Re: Seeking information about Ernesto Caroselli & ancestors

Posted by tonyc- AT - martyandgroovechicken  - NAME: Tony Caroselli on 11/25/03 at 1:08 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Ernesto Caroselli & ancestors

In Reply to: Re: Seeking information about Ernesto Caroselli & ancestors posted by Frank Miele on 08/02/03 at 11:26 PM:


I'm about this, myself, as I know only scraps and pieces of my branch of Caroselli family history in Italy.

My great-grandfather, Vincenzo Caroselli, was also from Campobasso. I know his story. It's a great love story, in which Vincenzo was forbidden by his father (whose first name I don't know, but he was apparently the gangster boss of Campobasso) to have relations with the woman he loved, Giusseppina Marsella. Rather than obey his father's wishes, Vincenzo risked his life, turned his back on his family's fortune and power, and fled to America with Giusseppina. I'm not clear about the exact year, but it would've been sometime around the 1890s or so. In Indianapolis, Vincenzo and Giusseppina were wed and had seven children, all of whom survived to adulthood, including my paternal grandmother, Rafaella "Ruth" Caroselli, whose surname I've adopted as my professional name.

In an ironic twist, later in life, Vincenzo and Giusseppina found living together intolerable, and they separated. (By this time, some of their children were grown and able to support their parents.) Vincenzo moved all of three houses down, and spent every mealtime at Giusseppina's, and she came over once a week to clean his house! Unorthodox as this arrangement was, it worked for Vincenzo and Giusseppina, and they maintained this revised relationship until Vincenzo's death in the early 1950s.

I'm afraid, however, that the nature of Vincenzo's departure was not conducive to strong relations with his relatives in Italy, which is why my knowledge of the Carosellis in Italy is so incomplete. My great-uncle Meo Caroselli (the second youngest of Vincenzo and Giusseppina's brood), like your uncle Anthony Daniel Frank, also went to the Campobasso area during his time of military service in World War II, and he, too, had the idea of meeting his grandparents. Unfortunately, Meo was warned against it by his family, who feared that Vincenzo's disgrace (and the Carosellis' alliance with the Fascistas) would result in Meo facing threat of death if he made his presence known to his relatives.

As such, I have only bits and pieces. For instance, I've heard rumors that there is a connection to the Renaissance master Angelo Caroselli, but I cannot confirm this. I've heard that the name "Caroselli" is probably a dimunitive of "Caruso," who were ALSO centered in Campobasso (the opera great Enrico Caruso was born there), but whether there is a connection, or this similarity is coincidental, I do not know. I've also heard vague references to the Caroselli line being descended from a sister of the Roman emperor Claudius I, which may or may not be true, but it's certainly entertaining to imagine that I might be the descendant of the House of Gaius.

In any event, if you have any information that might link these various broken parts of Vincenzo's chain, I'd be happy to learn more.


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