Great Uncle of my brother-in-law, William Bivona, 1900-1981

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.

14 Aug 1981 Daily News NY, NY

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??? That might be why he 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 is again careless with his name. He is now listed as William Bevone.

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 Spanish.

In the 1930 US census, William is 29 years old. He is now occupied as a chauffeur. Again, census takers gave little importance to the spelling of names. He is listed as William Bevana. Really? Also, the math of the 1930 census taker is horrible. How could you be 39 years old in 1930 if you were born in 1900? Clearly, it is a pretty amazing feat for Ancestry.com to still realize this is the same person.

The only child of William and Lillie was Vincent Joseph Bivona who was a 1st cousin 1x removed to my brother-in-law.

27 april 1974
Queens, NY
Left to right, daughter Karen Bivona Susino (daughter of Vincent Bivona), Lilly Triolo Bivona (wife of William Bivona), William Bivona, Dolores (she was the wife of Vincent Bivona and the daughter-in-law of William Bivona), Vincent Bivona (was the son of Lillie and William Bivona.)
This obit is for the son of William Bivona.

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