Emanuele Alaimo

Emanuele Alaimo by Camille Arbogast

Emanuele Alaimo, also known as Manuele (sometimes spelled Manuel) was born on March 1, 1895, on Malfa, one of the Aeolian Islands off the northern coast of Sicily, Italy, and part of the province of Messina. His parents, Antonio and Anna (Santospirito) Alaimo, had at least eight other children, including Maria Francesca born in 1888, Domenico in 1889, Maria Grazia in 1891, Francesco in 1893, Nunziata in 1897, Antonino in 1899, Lorenzo in 1906, and Michele in 1910. Manulele’s father was an agricolo, or famer, according to family sources.

In 1912, Manuele immigrated to the United States, sailing from Naples on the SS Moltke, and arriving in New York City on May 23. He continued on to Boston, where he joined his older brother, Francesco, known as Frank, who had arrived in Boston in 1908. In 1912, Frank was living at 151 Norfolk Street in Dorchester. Around the time Manuele arrived in Boston, Frank returned to Italy, not coming back to Boston until 1914. At that time, Manuele lived at 162 Norfolk Street in Dorchester and worked at 2 Oakland Street in Mattapan. In June 1917, Manuele reported on his World War I draft registration that he lived at 2493 Washington Street in Roxbury. He was a self-employed fruit merchant with a store at 2491 Washington Street, and he was providing support for his father and mother back in Italy.

On June 22, 1918, Manuele was drafted and inducted into the Army. At that time, he gave his address as 151 Norfolk Street. He served in Company 12, 3rd Training Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade until August 23, 1918. According to his service record, he was then transferred to Company L, 36th Infantry. On October 29, 1918, Manuele became an American citizen. He was demobilized at Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, and discharged on January 21, 1919.

In October 1920, Manuele received a letter telling him that his father was near death and that he should return home at once. In his rush to get to his family’s home as soon as possible, Manuele did not have time to wait for an American passport to be issued. Asking around in Boston’s Italian community, he was advised to obtain Italian papers, which he did. On October 10, he sailed from Providence, Rhode Island, on a French ship, the SS Madonna. Arriving in Italy on October 23, he found his father had died a few days earlier. His lack of an American passport made it difficult for Manuele to return to the United States. In November 1921, he sought help from the American Vice Counsel in the Sicilian city Catania. An American passport was issued to him on December 20, 1921. On his passport, his address was given as 2491 Washington Street.

Manuele lived in Waltham, Massachusetts, after his return to the United States. He appeared in the Waltham directory as a co-partner in Lorenzo & Alaimo at 619 Moody Street, and resided up the street.

It appears that in the late 1920s, Manuele emigrated from the United States to Australia, settling in Victoria. In 1928, he married Ermina Materazzo. Ermina was born in Malfa in 1902, the daughter of a postal worker. In 1922, she also emigrated to Australia. Manuele and Ermina had five children: Tony, Tom, Emanuele, Mary, and Ersila. A “M. Alaimo” appeared in the 1929 and 1930 Victoria directories living at 220 Malvern Road and employed as a Fruiter & Greengrocer. Later, he seems to have preferred to go by Emanuele. In 1963, an “E. Alaimo” was living in Frankston, Victoria.

Manuele died in Mount Eliza, Victoria on February 28, 1986. He was buried in Frankston Cemetery on Cranbourne Road in Melbourne, Victoria. When Ermina died in 1993 she was buried beside him.

Researched and written by Camillie Arbogast.


Family Tree; Ancestry.com

New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, database. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010; Ancestry.com

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

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

Naturalization Records. National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA; Ancestry.com

Selected Passports. National Archives, Washington, D.C., Ancestry.com

Boston & Waltham directories, various years; Ancestry.com

Victoria, Australia, Marriage Index, 1837-1950. The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Ancestry.com

Australian City Directories. Gould Genealogy & History, South Australia, Australia; Ancestry.com

“Family History,” Births Deaths And Marriages Victoria, State of Victoria, Australia, 2020; bdm.vic.gov.au

“Emanuele Alaimo;” BillionGraves.com



Posted on

March 22, 2022

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