Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto: Her life, her times and her legacy

Introduction

Over 120 years after her birth, my maternal Grandpa Sam’s sister Filomena is now among one of the most famous women from Agropoli.  Thanks to guidance from Michael Muro and Giuseppe Carnicelli, an Italian language article about Filomena is now available to our readers through the use of Google Translator.

Please note:  This is a translation from the Italian language version to English using Google Translator.  No attempt has been made to edit or change the original content.   The original material was created by Ernesto Apicella  for InfoCilento.  What we offer here is a translation for educational and informational purposes only.

The only changes made were to correct errors in the translation as follows:

*The pronoun his  was replaced with her  when describing Filomena’s parents.

*The words Saturday and Italy are replaced with the proper first names of Sabato and Italia. They were Filomena’s siblings.

*Giuseppe D’Agosto’s residence at 83 Baxter Street was located in Manhattan’s Little Italy, not in Brooklyn.

*Filomena’s daughter married into the Dell’Amore family.  The translation described her daughter ‘s married name as Love.  The Dell’Amore sauces were similarly translated as Love.

*Frank Dell’Amore was described as first her nephew and then her grandson.  We have translated that into Grandson.

*Turi is not her nephew but her Great-Grandson.

The article mentions Filomena and Giuseppe’s children by their Italian names:  Raffaela (Lillian), Franco, Emilia and Marta.  They were also known by their American names:  Lillian, Frank, Emily and Martha.  But most of the family used Emilia when addressing or mentioning the daughter of Filomena and Giuseppe D’Agosto.  This was done to distinguish her from Emily, the daughter of Sam Serrapede.  Both were named after their Grandmother Emilia Papplardo Serrapede.

Please use the link to the Italian language article.  There you will find photos of Filomena, her family and Old Agropoli.

The close-up of Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto  used below is from a photo in the collection Josie Muro Serrapede left to her daughter Emily.  In turn, Emily bequeathed the collection to her daughter EmilyAnn and brother Sammy.  These photos are watermarked to provide necessary credit for their source and direct any questions  about them to us.

Filomena’s grandsons have done honor to her memory and her culinary legacy  through the fine Italian sauces they offer.  Uncle Sammy and I like them all.  You may visit the Dell’Amore site at:  http://dellamore.com/

 

InfoCilento article about Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto

 

Close-up of Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto, mid-late 1930s.

Filomena Serrapede … the most famous Agropolese woman in the world
By Ernesto Apicella
Published on  March 7, 2017

InfoCilento
English translationhttp://tinyurl.com/y9u8eden
Italian Language (original article)http://tinyurl.com/y8clz8ko

The story full of sacrifices, renunciations, courage … of an Agropolese woman emigrated, in 1924, to the United States of America.

Between 1884 and 1930, the Agropolis population oscillated around five thousand people, half of whom lived constantly in the countryside.  The economy was predominantly agricultural, followed by fishing, sheep-farming and trade.  There was a good production of wine, oil and figs that were mostly sold in Italy and abroad.  Sheep, goats and pigs were raised for meat and milk production.  For jobs in fields and transport, donkeys, horses, buoys and buffaloes were used.

The most important districts were: High Agropoli (N’goppa Aruopole), residential and social center;  The “Marina” (Abbascio ‘a Marina), the naval and fishing pole;  C.so Garibaldi (‘U Cumune), the new shopping and tourist center;  The “Station”, the hub of the city and Cilento’s mobility.

” N ‘ Goppa Aruopole ” was the heart of Agropoli.  In its ancient walls was the social, economic and religious life of the Agropolises.  There were shops, taverns, a Salt and Tobacco Shop, two Pharmacies, a Post Office, three Churches, and all that could serve the primary needs.  At the song of the rooster, the village, as if enchantingly, was home to a thousand people who, going to work, crossed the ancient door and descended the stairs.  Peasants, fishermen, furnace workers, craftsmen, merchants, ready to face a long, tiring, grueling workday that ended at the fall of the sun.  The homecoming, a poor hot meal, the bed … what a life!  Between the ancient and narrow alleys, under the medieval arches, in the poor and neglected houses, in a few square meters, lived together: pains and joys;  Odi and amori;  Misery and nobility !!!

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49-Serrapede Family in America: The Little Church in Dyker Heights, 1930

Introduction

Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto was the eldest sister of Sam Serrapede.  She was the first member of Sam’s family to come to America.  Filomena married Giuseppe D’Agosto in 1923.  Giuseppe secured employment as a truck driver for the New York City Department of Sanitation.  The D’Agosto family lived in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY.

In 1925 Sam came to America with the intention of making a new life for himself.  He aimed at getting himself established through securing employment and beginning the process towards citizenship.  Giuseppe and Filomena provided him with a place to live during his first five years in America.

Relationship Notes

• Sam (Sabato) Serrapede was:
• The son of Gennaro and Emilia (nee Pappalardo) Serrapede of Agropoli, Salerno, Campania Province in Italy.
• Sammy’s father.
• EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandfather.

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48-Sabato Serrapede comes to America: First stop, Red Hook

Introduction

Gennaro and Emilia (nee Pappalardo) Serrapede’s daughter Filomena married Giuseppe D’Agosto in Agropoli during the summer of 1923.  When the New York State Census was taken in 1925 Filomena and Giuseppe were living in Brooklyn.  Their first child, a girl named Lillian, was 23 days old when the census enumerator visited in June.  Two months later, Filomena’s younger brother, Sabato Serrapede immigrated on the Conte Verde to America.  He departed from Naples on August 21, 1925 aboard the Conte Verde and arrived in New York City on August 31, 1925.

Sabato was called Sam after his arrival in America.  His entrance into the narrative of the family history marks a special point in time for us.  Sabato was Sammy’s father and EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandfather.  Finding the passenger list for the ship Sabato came over on brought all the months of research on our ancestors right into the flow of our own life stories.

 

Sailing from Naples

48-passenger20list20conte20verde20192520the20codge_zpsns2q9wrm
Passenger List of the Conte Verde, the ship Sabato Serrapede came to America on.

48-conte20verde20close-up20the20codge_zpstjdovdz5
Close-up of the Passenger List.  Sabato Serrapede was passenger No. 7.

The passenger list contains some information we think is inaccurate.  Sam’s profession is entered as “sailor.”  We never heard him talk about a time in the Italian navy or working professionally aboard a ship.  One of the trades he learned in Agropoli was that of the marinaro, a fisherman.  He knew all about the care of a boat, how to assess the weather and tides, and how to fish as well as repair nets.  We think that this may have been a misunderstanding on the part of whoever added Sam’s information to the list.

For the questions concerning ability to read and write in Italy, the answers are “Yes.”  This is correct since after the Unification of Italy education for all children was mandatory up to the 4th grade.  The passenger list also states that before coming to New York Sam lived with his father Gennaro in Agropoli.
Arriving in New York

 

48-conte20verde20immigration20officer20questions20192520the20codge_zpshdze0avn

 Complete list of answers given by passengers to the questions asked by the Immigration Officer.  Passengers had to answer these questions before being allowed to disembark.

 48-conte20verde20immigration20officer20questions20192520close-up_zpsalumtap5
Close-up of the States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival page that follows the passenger list.  Sam’s answers appear on row 7.

The answers Sam provided to the Immigration Officer tell us that Sam:

• Paid for his own ticket.
• He was never in the U.S. before this trip.
• He planned to live in the U.S. permanently.
• He was going to stay with his sister Filomena Serrapede in Brooklyn.

In Italy, women do not change their surname after marriage.  This is why Filomena’s name appears as Filomena Serrapede and not Filomena D’Agosto.  Sabato answered the question the way he would have if he were still in Italy.

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47-Giuseppe D’Agosto in New York-A young man with a job and a passport

Acknowledgement

The chart of descent for the D’Agosto family, available at ImaginesMaiorum, Ancetors from Campania, was used to provide information about the date of Giuseppe D’Agosto’s marriage. We thank Anthony Vermandois for making the results of his genealogical research available at his website.

Introduction

47-giuseppe20dagosto20in20new20york-192320passport20photo20close-up_zps6i3sivbo

Close-up of Giuseppe D’Agosto’s photo affixed to the application for a passport in 1923.

Giuseppe D’Agosto is related to Uncle Sammy and me by marriage. He was the husband of Filomena Serrapede D’Agosto. Filomena was the elder sister of Sabato Serrapede who was Sammy’s Dad and EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandfather. This makes Giuseppe and Filomena D’Agosto:

  • Uncle Sammy’s paternal Uncle and Aunt.
  • EmilyAnn’s Great Uncle and Aunt along her maternal line.

In this posting we share the discovery the 1920 Federal Census brought us once we learned who Giuseppe was working for. Of all the relatives we’ve studied so far he is the first we know of who became a civil service employee. He achieved much and went far in the 7 years after he came to the United States in 1913.

What was the DSC?

47-192020fed20census20with20giuseppe20dagosto_zpsxaiutafk

Close-up of 1920 Federal Census entry for the Gibaldi family.

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46c-D’Agosto and Carnicelli Families in America: Family and Work, Part 3

Acknowledgement

Genealogist Anthony Vermandois has researched families of the Campania region in Italy. We have used the charts of descent for several families in Agropoli who appear in Parts 1-3 of the posting 46c-D’Agosto and Carnicelli Families in America: Family and Work. To view the source information for these families, please click on a surname below. A new browser window will open and navigate to the page for that family.

Carnicelli

D’Agosto

Romaniello

Introduction

Uncle Sammy grew up on 65th Street between 12th and 13th Avenues during the 1940s and 1950s. As we reviewed records for his Uncle Giuseppe D’Agosto we discovered a connection to members of the Carnicelli family who immigrated to America and settled in Dyker Heights and lived on 65th Street. Uncle Sammy asked me to find out if the Julia Carnicelli he remembers from his childhood was related to Giuseppe D’Agosto.

At last, we find Julia

The search for Julia Carnicelli first led us to learn about her brother-in-law Joseph Carnicelli who was featured in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

At ImaginesMaiorum, we found Julia entered as Giulia Romaniello, wife of Antonio Carnicelli. Antonio was Joseph’s younger brother. After his arrival in America he was known as Anthony. Anthony was born in Agropoli on January 22 1907. He immigrated to the United States in 1930 and became a citizen after that.

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46b-D’Agosto and Carnicelli Families-Agropoli and Brooklyn

Acknowledgement

The genealogical research by Anthony Vermandois of ImaginesMaiorum-Ancestors from Campania forms the basis of this posting. We have used Anthony’s charts of descent for the following families:

Charts for D’Agosto Family Lines

Carnicelli Family http://www.imaginesmaiorum.net/surname.cfm?id=582

Taddeo Family http://www.imaginesmaiorum.net/surname.cfm?id=134

d’Agosto Family http://www.imaginesmaiorum.net/surname.cfm?id=668

Introduction

This posting serves as a bridge between our introduction of Giuseppe D’Agosto in 46a-D’Agosto Family – Giuseppe comes to America and the three part series that follows this current posting. There are two Giuseppes in this narrative as well as what appeared to be a tenuous relationship between our families through the D’Agosto matriarch, Rafaella Carnicelli D’Agosto, and our matriarch, Giuseppa Carnicelli Ruocco (part of the Muro line).

Uncle Sammy and I are glad we paused to look through all these factors because the findings enabled us to be more accurate in our three part series. It also helped us understand how easily one can mistake a paeasano (friend from the old hometown) for a cugina or cugino (cousin). We also resorted to the expedient device of calling one of the Giuseppes by his American name of Joseph since that is what he used most often for the Census interviews.  You will meet Joseph Carnicelli in the next posting.

If any confusion remains after you read this posting, please put your questions into the Comment section and we’ll add more information. Continue reading