Nicola Valente, agricoltore of Gambatesa, Molise, Italy
Nicola VALENTE (born 3 October 1853 at Gambatesa) was the husband of Carmina IACOVELLI (1855-1911/14) and the father of Giovanni VALENTE (1887-1969). On the back of the above photograph is printed:
CARTOLINA POSTALE ITALIANA
Nicola's parents were Donato VALENTE (1817-1902) and Serafina PUDETTI (1820-1893). Nicola had two older brothers, Antonio (b. 1842) and Francesco (b. 1847), and an older sister Maria Vittoria (b. 1844).
When Nicola VALENTE married Carmina IACOVELLI in 1875, his condition in life was recorded as contadino, or, peasant, and he was unable to write. But by the time his first son, Michele, was born in 1883, Nicola was able to sign his name and was an agricoltore, a land-owning farmer who works his own land, as distinct from a proprietario, or, gentleman landlord. The farm was named Masseria Valente, and Nicola worked the land alongside his two older brothers.
Nicola lived to be 86. He and his two brothers had the reputation in Gambatesa of being bandits; people were afraid of them; old people still talk about them.
Carmina's parents were Michelangelo IACOVELLI (1832-1873) and Angela CONTENTO (1835-1895); Michelangelo was a contadino, but Angela, through her father Bartolomeo (d. 1836), was a possidente, a property owner. Nicola and Carmina named their first son and first daughter after Carmina's parents rather than Nicola's parents, which was contrary to custom; their first two daughters, both named after Angela, died in infancy.
When Nicola's three oldest sons, Michele, Donato (b. 1885), and Giovanni were born, Nicola and Carmina were living at #14 Via Sannicola with Nicola's brother Francesco's family.
Before his death in Gambatesa in January 1939, Nicola used to send olive oil from the farm in Gambatesa to his son Giovanni in Camden, New Jersey.
Civil Register Stamps used in the Comune of Gambatesa in the 19th Century
Nicola VALENTE was born during the reign of Ferdinando II ("King Bomba"), King of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, of which Molise was a province in the Kingdom of Naples. Below left: Gambatesa's official seal during his reign.