For our family,
For our friends.
Those who are near,
Those who are far.
And a prosperous New Year.
Per la nostra famiglia,
Per i nostri amici.
Coloro che sono vicino,
Coloro che sono lontani,
E un prospero Anno Nuovo.
–EmilyAnn Frances May
Happy Winter Solstice!
December 21, 2016
December 24, 2016-January 1, 2017
December 25, 2016
December 26, 2016-January 1, 2017
It is the season of Light
when Joy, Hope and Love
shine upon us with blessings
from Heaven above.
May the flames of Love and Hope burn bright in your heart,
bringing Joyful inspiration as the New Year starts.
With best wishes,
–EmilyAnn Frances May
We will be on a one month holiday break starting this week. See you all in the New Year.
Letizia Scotti Muro, wife of Nick Muro, passed away in 1921 at the age of 32. She left behind 5 children. Her daughter Josie often spoke of a relative named “Titsie” with great fondness. The correct Italian word for “aunt” is zia but I have heard it pronounced like “zitsie” or “titsie”, too. Whenever I visited my Grandma Josie, she got very lively if the relative named Titsie called. There was always a big smile on her face and a glow afterwards that told me this caller was someone special. My Mom said that this person was my Grandmother’s Aunt. I never asked what her name was. I took it for granted that some day I’d get around to that.
Since I hadn’t asked more questions about who Titsie was I could not be sure if she was my Grandmother’s maternal or paternal Aunt. As Uncle Sammy and I study the family history I am gaining more insight into which direct line relatives played a role in the lives of Letizia’s children after her death. This posting will provide an overview on how I came to know the identity of who my Grandmother’s Auntie (Titsie) was and why she was an important part of her life.
Pedigree chart for lineage of Letizia Scotti Muro. The names of her siblings are included.
Letizia Scotti Muro was:
–Sammy’s maternal Grandmother
–EmilyAnn’s Great Grandmother
Josie Muro Serrapede was:
–Emily Leatrice & Sammy’s Mom
–EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandma
Concetta Scotti Fasano and Elisa Scotti Errico were:
–Josie’s maternal Aunts
–Sammy’s Great Aunts
–EmilyAnn’s Second Great Aunts
The Sisters of Letizia Scotti Muro
Our research has not turned up any immigration records for the sisters of Josie’s father, Nick. As of this date (10/3/2015) the only immigration records we have for our branch of the Muro family are Nick’s.
This past summer I located documentation that Letizia’s twin sister Concetta and younger sister Elisa immigrated to Wilmerding, PA around the same time as Letizia did. Both sisters still resided in Wilmerding at the time of Letizia’s death. We will review the 1920 Federal Census entries to gain a snapshot of what their lives were like at that time.
As a child I thought my Grandmother and Mother grew up in neighborhoods where the entire community was Italian-American. I was very scared about going to kindergarten. Some of our neighbors told me that the children of servicemen stationed at Fort Hamilton would be amongst my classmates. These children had travelled to different countries in Europe or different states in America. Some of their mothers were from different countries. Instead of looking forward to making new friends I became unsure of myself. I told Grandma Josie and my Mom that I didn’t want to go to Public School. Instead I wanted to attend St. Bernadette where the student body consisted solely of children from Dyker Heights.
Mom and Grandma Josie shared stories of their childhood and adolescence with me in an effort to show me that they never lived in the strictly Italian-American world my 4 1/2 year old imagination created. I was told that sooner or later the bigger world would call out for me to participate in it. Going to kindergarten was the first big step I had to take.
Uncle Sammy and I decided to check out the stories Grandma Josie shared with me and compare them with the ethnic mix as recorded in the 1920 Federal Census for the Muro family in Wilmerding, PA. We then compared our own experiences of growing up in Dyker Heights and the ethnic mix we encountered throughout our school years. This exercise showed us that official records can be used to check the veracity of the family stories. In the case of the examples my Mom gave, we learned how important it is to collect as much material on a topic from each generation as possible. This personal history is sometimes never entered to published works on a community since they can be written by people who have not grown up or experienced the life of members of the community. For this reason, we believe that researchers do a great service to the genealogical community and amateur family historians when they include interviews with the people from the community they are writing about.
Josie Muro Serrapede was:
- Emily Leatrice Serrapede’s Mother
- Sammy Serrapede’s Mother
- EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandmother
Emily Leatrice Serrapede was:
- Sammy’s Sister
- EmilyAnn’s Mother