Are we Related?

Nellie Birth

Nellie Angellatta
20 Aug 1913

One of the most frequent questions I get when I first meet people with the same surname is “Are we related”?  The answer to that is – I don’t know. Yet.  I am currently working on piecing all the persons with the Angilletta surname together first and trying to work my way backwards to where each of the families originated from.  As you can imagine, this hasn’t been easy.  At first, I thought the surname was not a very common one so I shouldn’t have too much trouble.  Well I was wrong.  There are hundreds of Angilletta’s who I found immigrated to the USA between 1890 and 1924 through Ellis Island alone.  This spreadsheet will show you who they are and where they came from.   Notice the variations in spelling?  It becomes even more difficult as many changed the spelling of the surname once in the US.  Some did it to fit in better, while others did it accidentally.

Most of our ancestors were illiterate so when the name was incorrectly recorded on a vital record such as a child’s birth certificate, that became their legal surname.  A perfect example of this would be the family of Vincenzo Angilletta and Cristina Scrivo who with their son Luigi immigrated from Caulonia, Reggio Calabria Italy  to Keyser, West Virgina.

A search of the West Virginia Vital Records Research Project turned up birth indexes for several of their children and found Cristina had registered the births. She spelled the surname Angellatta.  Since they never amended the records this became the new spelling of their surname. So, Vincenzo Angilletta became James Angilletta, Cristina became Christina Angellatta, Luigi became Louis and all the other children, became Angellatta.

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