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Cowboys from Gambatesa in the City of Camden, circa 1928

Below, from the viewer's left to right: Giuseppantonio Iacovelli (1895-1929, in cowboy hat), unidentified man, Donato Mastrobuono (1889-1968, in flat hat), and perhaps Giovanni Valente's younger brother Salvadore Valente (1889-1960).

Italian Cowboys from Gambatesa in Camden, circa 1928, 48 KB

Donato Mastrobuono was the godfather of Giovanni Valente's son Nicholas Valente (1916-2000).

Nicholas thought that the man on the far right in the photograph (See enlargement below) was his father's brother Salvadore when Salvadore visited America, in which case this photograph is from about 1927-1928.  Nicholas would only have been about 12 years old at that time, but he was a very sharp boy and fluent in the dialect.  [The back of the original photograph has: "POST CARD".]  However, when Salvdore's daughter-in-law Lucia TIRRO in VALENTE, saw the photograph of the cowboy in July-August 2007, she did not recognize him.

Perhaps Salvadore Valente of Gambatesa in Camden, circa 1928, 13 KB

Above: Salvadore VALENTE (1889-1960) ?
There is a photograph from his gravestone to compare.

Salvadore's daughter Carmelina Valente's husband Francesco DiRenzo was a prisoner of war in Detroit.  Her uncle Giovanni Valente went to visit him there.  When Francesco met Giovanni at the prison gate, he said to Giovanni: I'd know you anywhere -- you look exactly like my father-in-law (Salvadore).

It was said that on the other hand Giovanni's two other brothers Michele Valente and Donato Valente resembled one another: both were thin and serious, very different from Giovanni and Salvadore.

Birth and Marriage Records of Donato Mastrobuono of Gambatesa, Italy, and Camden, New Jersey

[Italian to English Glossary]

The source for the Italian documents is microfilm copies of civil registers held in the State Archives of the Province of Campobasso.

The Birth of Donato Mastrobuono

MASTROBUONO Donato Antonio
  Born 8 DEC 1889 at 8 PM at Via Carminale di Sopra at number [none recorded], to Angela SPINA, contadina, wife of Giuseppe Donato MASTROBUONO, 27, contadino, domiciled in Gambatesa
  Presented 10 DEC at 10:30 AM to Antonio CONTENTI Assessore Anziano by Marianna GAUDELLI, 32, levatrice
  The testimoni were Michele GALLO, 44, contadino, and Saverio PIESCO, 66, falegname
  Signed only by Antonio CONTENTI assessore

Margin: a 6-6-9 sposò ANDREOLA Maria Vittoria.  9-7-1909 [initial signature, maybe VL]

[Gambatesa Nascita 1889 #121]

The Marriage of Donato Mastrobuono

Married 6 JUN 1909 at 11 AM in the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa by Cavaliere Luigi FERRARA Sindaco

• MASTROBUONO Donato Antonio, 19, bracciante, born in Gambatesa, son di fu Giuseppe Donato, resident in life at Gambatesa, and di Angela SPINA, residents of Gambatesa

• ANDREOLA Maria Vittoria, 20, and contadina, born in Gambatesa, daughter di Antonio Santo, and di Candida Donata TOMASONE, all residents of Gambatesa

The testimoni were Raffaele MARCHIONE, 24, calzolaio, and Felice ABIUSO, 25, barbiere

Signed only by the testimoni and by Luigi FERRARA Sindaco

[Gambatesa Matrimoni 1909 #8]

From the Wedding Banns

Requested 19 MAR 1909, the 1st on 21 MAR, the 2nd on 28 MAR

Giuseppe Donato MASTROBUONO, contadino
Angela SPINA, contadina

Antonio Santo ANDREOLA, 56, contadino

Signed by Antonio Santo ANDREOLA

[Gambatesa Pubblicazioni 1909 #7]

Donato Mastrobuono's Baptismal Record

From Gambatesa's parish register: Mastrobuono Donato Antonio figlio di Giuseppe Donato e di Angela Spina nato il 8 dicembre 1889 è stato battezzato l'11 dicembre 1889 ("born 8 December 1889, was baptized 11 December 1889")

This information was communicated by Don Giuseppe Nuzzi, Parroco di Gambatesa ("Parish Priest", i.e. pastor of the Parish of Gambatesa), to Avv. Pedro Mastrobuono of São Paolo, Brazil, who kindly shared it with me.

Donato Mastrobuono of Gambatesa in Camden, 39 KB

The "Union of Brotherly Love" named in the photograph was, I believe, an immigrant insurance and social club, like the Sons of Italy.  I do not know what event this photograph records.  Donato appears to be holding a letter to his head, as if he were trying to guess its contents (or to shade himself from the sun).  In his the other hand he appears to be holding a box or perhaps a book.

In America Donato Mastrobuono was called Dan Mastrobuon'.  He worked in Camden at Standard Tank and Seat.

Giovanni Valente (1887-1969) and Mastrobuon' were good friends for many years, Giovanni's daughter Vittoria said.  "But after the War -- or maybe after we moved to Mickle Street -- they (Donato and his wife) stopped coming round (to visit).  Everything changed after the (Second World) War; the Italians didn't cling together so much as before the War.  People started to move away from Camden.  But my brother (Nicholas) used to visit his godfather after he married (in 1947).  Donato and his wife had a daughter, but I cannot remember the daughter's name."

Nicholas and his wife used to visit Mastrobuon' in Camden, but Mastrobuon's wife used to hide everything and Mastrobuon' had to go looking around in the cabinets, e.g. where was the anisette to serve his guests?

Donato Mastrobuono and Maria Vittoria Andreola are buried in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The photographs on this page were lent to me by Giuseppantonio Iacovelli's daughter Filomena in December 1995; they had belonged to her mother Pasqualina DiRenzo (1902-1981).

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/valente/cowboys.html
Last revised: 24 September 2007 : 2007-09-24 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.

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