53c-Serrapede Family in America: Emily Leatrice’s first studio portrait, 1932 Part 1


Josie left an extensive photo collection to her daughter when she passed away in 1995. There are almost 300 photos of all sizes and types. Josie had a box camera which she used extensively throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In the photos she took we have many scenes of the neighborhood around 66th Street where the family lived. There are also many studio photos taken as part of special occasions such as weddings and Holy Communion.   Studio portraits of family members are also part of the collection.  This posting is about the earliest photo we have of Emily Leatrice. She always said that she was born with blonde hair. Judging from this studio portratir her hair may have been a golden brown, perhaps a shade darker than popular 1930s child star Shirley Temple’s.

53c-ELS Della Monica Photo INTERNET

Emily Leatrice Serrapede, June 1932.
Close-up of the photo taken at the Studio of A. Della Monica, Gravesend, Brooklyn, NY.

Josie treasured her photo collection. We do not know how she did it but the photos have remained in good condition despite being stored in nothing but brown paper bags and then carefully stacked in brown cardboard boxes. Many of the original cardboard frames complete with the studio labels are still intact as well.  Because of this we know the name of the photographer and the location of the studio for Emily Leatrice’s 1932 photo.

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53b-Serrapede Family in America-Emily Leatrice’s Baptism, December 1931

Relationship Notes

Emily Serrapede is featured in this posting. She was the daughter of Sam and Josie (nee Muro) Serrapede, older sister of Gerald and Sammy, and EmilyAnn’s Mother.


In 1930 Sam and Josie were married at the Church of St. Rosalia. The church was built on 14th Avenue and 65th Street. When their daughter Emily Leatrice was born in 1931 they were living in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn. Six months later she was baptized at St. Rosalia’s Church where the family moved before  Emily was Baptized. As young parents, Sam and Josie needed the help and companionship of their relatives and paesanos, most who lived in Dyker Heights. This was a good move. Their daughter grew up in the company of her cousins, many who became her best friends.

The Baptismal Certificate

53b-Mom Baptism Cert 5

Baptismal Certificate for Emily Serrapede.

Although her birth certificate had her official name as Emily, the Baptismal Certificate bears her name in Italian. Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede was her paternal Grandmother. This might have been a custom observed in the immigrant community. The official record has the English version of the name and the baptismal name is in Italian. Josie and Sam followed this practice with their son Jerry.

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Our Family Circle: Michael’s vacation, EmilyAnn’s coursework


This posting debuts a new feature at Through the Byzantine Gate.  It is called “Our Family Circle” and will feature very brief updates on what is going on in the family.  This will include birthday celebrations, vacation photos, notices of achievements and other general events our family and friends will enjoy learning about.  I have updated the previous posting about Jake’s birthday to include the name or our new feature.

Michael Muro

Michael got away from the cold, snowy, and rainy weather that has been with us since before Groundhog Day.  This vacation took Michael to the West Coast where he’s visiting his brother Nick’s family.


Michael in Ojai, California.

Michael also had time to visit old friends in Ojai in California.  He said the temps were in the 80s when this photo was taken.  Michael returns to the East Coast this week.

EmilyAnn Frances May

I’ve been a bit scarce here at WordPress due to many positive and challenging developments in my personal life.  The client I work for is growing and I am focused on expanding my knowledge base so I will be more conversant in the nature of one of our clients’ business.  To better understand the terms used in boating and navigation, I took a one day course on Boating Safety taught by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA).  The class was given at Pier 40 in Manhattan.

This was a big step forward for me since I never operated a boat or understood all the terminology and intricacies of navigating waterways.  The course raised my awareness a great deal and helped give me more depth in understanding some aspects of boating I am somewhat familiar with because of our work with the client.


Andy, me and Drew after the presentation of the USCGA Certificate of Accomplishment for the Boating Safety course.

The instructors, Drew and Andy, are volunteers of the USCGA.  They were patient and thorough in their presentation.  At the end of the course an exam was given.  We all aced the test.  I was elated with my grade:  98%.  I plan to devote more time to studying the course manual so I can reinforce what I learned.



Pier 40 on Saturday evening, February 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

It was a very misty day with very light rainfall.  Pier 40 looked like the setting for a detective or mystery story set in the 1940s or 1950s when I left the class and headed back to my apartment.  I hope to come back to Pier 40 in the future to take other classes once the USCGA schedules them.

I invite all members of the immediate and extended Muro, Serrapede, Aiello and Marasco branch families to contact me with any news or photos they want to share.  I will feature them in future “Our Family Circle” postings.


Our Family Circle: Happy Birthday, Jake!


Jake Lingle, son of Michael and Katy Lingle, celebrated his 1st birthday yesterday (February 1st, 2018).

Our favorite little boy has a big weekend ahead and it’s all about him.  Today was a birthday party with his parents and his Nanny.  Aunt Kathie will arrive early this evening.

Saturday Jake will enjoy another party with his maternal Grandparents and Kathie, his paternal Grandmother.

Michael sent this photo today.  It looks like Jake is enjoying the cake as well as all the attention!

Many Happy Returns, Jake Lingle!

Previous Posts about Jake

46e-Mike and Katy Lingle Update: Welcome to the world, Jake!