Carlo Salvatore “Sam” Randazzo: The details of his life are sketchy at best. There are multiple name changes, constant family moves from state to state and much speculation as to why. Family lore has it that there are mafia ties and that an escape from this explains the name and residence changes though this can not be backed up. Throughout his life, Sam went by many names, first and last, making tracking him quite difficult, as can best be seen by the fact that in his forty years while living in America, he doesn’t show up on even one census record. Whether it is the name changes or his wish to avoid being documented on any official records, Sam has made it quite difficult to track down anything concrete about him and even what has been found must be looked at with speculation as any information was provided by him and not to be trusted as fact given his inclination for changing his information over his life time. The information presented here is the best that can be concluded given the information available. There are definite gaps and question as to accuracy but this is the best possible conclusion based on the evidence that exists.
The man known as Carlo Salvatore “Sam” Randazzo is known to be born on May 9, 1884 in Italy. Throughout his life he went by the following names: Carl S. Randalson, Carl Randazzo, Sam Randazzo, Sam Randalson and possibly Carlo Scioni. While the Randalson and Randazzo names have been documented as being used throughout his life, living children remember that his actual surname was something similar to Scioni, though it might have been Schianni or Schiani as well. It is to be assumed that this was most likely his given surname and what he went by in Italy, though there are no records of him in Italy or immigration records coming to America. Almost all information about him has come from his death certificate which must be doubted merely for the fact that it would be based on what he told his family or the information created by him in America. Based on the names that he used throughout his life and how he used them, it is most likely that his given name is Carlo Salvatore. This would follow given the traditional Americanized versions that he chose to use in the states. For purposes of this presentation of information, we will use the name Sam Randazzo throughout.
In approximately 1910, Sam came to America through Ellis Island. The name he used to emigrate is unknown. While Sam’s children all state that their mother was Carmella Laverti, it is unlikely, though possible, that she was in fact the mother of all of them given her age. A potential alternative first marriage for Carmella, as noted in the obituaries of their children, furthers this speculation. He most likely was married previously and that his first wife was the mother of at least some, if not all of his children, though there are no birth records recorded under either of their names and no marriage records under any of the names that Sam used during his lifetime.
It is to be believed that Sam was a coal miner, working in the mines in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri. This is based on the claimed places of birth of his children. All of the places of birth are mining towns and this would suggest that the family moved from mine town to mine town for many years. Further, each of his sons also ended up in the coal industry. Their obituaries and the records about them give us the most information about their father. The children who claim Sam Randazzo and Carmella Laverti as their parents are as follows:
1. Giacobbe “Jacob” “Jake” (Randazzo) Randalson (b. 3/28/1913 in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania - d. 3/19/2007 in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio. Jake was a coal miner who spent most of his life in Steubenville, Ohio. Documents about him are below:
2. Giacomo “James” (Randazzo) Randalson (b. 6/15/1917 in St Louis, Missouri – d. 12/30/2007 in Bergholz, Jefferson County, Ohio) Jake was a coal miner who spent most of his life in Jefferson County, Ohio. Documents about him are below:
(3rd column – Naval Discharge List)
- James Randalson – 1959 Newspaper Article -Visit to Family in St Louis (4th column – heading: Amsterdam)
- James Randalson – Obit 2007
3. Angelo (Randazzo) Randalson (b. 7/21/1921 in Missouri – d. 5/8/1992 in Amsterdam, Jefferson County, Ohio) Angelo was a coal miner who spent most of his life in Jefferson County, Ohio. Documents about him are below:
(4th column – heading: Amsterdam)
- Angelo Randalson – 1962 Newspaper Article – Sand in Motor (5th column – heading: Reports Vandalism)
- Angelo Randalson – 1972 Newspaper Article -Son’s Wedding
- Angelo Randalson – 1975 Newspaper Article – Sons Wedding
7. Rose Marie (Randalson) Randazzo (b. 8/9/1933 in Wolf Run, Jefferson County, Ohio, d. 12/3/1995 in St. Louis, Missouri) Married Terrence “Terry” Patrick Moynihan.
Based on the births of the children, a timeline of where the family lived over Sam’s life is as follows:
- 1913 – Brownsville, Pennsylvania
- 1917-1921 – St Louis, Missouri
- 1927-1930 – Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
- 1930-1933 – Jefferson County, Ohio
- 1940-1956 – St Louis, Missouri
We know he was in Ohio in 1933 for another reason. He is mentioned in the Steubenville, Ohio Herald Star newspaper upon his release from the hospital. The article lists his name as Sam Randalson and says that he was living in Wolf Run, Ohio (Rose Marie (Randalson) Randazzo’s place of birth in 1933).
- Sam Randalson – 1933-Newspaper Article – Sam Randalson released from the hospital (Column 2 – Heading: Hospital Record)
According to his children, Sam and Carmella, left their boys (Jake, James and Angelo) in Ohio while their girls were put into the foster/orphanage system in St. Louis. The reasons are unknown but it could have merely been because of the depression and the need to move back and forth between Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri so much looking for mining work. Given the many instances mentioning both parents in obituaries, newspapers and family visits, it would appear that the family, while separated, remained in touch however.
On October 13, 1956, Sam died at St. Louis City Hospital. His death certificate lists his home address as 1020 N. 9th Street, St Louis, Missouri. The informant on the death certificate was Mrs. Joe Moreno who lived at 816 Carr Street. On October 16, 1956, he was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri, in an unmarked grave at block 208, plot 31, along with his wife Carmella. At the time of his death and burial, he was going under the name Sam Randazzo and this is the first time that this is his listed name. It also lists his father as Jacob Randazzo. Given traditional Italian baby naming customs, this would make sense as it would be customary for them to have named their oldest son after the father’s father and Jacob is his oldest son’s name.