|The American Line's SS St. Louis|
Today's focus for our virtual family gathering centers on the early days of the Vercellino family. John (Giovanni) Vercellino was born in northern Italy. He immigrated to the United States, arriving first in 1885 according to the 1920 US Census. There is a problem with his first arrival date. The 1910 US Census lists him as having arrived in 1880. The South Dakota state census of 1915 has his arrival in 1882. He married Maria Viano in 1894. The Vercellino's moved to Trojan (Lead), South Dakota in 1905, the same year Grandma Elda was born.
|John and Maria Vercellino|
We know the Vercellino's moved to Italy shortly after their marriage where their first born son Raymond was born in 1898. From Italy, the family moved to Kimberly, South Africa. John Vercellino worked in the Kimberly Diamond Mine as a security guard ensuring the laborers didn't leave the mine with diamonds tucked away somewhere on their person. The family lived in South Africa a short time (not even one year according to Charles Williamson, Elda's son) before returning to the United States, arriving on December 5, 1903 on board the SS St. Louis of the America Line.
The St. Louis's passenger manifest lists the Vercellino family on the ship's register.
|The SS St. Louis Ship Register. The Vercellinos are at the top of the page|
Click to enlarge.
|The SS St. Louis|
The Vercellino family most assuredly travelled in steerage (3rd class). Their sleeping accommodations would have been similar to the ones seen above. Spartan? Yes, but easily survivable for a five day Atlantic crossing.
The photo above shows the dining saloon of the St. Louis. It may have been for all classes considering the ship wasn't large.
Post cards were available for messages home.
From Ellis Island in New York we lose the Vercellino's trail until they reappear in South Dakota in 1905. Great Grandpa John (Giovanni) found work in the Homestake Mine.
Thank you for Reading,