View Full Version : Alexander Podesta - lookup needed
05-01-2009, 12:25 PM
I have a relative that seems to have skipped over the pond from Gibraltar.
He's called Alejandro (Alexander) Podesta and he's shown as having arrived in NY as follows:
Date of Arrival: Jun 23, 1913
Age at Arrival: 23y Gender: M Marital Status: S
Ship of Travel: Carpathia
Port of Departure: Gibraltar
Doing a quick search in A------ I can see lots of records for him, naturalisation in 1944, Death in 1982, draft registrations, but I can't be sure it's him because I don't have the right level of subscription.
This is my only US rellie and I can't justify paying out to up my subscription just for him so could anybody possibly just do a search for me and let me know what he got up to after he left Gib?
He was born 1890 in Gibraltar if it helps, seems to have lived in NY his whole life
05-01-2009, 4:37 PM
I can't find your Alexander in either the 1920 or 1930 US census, I'm using HeritageQuest which is an online library database but the search engine is very bad so it just may not be finding him.
I did find his death on the IGI:
Birth Date: 19 Jul 1885
Death Date: Mar 1982
Social Security Number: 090-07-5966
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: New York
Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 10021
Localities: Lenox Hill, New York, New York
05-01-2009, 4:56 PM
I have a world wide subscription
The 1944 naturalisation entry refers to Alexander Podesta aged 58 of 216 E 77 St, New York
The WW1 draft registration cards have two Alexanders
Alexander Louis Podesta b 4 Jul 1879, living in San Francisco
Alexander Podesta b 19 Jun 1885, living in New York
I think the New York one could be your man as the WW2 registration cards have Alexander Podesta b 19 Jun 1885, born Gibraltar
He was 5' 5" and had British and American flags tattoed on his left arm!
Address 208 E 88 St New York
Appears to have signed with a X
Contact given as Charlie Stokars.
05-01-2009, 5:36 PM
The Alexander Podesta in San Francisco appears on the 1910 census and was Italian.
The NY Alexander born 1885 may not be yours, as there are two Alexanders on the passenger lists to New York, the one you mention (the Carpathia in 1913) and Alexander Podesta aged 21 who sailed on the Napolitan Prince from Gibraltar to New York arr 30 March 1907. He was a groom, single, and unable to read or write. Sounds like this one could be the one mentioned in the 1944 naturalisation papers.
Here is some more detail. May be of help to you.
Surname -- Name -- Age -- Born -- Occupation -- Boat / Plane -- Arriv -- Arrival -- Destination -- Remarks
Podesta Alexander - 22 - Gibraltar - groom - Napolitan Prince - 1907 30 Mar - PA, Pottsville - Resident of Gibraltar
Podesta Alexander - 28 - Gibraltar - driver - Carpathia - 1913 24 June - PA, Pottsville - Resident of Gibraltar
Height 5 feet, 3 inches, fair complexion, brown hair, grey eyes=
DOB 19th June 1885
World War 1 Draft Registration Form
Bill in Melbourne
Just want to add this note. May not apply to this Alexander Podesta.
There are many Podesta people born and living in Malta.
It was quite common for persons in Malta to travel to Gibraltar and board ships that were bound for Europe, USA and other places.
Although you said he was born in Gib, he may have Maltese parents.
06-01-2009, 7:34 AM
Thank you so much guys, I really appreciate the help!!
I am quickly getting more questions than I am answers (as is the way!!) so it might be as well for me to stick my thoughts down to see if you can shed any light!!
I have a proven 'Podesta' in the family, one Vincent Podesta, a cabdriver, and Gibraltar born and bred who married a daughter of the family.
In the bundle of "miscellaneous papers and photos passed down with no story of information to go with them" are a load of photos of a young lad, smartly dressed, taken in both New York and Pottsville studios.
On them, are written a variety of messages to "primo Vincent", (cousin in the local lingo) and signed Aleyandro Podesta.
I do have a couple of these I could upload today if anyone wants to see them?
I thought I would have a look see on Ellis Island to see if I could find out when he might have travelled over, and sure enough, Alexander Podesta, 1913, Carpathia and there starteth this thread.
Looking at the documents, there are a few questions/ thoughts I have.
Firstly, the ones that I have been looking at all state his DoB as 19 June 1895, which means he wasn't 23 when he arrived in 1913 as stated on EI.
In his naturalisation papers, and WWI draft, he signs his name in the same beautiful script he signs his photos. In the WWII draft, he makes his mark. BUT all of these documents have the same DoB - 19 June 1885.
Also, looking at the WWI draft, there is mention (through squinted eyes!!) of a brother Fred (thanks Sue for pointing it out otherwise I would have missed it!!) and a quick search on Ellis Island for ANYONE called Podesta containing Gib in their last place of residence calls up the following records ...
Name of Passenger Residence Arrived Age on Arrival
1. Alexander Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1913 23
2. Federico Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 17
3. Luisa Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 12
4. Maria Podesta
Gibraltar 1905 15
5. Maria Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 43
6. Miguel Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 9
7. Vicente Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 11
8. Victoria Podesta
Gibraltar, Spain 1909 14
Which looks a little like mum and kids travelling over in 1909 (including 'brother Fred) but with two notable exceptions, Aleyandro, who comes over later and Maria Podesta who, at the tender age of 15 makes the journey to the states.
Now I thought perhaps she was in the service of a family, but a quick look at the manifest and no, she is the ONLY passenger from Gib on that crossing!!!
To me, none of this makes sense - but then I'm not really 'up' on what was normal for people uping sticks and leaving for Hameeerica.
Also, I'm struggling to work out what's going on with these 'two' Alexanders. I can't see the second Alexander you mention on the Ellis Island info.
And finally, what has Potsville to do with anything??? lol
Thanks again for all your help guys
06-01-2009, 8:53 AM
Tash. Have just realised that the Alexander travelling on the Napolitan Prince in 1907 was going to Pottsville! Looks like he went over first then sent for his family?
Have to take M-I-L to a doctor's appointment but will try to track down the rest of the family on the US census when I get back.
06-01-2009, 9:08 AM
Scrub that. Have just read what you wrote about his signature. The one who travelled in 1907 couldn't read or write and he is probably the same one that had the tattoos - he made his mark on the WW2 registration.
I have found the rest of the family travelling to Pottsville on the Ultonia in 1909 and their address in Gibraltar was the same as the address of the Alexander travelling on the Carpathia in 1913.
More later. Must go.
06-01-2009, 10:41 AM
I would agree entirely with you .... EXCEPT .... WWII-makes-his-mark Alexander has the same DoB as all the other Alexanders (WWI, naturalisation, death) and ALL of them have NY rather than Pottsville addresses ... which makes NO SENSE!!! :(
I suppose the only answer is, as you say to see if there are more than one of them on the census. But where to look? Pottsville or NY?
Incidentally, where are you getting their addresses from? Ellis Island doesn't show their address - could I possibly have their Gib address please?
I'm really sorry Sue, I thought this was going to be a nice easy lookup with a lad off to make his fortune, and now there's a doppleganger and a fatherless family into the bargain!!
06-01-2009, 11:48 AM
Just got back. The address in Gibraltar was Rosia Road on the 1909 one and Rosia Something on the 1913 one - looks like Shops!! Ancestry has images of the full passenger lists. Have sent you an e-mail.
06-01-2009, 12:04 PM
It's Steps - nearly made my eyes pop out of my head that one, Rosia Steps might as well have been renamed for my family because we seem to have occupied the whole bloomin lot at one time or another!! lol
I've just got the mail too - again thank you so much for all you help.
All of you
06-01-2009, 12:22 PM
In the 1910 census the only Spanish (as opposed to Italian) Podestas I have found are in Scuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Mary Podesta aged 18 is a servant in Pottsville, entry to the US 1905
Vicente Podesta aged 40 is in Port Carbon with three sons (Fred, Mike and something illegible that has been transcribed as Perdies. This family came to the US in 1909, which would fit.
Can't find Alexander anywhere - his surname has probably been mangled!
06-01-2009, 12:49 PM
Mary Podesta fits - she jumped aboard a ship all alone in 1905 aged 15 (??!?!?!)
The rest are making my head hurt lol
Vincente Podesta, aged 40 I haven't found a record of his passage - only his wife (?) Maria who is 43 in 1909. There is a Vincent who comes over in 1909, but he's 11!!
The names of the sons are equally confusing -
Fred I can understand (Federico, ages match)
The other two sons on the crossing are
Miguel who is b1900 (so age matches with this Perdies character) and Vincente who is b1899 on entry to the US, but who doesn't match any of the children on the census.
Alexander hasn't arrived yet so he's not around to cause confusion (thank God!!) but there was a suggestion on Ancestry for the 1920 Census listing a Codesta.
Or .... OR ..........
Maybe he died in WW1?
Maybe 'my' Alexander is the one who arrives in 1913 and signs up to the WW1 draft, gets sent overseas and dies? Leaving the 1907 Podesta to cover the naturalisation, WW2 and death records.
There is, after all, only one death record.
Or have these lot finally broken me? lol
06-01-2009, 1:51 PM
Now you didn't want it to be too easy, did you? I wondered if Miguel could be Mike - they do seem to have Anglicised their names.
06-01-2009, 1:56 PM
They certainly do seem to have done that, perhaps you're right.
The father thing confuses me though, as does this extra son.
And where are the mother and daughters???
Incidentally, looking at A ------ there doesn't seem to be a record of Alexander dying in WW1 so I think maybe that one is a non starter.
Easy? Chance would be a fine thing ;)
06-01-2009, 3:45 PM
Just had another look at the 1910 census Sue and the Head of the household is a WOMAN!!!
Again, more questions than answers because she reckons she has had 5 children, and I count at least 7 (possibly 8).
She is listed as being a Spanish, rather than an English speaker however, which could explain the confusion
BUT we're still left with names - It looks like Vincenta if you look at it, but the mum of the family is shown on the ships logs as Maria - plus she seems to have lost a few years ;)
18-01-2010, 5:53 PM
I'm from area of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, PA, and would be glad to help with a lookup or two there if you still need it! (obit? marriage record?)
19-01-2010, 5:16 PM
Many thanks for the offer, I'd love to take you up on your offer, although I'm not sure where to go with this family - I haven't managed to take this any further.
Perhaps you could give me some contextual info on Potsville* or yes, an obit would be ace.
Thanks so much for your offer, I really appreciate it
*Potsville seems like a lovely place, but why would an immigrant end up there? Was there a lot of work there?
24-01-2010, 4:08 AM
I’ll give you a bit on Pottsville later, Tash, but let me start by saying it was founded by a man by the last name of POTTS. Coincidentally, on a whim I happened to find the Schuylkill County marriage license of Maria PODESTA – the one who immigrated by herself at age 15:
Miss Mary Podesta, born Gibralter on 2 Sep. 1889;
resides Mechanicsville [outside Pottsville]; no prior marriage;
no blood relationship to groom.
consent of mother, Maria Podesta, of Mechanicsville, given on 9 Aug. 1910
married by Rev. Michael A. Crane on 18 Aug. 1910 in Port Carbon to:
Sam Potts, b. Italy on __ Sep. 1885; resides Mechanicsville, a laborer;
no prior marriage.
So the POTTS name caught my eye, although the fact that he’s from Italy is odd (the founding family of Pottsville was English)! Censustakers, however, are known to have been sloppy sometimes; and one other rellie I’ve looked for was recorded as being from Italy instead of *Ireland* (which would be no less confusing regarding Sam, but you get my point)! I’ve searched the census of 1910 & 1920 for Sam, with no luck.
The only clue is the name of the minister who performed the ceremony – I’ll try to figure out the church with which he was associated (I’m guessing Catholic, unless you know better?) and see if there’s more info.
As you say, sometimes this stuff gives you more questions than answers!
24-01-2010, 5:28 AM
Additional thoughts about that 1910 census of Port Carbon …
The head of household is Vicenta, a female – not Vicente a male. It says she is a widow. This would explain why no one can find immigration info on her husband, Vicente! I don’t have a problem at all assuming that this woman IS the 44-year-old who emigrated as Maria -- who either was actually named Maria Vicenta, or who (as I believe used to be a custom in the olden days) took the name of her recently deceased husband and feminized it.
I wonder if Mama Maria and the kids came over to PA to meet up with family and/or friends? This could be supported by the record of the “other” PODESTA citing Pottsville on the NY passenger lists. Perhaps young Maria came over to join relatives first either because the PA family truly needed domestic help, or because of the lure of good money, or just because the whole brood planned to move to the States soon anyway. Then Papa Vicente dies while the plans are already set, and Mama takes the rest of the kids across the pond; leaving her eldest son Alejandro to sell the house and wrap up business back in Gibralter.
OK, so Vicenta claims to have birthed 5 children of whom 5 are alive in 1910 -- that’s the 3 boys in her household, plus young Maria, plus Alejandro. We believe there are at least 2 more – Victoria and Luisa – so it seems the census question was misunderstood … either those 2 girls died between 1909-1910 (perhaps I can find a record in the Pottsville area), or they’re living elsewhere, probably as servants.
Of the 3 boys who *are* listed in 1910, we’ve established that Fred and Mike are Federico and Miguel. The ages don’t all match, but neither are they too far off the mark. So my guess is that the lad listed as “Pudies” or Pudics” is really Vicente Jr. Is there a word like p____ in Spanish that correlates with “junior” or “the younger” or even “little”? Or perhaps the censustaker really fouled up, and Pudies is actually a nickname for one of the *daughters*, likely Victoria?
Then again, there’s no proof that all those PODESTA kids who immigrated 1905-1923 were actually Maria/Vicenta’s. Some could be cousins who simply made the trip together with Maria/Vicenta, then headed off someplace else!
PS: You say you’d like an obit – unless I missed something, we don’t yet know whether any PODESTAs died in Schuylkill Co., do we? On the other hand, you *could* order a NY death certificate per the SSDI date given on an earlier post.
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