Filippo Palermo and His Mystery Ship

Filippo Palermo

My grandfather, Filippo Palermo (who I was named after), was born on January 3, 1883 in Santa Ninfa, Sicily. I don’t know much about his early years in Sicily, but I do know that he came to the United States when he was in his mid-twenties. He married my grandmother, Felicia Augello, on September 12, 1912 in New York, so he had to arrive in New York before then. I found various ship’s manifests with his name on them, but all of them have inconsistencies that rule them out from being the correct one.

The following manifests with images seem to have the least number of inconsistencies in them, so there is a possibility that one of them is the correct one. I removed most of the rows of passengers to make reading them a little more manageable. If you click on the images, a larger, more readable version will open up in a separate page. Below those, I list a few other ones where I did not include images. I don’t think any of these are possibilities, so I did not bother doing the photo editing to include the images.

Just a note about the age on all of the manifests with my grandfather’s name on them: none of them have his age as correct. He was born on January 3, 1883 – a few manifests are a year off, but others are off by 2 or more years.

The SS Virginia sailed from Naples, Italy and arrived in New York on September 20, 1910

SS Virginia Manifest Small

There are 2 inconsistencies in this manifest. In column 3, ‘Age‘ is listed as 26, but my Grandfather was actually 27 on September 20, 1910. In column 11, ‘The name and complete address of the nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came‘, it states: Wife Maria – S Ninfa. As far as I know, he did not have a wife named Maria in Santa Ninfa. There would have been a big family scandal at the time if this was true.

The SS Sicilian Prince sailed from Naples, Italy on January 22, 1907 and arrived in New York on February 6, 1907

There are 2 inconsistencies in this manifest. In column 3, ‘Age‘ is listed as 23, but my Grandfather was actually 24 on February 6, 1907. In column 16, ‘Whether going to join a relative or friend; and if so, what relative or friend, and his name and complete address‘, it states: Father di Palermo Rocco 132 Meserole St. Brooklyn. My Grandfather’s father was not living in the United States when he immigrated here from Sicily, but it is odd that his contact in Brooklyn was Rocco Palermo, the name that he gave to his son 16 years later.

The SS Italia sailed from Palermo, Sicily on March 6, 1907 and arrived in New York on March 26, 1907

SS Italia Manifest

This one is very bizzare because it seems that the same 23 year old Filippo di Palermo was sailing to New York on a different ship, leaving from a different port, just 6 weeks later than the initial voyage. He was also visiting his father Rocco di Palermo who lived at 132 Meserole St in Brooklyn. On this manifest, it shows a Pietro di Palermo, who was also 23 years old, who was visiting

The other manifests I mentioned above without images are as follows:

The SS Nord-America, arrived in New York on May 3, 1906 from Palermo, Sicily. Filippo Palermo is listed as 22 years old, his last residence in Sicily is Favara and he was supposed to stay with his cousin, Ignasio who lived at 76 Banker St.

If anyone has information that may clear up these inconsistencies, just let me know via email.

It would be nice to see the actual manifest showing who he planned to meet and where he was going to live. I haven’t given up yet, but I’m running out of resources.