Gaetano Scrugli

grave Gaetano Scrugli was born in Tropea, Italy to Antonino Scrugli and Caterina Cipolina. Gaetano was born on May 15, 1862 according to his Untied States death records. Gaetano married a woman in Cortale named Maria Savino and had at least 2 children with her, Antonio and Maria. It is possible he had more children, however, if he did, they remained in Italy.

Life In Chicago

I have never found his ship records, but it seems Gaetano left his wife and children in Cortale sometime in the late 1800's. He left Cortale for Chicago's "little Italy" neighborhood where he found a job and lived alone. His three sisters and children were still in Cortale. He frequented a saloon owned by Teodoro Bertuca and befriended him. Teodoro was also from Cortale. As he got to know Teodoro better he learned that he was a widower looking for an Italian wife. At that point Gaetano began negociating the marriage of Teodoro to his youngest sister Maria who was recently widowed in Cortale. This is what brought Gaetano's sisters Carmela and Maria to Chicago. Gaetano remained close to his sisters until his death. Gaetano became a citizen of the United States on 3 April 1903. A copy of his index card for naturalization can be seen here . Although Gaetano was still legally married to Maria Savino in Italy, he married Rosina Dequido on 9 October 1909 in Chicago. No one in my family was aware of this until I found his marriage record. This record can be viewed here. They always referred to Rosina as his girlfriend. It is unclear if he kept this marriage a secret or if the family did not accept the marriage since he already had a wife in Cortale. In December of 1902 his son Antonio arrived in Chicago and stayed with his uncle Santoro Savino. Antonio left Chicago and went back to Cortale but returned in 1909 and never went back to Italy again. In 1920 his daughter arrived. Gaetano's relationship with his children was tenuous, probably because he left their mother, but they did visit him and Gaetano attended most of the family parties. Gaetano died on August 8, 1926. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, not far from his sisters.

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