Domenico di Tota
This page is a partial biography for Domenico di Tota. Born in south central Italy in 1884, he left his home and family before his eighteenth birthday and emigrated to America. He settled in Waterbury, Connecticut, married and eventually became a United States citizen adopting the Americanized name of Domenic Ditoto.
The following details are outlined in chronological order. Where possible, documents or photographs support the text. If you are reading this and have additional details, please contact us.
Birth / Nascita
Domenico di Tota was born on Sunday, 18 May 1884 in the comune of Campobasso, within the province of Campobasso, region of Molise, Italy. It had long been assumed that he was born on May 19th, but a careful review of his actual birth certificate held at the archives in Campobasso shows that while his birth was recorded on the 19th, it had occurred at 1:05 pm the prior day – the 18th of May – a Sunday in 1884. One can assume that the name Domenico is derived from the day of the week when he was born. The “Atti di Nascita” certificate number 243 was recorded in the year 1884.
The 4th of 9 known children of parents Clemente di Tota (age 31) & Maria Luisa Pietrunti (age 25) wed on 24 Nov 1877 in Campobasso, both parents celebrated a birthday within one month following their new son's birth. At the time of Domenico's birth, siblings included sisters Maria Giuseppa di Tota (born 23 Nov 1878) and Gaetana di Tota (born 07 Aug 1881), as well as a brother Antonio (born 01 April 1883).
Emigration / Emigrazione — Immigration / Immigrazione
25 April 1902 Passenger Arrival Record (Port of Boston - S.S. Vancouver), Line 29
On 10 April 1902, Domenico departed the Italian Port of Naples bound for America on the S.S. Vancouver. On 25 April 1902, less than a month shy of his 18th birthday, Domenico arrives at the Port of Boston after 15 days at sea. On line 29 (passenger number 539), he reports his final destination in America as Waterbury, Conn. to join brother in-law Francesco Santoro at 51 Canal Street. The manifest indicates he had never before been to the United States and had paid for the trip himself.
It is interesting to note that although Domenico states he is meeting his brother-in-law Francesco, it would be nearly eight months before Domenico's elder sister Gaetana would arrive at the Port of New York on 23 Dec 1902. Listed on line 26, Gaetana (age 21) is traveling with Pasquale Santoro (52), his wife Carmela Palange (50), and their children Domenico Santoro (14) and Marianna Santoro. Gaetana is listed as Single, but her entry also states that her husband paid for the trip. She had never before been to America and it states that she was going to "her betrothed Francesco Santoro, 51 Canal St., Waterbury Conn." The Santoro family indicates they are going to his sons Francesco & Carmino.
Gaetana di Tota and Francesco Santoro were married on20 Feb 1903 at Waterbury, Connecticut.
(Click image above to view larger version of Passenger Manifest)
Marriage / Matrimonio
On 11 April 1908, Domenico and his bride-to-be, Anna Orsatti, applied for a Marriage License at the City Hall in Waterbury, Connecticut. In reviewing a copy of the original license, the following information can be obtained: Groom’s age listed as 24 (which verifies year of birth as found from other sources), occupation listed as "Shop hand", residence at time of application listed as 52 Webb St (which is the same residence listed for his 17 year old bride Anna Orsatti, spelled Orsata in this document), father listed as Chelemento, mother as Louisa Pietronto.
This document was signed by the applicant as "Domenico De Toto", but since the bride was a minor child at the time, her mother "Teresa Orsata" had to indicate her mark with an "X" (see below).
The couple wed on Sunday, 10 May 1908 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Waterbury (New Haven County) Connecticut. The Marriage Certificate was completed by Reverend Michael A. Karam, Rector of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 309 South Main Street, Waterbury (signed and dated 10 May 1908). The records on file at the Church confirm the date of marriage, listing the groom as Domenico DiToto (son of Clementine & Luisa Pietronata DiToto) and bride as Anna Orsata (daughter of Justini & Teresa DiCesare Orsata). The witnesses were Carmine Santoro and Lucia Ciarleglio.
Marriage License signed by 'Domenico Di Toto' and on the reverse side (not shown)
by Anna Orsatti's mother since the bride was not of majority age
Children — Starting a Family in America
Possibly a photo of baby Clemente Ditoto (born 24 Oct 1909 - died 16 July 1910)
Details about the children will come shortly . . .
Domenic & Anna Ditoto with children Louise Ditoto (2 and 1/2) and son John
Possibly taken 24 Aug 1913 (the date of his baptism at Our Lady of Lourdes)
Naturalization / American Citizenship
Americanization in the Reading and Writing of English (March 1st, 1932)
World War I (1917-1918)
As the war in Europe continued, men were required to register for the draft. These Draft Registration Cards ....
The images below show both the front and back of the card completed by Domenico Di Toto on 12 September 1918. Note that his date of birth is incorrectly listed as May 10th, when it should be listed as May 18th.
(click an image to view larger version in a new window)
On 17 November 1936, Domenico — now an American Citizen — joined millions of others in completing his application for a social security number, enabling him to receive retirement benefits. At the time he completed this application, he was living at 12 Oak Street, Waterbury, and was employed by Scovill Manufacturing Company (99 Mill Street, Waterbury). He would later be assigned the number 044-03-3520.
World War II (1917-1918)
More than two decades later, Domenico would once again be required to complete a military registration card — this one (shown below) was for World War II when he was 57 years of age.
50th Wedding Anniversary
On 10 May 1958, Domenic and Anna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The family had a celebration at.....
Death / Morte
After more than 56 years of marriage, Domenic Ditoto lost his beloved wife Anna on Tuesday, 11 August 1964. She was 73 and he was 80. Just three months later, on Tuesday, 24 Nov 1964, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Domenic also died. At the time of his death, Domenic Ditoto had left two sons, John and Raymond Ditoto, both of Waterbury; four daughters, Mrs. Louise Lombardo, Waterbury, Mrs. Charles [Teresa] Stanfield, Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. John [Ida] DiLeo, Waterbury, and Mrs. John [Rita] Mongillo, Wolcott; two brothers, Anthony [Antonio] and John [Giovanni] Ditoto [di Tota], both of [Campobasso] Italy; 10 grandchildren [Ann (Lombardo) Brandmeyer, Louise (Lombardo) Lynch, Dolores (Lombardo) White, John D. Ditoto, Peter J. Ditoto, David J. DiLeo, Eleanor DiLeo, Thomas P. DiLeo, Linda S. Ditoto, Raymond Ditoto]; eight great-grandchildren [Michael Brandmeyer, Patricia Brandmeyer, Robert F. Brandmeyer, Bernard M. Lynch Jr., Louise E. Lynch, Daniel M. Lynch, Maureen A. Lynch, Kathleen L. White]; as well as several nieces and nephews in both America and Italy.
(View Google Aerial Map of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Watertown CT)