Salvatore and Adele Greco
Contributors of the Maria Messina Greco Midwife Records
|Salvatore was a 1st-cousin of
the Salvatore Greco who was married to Maria Messina Greco, midwife in Tampa in
the early 1900s. Salvatore was 94 years young
at the time of my visit in the summer of 2003. He had fond memories of Maria.
Throughout my visit, Salvatore listened with a cheerful smile and keen but quiet interest, as Adele with her kindness, generosity and love of not only sharing their colorful family histories, but of history in general, told me her story of how she found the records.
The Trail of the Maria Messina Midwife Records
Mrs. Greco found the midwife books in their closet one day, in this green citrus shipping box. Her husband told her about his cousin's wife, Maria Messina Greco, a truly remarkable woman. When Maria Messina Greco's husband (the older Salvatore) took ill and was unable to shave himself, it was his cousin Salvatore who would come to his home every day to shave him. In her later years, Maria was cared for by this Salvatore and later, Maria's daughter and son-in-law. Salvatore still had a wool cap which Maria made for him.
There are about 62 books which cover from 1908 to 1939. At the top here you can see the translation which someone started to type. The translation covers from 1908 through 1912.
Upon the suggestion from her friends, in 1992 Adele donated the records to the LDS church and they microfilmed the books on two rolls. She didn't expect them to return the records, but when they did come back, she put the records back in the closet without opening the box again.
In the summer of 2003, I was engaged in genealogical research for a friend in Havana, Cuba, whose mother was birthed by a midwife in Tampa. I discovered that the Family History Center in Tampa had two rolls of microfilmed midwife records so I visited the history center to review them. Though I did not find what I was looking for, I did find one of a distant relative in my own family.
At the beginning of the microfilm roll was the image of the letter that the LDS church wrote to Salvatore Greco, thanking him for submitting the records. The letter bore his address in the Tampa Bay area, so I also wrote him to thank him for his contribution. I included my email address and in a few weeks, received an email from Adele requesting that I call her. In the course of our long discussion about Tampa history, Salvatore's family and her family, Adele invited me over to visit and said she and Salvatore had no use for the records and wanted me to have them.
This is Vincenzo Greco,
Salvatore's father. Vincenzo's older brother was the father of the Salvatore
who married Maria Messina. The former mayor of Tampa, Dick Greco, is also a cousin in
Vincenzo was a chemist and pharmacist in Italy. His research notes were donated to a medical university and contributed much knowledge to his profession.
Vincenzo was also a great fan of the Opera and was the leader in bringing Opera to Ybor City in the old days.
Some of the items Vincenzo used in his chemistry and pharmacy research.
The Vincenzo Greco family, before the birth of their youngest child Lydia. Taken around 1900
A later picture of Salvatore with his parents.
Guiseppe "Joe" Greco
Lucrecia "Mamina" Reina Greco
During WW2, Salvatore was a mechanic and worked on planes such as the one you see here, a large model which hangs from the ceiling in the large room you see below.
Salvatore himself was an amazing man of many talents. One photo of him in his younger days, taken off the shores of Mexico, shows him standing on a surfboard which he invented, wearing swimming trunks which he designed. Equally amazing is his wife, Adele, a kind and caring lady with an interesting past.
|Another photo in their collection was a lovely young lady, and it was autographed. It was the lady who was the voice of Snow White in the animated Disney Classic 'Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs." Salvatore was a friend of hers in his youth. Her father was a voice coach in Hollywood and the young lady told Salvatore she was confident she would get the role of doing Snow White's voice.|
It was a most enjoyable visit on a rainy Saturday, with the greatest treasure not being the midwife records, but the opportunity I had to meet such friendly and generous people.
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