The Fratellanza Society & Adding 3 Great Great Great Uncles to My Family Tree

A cousin I’ve connected with, from my Sbarboro side, sent me information about the Fratellanza Society in Saint Louis, Missouri. He said that brothers of my great great grandfather (my cousin’s great grandfather), Guisseppe “Joseph” Sbarboro, were involved in the start of the organization in 1866.

According to their website:

The Fratellanza is the oldest Italian American organization in the United States. The Fratellanza Society was organized on November 11, 1866 and was incorporated on December 6, 1866 as a fraternal and benevolent society under the Societá Unione e Fratellanza Italiana (Italian Fraternal Union).

The Primary objective was and continues to be, to create an organization that will promote unity between Italians and their adopted country. A unity which meant the fusing of all Italian-Americans into one compact body devoted to the interest of patriotism, charity, and brotherly love.

I contacted the organization’s historian for more information on Sbarboros involved in the group. He said that there was a Giacomo Sbarboro as one of the 15 starting members, and two other Sbarboros, Francesco and Giovanni, in the first 85 members. And there was an Antonio Sbarboro in the early years, too. The historian found records that indicate Giovanni and Antonio were born in Priola, in the Chiavari Province of Genoa in Italy. (A possible cousin from Italy named Gianmichele Taormina contacted me, and says that “The town of Priola is not located in the province of Chiavari. Chiavari, in Liguria is not a province and Priola is in the province of Cuneo in Piemonte.”)

Back to my other cousin, in the US, he says that Giacomo, Francesco, and Giovanni are Joseph’s brothers and that Giacomo became James, Francesco became Francis, and Giovanni became John.

I haven’t found any documents connecting them to my known Sbarboro family. They were in Saint Louis, Missouri at about the same time, but by the time the Fratellanza Society was formed in 1866, Joseph and his parents were living in Kansas City. I haven’t found arrival records for Giacomo, Francesco, Giovanni or Antonio, but I have records showing Joseph, his parents and two sisters arriving in 1851.

By the 1860 US Census, my Joseph and his parents (but not the sisters they arrived with) were living in Saint Louis. I don’t find any other Sbarboros living in Saint Louis at the time, on a census or in a city directory. The only other Sbarboros on the entire 1860 US Census are in California – Madelina, age 18, boarding; Bartolmo, age 35, boarding; and Antonio, age 35 and a miner, with his wife Mary, and daughter Rosa, age 1.

A Giacomo Sbarboro was in San Francisco as early as 1871 according to City Directories and voter registration. He was born in 1839. James Sbarboro is found in San Francisco as early as 1875. Giacomo is listed on the 1880 US Census in San Francisco with wife Mary, age 33; Rose, age 10; August, age 9; Thomas, age 7; Mary, age 6; Kate, age 2. Giacomo was 42 and working as a teamster. Are Giacomo and Antonio the same person? Antonio on the 1860 US Census and Giacomo on the 1870 US Census match. There’s also a James Sbarboro, born in Italy, who registered to vote in Chicago in 1892.

There’s a Francisco Sbarboro in San Francisco as early as 1897 according to the City Directory.

A Giovanni Sbarboro died in Pennsylvania in 1914. One Giovanni Sbarboro was naturalized in New York in 1881, and another one in 1879. I also find a Giovanni Sbarboro in San Francisco as early as 1863 in the City Directory.

I will keep searching, but that’s the information I can find on men by these names in the United States in the late 1800s.

(I previously wrote about Joseph Sbarboro here.)

1 thought on “The Fratellanza Society & Adding 3 Great Great Great Uncles to My Family Tree

  1. My Great Grandfather was an original member of the Society. Giuseppi Garbarino became a member in 1866. I was invited to the rededication of the monument in the Societies section of Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. My Great Grandfather is buried there. I have tried to find a photo of the original members, but so far no luck. I have the yearbook from the 75th anniversary. I was so excited to find all this information.


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