Natalina Scrugli was my great grandmother. She was born in Tropea but I have not found her birth record yet. At some point in time her father, Antonino Scrugli was assigned a political post in Cortale and moved his family there. Sometime after the family moved from Tropea to Cortale, Natalina married Giuseppe Maiuolo, probably during the 1880's. Guiseppe, like Natalina's father, held some sort of political post in Cortale. They lived in "Upper" Cortale and had 4 children. Maria, Caterina, Domenico Francesco and Caterina. Their second child Caterina died at the age of 4 after eating poison berries. I have been told the whole town could hear Natalina's screams when she discovered her child's lifeless body. Sometime between 1896 and 1904 Giuseppe Maiuolo died leaving Natalina a widow. In November, 1904 Natalina packed a steamer trunk of her most precious possesions and left Cortale with her 3 children to join her sisters and brother in Chicago. She never returned to Italy. The family boarded the ship "The Sicilia" in Napoli and arrived at Ellis Island on Thanksgiving Day, 1904. From New York the family made their way to Chicago to join Natalina's brother Gaetano and her sisters Carmela and Maria.
Upon arriving in Chicago's "Little Italy" section, Natalina bought a 3 flat on Loomis Street that had a butcher shop on the ground floor, a large apartment on the first floor and she turned the top floor into a boarding house. Dozens of Italian immigrants lived in Natalina's boarding house and she sponsored many Italians to come to Chicago. Among the boarders was Giuseppe Napolitano who married Natalina's daughter Catherina in 1920. Natalina died in 1932 from complications resulting from a broken arm and cervical cancer.
Societa Italia was an organization that helped immigrants come to the United States from Italy. Each immigrant had to have a sponser. Natalina sponsered scores of Italian immigrants and rented her boarding house to them until they were able to establish jobs and find new homes. At some point in time a young Rocco Napolitano was a boarder in Natalina's boarding house. When his cousin, Giuseppe Napolitano came to Chicago Rocco got him a room there. Giuseppe married Natalina's daughter Caterina - my grandparents. The 1920 census lists names of the boarders which I will list here soon.