ada Pantera of Montecarlo, and according to other research I have done, Ada had an uncle Narciso Sabatino Pantera who married Attilia Spadoni, who was the second cousin of my grandfather Michele.

As for the family construction business, Gloria said that Severino sold it and retired. His son Edward did not follow in his dad’s footsteps, becoming instead a post office employee, and Edward’s son Lawrence had his own business selling motorcycle parts. They are both deceased now, but Lawrence had a son Rob, who lives in Morgan Hill, California.

“I am indeed grateful to you for pursuing the genealogy,” Gloria said. “Without it, I only knew the family history as far back to the year 1906.” Her husband Stuart is putting their families’ genealogies “on the computer for our children, so that they can trace their heritage back through the years.”

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