Possibly Ernesto Baruffa c.1884 Elizabetta "Elizabeth" (Groffani) Barufa wife of Ernesto c. 1912 Possibly Giovanna Baruffa c.1884 Jean, Mary and Giovanni Barufa c.1915 John Groffani Brother of Ernesto
Photos of the Baruffa-Groffani Family relatives in ItalyOld photos, many unidentified, of old relatives in Italy
The Barufa side of the family originates from north-central Italy, at the foot of the Alps, in the Lombardy region. Here, from the town of Sermerio, one of the 18 small towns on the plateau overlooking Lake Garda (Lago di Garda) that make up the community of Tremosine, in the Province of Brescia, Ernest Barufa was born on the 22 of March in 1864. The town is located at base of the steep, barren foothills of the Italian Alps, overlooking the plateau, and was quite small.It has changed little in the past hundred years.
The family spelling of the name is Baruffa, with two F', and one of the F's was dropped when the family was in America. His father, Agostino died in 1884. His mother, Giovannia (Dalo) passed away in 1904. Ernesto had one sister, a Caterina Eccli and two brothers; Giovanni, who died in 1923, and Angelo, who died in 1909. (This may possibly be the brother who was supposedly murdered in California. There is a record of an Angelo Baruffa, close to the age of Angelo, dying in California in 1909, the same year Angelo is known to have died.)
Angelo was married to a Virginia Beretta and had four children; Giovannia, Silvio (April , 1895), Genna, and Agostino. Giovannia was married to a one Pietro Leonyio. Silvio came to the United States sometime prior to 1936. He lived in Groton, Connecticut and was employed at the Electric Boat Company and later with General Dynamics. He died in Waterford, Connecticut in 1984. His wife, Mary Rossetti, also of Italy, died in 1994.
All this information was garnered from a "certificatodi stato di famiglia." which is a certificate of family status. This is a distinctively Italian document (the Baruffa copy is seen in the background of this page)that reflects the desire and effort of each town(commune)to keep an updated and on-going account of the status of each family in the town. This was often done by the recorder of vital information, usually the mayor of the town. The practice started around 1870, but was still quite rare prior to 1910. The Baruffa document was written by the town mayor and is dated from 1924. It was probably used to notify Ernest on the state of the family due to the recent death of his brother Giovanni. Also, when held up against a light, a watermark authenticating the document is visible. It consists of the emblem of Italy with "Regno D'Italia (Kingdom of Italy) 1922 CM" underneath.
When he was around 17, he emigrated to the United States. Ernest's "Declaration Of Intention" paper, which was the preliminary paperwork for naturalization, stated that this was around the 25 of April in the year 1881. It also states that he came via Liverpool to New York City.
When Ernest filled out this paperwork in January of 1907, he was living on Chesnut Street in Springfield and was working as a hod carrier, which was a person who carried a load of bricks on his back for the use of the masons. This is the earliest record found relating to Ernest and the span of years from when he entered the United States, which may not have been 1881, until 1907 is somewhat of a mystery. Supposedly he was somewhat of a vagabond, heading out west upon his arrival to America.
Between January on 1907 and March of 1908 he returned to Italy, most likely to arrange a marriage. He passed through Ellis Island on March 22, 1908 at the age of 43 on the ship La Touraine. In November of that year his future wife Elisabetta Groffani, age 25, arrived in America from Genoa, Italy on the ship Konig Albert. Ernesto?s two nephews and niece, children of his brother Angelo, came to America on November 25, 1911 on the ship LaSavoie. Giovanna was 14 years of age, Silvio was 16 and Agostino was 10. This was two years after their father?s death. Elisabetta was from the same town as Ernesto, and was born on May 13, 1884. She was a small women, being only 5'1" and had black hair and brown eyes. At this time she was twenty years Ernest's junior. It is told that Ernest was supposed to marry her sister, but for some reason ended up wed to Elizabeth.
She entered through Ellis Island, and her name is now inscribed in the "Immigrant Wall Of Honor" at the island.Her name is on Panel 489. Upon arrival to Ellis Island, Elizabeth was held for four days due to having one leg shorter than the other. Immigrants who were judged to have some physical disability or medical problem were labeled with a chalk letter on their upper chest (such as 'E' for an eye problem or 'K' for a kidney aliment) and held until doctors deemed them fit to remain in the country. This was the greatest fear of the newly arriving immigrants, the fear of being sent back to their country. Stories I have heard that explain this problem are that Elizabeth was injured as a child, either from being hit by a wagon or falling in the nearby Alp mountains, and her broken hip was never set properly. There may be some truth to this as she grew up in the rugged foothills of the Alps in northern Italy.
Ernest and Elizabeth were wed and by 1910 were in the West Springfield area. Six children soon followed. The first Gio, or Giovanni, was born on the 8th of July in 1909 in West Springfield. He would die in Westfield on the 30th of July in 1917at the age of eight. Giovannia, (Jean, or Jennie) was born on October 16, 1910. On April 6, 1912, Catherine arrived, only to pass away on January 14, 1913 of 'Tuberculan Larynuitis' and was buried at St. Michael's Cemetery in Springfield. At this time the family was living at 56 Windsor Avenue, where they would until 1916. In 1914, Marie, or Mary, was added to the family.
In 1916, the family was living at the corner of Bridge and River Streets in Agawam, Massachusetts, and by the following year had moved to Westfield. It is in Westfield that the last two children were born, John in 1918 and Rose, or Rosa, on the first of July, 1924. Rose died on the third of February in 1927 from diphtheria, which her brother John was also suffering from at the time, though he survived. A little over a month prior, five days before Christmas, Ernest passed away after a long illness.
One problem in tracing this family has been the name, which was shortened from the more popular Baruffa, with two F's. Under this spelling there is a one Angelo Baruffa entering the country in 1889, though whether this is a relation or not is unclear. Another problem is other records are wrong. For instance, the family was living in Westfield at 7 Woodmont Street from 1918 until about late 1920, when they moved 22 Cowles Court. In the 1920 census though, the family is entered under the surname "Ornizbar". It appears the census taker had difficulty with the heavy Italian accent (the census record shows Elizabeth still unable to speak English) and confused "Ernest Bar", the name Ernest often went by, as the surname "Ornizbar."
At this time, Ernest was employed as a laborer in the Vitrified Wheel Shop. Around 1923, he was sick enough to enter the hospital for an operation. His illness, supposedly a 'black lung' type of aliment, from the coal dust in the factories, was one from which he never recovered. Ernest was still sick when the money ran out and he was sent home from the hospital, and he passed away at home. Elizabeth lived to be 78 years of age, passing away in January of 1963. She left a brother John and a sister named Maria in Italy.
There may have been other Baruffa's in the United States. Ernesto's brother Angelo had a son Silvio who it seems moved to Connecticut sometime prior to 1936. According to Social Security records, Silvio was born in the Province of Brescia on April 4, 1895 and died in Waterford, Connecticut in 1985. He last worked for General Dynamics and lived in Groton with his wife, Mary (Rossetti), also of Italy
Elizabeth Barufa and Elizabeth Barry John and Rita's Wedding 1962
BARUFA FAMILY TREE Agositno Baruffa --------------------------------Giovannia (Dalo) Baruffa died: 1884 | died: 1904 | | | | | Giovanni --------------------------- Angelo ------------------------------------- Ernesto ---------------------------------------------------------Caterina (Eccli) d. 1923 d. 1909 b. August 25, 1866 Sermerio,Prov. of Brescia, Italy d.??? Married Virginia (Beretta) -Hod Carrier, Factory Worke Children: d.1926 Westfield, MA Agostino Married Elisabetta Groffani Silvio=1895-1984 Wife= Mary Rossetti Children: Genna Giovanni-b.July 8, 1909 d. July 30, 1917 Giovannia Catherine- b. April 1912 d. Jan. 14, 1913 Married Pietro Leongio Giovannia (Jean) October 16, 1910 Married Edward Barry Feb. 18, 1933 Marie (Mary) Rose b.May 3, 1914 d. Dec. 14, 1998 Rose b. August 1923 d. Feb. 2, 1927 John b. November 1918 ELIZABETTA (ELIZABETH) GROFFANNI b. 1884 Prov. Of Brescia, Italy d. Jan. 6, 1963 Westfield, Massachusetts
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