The theme for #52Ancestors is Identity. Recently I found on Ancestry the Passport Application for my great grandmother Dorothy Gladys Harmer, or as she was when she applied for her passport, Dorothy Gladys Marini.
She married John Marini on 11 September 1918 at Dallington Church, across the road from the cottage (Yew Tree Cottage now Staces) her place of residence was with her parents, James and Helena (Lorraine) Harmer and no doubt some of her many siblings. The family had not lived there long, for the 1911 census they were in Woods Corner. John Marini was 31 and Dorothy was 26. His place of residence at the time of the marriage was 16th Canadian General Hospital, Orpington, Kent and he was a Bandsman, 211th Battalion, American Legion of Canada. Presumably John had been sent back from Northern France. John’s father was Caesar Antonio Marini, a Shoemaker. He had emigrated from Italy to Canada in the 1880s. Dorothy’s father was a Tree Feller. John and Dorothy both signed the register and James was one of the witnesses and left his mark.
The next part of the story is an application in the US for a passport from John Marini in 1919. It gives a lot of information about him. He lived in Pennsylvania and he had been born in Firli Del Sannio, Italy on 23 November 1886. I think that should actually be Forli Del Sannio, the form typist mistranscribed. It is described as ‘the small centre is located in the heart of the Apennines, in a mountainous area crossed by the Vandrella river, that originates in the north-west at the "Bocche di Forlì" and further on flows into the Vandra, a tributary of the Volturno.’ His family emigrated in 1886 and he was naturalised in 1895. He lived for 32 uninterrupted years in the US until 1915 when presumably he headed for France. He stated that his wife was in England and he wanted to bring her to the US after seeing that her mother was properly cared for and his wife’s affairs settled. One of those affairs was presumably my grandmother who had been born in 1913 and was left behind with Dorothy’s older sister Emily.
Then a year later on 30 August 1920 there is an application for passport from Dorothy applied for at the American embassy in London. It is an emergency passport for a person claiming citizenship through naturalisation of husband. It says she was born in Dallington, Sussex on 21 May 1894 and her husband John Marini emigrated from Italy to the US in 1887. He was naturalised in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1895 and was currently in London awaiting embarkation. They were going to live in New Kensington, Pennsylvania and she wanted to join him.
Dorothy appeared with John on the list of United States Citizens on the SS Olympic which sailed from Southampton on 29 September 1920 arriving New York in October 1920. They returned to England on a number of occasions over the years including the 1970s when I met them as a child. Dad ferried them around in his car and I think we took them to see Jack Fuller’s Follies.
It is amazing how much information can be gleaned from just three documents, if only we read them carefully enough. Sometimes we download a document for a specific bit of information, ie a date of birth or place of birth and miss all the other bits of useful information. From John’s passport application I now have enough information to try and search for his birth; his father’s name, place of birth and even his birth date. More research then…..