Napoleon Bellaspica (Angelo Maria Matteo Lepera

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    John Seymour

    I have encountered a Brickwall in attempting to locate the Declaration of Intent for my great grandfather Napoleon Bellaspica. His Italian records identify him as Angelo Maria Matteo Lepera. He emigrated from the village of San Demetrio Corone in the Province of Cosenza during the 1881/82 time frame. I have found a record of arrival at Castle Garden on 14 February 1882 which appears to be him. I have his Naturalization documents dated 28 October 1884 from the courthouse in Newark, NJ. The NJ Archives or NARA have no record of his Declaration. Family stories indicated that he may have gone to New England to work as a barber before settling in Newark. After sending a copy of his naturalization paper to the Massachusetts Judicial Archives, it was noted that the paper he signed stated that he was under the age of 18 at the time of his arrival in the United States. If that were the case a Declaration of Intent would NOT have been required. In actuality he was about 36 years of age when he first arrived.

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