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The Cinicola/Brake Connection

Our family link to the Cinicola and Brake families stems from the early military records of my grandfather, Daniel James McDonald. 

In his 1912 Marines Enlistment documentation, Dan listed Kate Brake from Luxor, PA as his cousin and next of kin.  Further research has provided that Kate (Carmela) Cinicola Brake was the daughter of Rafaele and Emanuela Riccardi Cinicolo, of San Bartolomeo in Galdo, Italy.  Additional children (and presumably cousins of my grandfather) included Lucia (Lucy) Cinicola Gallo, Donatella Cinicola Massaro, Antonio (Anthony) Cinicola, and Liberato (Albert) Cinicola.  It is our belief that Emanuela Riccardi was the sister of Anna Riccardi, mother of my grandfather.

Carmela Cinicola Brake with Lena, Nick & Tony
Although her exact date of immigration is unknown, we believe that Carmela (Kate) Cinicola came to America in approximately 1906.  She married John Brake (alternate spelling Brak) in 1909 in Crabtree, PA, a mile or two from Luxor, and about ten miles distance from the town of Greensburg.  The photo to the left is of Kate with the first of her children, Lena, Nick, and Tony Brake.  We believe this photo would have been take around 1914-15.

For a more detailed look at the John and Katie Brake Family, click here.
Domonick Brake (front), Joe Fox, Dan McDonald (rear)John Brake had a half-brother, Domonick, who was a "running buddy" of my grandfather's.  We have documented evidence of them living together in Ottawa, IL, as both Domonick and my grandfather are listed in the Ottawa City Directories in 1911 and 1912, living with the family of Thomas Fox at 726 E. Superior Street.  Thomas Fox was also listed as my grandfather's insurance beneficiary in his 1912 Marine documentation, with relationship of "friend".  The photo to the right includes, Domonick (front), and Joe Fox and Dan McDonald in the second row (Joe Fox was either a son or nephew of Thomas Fox).  We are unsure of the date of this photo.
It appears that Lucia Cinicola was the first child of Rafaele and Emanuela to immigrate to America.  The passenger index to the left shows her arrival on January 20, 1905; the document indicates that she is going to meet her husband, Pasquale Andonis Gallo, in Greensburg, PA.   Census information in 1910 provides that the family was living in Dunbar, PA, a small mining town approximately 25 miles from Greensburg, and about 30 miles from Luxor.

Pictures of Lucy and Pasquale can be seen here.  

Liberato Cinicola appears to have made multiple trips to America from Italy, with his final documented arrival in 1913.  "Albert", as he's known to his descendents, met his ultimate fate early in life, as the result of fight outside of a tavern in Greensburg on the evening of February 22, 1915.  Albert clung to life for a couple of weeks, but ultimately died from the bullet wound inflicted during the scuffle.  Another victim of the assault, Lombardi Picelli, survived.  Sylvester Cicelli, the third party to the affair, was charged with the murder of Albert on May 21, 1915, but was found not guilty by reason of self-defense.  Albert's tombstone, located in Crabtree Cemetery near Luxor, PA, is inscribed in Italian, which translates to "Here lie the bones of Liberato Cinicolo, born in 1892, died March 10, 1915".

 To view additional documents related to Liberato Cinicolo, including newspaper articles of the event and his death certificate, click here.
Lucia (Lucy) Cinicola & Pasquale Andonis Gallo
     
Lucy & Pasquale Gallo

Lucy & Pasquale Gallo
   
Carmela (Kate) Cinicola & Giovani (John) Brake

NY Passenger List
Nicola & Giovani Braca
1893


Replacement Birth Record
Giovani Braca, b. 1884
record date 10/26/1946

Marriage Record
John & Carmela Brake
1909 - part 1

Marriage Record
John & Carmela Brake
1909 - part 2

Birth Certificate
Lena Brake
1910

Birth Certificate
Nick Brake
1911

Lena Brake

Nick Brake

Tony Brake

Helen Brake

Mary Brake

Edith Brake

Ralph Brake

Palmina Brake

Dolores Brake

Carmela "Katie" Brake

Carmela "Katie" Brake

Katie and John Brake

Replacement Birth Record
Angelo Braca b.1895
recorded 3/11/1948

The Brake Sisters
Helen, Edith, Mary & Lena

Gloria Johnson,
Domonick and Lucy Brake
     
           
Librato (Albert) Cinicola

Greensburg Daily Tribune
2/23/1915

Greensburg Morning Review
2/23/1915


Greensburg Daily Tribune
3/11/1915

PA State Death Certificate
3/10/1913


Greensburg Morning Review
5/15/1915

Greensburg Morning Review
5/16/1915