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Home: Surnames: Rini Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Rini Families of Cleveland Ohio
Posted by: Terri Dance (ID *****2690) Date: March 06, 2009 at 16:13:23
In Reply to: Rini Families of Cleveland Ohio by Michael Rini of 21

I have a Grandfather Nicholas from Detroit, Michigan and a Great-grandfather whose name I think was Giovanni Rini who came by way of Palermo, though I realize that was possibly just the port of departure but he certainly came from Sicily/Italy-south. Nicholas' children gave he and his wife a trip to Europe which included Sicily but they didn't know how to look up any relatives while there. I wonder if you might know if he was part of the extended Cleveland family? Certainly he must be related to the area in Sicily you have done so much work upon. I would appreciate being able to hunt through whatever you have or any pointers in the right direction.

The midwife when Grandpa Nicholas was born was from Hamtramck and wrote his name on the record as Nik Rine. For some reason, no one bothered to ever legally fix the last name and he seems not to have known about or at least cared about his first name until he was the executor of someone's will and couldn't function as such until I think he legally changed his name to Nicholas. So all his children have the spelling Rine. Giovanni's other children did have Rini.

At least later in life, Giovanni owned a 4-plex in the Detroit metro area and I believe some of the adult children lived in it with him in the different units but I do not know for certain. My father John Thomas Rine I know said he was a green grocer or produce grocer/vendor. My father has a heavy gold ring with his initials engraved in script and his tall rocking chair. He said he always remembered his Grandfather sitting in that chair and clicking/banging his ring on the arm as he rocked. Also that he liked a treat of orange peel dipped in chocolate, which is a taste he passed onto my father.

Giovanni Rini had about 9 children, 4 or 5 of whom died in the time period of the Spanish Influenza epidemic. I know one daughter was Mary Rini, who was a spinster and died in St. Claire Shores and she shows up on the Social Security Death Index. I think another brother who never married was John, but whether that was Americanized Giovanni or truly John is a question, as well as whether the father Giovanni also ever went by John, too. I remember there was a woman referred to as "Aunt Annie" with a very Sicilian looking face and long dark hair going gray in a long single braid. Someone else I have memories of at least hearing conversations of an "aunt" named Aunt Lena or Lina.

Either this Annie or Lena/Lina must have married as my dad has three cousins of that generation who I have met and they were all living in 1990. Jimmie looks a great deal like my Grandfather Nicholas and his brother Phil is definitely older than Jimmie and the sister, the female is perhaps named Rosemary and she worked for a very long time for Hudson's department store. Their last name I have never see written so it is Guzmano or Cusomano or Cuzmano--something on that sound order. Jimmie has sons, I don't know about daughters. Phil and his wife must have some children but I haven't met them. Their sister I am not certain has ever married?

Nicholas was born 18 September 1915 but I know they celebrated it all the was to the 21 or so because there was some discrepancy about the dates on his birth. He died on 5 June 1996.

Nicholas married a Mary Helen McNeely in Detroit. She was also born in Detroit on 4 Dec 1920 and died the 23rd of July 1998 and who was an RN 5/2" with blue eyes, very dark wavy hair that went very prematurely gray but typical for many Irish to do the early gray hair. They lived on Greeley St. before I was born in 1968 and for about 3-5 or so years after my birth they moved to Livonia on Berwick.

They had 9 living children, --but one other she lost at 7 months gestation-- all alive in 2005--all married with their own children except Nick, who has been divorced several times. Rosemary, Nicholas J., John Thomas born 1948(my dad), Therese, Paul, Margaret, Joan, Mary, Joseph. All were born in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.

Terri Dance

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