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Updated March 4, 2024

A virtual search in the Ellis Island archives to discover the emigrants from Moschiano in America between 1880 and 1930

Moschiano has always been and continues to be a town of emigrants. Over the years the arrival destinations have changed and gradually moved from the North American continent between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s to the South American one and then moved on to the European countries especially after the Second World War to end with an emigration internal in the 1960s and thereafter and which still continues.

It would be interesting but too long to do a complete and detailed analysis of the reason for this phenomenon and we suggest that some university students perhaps make it the subject of a thesis or perhaps we will propose it here in the future.

For now we have focused on what was a worldwide phenomenon between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century but which found its peak especially in Italy and clearly also involved Moschiano.

During those years (1880-1924) more than 4 million Italians emigrated to the United States, half of which between 1900 and 1910. 

Moschiano was also part of this phenomenon and this initiative wants to be a tribute to all those who left our country in search of fortune and so that their names and sacrifices are not forgotten.

Digging through the archives of Ellis Island we examined around 90 thousand names and managed to find hundreds of people of all ages and the vast majority of them were farmers and workers who counted Moschiano as their town of origin and who, once they arrived in America, dispersed many times over. ' of diaspora on the American continent.

We found very common surnames in Moschiano (Addeo, Manfredi, Moschiano, Esposito, Dalia, Pacia, Vona, etc) but also others of which we have lost track or of which we have vague memories (Fravola, Vacca, Vallone, Mercolino, etc.) perhaps surnames of people from other towns and villages, who arrived in Moschiano through marriage with people from Moschiano.

Their destinations were well-known cities (New York, Providence, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) or unknown towns (Oil City, Groveland, Long Branch, South Amboy) or others perhaps well-known but difficult to write about (Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Peekskill) .

And then there were their relatives (or presumed relatives) who hosted them. Reading through the arrival lists you get the feeling that the common saying "in Moschiano we are all relatives" was (and is) the reality. Everyone went to the same brothers-in-law, uncles or extended relatives. Maybe it was true, maybe not, but it was enough to ensure that the immigration officials didn't send them back upon their arrival.

 

The research was conducted by first searching the lists of ships arriving at Ellis Island based on their surname. After that we looked for Moschiano as the town of origin/residence, but due to not always accurate transcriptions the name of our town has often been distorted so we saw variations such as Maseutano, Moschrano, Moxchano, Moretiano, Mosohiano, Mocchiano, etc. Not only. We also noticed that for the vast majority of names the country of origin in the online version (and before 1900 also in the original lists) was not reported and was replaced by a generic "Italy". Not to mention the fact that often the indications did not correspond to the copies of the lists associated with the surnames and we had to decipher what had been written.

 And so we managed to find the names of over 350 Moschianesi who left "for very distant lands". Some came to the United States and then returned to Italy. Others decided to return to the United States again after a few years. Still others never returned to Moschiano.

We noticed persons who were all kinds of people. Men and women going to their children. Young people (and sometimes little more than children) alone who went to their parents or simply to some relative. Wives and children reunited with their husbands and parents.

They are all there with more or less recognizable surnames and names that can be traced back to people known to us or whose traces had perhaps been lost.

The first PDF file contains the total list of people from Moschiano traced by surname while the second file contains the details of each of the over 350 people traced. The second list can also be consulted directly in Excel.

 

              List of surnames                                                                                                  

 

 

                                                                                                                                              List with details of people

Much work still remains to be done to include all those other people that this initial search couldn't find. We dedicate this effort to all of them and thank them for revealing the true face of Italy and Moschiano in the world.

A country made up of honest people, with a great desire to work and who have contributed to making not one but two nations great. May their stories be an example to us on how to welcome those who still knock on our doors today and how they can be a source of moral and material wealth for all of us.

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