News and history for people named Tortorello, Tortoriello, Turturiello, and other variations.

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The US Immigrants

Below are some of the US immigrants. We have devoted a page to each of them and their descendants.

Giuseppe and Vincenza Pintozzi. This is the branch about which we have the most info.

Francesco Turturiello and VitaAntonia Serritella. We have quite a bit of info on this branch.

Antonio Tortorello and ViaAntonia Altier. We have quite a bit of info on this branch. Antonio and Francesco (above) were brothers.

Vito "William" Turturiello and Vitantonia Malpede. We have a significant amount of info on this branch.

Vitantonio "Fritz" Turturiello and Rose Galante. We have a significant amount of info on this branch.

Peter Turturiello and Josephine Marzano. We have very little info about this branch.

Angeline Turturiello and Jacob Iasillo. We have very little info about this branch.

Catherine Turturiello and William Altieri. We have very little info about this branch.

Other Torts. We have info from other Torts who have contacted us.

Shoe shine shop

The Tortorello shoe repair and hat block shop in Chicago, year unknown.
Click here to see enlargements.

Info and photos wanted

Please browse the site and see if you can find yourself among one of the branches of the family tree. If you have new information, new names, dates, photos, or other info to add, please contact us.

Please help us be accurate by trying to organize the info as it is on the other branches (see descendants of Giuseppe for an example). Please capitalize properly, spell carefully, and check dates for accuracy. And if you can supply an email address, we'll add it to the family mailing list and let you know when there are new additions to the website or family gatherings.

If you have historic family photos, you can send them to us and we will handle them carefully and scan them and return them promptly. If you prefer you can have them scanned at many instant printers like Kinko's or at camera stores. Scanning historic photos is good insurance against fading.


For a sweet little essay by an unknown author about his immigrant grand-parents, the way of life he used to live, and the life he now lives. Click here.

Where are the Tortoriellos?

Below is a map adapted from showing where populations densities of people named Tortoriello live.

Welcome to,
the Tortorello family website.

If you are a TORTORELLO, TURTURIELLO, or TORTORIELLO, chances are at least one ancestor came from Ricigliano or Balvano in the province of Salerno in the center of southern Italy.

In the late 1800s many Torts and Turts left for the US, especially for Chicago, which was being rebuilt after Mrs. O'Leary's cow began her urban renewal effort in the wee hours of October 8, 1871. Today there are probably more than 200 people named Tortorello or Tortoriello in the Chicago area alone.

According to Ellis Island, there were 23 immigrants named Turturiello, 14 from Balvano, 6 from Ricigliano, 2 from Montevideo Uraguay, and 1 had no origin listed. Some came from the tiny nearby town of Tortorella. To see maps, click here.

Giuseppe Turturiello

Above is a picture of Giuseppe Turturiello shortly after he arrived at Ellis Island on 10/26/1899.

Ellis Island also lists 104 immigrants named TORTORIELLO, and hundreds of others named TURTURIELLO, TORTORIELLO, TORTAROLO, TORTELLI, TORTELOTTI, TORTOLANI, TORTOLANO, TORTOLO, TORTOLONI, TORTORELLI, TORTORETE, and TORTORICI. Any of them may now be named Tortorello.

For example, here is an email from Charles Junior Tortorello, grandson of Francesco and Vitoantonio Tortorello:

"Grandpa expired in 1929 and Grandma in 1941. Grandma was waked in the house at 7020 S. Honore (in Chicago), as was the custom of the depression era. Visitors would donate cash in envelopes to the family and the eldest son would officiate. Sam was the elder and he logged the names of the donors in a journal. Reviewing the journal, there are 7 names spelled TURTURIELLO. There is a Warranty Deed from 1906 to a vacant lot at 7004 S. Honore St. granted to Frank TURELLO. Also grandpa joined a lodge which issued an insurance policy in the name of Frank Tortoriello and signed by him the same spelling. A fire insurance policy dated 1921 has the name Frank Tortorello. Summing up, we have TURTURIELLO, TURELLO, TORTORIELLO, and TORTORELLO. I think our name is JONES!!!"

How did the names get corrupted?

Many people think it was at Ellis Island where officials wrote down pretty much whatever they wanted. But experts say this never happened. They claim that the government officials used the ships' manifests to prepare documents for immigrants, and the manifests were prepared in the country of origin with input from the passengers.

Also, they claim that the processing facilities at Ellis Island had many translators and that the immigrants had to approve of the name on the documents.

The experts believe that corruption of names usually was the result of US employers who had problems spelling and pronouncing the foreign names, or more likely, by the immigrants themselves seeking to make their names more American and easier to spell and pronounce.

So how did Turturiello become Tortorello? Who knows? But it was not likely at Ellis Island.

Sources of genealogy info

If you are researching your roots, perhaps some of these sites will help. Ellis Island contains a wealth of inf o including ship manifests. They advertise "You can find and purchase your immigrant ancestor's ship manifest and ship picture that document your family's historic voyage to the US. These unique documents are suitable for framing and are available for purchase. All proceeds support the continuing work of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation." A cool Italian geneology site. Another good genealogy site. Yet another good genealogy site. A geneology site in Italian. They offer geneological research, and a very cool map of Italy that shows population densities of people with the surname of your choice (click here). You can even order a T-shirt with a map of Italy, your surname, and where your relatives are located in Italy.

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