Need HELP…lots of dead ends after hours of research on Italian grandparents

So I am helping my husband research his Italian grandparents to determine if he is eligible for Italian citizenship thru descent.

Apparently they both emigrated from Naples Italy. I am running into dead ends, because most of the family is either not in communication or is deceased. My husband's mother just passed this last summer and dementia had already taken its toll, plus she was in the dark for many years on what happened with her family.

Here is what we do know: 

mother is Louisa Tuliucci [sic] born July 24, 1933 in Jersey City, county of Hudson at 109 Wales Avenue, Jersey City NJ to the parents Alex Tuliucci [sic] and Raffale Coelcocci (??)

on December 2, 1937 an article appeared in the Jersey Journal reporting on a tragedy that had befallen the Tulucci (note the spelling) family of 94 DeKalb Ave. in which 6 year old Charles Tulucci was hit and killed in a hit and run. The family was already destitute at that time. It stated that Alex, Antoinette, Anthony and 5 other sisters were survivors…one of which was my husband’s mother Louisa. We recognize Mary and Josephine as well, but not the other two and apparently there is a brother Michael missing? We know this because Mary passed away in 2013 and he is buried with her as: Michele Tuluicci (yes, another spelling, this time on a granite marker!)

I was only able to find a WWII draft reg card for Alex Tulucci who was living with a Mary who was employed…it matches up I think with who the GF could be. It states his BP as Aerolo Italy on July 2 1896…which would make him capable of fathering these children.

My MIL was put into a Catholic orphanage at age 5 and picked up at age 16 by her sister Mary. She has no idea what happened to her parents. She claimed she was a twin and her sister died at birth along with her mother? But then how to explain the Mrs. Tulucci in the newspaper articles?? There were a lot of blanks in her life for obvious reasons. Apparently no one was very fond of older sister Mary except for Michael.

Anyhow we don’t know name of Catholic orphanage, no birth certs for any of the children of Alex, no death certs except Mary’s obit, no Ellis island or other immigration info or naturalization info although from my research the Catholic Church Alex attended was created specifically for Italians that could not speak English and I think that was an issue for him…from the many articles I read about the family tragedy. I have no idea where he got married, where or when he was born or the GM was born. I have looked and looked on, and my

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will try to attach files in another post. 

Parents Reply Children
  • Thank you Sylvia. The names certainly match up. Mary was the oldest...her brother Michael is buried with her and her husband. And my husband had an Aunt Jo who lived in Delaware. However the birth dates do not match up at all. Louise Tuilucci Beckham was born July 27, 1933. I believe the birth year for Mary is correct. I would have to verify the birth years for Michael and Jo.

    So beyond AMAZING that you found Arrivals in America. Interesting that his father was already here?

    Louise always clearly stated that both of her parents emigrated from Naples Italy so we sort of assumed they were married there? It would be interesting to see if any record of Raffaele could be found in the same crossing as Alesandro?

    Thank you for your voluminous reply. Now will have to dig down into the results.

    So grateful for your time.

  • It is possible that Luisa b 1927 passed away before 1933 and that a a second Louisa was born.
    BTW I’m wondering whether Alexander’s first wife might have died in the early 1930’s (Maybe after having your Louisa). Unfortunately those deaths seem to be missing from the NJ death index, but in 1933 an Antoinette Arnone/Cardinale marries  an Alexander Tuliucci.

    2 entries in the NJ marriage index as follows:  
    It might be worth trying to get a copy of the marriage certificate.

  • PS I realized that' Id made a typo for Alessandro's birth. Of course his YOB should be 1896 (and not 1895).

  • You are brilliant!!! How you found this…I will never ever know. I would hug you if you were there in person.

    i am beyond thankful. I just guessed at everything. And just needed confirmation and you have given it to me. My husband and I were discussing this yesterday. I told him with this many kids he would have wanted to remarry quickly to find someone to take care of those children. It might also solve the rationale for my MIL ending up in an orphanage if the step mom decided she didn’t want to or could not handle the previous wife’s children?? Could also be why there was so much mystery in the family lore about what actually occurred.

    Sylvia, do you think there is any more that can be found out? If so what resources do you suggest and how could I delve further into this? How can we find out about the orphanage my MIL was put in?

    any answers you could give us on this would be so very helpful!!! I have been calling my SIL and updating her on these findings. You cannot believe what a GIFT you are giving to this family whose past has been shrouded in such mystery. My husband was so excited yesterday to find out more about his grandfather!

    Again…THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

  • I think that I’ve found the burial of Louise #1. She seems to be buried with 3 other members of the Tuliucci family: as follows:

    Holy name cemetery, Jersey City  - Section P, Section OA, Grave 31
    Louise burial 1 Dec 1932
    Raffaela burial 17 Oct 1933
    Charles burial 6 Dec 1937
    Alexander burial 12 April 1947

    FYI If you happen to be near a FamilySearch Center, you might want to have a look at the following collection containing cemetery records for the Holy Name Cemetery:

    Additionally,  If you are interested in ordering bmd certificates, try and (earlier ones)

  • We just can’t believe you found this!!! AMAZING!

    Again, thank you soooooooooo much. Called my SIL last night. No one knew anything about the deceased Louisa. And apparently “Aunt Mary” was super secretive about the grandparents. My MIL…as my SIL told me last night once wanted pictures of her parents…but Mary wouldn’t allow her to have them. MIL was going to steal them. Can you even imagine?

    Anyhow this fills in my husband’s actual grandparents…Raffaele and Alexander.

    But still curious as to what happened to step mom Antoninette? Also in article about Charles hit and run…an older brother Antonio was mentioned? Who was he? Where is he in this picture?

    Also would really like to find Raffaele’s BC in Italy and the marriage Certificate of Alex (Alessandro) and Raffaele. Was it here in America or in Italy?

    So many questions, still.

    But this family is every so GRATEFUL for your filling in the blanks. SIL said last night it will be so wonderful to put together a family tree for all of the children and grandchildren to appreciate their Italian heritage.

    I know you are helping others, but if you have any other information or leads to help with the gaps above…would be most grateful.

    Also how can I locate the Catholic orphanage my MIL and her siblings ended up in?

    Thank you so much!!!

  • This is my final 2 bob’s worth …

    We know the following re the children:
    Alexander and Raffaela had 4 living children by 1 April 1930 (census) and Raffaela died in Oct 1933.
    Unfortunately the “
    New Jersey, Reclaim the Records, Geographic Birth Index” only goes until 1929, so it becomes a bit of a guessing game after this especially without a 1940 census.
    Josephine (aka JoAnn) was born in Jun 1929 and Louisa #2 was born in July 1933, so she would have been the last child for this couple. Charles Tuliucci would have been born most likely in 1931. It is possible that the couple might have had 2 other children between Josephine, Charles and Louisa, but the timeline would be a bit tight.

    Did Alexander and Antoinette have children together?
    I haven’t been able to figure out yet what Antoinette’s maiden name was (i.e. Arnone or Cardinale or maybe something else), but it is fairly clear that she had been married previously.
    I found the following 2 life claims for an Antoinette Tuliucci (cycle year=1952) and an Antoinette Arnone (cycle year=1976): &  Both claims have a birth date of 6 Jan 1887 and Jersey City as the field office address, but the Soc Sec numbers are different (why?).
    If Antoinette’s YOB is really 1887, she would have been nearly 47y when she married Alexander i.e. it isn’t impossible, but unlikely that this couple would have had children together. Therefore I suspect that some of the children mentioned on Charles’ death notice might have been step siblings (Unfortunately you never mentioned the other girls’ names, because that info might have been useful in order to find out more abt Antoinette’s background).

    I have tried to find out more regarding mum Raffaela, but it’s a guessing game without a correct surname, place of birth etc. I’d already advised you to go down the BMD certificate route as I’ve exhausted the free online options. Maybe her death certificate will unearth something useful or maybe one of the earlier birth certificates.

    Re the orphanage … I have no idea, but maybe the local Catholic parish could point you in the right direction.