Nicodemo and Raffaela
Nicodemo Belluchie was born on March 14, 1863 in Morcone, Italy, although Nick stated at various times that his place of birth was
Naples. He was the youngest child in the family, having one older sister. The senior
Belluchie was a merchant and was the owner of a butcher shop or a shoe shop.
The family was traditional Italian-Catholic and several of Nick's aunts and uncles were priests, nuns or monks. He was brought up in a very strict atmosphere and he rebelled against it at every turn. Once, when he was just a young boy, he was harshly disciplined by having his hands burned with a hot shovel, This was done by an over zealous monk at his school for something that it later turned out he was innocent of, and it only served to heighten his- dislike for the -educational process and he soon stopped attending school. However, while his formal. education had come to a close, his education in life was -just beginning.
When Nick was a young boy, his father died and his Uncle took over as the head of the -family. It was from him that Nick learned the art of butchering and this skill held him in good stead in later years on the farm*. As a young man, he also worked on the excavations at Pompeii and helped to build a railroad tunnel through the Alps, Into Switzerland., It is probable that this
is where he first became familiar with hard rock mining, techniques.
Raffaela Jennelli was born on September 20, 1867, either in the same village or one near by. Not much is known of her early life, but It Is believed that her father died when she was- just a child and that her -family was very poor. She probably had at least one step brother, but it is likely that there were several children in the family.
Nicodemo and Raffaela were married on Christmas Eve in either of the years 1885 or 1887. The latter date is the most likely one and it is this date that we use. The Bellucci family did not approve of the choice that Nick had made for his wife as they felt the
Janelle's were inferior to them.. This may have led to the trouble that Nick had with his Uncle and precipitated his decision to emigrate to America.
Mother Belluchie loaned her son $1,000 and agreed to have Raffaela come to live with her during Nick's absence* Raffaela was pregnant by this time and she bore her child without the comfort of having her husband with her and she raised him alone for the three years that she and Nick were separated. It was a difficult time for the young wife and mother as her in-laws were not very good to her or the baby Dominick and they often withheld the money that Nick had sent for their care.
Meanwhile Nick sailed from Naples just three months after his marriage and arrived in New York City on April .15, 1888. He had come in steerage and it was an
arduous journey. After his -arrival, he suffered a terrible attack of rheumatism that was probably brought on by the conditions under which he had traveled. He was bedfast for some time with it when, his landlady offered to treat him with a home remedy. She heated coal oil and bathed him with it several times a day. Nick endured the treatment was terribly mortified because the landlady saw him without his clothes on. This, rather unique, cure
apparently. worked as Nick was not bothered by this malady for many years and when it did flare up again, his, faithful cure was the heated coal
oil. Naturally, his family often wondered if the cure wasn't worse than the diseases!