Seeking immigration & naturalization records of Carmine & Michael Rossi

Hi all, maybe someone can kindly point me in the right direction here. I have been researching my great grandfather and great great grandfather. My great grandfather died in NYC in 1912 (i have his death certificate and date of birth). My great great grandfather bought his son's burial plot a few days after his son's death. I learned this from researching the cemetery deed. I have been trying to find my great grandfather's immigration/naturalization records and I've hit a complete road block. Also, I have been unable to find any reference to either my great great grandfather or his son in any of the census data, either Federal or NY State. I've also come up blank in reviewing the City directories. This is frustrating because I do have my great grandfather's address in Manhattan from the death certificate. I also suspect that my great great grandfather continued to live in NYC after his son's death because he gave permission to a third party from Manhattan to inter an infant in my great grandfather's grave. I've done a significant amount of searching on Family Search and Ancestry and a lot of the public sites, but i cannot find anything more about these particular ancestors. My Great great grandfather's name was Carmine Rossi. My great grandfather's name was Michael Rossi. Both were born in Italy. My great grandfather was born in 1861 and died in 1912. I do not know what region of Italy that they were from. Thank you in advance for any kind assistance that you can offer.

  • Some questions:

    What is the address on Michael's death certificate? 

    Do you have the birth certificate for your grandparent (Michael's child)?  If so, what is that address?

    Do you know if Michael was married in the U.S. or elsewhere?

    Do you know the occupation of Michael or Carmine? 

    Does the cemetery deed definitely indicate that Carmine was actually in the U.S?

  • Hi James,

    I think we would like to know some more information.  I did some looking and found some possible records, but without knowing if Michael married, to whom?, and names of children, all I have are assumptions.  Was his wife Catherine and children Mary, Louis, Rosie, and Tony?  There is a 1905 NY census record for Manhattan for Mich. & Katie Rossa and their children whose names are above.  They are all born in Italy, and Mich. indicates he came to the U.S. 4 years earlier, and Katie 2 years earlier.  A match or something not applicable?

  • Hi All,

    Here is some additional information. And thank you both for your kind response.

    My great grandfather Michael lived at 464 West 26 street Manhattan, New York City at the time of his death. According to the death certificate he was born in Italy and had been in the U.S. for 22 years. He lived in New York City for all 22 years. His occupation on the death certificate is listed as butcher. Michaels’ wife (my great grandmother) was Catherine. Her family name was Rongo. I do not know if they were married in the U.S. She died on the very same day as Michael in 1949. As far as I know they had two children, James (1899) and Nancy (1901).

    My great grand parents are interred in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. It is the largest cemetery in New York City. Sadly none of the cemetery records are digitized and the staff is less than helpful when conducting research. Because of the pandemic I could only do research over the telephone. It took me many phone calls to get responses about the cemetery deed. According to what I was told Carmine J. Rossi purchased the plot immediately after my Great grandfather’s death. I’ve come to believe that Carmine must have been a resident of New York City because a year after my great grandfather’d death, a five month old infant was interred in the burial plot. I was able to trace this particular family to 70 James Street, Manhattan NYC. I’m guessing that since Carmine Rossi owned the burial plot he must have known this family and agreed to bury their child in the grave? If it is any help, Carmine was married to Carmella Cecere ( spelled Cecera on one other document).

    Thank you again for your kind assistance.


  • Yours is an interesting study on how names, spellings, dates, and possibly birth order were fluid. Even the number of children birthed varied.

    I did not find evidence of your great-great-grandfather Carmine in the U.S. (Is it possible he never was here?)  I did locate some evidence of Michael.  There are obvious gaps in the records found that should be filled.

    The following info is given in chronological order.  It was found, and in some ways makes more sense, in reverse order—I started with James, son of Michael, and worked backwards. (You may already have some of this info.)  The dates are in the YYYY-MM-DD format.

    1897-06-09  Birth Certificate - Michele Pellegrino Rossi

    Borough: Manhattan

    Certificate: 0024842

    Father: Michele Mother: Caterina Longo    (records consistently say Longo with an “L”)

    Address: 86 James St

    1897-07-17  Catholic Christening Record – Michaelam Rossi

    Parish: St. Joachim

    Father: Michele Mother: Caterina Longo

    **Note: The included christening records on FindMyPast only had transcripts. Other entries had images attached. (The site may attach the images in the future, or it may be possible, with a subscription, to use the Browse feature for the parish of St. Joachim.)

    1898-12-02  Birth Certificate - Ruggiero Francesco Russo    [James]

    Borough: Manhattan

    Certificate: 0047932

    Father: Michele Mother: Caterina Longo

    Address: 86 James St

    1899-01-08  Catholic Christening Record – Remigium Rosso    [James]

    Parish: St. Joachim

    Birth: 1898-12-03

    Father: Michele Mother: Caterina Longo

    1900-06-03  Catholic Christening Record – Annumptiatan Rossi [Nancy]

    Parish: St. Joachim

    Birth: 1900-03-20

    Father: Michele Mother: Caterina Lougo   (probably a transcription error)

    **Note:  I could not locate her birth certificate.  The NY Geographical Birth Index did not show her as being born at 86 James St—maybe she born elsewhere, or it was just not recorded.

    1900-06-13  U.S. Census - Michael Roso, wife Maria, & family

    Address: 86 James St, Manhattan

    Occupation: Butcher

    NOTE:  The address is the same as found on the previous birth certificates.  Son Mike’s info lines up pretty well, but I am not sure where James & Nancy are. I did not locate a birth certificate from around 1894 that could be Pipania.  It is interesting that the first two children’s names are Carmelo/a—a possible sign of a naming pattern after grandparents?

    1902  Trow’s Business Directory of Greater NY – Michele Rossi

    p.231 (image 158 of 1241)

    Listed under Butchers

    36 ½ Oak & 160 Elizabeth

    36 ½ Oak is just around the corner from 86 James St (see fire ins. map links below).

    1903   Trow’s Business Directory of Greater NY – Michele Rossi

    p.242    (image 161 of 1262)

    Listed under Butchers

    36 ½ Oak & 160 Elizabeth

    **These are the only two city directory entries, business or residential, I found that seemly tie directly to Michael.

    Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1894+

    Manhattan, V. 1,

    James St is split between maps 10 and 11.  Use the Zoom button for the map, make it Full Screen, then you can zoom in more.

    Plate 10

    Plate 11

    G.W. Bromley & Co. Map from 1897

    Plate 3 -- 86 James St & 36 ½ Oak

    More blurry than the Sanborn maps but it shows James St on one map.

    Plate 8 – 160 Elizabeth St     

    This seems to be a Saw Mill ??

    ** I lost the trail of Michael and never regained it.

    1905  NY State Census

    Didn’t locate the family. I manually checked and they were not found at 86 James St.

    1910   U.S. Census

    Didn’t locate the family at 86 or 65 James St, or at 464 W 26th St (address you said was on Michael’s death certificate)

    1915   NY State Census

    Didn’t locate the family at 86 or 65 James St.

    1917-11-24   Catholic Marriage – Annutiatam [Nancy] Rossi & Joannem Spera

    Parish: St Joachim

    (Has image attached to transcript)

    1918-09-12   WWI Draft Registration Card – Remiglio Anthony Rossi   [James]


    Permanent Home Address: 65 James St

    Currently at NY City Reformatory

    Nearest Relative: Katherine Rossi, 65 James St

    1920  U.S. Census

    Didn’t locate the family.

    1925  NY State Census – James Ross & wife Edith

    Address: 129 – 144th St, New York, New York

    **Note: I did not locate a marriage license for James and Edith.

    1930  U.S.  Census - Annuzita [Nancy] Spero with husband John

    222 High St, Brooklyn, Kings, NY

    **Note:  Two households listed above Annuzita (but next door at 220) is Carmine and Catherine Rossi.  Carmine was born about 1859 in Italy.  There is a possibility that he is connected to your family.  For instance, could he be a brother to Michael?  If there is a connection, maybe he was the Carmine who purchased the burial plot.

    1940  U.S. Census - James Rossi in household of sister Nancy Spero & her husband John

    Address:100 Heyward St, New York, Kings, NY

    James, his wife Edith, and two children are living with him.

    1942-02-16  WWII Draft Registration Card – James Remiglio Rossi

    Kings, NY

    Birth 1898-12-03, NY

    Person who will always know address: Mrs. Nancy Spero, sister

    1950  U.S. Census - James R Rossi, wife Mary, & family

    Address: 742- 46th St, [Brooklyn], New York, Kings, NY

    Daughter Angela & husband Thomas Trezza residing with James

    A Side Note about Mary Lombardi:

    Mary had a husband named Frederick Brown (I researched her to make sure I had the correct family in the 1950 Census).

    1925 NY Census:

    1930 Census:

    Daughter Angela

    1940 Census:

    Daughter Angela. Brother Anthony Lombari residing with Mary.

    I am not sure where this man fits in—could this be Pipania on the 1900 Census, with a different birth date?

    Joseph Rossi

    in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007


    Joseph Rossi





    Birth Date:

    16 Aug 1892

    Birth Place:

    New York City, New York [New York Cit]


    Michael Rossi


    Catherine Longo


    Feb 1938: Name listed as JOSEPH ROSSI

    An interesting New York passenger list:


    Maria Rossi



    Ethnicity/ Nationality:




    Birth Date:

    abt 1862

    Departure Port:

    Genoa, Italy

    Arrival Date:

    4 Apr 1893

    Arrival Port:

    New York, New York, USA

    Ship Name:

    Kaiser Wilhelm II

    Maria Rossi traveled with four children.  There is not enough information to connect this to your family but it is worth checking out.

    Son Giacomo has a number written in pencil by his entry.  This should correspond with a naturalization record.  It would be worthwhile to track down the court that issued this, and find the record.

    Some Helpful links I used  (beyond Ancestry & FamilySearch)

    -- One Step Pages by Steve Morse

    I cannot recommend this site highly enough.  Not only are there tools to search censuses & arrivals, the site has a TON of New York-specific tools – state census, vital records, etc.  I used these extensively in this search.


    Link to New York Catholic Records available

    --German Genealogy Group

    Has NY vital records databases

    -- New York City Municipal Archives Vital Record site

    Newly put online—not all records are available yet.  A large block of death certificates for Manhattan have not been put online.  (The site has some quirks.  For instance, some certificate numbers do not match up with the correct image.  Indices available may have mis-transcribed information, leading to wrong search results.  You must enter the exact spelling for the record to be found.)

    -- New York Directories links on Wikipedia (there are links at the top of the page to Brooklyn & Queens).  Includes links to NY Public Library directories, as well as other sites

    -- Reclaim the Records on Internet Archive (

    One I specifically used for this was the New York Geographical Birth Index. also has a tool for this.[]=subject%3A%22New+York+City%22

    -- NY Public Library digital collection - links to maps, including fire insurance maps

    -- List of Sicilian and Italian Given Names and some names possibly used in English

    Hopefully all this will give you some ideas/avenues for you to research.

    Happy Hunting!

  • Wow, thank you. That is an incredible amount of information! I do have some of this information and a good deal of the other material is consistent with what I have been learning on this journey. My father was an only child and my grandfather (James) was estranged from the family. His being in a reform school during WW1 is consistent with the life he later led. It is likely that my grandfather was never married to Edith or even my grandmother for that matter (I've never been able to find a marriage certificate). Through my DNA records I've been able to find a step brother to my father (including a sister who is now deceased). My family rarely spoke about my grandfather. He is buried with his parents,  but his name is not on the tomb stone.

    It's possible that Michelle Pelegrino Rossi (B. 1897) is another son to Michael and Catherine Rossi. It is also very possible that Carmine Rossi could have been an older brother to Michael and actually purchased the burial plot in Calvary cemetery? For the record, the infant who was buried in the burial plot a year after my G.G. burial was named Aniello Passaniello. He was the son of Nicola Passaniello and Maria Franzi, both of whom resided at 70 1/2 James Street. This is all very fascinating and I'm going to continue to delve further into all of this information. My focus is to find out if my great great grandfather, Micheal, ever became a U.S. citizen. Also, I would like to find out what part of Italy they came from.

    Best regards, and thank you again for your kind assistance.

    James Rossi

  • Dear Mr. Rossi,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    Prior to September 27, 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant United States citizenship. Often petitioners went to the court most geographically convenient for them. As a general rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the National Archives from counties, states, and local courts. Researchers should contact the National Archives at New York City (RE-NY) at to determine if records from lower courts are available. In certain cases, county court naturalization records maintained by the National Archives are available as microfilm publications such as the Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in Select Courts Prior to 1906, 1939 - ca. 1942 (M1674) (294 rolls) This serves as a finding aid for New York City naturalization petitions. Records from state and local courts are often at state archives or county historical societies.


    You may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-NY. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic.  Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


  • Thank you very much for your time and effort. I will follow up.


    James Rossi

  • I found Carmine and Michael on Find A

    How can Michael be your Gr.Grandpa and Carmine be your Gr.Gr. Grandpa, if Michael was born in 1861 and Carmine was born in 1881?  Are you mixing them up?

    Found on Family Tree/ Family Search:

  • Good find, Randee Tavarez .

    This Carmine is most likely the Carmela found on the 1900 Census with Michele's family. 

    Using the above database gave certificate numbers for the following information.  The links are to the certificates themselves.

    1902-05-08  New York Marriage - Maria Rossi

    Address: 67 James St

    Father: Michele  Mother: Caterina Longo

    1903-07-09  New York Marriage - Carmine Rossi

    Address: 47 Oak St

    Father: Michele  Mother: Caterina Luongo

    I checked the 1905 New York Census for the family at both of these addresses and did not find them there.

  • It's strange that they cannot be found on any of the census? When I first embarked on this journey some years ago, it  seems that I made a big mistake by relying only on the Americanized name of my ancestors. I may have looked at some of this evidence previously and discounted it because the names did not align exactly. Of course it doesn't help that the Rossi surname is as common as Smith!!

    So the picture that I am starting to see is that my Great Great Grandfather, Carmine, may never have lived in the United States.  It looks as if the Carmine who purchased the burial plot in 1912 was the brother of my Great Grandfather, Michael. It also looks like that in addition to my Grandfather James, and his sister Nancy, that there may have been other siblings (possibly Joseph and Maria)? The pieces are starting to fit. Now I need to find out what part of Italy they came from and whether my Great Grandfather Micheal ever became a citizen.The thing that I have come to really like about genealogy is that you always seem to fall into these "joyful" rabbit-holes!

    Thank you all so much for your kind assistance.


    James Rossi