The StewardsWeb Genealogy Blog

I've started this blog to share my progress on my genealogy research plus to let others who are researching these same family lines to add your input.

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Location: Winston-Salem, NC, United States

I'm a father of two great kids and a husband of one wonderful woman. I really dig music, art, poetry, reading and genealogy research. I like cool technology and use the computer too much but still have no desire whatsoever to have a cell phone until it's absolutely necessary. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but really like some of the philosophies of Zen. I have played sports, will encourage my kids to play sports but I don't like to talk about sports unless we're talking X-Games. I like apples of the Fuji, Gala and Macintosh varieties (wink wink). You can email me at schlagzeuger-at-stewardsweb-dot-net.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pietro Ceasar Alberto (false) assumptions

A while back my mom said that we may have some Italian ancestors. A few weeks ago I decided to look into this a little more and reviewed the GEDCOM that she sent me. Sure enough, it said that Pietro Ceasar Alberto was an Italian merchant from Italy. Here's how he fits into my family line:
Pietro Cesare Alberto married Judith Jan Menjie on 24 Aug 1642 at the Dutch Reform Church in New York City.
son John Albertis (b. 30 Aug 1643 in NYC) married Elizabeth Scudder in 1666 in NYC.
daughter Elizabeth Albertis (b. 1669 in Hempstead, Nassau Co, NY) married Doctor John Stewart on 14 Jan 1688/1689.
son David Stewart (b. 1680 in NYC, NY) married Margaret McKinney about 1710 in Sussex Co, Delaware.
son Samuel Stewart (b. between 1700 & 1711 in Sussex Co, DE) married Lydia Harrison around 1724.
son Joseph Stewart (b. 1740 in Yadkin Co, NC) married Sarah Gilbert in 1760 in North Carolina.
son Jesse Stewart (b. 5 July 1790 in Yadkin Co, NC) married Jemima West around 1812 in North Carolina.
son Preston Stewart (b. 12 July 1815 in White or Overton Co, TN) married Nancy Jane Brown 10 May 1835 in Jackson, TN.
daughter Sally Ann Stewart (b. 22 Aug 1839) married William Carroll Mahan on 10 Dec. 1858.
son Anson Lafayette Mahan (b. 16 June 1865 in Baxter, Putnam Co, TN) married Celia Paulina Judd on 15 April 1905.
son Clarence Garrett Mahan (b. 30 July 1906 in Cookeville, Putnam Co, TN) married Hattie Mae Spears on 20 Dec. 1925 in Cookeville, Putnam Co, TN). These are my grandparents, both deceased.

So a few weeks ago as I was checking out the Italian connection I did a Google search on Pietro and found some interesting things very quickly. Apparently a lot of people think (erroneously) that he was the son of Andrea Alberti (the father) and Veronica Cremona. Many people seem to also think that "Lady Veronica" was a member of the Medici family, which I think is also a fabrication. Search for her and you should be able to find some replies on web boards that also say this. I sent an email to someone who posted to one of the web boards and here is a copy of our correspondence about these errors.

Email to Helen W. on 7/12/08:
"I found your email on an old Ancestry message board regarding Andrea Alberti and Veronica Cremona. In this particular posting you wrote, "They had at least nine children, of whom only two survived childhood: Francesco, baptized Nov. 12, 1602, died in 1681, and Giulio Cesare, baptized June 10, 1608." In a quick review of several websites I always see Pietro listed as the first name instead of Giulio. Have you come across this that maybe he changed his name to Pietro upon leaving Venice for New York? In one of your postings I think you wrote that you had reviewed some source documents, so I'm guessing Giulio is what was listed. Is that correct? Do you think it would be safe to say Giulio and Pietro are the same person?"

Her reply:
"Pietro Cesare Alberti was not the son of Andrea Alberti and Veronica Cremona. This is a fiction invented by an unscrupulous geneaologist at the beginning of this century.

Giulio Cesare Alberti had a long career in the Venetian secretarial service, like his father. He served as secretary to the ambassador to Constantinople during the 1640's, became secretary to the Council of Ten (the second highest post a non-noble could achieve in Venice), never married, and died fabulously wealthy in Venice in 1686. I have transcribed and translated his will, and examined his letters to Venice from Constantinople.

Pietro Alberti is a mystery. My husband and (both professional historians) have tried to track him down for three years. Since he went by the nickname of "Malamoc", we assume he was a sailor from the island of Malamocco, near Venice. But there is no Pietro Alberti in the birth records to match your ancestor. There are two possibilities - either he was illegitimate, and for some reason was not registered in the parish records, or he was born somewhere else and moved to Malamocco before leaving for Holland.

The name itself 'Pietro Cesare" is suspicious. It never occurs in Venice, either among the nobility or the lower class. We suspect that he may have been born with the name Alberto, or even Pietro Alberto, (surname unknown), and changed it when he left Venice. Since he converted to Protestantism in Holland, he may have had heretical leanings that forced him to leave Venice and change his name. All of this is pure speculation, however. There is no way to track it down. "

Helen also mentioned that Lady Veronica Cremona's father was a doctor, in Italian "medico" so someone decided to say she was a Medici! Also, as I was looking for info on Pietro it appears that he is believed to be the first Italian immigrant to the new world (or at least NYC) so that's pretty interesting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

(From the Records of the Italian Historical Society of America, 26 Court Street, Brooklyn and the Long Island Historical Society)

Among the great Italian navigators and explorers (Marco Polo, Christoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus), Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), Sebastiano Caboto Amerigo VesPucci and Giovanni Verrazano (1524), figures another name, that of Pietro Cesare Alberti, who arrived in New Netherlands on 2 Jun 1635, and became the First Italian Settler in New York State. (And America.)

Pietro Cesare Alberti, it is told, was the son of Andrea Alberti, Secretary of the Treasury of Venice and Lady Veronica; and was baptized on 20 Jun 1608 in the Parish Church of San Luca in Venice.

November 22, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the quotation from the Italian Historical Society ... it really is over the top to rank Alberti with Columbus, Verrazano, Vespucci, et al. That kind of assertion is driven by an agenda of American Italian nationalism. Heroes are made every day. But there's no evidence that Alberti was a navigator, an explorer, a discoverer, a hero. It's safe to say he was an immigrant. Immigrants are heroes, too, and his story is an interesting one, no doubt ... just undocumented to any great extent.

March 16, 2010 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger alitzic said...

There are some family trees from Italian parish records that a fellow genealogist sent me that show the connection between Cesare and Andrea.
A fellow genealogist sent me a copy of Veronica Cremona's will --it was hand transcribed in the 1960's or so and mentioned a piano and also leaving money to have masses said for her sister. i never found any recors of her as a Medici.
Pietro was a common sailor who jumped ship because the Capt didn't pay him wages owed to him and he made his way north to New Amsterdam.

June 9, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Jared said...

Wow, alitzic, if I could get a copy of that will transcription, that would be great! Not sure if you'll even see this reply though since it's well over a year since you last posted...

August 31, 2013 at 5:34 PM  

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