When Gugllielmo “William” Bivona was born on November 9, 1900, in Partanna, Trapani, Sicilia, Italy, his father, Vincenzo, was 26 and his mother, Anna Cappadoro Bivona, was 22. He married Calogera “Lillie” Triolo on February 23, 1927, in New York City, New York. They had one child during their marriage. He died on August 12, 1981, in Woodhavens, Queens, New York, at the age of 80. (William claims two places of birth in various US government records…described later in this blog… he may have actually been born in Argentina.)
The english translation for Gugllielmo is William.
William was the second born child. He had an older brother named Giuseppe “Joseph” Bivona who was born sometime around 1899.
When William was 4 years old his brother Francesco “Frank” Bivona was born. It was this brother, Frank, who was the maternal grandfather to my brother-in-law. So, William’s relation to our family is a Great Uncle to my brother-in-law.
In the 1920 US Census, William is 19 years old. He is living in New York on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn Assembly District 13, Kings, New York. The census records that he can speak English, but his native tongue is Italian. At the time of this census he is single and occupied as a dyer in a silk factory. (The census takers at this time were not too careful with spelling…he is listed as part of the Bevona family.)
Could history ever give us a break on facts? In the 1920 census, William states that he was born in Argentina. Later, in 1927, he will apply for naturalization and will claim that he was born in Italy.
I am guessing that William was an Italian citizen, but may have been born in Argentina. I know that the Italian family did live for some period of time in Argentina. That might be why William claimed in the 1920 census that he was born in Argentina but in 1927 filled out forms for naturalization stating that he was born in Italy.
In 1930, the US census taker is again careless with his name. He is now listed as William Bevone. I have learned that census takers just wrote down what they heard without always verifying the spelling of names.
In this document, he again lists his birthplace as Argentina. He must have been trilingual. Earlier, he stated that he could speak English but his native tongue was Italian. Now, he claims he speaks the official language of Argentina which is Spanish.
In this 1940 US census, William is 39 years old. He is occupied as a chauffeur. Again, census takers gave little importance to the spelling of names. He is listed as William Bevana. Really?
The only child of William and Lillie was Vincent Joseph Bivona who was a 1st cousin 1x removed to my brother-in-law.
Family Search is a free website for genealogy. The ID # for William is GWLV-T75.