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Giovanni Battista Torella

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Robert Report 26 Dec 2016 13:13

I wonder if anyone in the Community can help me to find some information about my great grandfather and if possible his ancestors.

His name is Giovanni Battista Torella. He was born in Italy on 6 November 1882. His father was Pasquale but I do not know his mother's name.

Giovanni emigrated to England but I don't know when. He married Maria Carolina Kraft on 26 June 1918 in Southwark, London. Their daughter was Margaret who was born in 1906 clearly before her parents were married. He died c1969 In Hendon.

He was known as John and he was a barber In London.

Any help would be gratefully received as I have hit a dead end.




ArgyllGran Report 26 Dec 2016 13:29

Maria seems to have been married before. Was Kraft her maiden name?:

Giovanni B Torella
in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
Name: Giovanni B Torella
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1918
Registration district: Southwark
Inferred County: Surrey
Spouse: Maria C Jensen
Volume Number: 1d
Page Number: 186

I don't see Margaret in 1911, either as Torella (her birth surname) or as Kraft or Jensen.

There are no travel records for Giovanni, that I can see.


Robert Report 26 Dec 2016 13:45

Thanks for the reply. Yes Maria had been married before and her maiden name was Kraft. Whilst I have a lot of info regarding her I am stuck when trying to go back with Giovanni.


safc Report 26 Dec 2016 13:51

GRO Reference: 1906 J Quarter in ST GILES Volume 01B Page 560 Occasional


malyon Report 26 Dec 2016 13:53

did he go to America

Giov. Battista Torelli
New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island)
Given Name
Giov. Battista
Last Place of Residence
S. Severo, Italy
Event Date
26 Aug 1913
Italian, South
Departure Port
Arrival Port
New York
Marital Status
Ship Name


malyon Report 26 Dec 2016 13:58

Births Jun 1906   (>99%)

 St. Giles
See J/27
 this birth looks like the right one must have been adopted by Giovanni in 1927

First name(s) 

Births Sep 1927   (>99%)


 Kraft xxxxx


Robert Report 26 Dec 2016 14:19

Thanks Malyon. It is unlikely to be the same person as my Giovanni was born in 1882. The one that went to America would have been born around 1873. I've also got Margaret Torella's details as she was my grandmother. Many thanks for looking.


malyon Report 26 Dec 2016 14:49

that birth for Margaret 1927 must be her because her mother is kraft if she was born jenson so must have been adopted in 1927

this could be her marriage

Marriages Mar 1929   (>99%)



Andrew Report 26 Dec 2016 14:52


Name: Giovanni Torralli
Age in 1911: 26
Estimated birth year: abt 1885
Relation to Head: Visitor
Gender: Male
Birth Place: Italy
Civil Parish: Clerkenwell St James and Clerkenwell St John
Search Photos: Search for 'Clerkenwell St James and Clerkenwell St John' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
County/Island: London
Country: England
Street address: 47 Warner Street
Marital Status: Single
Registration district: Holborn
Registration District Number: 14
Sub-registration district: Clerkenwell
ED, institution, or vessel: 29
Piece: 1244
Household Members:
Name Age
George Oakford 43
John Marassi 38
Melinda Marassi 36
Milia Marassi 11
Johanna Marassi 3
Pidello Marassi 0
Jack Marassi 28
Conazzigue Marassi 41
Bert Cetorilli 36
Camille Nazarni 20
Pontana Marassi 23
John Favali 27
Andrew Cartnetti 60
Mr Fidello 42
Mr Johmy 32
Emanuel Pietro 48
>>>>Giovanni Torralli 26



Kucinta Report 26 Dec 2016 15:14

Not helping with Giovanni, but Margaret in 1939

Purser Household (2 People) 2 Powell Gardens , Dagenham M.B., Essex, England

Margaret Purser 04 May 1906 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 86 2
Robert G Purser 12 Jan 1908 Male Hairdresser Married 86 1

Plus 3 closed records, probably children of the couple?


Gins Report 26 Dec 2016 15:28

The passenger list that has been posted has been wrongly transcribed. The image shows his age as 29, not 34

There is another person with him, same surname age 19 but I can't be sure of the first name. Looks something like Marochi for the first name?????


ArgyllGran Report 26 Dec 2016 16:00

The age on the passenger list looks like 34 to me, Gins.
I don't see any other Torellis (or variant spelling) with him.

The occupation given on the passenger list could be barber - hard to decipher.
But for NOK it gives a wife's name which looks like Grazia .

This is Ancestry's transcription:

Gior Battista Corelli
in the New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
Name: Gior Battista Corelli [Giov . Battista Torelli]
Arrival Date: 26 Aug 1913
Birth Date: abt 1879
Birth Location: Italy
Birth Location Other: s nicoeuro [San Severo]
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Italian (South) (Italian)
Place of Origin: San Severo
Port of Departure: Napoli
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Europa

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 26 Dec 2016 16:36*+nat*

(don't suppose he is one of 62 on above!, Naturalisation Certificate)

Chris :)


Gins Report 26 Dec 2016 16:54

Ag, there are 2 'Giovanni' on the list, one with the surname 'Gray or Gay', age 34

The one with the surname that we are researching is further down the page age 29

Or am I going nuts!!!

Added, looks like a different passage, here it is. Apologies!


Age 29

Birth year 1883

Departure year 1912
Departure day14
Departure month 9

Departure port SOUTHAMPTON

Destination port NEW YORK


Ship official number150617

Ship master name A RMILLS

Shipping line AMERICAN LINE


Ship destination port NEW YORK
Ship destination country USA

Ship square feet 6227
Ship registered tonnage10786
Number of passengers 607

Record setPassenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960


Gins Report 26 Dec 2016 18:10

Here he is with his wife on the 1939 Register

Tovella Household (2 People)
68 Woodside Avenue , Wembley M.B., Middlesex, England

Giovanni B Tovella 06 Nov 1882 Male Gents Hairdresser Manager Married 149 1
Marie C Tovella 20 Apr 1880 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 149 2

Occupation would fit with the passenger list, above

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 26 Dec 2016 18:34

Marriages Mar 1922 (>99%)
DAVIS Alfred W Jensen Brentford 3a 312
JENSEN Augusta C Davis Brentford 3a 312

(above couple at that address 1939, on below)

London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965 (Ancestry)

Chris :)


Robert Report 26 Dec 2016 19:18

Gins that certainly sounds like them as I think they did live in Wembley and his birth date fits. Excuse my ignorance but what is the 1939 register and is it freely accessible?

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 26 Dec 2016 19:21

(as below, available on Find My Past, not free I'm afraid)

Chris :)

The 1939 Register, taken on 29 September 1939, provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War.

The records were used to produce up-to-date population statistics and identification cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to facilitate the issuing of ration cards. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation.

The 1939 Register is a useful resource for family, social and local historians. As the 1931 census for England and Wales was destroyed by fire during the Second World War and no census was taken in 1941, the 1939 Register provides the most complete survey of the population of England and Wales between 1921 and 1951.

Whilst the 1939 Register is not a census, it is arranged along similar lines and includes similar, if less detailed, information.


Robert Report 27 Dec 2016 11:12

Thanks Chris.


Robert Report 27 Dec 2016 12:37

Well after all your collective efforts although I didn't find out a great deal about Giovanni Torella although I've yet to check out whether he went America or not (if he did he certainly ended back up in England) I have found out that my grandmother as Malyon suggested is likely to have been adopted. Wowser - didn't see that coming. It appears the birth in 1906 was registered as Margaret Jensen but it was re-registered in 1927 with Giovanni's name on it. I have ordered the 1906 certificate to check if the father was Thorvald Jensen. Turns out then that my grandmother's half sister that everyone thought she had was probably her full sister.
As one door closes another opens. You got to love family tree research.

Thanks all. If anyone has any information now on how adoption worked back in the 1920s I would appreciate hearing from you!! :-)