Monday, August 24, 2015

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli

Lucia, or, Lucy, is my husband's 3rd great aunt. Sister to his great great grandmother, Jennie. I decided to do a write up on her because there happened to be so many photos and documents on her in my in law's possession. From what I've heard I can gather two things about her: She suffered through much sadness early in her life. and her family seemed to be very fond of her.

   Lucy was born February 17, 1885 in Chicago, Il. She was the daughter of Pietro Iuzzolino and Vita Antonia Pacelli, both immigrants from Ricigliano, Italy. Lucy, also known as "Aunt Sal" was a Catholic, baptized at The Church of The Assumption in Chicago, IL 9 days after her birth on February 24th. Her Godparents were Savino Pacelli and Antonia Bagnoli.
   At the time, the church was still under construction and wasn't completed until 1886. But Assumption was built specifically to care for the influx of Italian immigrants who were settling in Chicago at the time. It was the very first church in Chicago to be dedicated strictly to that purpose. The city grew up around the original building, but it still stands today. History on Assumption Church can be viewed here, along with photos of it's architecture.

Baptismal Record of Lucia Iuzzolino

    Sal was married to a Rigi, 22 year old Sebastiano Pacelli November 21, 1901. It appears she fudged the numbers a little bit on her marriage license, because she was supposedly 19 at the time, putting her birth year as 1882, (which doesn't line up with her baptismal records, or her obituary, or the information she gave on her censuses. I am most inclined to rely on the baptismal record since it's the record closest to the time she was born.)  Of course this is pure speculation, but it was not uncommon for underage girls to get married at the turn of the century. If this was the case, all that was needed was a parent's signature on the marriage license. Sal, being born in 1885, would have been only 16 and would have needed her father's signature. Maybe he would not give it? Maybe this is why she gave her birth year as 1882, so she could be considered legal? Also, they were married not by a priest, but by a Justice of the Peace, which also makes me wonder if there was disapproval of this marriage. I cannot answer that, so it's only a thought but I suppose it could be a possibility.  Anyway, little is known about Sebastiano, except for what is found in their marriage record, which isn't much. According to her obituary, Lucy was widowed 18 months after her marriage. She also lost her baby, who I assume was fathered by Sebastiano. After all that sorrow, She never remarried or had any other children.  I'd really like to be able to eventually find out what happened to him.

A copy of the marriage certificate of Lucia Iuzzolino and Sebastiano Pacelli, found in family belongings.
Photo of Lucia Iuzzolino and Sebastiano Pacelli

According to her obituary and word of mouth, Aunt Sal had a son, Frank, who died in infancy. I found a photo of a woman holding a deceased baby and when I started getting better at putting faces with names I realized it was Sal in the photo who was holding the infant. I can't confirm this was her baby she was holding, and to me, she looks a tad older than I would've thought but I can't imagine her having a photo taken with someone else's dead child. Also, as time went on, it became less and less common to take post-mortem photographs. At the turn of the century, when she would have had her baby, Frank, it was still fairly common.

Through her widowed years, Sal lived with members of her extended family. In 1930 she was living with her sister Jennie in the Schiavone (found as Schavone, Schavonne or Schiavonne) household in Oak Park, who by this point was also a widow.

By 1940, the same household looked much different. Her sister Jennie was still the head of the house but some of the Schiavone children had moved out, while Antoinette and her husband Harry Charuhas moved in, along with their daughter, (My husband's grandmother) Connie. In total there were 7 people from 3 different "families" living under that roof. The only two job holders were Harry, who was a bartender, and Charles Schiavone, who was a building wrecker for a wrecking company (and unknown to him at the time, would soon be leaving for war.)

Lucia Iuzzolino Pacelli died March 21, 1959 at the age of 73. (The birth year given here on her prayer card isn't correct. It is either a typo, or the contact person who gave the information after her death was not aware of the mistake.)

Sal's obituary was published in Oak Park's newspaper as follows:
"Ill Since Christmas, Mrs. Sebastian Pacelli Dies at Home Here A 10 a.m. high mass was sung at Ascension church on Wednesday, March 25, for Mrs. Sebastian Pacelli of 704 South Austin, who died Saturday, March 21 at her home. She was 74. The former Lucy Iuzzolino, she was born on February 17, 1885 in Chicago, and was married to Mr. Pacelli in 1891[sic]. He died 18 months after their marriage. She was also preceded in death by a son, Frank, who died in infancy. A resident of Oak Park for the past 38 years, Mrs. Pacelli had been in failing health since Christmas, when she was injured in a fall. She is survived by four nephews, Nicholas Schavone of the Austin boulevard address, with whom she had lived since the death of her husband; Anthony Schavone of South Dakota; Eugene Schavone of Chicago; and Charfes Schavone of 917 South Humphrey; and a niece, Mrs. Harry Charuhas of the Austin boulevard address. She was a member of Ascension church. Burial was in Mount Carmel cemetery."




  1. Family trees always get more interesting when we explore where the branches go. Sal certainly had a sad start to her marriage at such a young age. However she seems much older, perhaps 40s, in the photo with the infant. The baby looks to be wearing a christening dress. Perhaps she was a god parent for the child?

    1. Thank you, Mike. I, too, thought she looked nearer to forty than the age she would've been when she had Frank. One thought I had: She seemed to have close relationships with her nieces and nephews but as of yet I am not aware of one passing as an infant. Considering her apparent age in the photo, it could be a great niece or great nephew? At the moment I am not aware of any close familial infant deaths besides her own. But I do have so much more to find, so hopefully, we shall see!