7. 1919 to 1929: The Marriage and Early Family Years

ďJohn Ullian and Linda Ferraro:  Roots and Legacy   www.Ullian.org   March 2018Ē

John became a naturalized citizen on 20 Aug 1920. Linda Ferraro, daughter of Francesco [Frank] Ferraro and Catterina [Catherine] Villanova, immigrated to the U.S. on 1 Nov 1920 with her parents and 2 brothers to join a third brother, Virginio, in Rockford IL. Linda and John married in Rockford on 7 Dec 1920 Ė five weeks after her arrival. They had 6 children: Mary, John Anthony, Livia, Gino, Joseph, and Virginia. Virginia died in 1929 at 9 months of age, and her mother Linda died 4 weeks later. John worked as an independent landscape gardener during this period in the northern suburbs of Chicago, where the family also lived.

John Becomes an American Citizen

John had previously [28 Mar 1914] submitted to the Appanoose County Iowa District Court his Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, and on 30 Jul 1920 he signed his Petition for Naturalization and submitted it to the Superior Court of Cook County IL. He was granted citizenship by the Court on 20 Aug 1920, Certification of Naturalization No. 1353695.

His Petition included the following information about him. John Ullian, 932 North Ave, Winnetka Ill. Landscape gardener. Born 6 September 1890 at Salcedo Italy. Emigrated from Havre France 24 Nov 1908, and arrived in New York 8 Dec 1908 on the S. S. Chicago. Not married. Entered service 3 Oct 1917, discharged 27 May 1919, serial number 1380536; Pvt Co C 129th Company. Discharged from Camp Grant, Illinois. Renounced allegiance to Victor Emmanuel III King of Italy (and other foreign powers). Resided continuously in U.S. since 8 Dec 1908, and in Illinois since 5 June 1910. [He was in Iowa at least as late as 1915, probably until 1916 or 1917.] Army discharge used in lieu of Declaration of Intention [although he had completed a Declaration of Intention in Iowa in 1914]. Two witnesses, Orval Simpson, 932 North Ave, Winnetka; and Harold W. Snell, public utility operator, 1205 Scott Ave, Hubbard Woods [now a neighborhood in Winnetka], swore that the petitioner had lived in the U.S. and Illinois since 1 January [possibly June] 1915. Oath of Allegiance signed by John Ullian in open court 20 Aug 1920. John Kjellander, Clerk. Granted citizenship. Certificate of Naturalization No. 1353695, 20 Aug 1920.



John Ullianís Petition for Naturalization [From Ancestry.com]


John Ullianís Naturalization Records Index Card [From Ancestry.com]


John Ullianís Certificate of Naturalization


Johnís Marriage to Linda Ferraro

Linda Ferraro arrived in New York 1 Nov 1920 on the S.S. Regina d'Italia that departed from Genova [Genoa], Italy on 14 Oct 1920. She was 25 years old, single, her last place of residence in Italy was Cittadella, Padova [Padua]. She was traveling with her father, Francesco Ferraro, a 49-year-old married male laborer; her mother, Caterina Villanova, a 48-year-old married housewife; and two brothers who were single males in school: Sebastiano (age 18) [known in the U.S. as Gino] and Sereno (age 6). Their destination was to join Francescoís son (thus Lindaís brother) Virginio Ferraro, 841 Shelto [street name uncertain], Rochefort [Rockford] Illinois.



Linda Ferraro and Family Listed On Lines 13 through 17 of the Ship Manifest
Arrived 14 Oct. 1920 onboard
S.S. Regina díItalia Ė first page [From Ancestry.com]

On 7 Dec 1920 John Ullian of Glencoe, Cook, Illinois, age 29, and Miss Lena [elsewhere in license Linda] Ferraro of Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois, age 25, were married. The Winnebago County license was dated 6 Dec 1920. He was a gardener, born in Italy, and his parents were Antonio Ullian and Maria Mascarello. The bride, Linda Ferraro, was born in Italy; her father was Frank Ferraro, and her mother Catherina [Catherine Villanova]. Witnesses were Antonio Gasparini and Lina Gasparini.


John Ullian and Linda Ferraroís Marriage License Ė front

John Ullian and Linda Ferraroís Marriage License - back


We do not know how John and Linda met, but given that the marriage occurred 5 weeks after her arrival in the U.S., we suspect that family connections were involved. We do not know whether the families knew each other in Italy.

Johnís Occupations

During this period of his life, John was a gardener, landscaper, and contractor on the north side of Chicago (Glencoe, Northbrook, Highland Park, Hubbard Woods, Kenilworth, etc.) as were

some of his in-laws the Ferraros. Fr. Gino Ferraro [Lindaís brother, a Catholic priest] has said that John had many trucks with his name on the side while he was in business. He did gardening and landscape work for many of the wealthy families there, including Marshall Field (the man). Son John Anthony, even in his eighties, still remembered living at one point as a very young child "close enough to Lake Michigan that you could throw a pillow out the bedroom window into the lake."

There is a belief among some in the family that a falling out between John and the Ferraros resulted in his losing his business, with the details vague and varying by source. Another uncorroborated story is that Linda Ferraroís cousin Frank Ferraro (not her father Frank Ferraro) dealt in contraband (these were the Prohibition years in the U.S.), and was referred to by some in the family as "the mean one." Gino Ullian had a photo of Frank with his arm around Mussolini, but the photo was destroyed in a fire.

As 1929 began, John and his family were living at 692 Central Ave. in Highland Park, near the railroad station, and his brother Romano lived just a couple blocks away on Second Ave. It was a year that would change the lives of the families of John and his brother Romano Ė not only because of the stock market crash in October, but for more personal reasons.

Births of John and Lindaís Children

Of note in the birth certificates below are the inconsistencies in Johnís and Lindaís birthplaces, and that their own ages on the dates of their childrenís births vary from what would be expected given their own actual birth dates. We found this and similar inconsistencies common in other documents we examined.

Mary Katherine Ullian was born on 4 Nov 1921 at 710 Houghton St. (where both parents lived), Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. The birth certificate lists the father, John Ullian, as a 30-year-old gardener born in Italy, and the mother, Linda Ferraro, as a 26-year-old housewife born in Italy. Mary was her first child.


Mary Ullianís Birth Certificate


Mary Ullian Ė about 1927

John Anthony Ullian was born on 16 Apr 1923 at 274 Greenwood Ave, Glencoe (where both parents lived), Cook, Illinois. His birth certificate shows his father as John Ullian of Glencoe IL, a 35-year-old gardener born in Venice, Italy, and his mother as Linda Ferraro of Glencoe IL, a 28-year-old housewife born in Venice, Italy. John was her second child.

John was baptized on 19 Aug 1923 at Sacred Heart Church, Winnetka IL. His godparents were Francis Ferraro and Uma [Emma?] Ferraro.


John A. Ullianís Birth Certificate

Livia Agnes Ullian was born on 21 Jul 1924 in Northbrook (where both parents lived), Cook, Illinois. Her birth certificate shows her father as John Ullian, a 33-year-old contractor born in Salcedo, Vicenza, Italy, and her mother as Linda Ferraro, a 29-year-old housewife born in St. George [San Giorgio di Perlena], Vicenza, Italy. Livia was her third child.

Livia was baptized on 21 Aug 1924 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1010 Ferguson St., Rockford IL. Her godparents were John Ferraro and Rosa Zulino.


Livia Ullianís Birth Certificate

Gino Frank Ullian was born on 17 Aug 1925 in Northbrook (where both parents lived), Cook, Illinois. His father was John Ullian, a 35-year-old contractor born in Farra, Italy, and his mother was Linda Ferraro, a 30-year-old housewife born in Farra, Italy. Gino was her fourth child.

Gino was baptized on 27 Jan 1929 by Rev. Frederic Hoarth, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Winnetka IL. His godparents were John Rubo and Amelia Marinelli.


Gino Ullianís Birth Certificate


Joseph Francis Ullian was born on 24 Dec 1926 in Northfield, Cook, Illinois (where both parents lived). His birth certificate shows that his father was John Ullian, a 36-year-old self-employed landscape gardener born in Italy, and his mother was Linda Ferraro, a 30-year-old housewife born in Italy. Joseph was her fifth child. [On his original birth certificate, his surname and that of his parents was spelled Uhlan. This was corrected in an "Affidavit and Certificate of Correction" in 1971.]

Joseph was baptized on 27 Jan 1929 by Rev. Frederic Hoarth, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Winnetka IL. His godparents were Angelo Casinatti and Rina Caretto.


Joseph Ullianís Birth Certificate

Joseph Ullianís Birth Certificate Corrections


Virginia Linda Ullian was born on 11 Jun 1928 at 344 Madison St. in Glencoe IL, her parentsí home, according to her birth certificate. That document stated that her father was John Ullian, a 38-year-old contractor born in Italy, and her mother was Linda Farrro [Ferraro], a 33-year-old housewife born in Italy. Virginia was her sixth child, all living at that time. She was born at 10:46 Ė but we cannot tell from the certificate whether that is a.m. or p.m. The certificate was signed by the attending physician, Edw. L. Larson, M.D. of Wheeling IL on 11 Jun 1928. Without explanation, one entry on the certificate indicates that it was filed on 10 Jun 1928.


Virginia Ullianís Birth Certificate


It is of note that we have three different names for Virginia: Virginia Linda on her birth certificate, Alice Virginia on her baptism information [which could have been an unintentional transposition] and Virginia Alice on her death certificate. The tombstone she shares with her mother simply says Baby Virginia.

Virginia was baptized on 27 Jan 1929 by Rev. Frederic Hoarth, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Winnetka IL. Her godparents were Mathias Caretto and Alice Caretto.

We have the following information on Virginiaís godparents. The 1930 Federal Census shows that on 17 May 1930 Mathew Carretto, a landscape gardener, lived with his wife Alice and three children at 708 Central Ave. in Highland Park IL. That address was obviously very close to 692 Central Ave., where Johnís family moved to sometime between Virginiaís birth on 11 Jun 1928 and her death on 15 Mar 1929. We do not know why that move occurred, but we might speculate that John moved his family to be closer to the godmother of his youngest daughter, who suffered from spina bifida and may have needed more care than Linda (with 5 other children under the age of 9, and herself with a heart problem) could provide. On 17 May 1930, the Federal Census shows that Johnís family was no longer at 692 Central Ė that house was occupied by Grant Carrier, 7 family members, and 3 boarders Ė obviously a large house.

Virginia Ullian died on 15 Mar 1929, a few days after turning 9 months old. The cause of death was spina bifida (malnutrition secondary). Her address was 692 Central Ave, Highland Park IL. She was buried on 18 Mar 1929 in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vernon Township, Lake, Illinois. The informant was John Ferraro, brother of her mother Linda. The death certificate gave her date of birth as June 6 rather than the June 11 date shown on her birth certificate.

Virginia Ullianís Death Certificate

Baptismal Information for the Ullian Children
[From Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Winnetka IL]


Death of Linda (Ferraro) Ullian

Linda died on 13 Apr 1929, 4 weeks and 1 day after Virginiaís death.

The following information is from her death certificate. Linda Anna Ullian, 692 Central Ave, Highland Park, Lake, Illinois. She had lived in Highland Park for 2 years, and in the U.S. 8 years and 6 months. She died at Highland Park Hospital at 8:15 p.m. on 13 Apr 1929. Cause of death was broncho pneumonia of 5 days duration; contributory was chronic myocarditis of 1 year duration. W. L. Winters, M.D., attended her from 7 Apr 1929 to 13 Apr 1929. Burial was at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Glencoe [actually Northbrook] IL, on 16 Apr 1929 Ė which was her son John Anthonyís sixth birthday. Undertaker was H.F. Kelley Mgr., H. M. Prior Co. of Highland Park. "Personal and Statistical Particulars": She was a married white female, the wife of John Ullian. She was born 8 May 1895 in Breganze, Italy; at death she was 33 years, 11 months, and 5 days old. Her occupation was listed as "At home." Father: Frank J. Ferraro, born in Breganze, Italy. Motherís maiden name: Catherine Vilkorva [Villanova], born in Marie, Italy. The informant was Gino S. Ferraro [Fr. Gino Ferraro], 1220 Guin St., Rockford IL.


Linda Ullianís Death Certificate

Lindaís obituaries in both Highland Park newspapers (below) show inaccuracies and discrepancies, but provide at least the basic information supplementing the death certificate.

Linda Ullianís Obituary - Highland Park News [Highland Park IL] 19 Apr 1929

Linda Ullianís Obituary - Highland Park Press [Highland Park IL] 18 Apr 1929



Family and Other Mourners at the Burial of Linda (Ferraro) Ullian
[Her husband and children are to the immediate right of the casket.]

Linda and Virginia Ullianís Grave 


Sacred Heart Cemetery is in Northbrook IL, on Lee Road, north of Dundee Road, adjacent to the Green Acres Country Club. Its office is at Ascension Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleums, 1920 Buckley Rd, Libertyville IL 60048; phone 847-362-1247. John is buried next to Linda and Virginia.

A number of Ferraro family members are also buried at this cemetery including 3 of Lindaís brothers:

    John Ferraro (1893-1959), his wife Anna (1899-1980), and their sons John A. (1925-1926) and John G. (1931-1934);
    Virginio A. Ferraro (1891-1965) and his wife Carlotta (1901-1997); and
    Narcissus D. Ferraro (1896-1976) and his wife Mary (1906-1992).

Reflection of Linda and Johnís first son, John Anthony, about the day of his motherís funeral, which was also his sixth birthday:

"In the house they had her. All the curtains pulled, the candles all lit, and all of us little kids were sitting around there. And pretty soon they came in and they took the kids out and put us in a hearse, and we all sat in there in that black hearse, scared to death, not knowing what was going on, where we were going."

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