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  • Mary Ann Dailey

Migration Patterns of Pacentrani

From the late eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries, the village of Pacentro boasted a population of more than 4000, but today there are approximately 1200 inhabitants. This reduction in population can be explained by two significant modern day population shifts. The first occurred at the beginning of the 20th century and the next occurred following WW II, when poor socioeconomic conditions caused the emigration of many Pacentrani to other parts of Italy, the United States, Canada, Australia and South America. Outside of the village, significant enclaves of Pacentrani can be found in Welland (Ontario) Canada, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Paterson, NJ, Youngstown, OH, and West Aliquippa and Coraopolis, PA.


While exploring passenger manifests, I discovered two manifests with significant numbers of Pacentrani men who departed from Italy for distant lands. Each reflected the migration cycles discussed above. One was in 1899, when seventeen (17) Pacentrani sailed from the Port of Naples aboard the S.S. Furst Bismarck and arrived on 11 February 1899 at the Port of New York, NY. The second migration was in 1949, when as many as eleven (11) possibly more departed from the airport in Rome for a flight to Caracas, Venezuela. While the actual villages are not provided, the surnames are obviously Pacentrani: Attilio & Filippo DeChellis, Attilio DiPilla, Nicola DeMartinis, Alberto Lalama, Salvatore Lucci, Nicola & Salvatore Tollis, Angelo DiCesare, Giovanni Ciccone, & Filippo Cercone. On this second manifest, each individual was listed as a skilled tradesman (carpenter, electrician, or mason) between the ages of 17 and 40. The described occupations might lead one to believe that each was specifically recruited for work in Venezuela (i.e., leaving fewer tradesmen in the village of Pacentro).


Information from the Manifest of the S.S. Furst Bismarck



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