Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Peter Statuto 1855 - 1917

Peter Statuto is one of my paternal great-great grandfathers. He is the father of Mary Rose Statuto, who is the biological mother of my grandfather, Peter Francis Daley. The name Peter continued through my family line from him, to my grandfather, to my father, to also wind up as my middle name. We never knew, but we inherited this name from our Statuto side. I only recently began to really delve into my Statuto research. When I did, I certainly learned a lot about Peter.

I was first contacted by a fellow genealogist about the Statutos in spring of 2013. This researcher believed that Mary Rose Statuto, of Lowell Ma, was the birth mother of my grandfather. Previous to this we only ever knew that his original surname had been Statuto and that he had been born in Pepperell. 

Through his connection to Mary Rose, I was also given a great amount of information about her father Peter. This information has been very valuable and has opened up many new avenues of research and a lot of questions. Some of them I have answered and some I am still working on. However, I now know quite a bit more about my Mr. Statuto than I had before. 

According to US Naturalization Record Indexes Peter Statuto was born in Italy 22 March 1855. According to marriage records, his parents were Carmenandonio and Carminella Statuto. I don’t have his full naturalization record yet, so I don’t know exactly where he came from. I also don’t have his mother’s maiden name. 

Peter arrived in New York on October 30, 1880 aboard the SS Nederland. By 1881 he appears in the City Directory of Lowell, listed as a “fruit dealer” on Middlesex Street. He remained in this business for the majority of his life and remained in Lowell until his death. He and his family appears in the 1910 census. 
Peter Statuto and daughters in 1910
Peter was married twice. His first marriage was to Marie Farrell. Together, they had one daughter named Amelia Statuto, born 1885. Unfortunately Marie Farrell seems to have died only a year later in 1886. 

In December of 1893, Peter Statuto was naturalized as a citizen of the United States.On 20 Jan 1895, Peter remarried Marie Therrien, the daughter of Hubert and Mathilda Therrien of Quebec. Together, they had four daughters:

Mary Rose Statuto b. 1896

- Mary Lora Statuto b. 1897

- Mary Philomine Statuto b. 1898

- Mary Louisa Statuto b 1901

Peter Statuto seemed to manage a fruit distribution or grocer’s business in Lowell and appeared in the Lowell Sun several times in relation to this business. Later he obtained the license to sell ice cream as well. In some of these newspaper entries Peter appears to have been involved with or affiliated with criminal activity. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Peter was a criminal himself, so much as to say that he was several times plagued by the criminal activity of those around him. In a future post, I’ll outline some of these more interesting events in Peter’s life. 

Peter died in Lowell on 4 February 1917. His death notice was posted in the Lowell Sun. According to this notice, Peter was a member of the Court General Shields, Foresters of America. Previously Peter had also been a member and treasurer of the Christopher Columbus Italian Mutual Aid Society as well. Unfortunately, it appears that neither of these organizations have available records for this time period.  
Both Peter Statuto and my great-great grandmother Marie Therrien are buried in St. Patrick Cemetery in Lowell, Ma. I am currently planning a trip in that direction. 

I have to say it was fascinating learning about an ancestor that I never even knew I had, especially one who had a direct impact on the naming tradition of my family. Though I can only get a glimpse of what Peter Statuto might have been like through records and newspaper articles, I think it speaks volumes that his daughter named my grandfather seemingly after him. She wasn't the only one of his daughters to use the name either. 

As soon as I learn exactly where in Italy the Statuto family came from I know I’ll feel compelled to visit. I would also love to know more about the interestingly named Carmenandonio and Carminella. Until then Peter Statuto is a welcome new branch in the sometimes crooked and not quite linear family tree that has become the Daley Clan. 

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