Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico
January 16, 2012

Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico was born on June 13, 1892 in Marianopoli, Sicily

He is my 1st cousin, twice removed.

He was the last child of twelve born to Luciano LoDico and Lucia Bellavia.

The story of Giuseppe's father; Luciano LoDico, my great granduncle, reads like a larger-than-life character in a novel. Luciano's story, is in fact, the story of my LoDico ancestry.

Luciano, alone carried the profession of my first recorded ancestor Cristofaro LoDico, forward some 200 years; one of the first and most ancient of Sicilian professions: The Campiere

Luciano listed his occupations, with each child, as follows: campiere (armed field guard) (1870 & 1880); mounted soldier (1873- 1878); mounted guard (1882); mounted soldier (1887); soldier (1880); and finally a 'soprastante' (overseer) (1892).

A 'soprastante' was charged, by the land-owner or lease-holder, to take charge of the management of an estate. The soprastante', as a rule, were strong men and were recruited for this post, from those who were able to 'make themselves respected -- inspire fear -- among the people of the estates, as well as outsiders. Most overseers were men of confidence (uomo di fiducia) of the 'gabelloto' lease-owner. He dealt with the peasants set to work on the estates and took care of the general protection of the enterprise. He was usually assisted by an armed campiere on horseback, who watched over the fields, crops, and animals.

Like the overseer, a campiere (armed field guard) had a reputation for toughness, which they advertised by their arrogant airs and their carrying of arms. The ways in which some of them dressed, moved around, and squinted, symbolized toughness. Their reticence and the opaque ambiguity of phrases, gestures, and mimic signs they used among their peers set them apart from ordinary people.

Though these strong arm men were, at times, strikingly polite and cordial, their general behavior and outfit expressed a capacity and willingness to coerce with physical violence. The campiere constituted a kind of private police force which, in the absence of an efficient formal control apparatus, claimed to maintain law and order in the countryside. Source: -Anton Blok The Mafia of a Sicilian Village 1860-1960

But this is the story of Luciano's son, Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico:

From Ellis Island Records:

On 6/27/1907 Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico arrived at Ellis Island aboard the Madonna. He was traveling with Carmelo Restivo his cousin. Giuseppe referred to Giuseppe LoDico, his older brother, in Boston Mass., as his contact and final destination.

On 10/8/1912 Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico, age 20 (b. 1892) made another trip to America aboard the Anacona. He was traveling with Salvatore Milazzo and Grace Calciano (Salvatore's wife), Benedetto LoDico and Mario LoPorto. Giuseppe listed his trade as a carpenter. He referred to his mother, Lucia Bellavia back in Marianopoli. He referenced his brother Carlo LoDico in Mansfield, Mass. as his final destination. note: Salvatore Milazzo, Grace Calciano and Mario LoPorto also listed Carlo LoDico in Mansfield as their cousin.

Some time later, but before 1914, Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico returned to Marianopoli.

From the FRAMMENTI DI STORIE LOCALI (Marianopoli 1900-1950):

In Marianopoli, Sicily -The administration of Gaetano D'Angelo - Marchese di Bertolino began around January 18, 1936 during the Fascist dictator Mussolini's rule.

It ended on July 3, 1943 when Allied troops liberated Marianopoli, occupied the Municipo (town hall) and installed the anti-Fascist Giuseppe LoDico, son of Luciano LoDico as the legitimate democratic head.

Giuseppe served until a election was held to create a new Constitution in March of 1946. (pg. 71).

Today January 16, 2012, through correspondence with my cousin Luciano Vullo, who lives outside Rome, we were able to identify this photo as Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico in his First World War uniform.

Giuseppe Ignazio LoDico @1914-1915