Servente Family History

The surname, Servente, is not a common Italian name.

At, a phone book listing for Servente finds fewer than 70 people with this surname located in 19 different towns in Italy, most in the Moneglia area. Many Italian surnames are based on the type of work a person did, or the town from which he came, or the name of one's parents (such as son of . . . ). The word Servente is found in several uses in Italian text. One use is in the poem by Dante Alighieri "Lo meo servente core . . . " or "May love ever protect . . ." Some dictionary translations state that Servente derives from the Latin servus or serviens meaing serving. Thus a foundation for the name may be protector, serving or servant. Another interesting association is the use of the name with cavalieri, where a cavalieri servente is a male-mistress, often used in writings about the aristrocrats from the times of the Doges. The roots of our family in the rocky hills above Moneglia would tend to discount the association with the latter comment.

Masso2The Serventes of our lineage are from the small village of Masso, Italy in the hills above Moneglia, in the province of Liguria, which lies on the coast south of Genoa about half-way to Spezia.

Our earliest known ancestor is Ignazio Servente. Born in Masso, Genova, Italy in 1830, he is believed to have been a stone mason. He died and was buried in Masso in 1906. Ignazio married Caterina Tealdi, born in 1835 in Masso. They had six children.

Their son Carlo at the age of 18 may have traveled to Argentina on the ship Duca de Galliera from the port of Genova arriving Argentina 3/16/1905 (According to Radici-Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latino Americano, which holds the data banks on Italian emigrants to Argentina). He is said to have returned to Italy where he died.

Another son, Giuseppe, supposedly traveled to Argentina but also returned to Italy.

Yet another son Giovanni, also according to the Radici-Centro de Estudios, may, at the age of 17, have traveled to Argentina on the ship Ravenna from the port of Genova arriving Argentina Sept 3,1906. It appears that he returned to Masso and is now buried in the cemetery on the edge of Masso (photo insert).Giovanniheadstone

Two daughters, Maria and Theresa, stayed in Italy. It is unknown if they married.

Cesare, born in Masso on March 14, 1880, appears to be the oldest son.

On February 14, 1901, in San Saturnino, which lies between Tessi and Moneglia, Cesare married Luisa Sambuceti, born in Tessi on January 14, 1882.

After the births of Amelia in 1904 and Enes in 1907, Cesare, Luisa and family moved to Miliana, Algeria where it is said that Cesare worked as a stonemason at theMines du Zaccar. On 2/20/1910 Gulielmo was born (birth certificate) in Miliana.

At some point between 1910 and 1912, Cesare moved to Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, USA where he settled and obtained work with Stockton Firebrick company as a laborer. Cesare immigrated to the United States in 1910 (1920 US Census, Stockton, CA).

anconapicLuigia (Luisa), Amelia, Enes and Guglielmo apparently returned to Italy. According to the Manifest of the SS Ancona they embarked 8 April 1912 out of Genoa for New York, arriving 23 April 1912 (just nine days after the Titanic sank in the same North Atlantic waters transited by the Ancona on its way to New York). There are two pages to the Manifest: the first shows the listing of passengers, age, ability to read/write, occupation, town of origin, relative in that town, destination in the USA. For Luisa and her family (at lines 22-25) they are shown as being from the Moneglia area, her father is Gio Batta and she is traveling to Stockton, CA; the second page of the Manifest shows that it was for Steerage, that Luisa paid the passage, that she was carrying $30, that she was going to her husband Cesare in Stockton, that she had blue eyes and she was born in the Moneglia area in Italy.

More history on the ownership, construction and sinking of the Ancona is found on "The Ships List" by Ted Finch, 1977.

Copyright 2002-2013 by Bob Serventi