Alfred Geswell Albano

Alfred Geswell Albano by Camille Arbogast

Alfred Geswell Albano, known as Fred, was born in late 1893, at 328 Harrison Avenue in Boston, to Giovannia (Jodice), known as Jennie, and Guiseppe, known as Joseph. According to his birth record, he was born in December 1893; his social security record used the date December 18, 1893. It is possible he was born earlier; when he was baptized in April 1894, his birthdate was given as October 17, 1893. His military records, including his World War I draft registration and service record, use the birthdate October 18, 1893.

Fred’s parents were Italian immigrants, who married in Boston in 1889. Joseph was a barber, and Jennie had worked as a tailoress before her marriage. They had at least nine other children: Rose born in 1890, Emma in 1891, Arthur in 1895, Jennie in 1896, Pasquale in 1899, Josephine in 1902, Lizzie in 1904, Albert in 1906, and Helen in 1908.

In 1900, the family was living in the North End at 48 Battery Street. By 1902, they had moved to 139 Salem Street, where they remained through 1908. In 1910, they relocated to Somerville, residing at 48 Gorham Street. By that time, Fred, age 16, was employed as a hatter, which would be his lifelong profession. The 1910 census recorded that he worked for a hat manufacturing company. On his World War I draft registration in June 1917, Fred reported that he worked for Bardsley and Company, hatters, of 1 Province Court, Boston.

On December 30, 1917, Fred married Mary Elizabeth Fagan in Boston. Mary, a 36-year-old hat trimmer, had been born in Scotland. She lived at 21 Dean Street in Dorchester. They were married by Reverend William A. Connor of Saint Paul’s Church on Woodward Park Street. Fred and Mary were living at 97 Brook Avenue in Dorchester in July 1918, when Fred was drafted.

Fred was inducted into the Army on July 24, 1918. He was initially assigned to Company 2, 1st Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade for training. On August 3, 1918, he was transferred to Company 7, 73rd Infantry. He was promoted to private first class on November 29. On January 17, 1919, Fred was discharged.

After his service, Fred and his wife lived at 36 Norton Street in Dorchester. By January 1920, Mary was pregnant. She had Bright’s Disease, a type of chronic kidney disease, and this seems to have caused complications in her pregnancy. Mary was under a doctor’s care beginning on January 31, 1920. On February 3, their daughter, Dorothy, was delivered by caesarean at Dorchester’s Saint Margaret’s Hospital. Mary died on February 10 and Dorothy, who had been born prematurely, died of pneumonia at 18 days old. Mary and Dorothy were buried in Boston’s Mount Benedict Cemetery. After the death of his wife and child, Fred returned to live with his parents in Somerville at 48 Gorham Street. By 1924, Fred and his family had moved a short distance to 36 Clarendon Avenue.

In 1926, Fred married again, wedding stenographer Mary Agnes Toale in Somerville. They initially lived at 202 Powder House Boulevard, a couple of blocks from Fred’s family. By 1928, they owned 75 Fourth Street in the Wellington neighborhood of Medford, Massachusetts; this was Fred’s home for the rest of his life. Fred had his own hat store, the Adams Square Hat Company at 116 Washington Street in Boston. He was also very active with the American Legion. Mary Agnes died in June 1966.

Fred died on December 27, 1968. A Requiem High Mass was celebrated for him at Saint James Church Medford. Fred was a Gold Life member of American Legion Post 19.

Researched and written by Camille Arbogast


Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA;

Sacramental Records. Boston Archdiocese, Boston, MA;

Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook);

1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 U.S. Federal Census;

Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts, directories, various years;

World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration;

“Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920,” database;

Mary E. Fagan Albano,

Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Massachusetts Vital Records Index to Marriages [1916–1970]. Volumes 76–166, 192– 207. Facsimile edition. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA;

United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration;

“Big County Convention of American Legion,” Boston Globe, 4 May 1927: 93;

“Evening Death Notices,” Boston Globe, 16 June 1966: 34;

“Morning Death Notices,” Boston Globe, 30 December 1968: 29;



Posted on

March 22, 2022

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.