Mr Luigi Finoli was born in Atessa, Chieti, Italy on 25 March 1870 1 and was the son of Vincenzo Finoli and the former Catherine Di Paolo. Little is known about his early life but it is understood he had several brothers and sisters.
He was married in Naples on 7 August 1897 to Beatrice Fedele (b. circa 1873) and apparently raised a family but little is known about his married life.
Luigi emigrated in 1899, leaving Naples aboard SS Neustria and arriving in New York in March that year. He lived at different times in Brooklyn and New Haven, Connecticut where he worked as a merchant, becoming a naturalised US citizen on 19 January 1906 in New Haven. In August that year he applied for a passport and he was described as standing at 5' 5½" with a dark complexion, brown eyes, chestnut hair and with a round face, small mouth and pointed nose. He returned to Italy for a visit shortly after and appears to have returned to the USA on 22 March 1908 aboard La Touraine. Back in the USA he made his home in Philadelphia but in late 1911/early 1912 he returned to Italy for another visit.
For his return to the USA Finoli boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number SOTON/O.Q. 3101308 which cost £7, 1s). He was rescued, possibly in lifeboat 15 and reportedly conducted himself very poorly during and after the sinking. Arriving in New York and applying for assistance from the American Red Cross he claimed to have lost $800 in cash and jewels in the sinking. Given necessary clothing and temporary shelter he was refused any further assistance on account of his behaviour.
In years after the disaster Finoli was once again naturalised as a US citizen on 29 September 1914, again in New Haven. He would return to Italy at the behest of his father in June 1921 to settle property in Aversa, Caserta with his siblings and applied for a US passport in March 1922, declaring his wish to remain a US citizen and his intention to return within six months. His wife was, at the time, residing at 2713 Somerset Street in Philadelphia and she and Luigi were reunited in May 1922.
Luigi would continue to travel back and forth to Italy and made another such voyage just two years later in 1924. He eventually returned to Italy permanently in 1935 to the place of his birth, Atessa. He died on 21 November 1938 aged 68.
- Date given as 26 March 1870 in his 1922 passport; his naturalisation papers and 1906 passport give the date as 25 March.
References and SourcesContract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
Names and Descriptions of Alien Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B).