Mother’s Day 2018

Roses Mother's Day 2018

On Mother’s Day we remember
our Mothers, Grandmothers , Great Grandmothers and all the matriarchs of the
Serrapede, Muro and Aiello Families
especially our Emily Leatrice., Josie, Rose, Letizia, and Emilia.
With love, gratitude and thanksgiving.
We wish all our family and friends a day of happiness and recollection as we recall all
the goodness, strength, encouragement and life-giving power of the love our Mothers
gave us.
–Sam Serrapede, Jr.
–EmilyAnn Frances May
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Public domain Victorian era image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

 

21b-Agropoli-The Cholera Epidemic of 1866: In memory

In Memory

Of all who died during the Cholera Epidemic of 1866 in Agropoli including:

Carmela Serrapede Ruocco
1822 – October 28, 1866

Carmine Ruocco
som of Michela Serrapede Ruocco
1859 – October 30, 1866

Michela Serrapede Ruocco
1821 – November 1, 1866

Antonio Pappalardo
1860 – November 5, 1866

Francesco di Giaimo
1806 – November 7, 1866

Let Us Pray

God of the spirits and of all flesh,
who has trampled death and annihilated the devil
and given life to your world, may you yourself,
O Lord, grant to the souls of your deceased servants who
died in Agropoli during the Cholera Epidemic of 1866
rest in a place of light, a verdant place,
a place of freshness, from where suffering,
pain and cries are far removed.

Do You, O good and compassionate God
forgive every fault committed by them in word,
work or thought because there is no man
who lives and does not sin.
You alone are without sin and your justice
is justice throughout the ages and your word is truth.

Since you, O Christ our God, are the resurrection,
the life and the repose of your deceased servants who died in this epidemic,
we give you glory together with your un-begotten Father
and your most holy, good and life-creating Spirit,
now and always and forever and ever.

Amen

Our Family

Francesco di Giaimo was the son of Giuseppe and Maddalena (nee Montone) di Giaimo.  By his wife Irene (nee Guzzi) he became the father of Maria Giovanna, Giuseppe and Maddalena.  Francesco was Sammy’s 2nd Great Grandfather and EmilyAnn’s 3rd Great Grandfather.

Luigi and Carminela (nee Cavollo) Serrapede were the parents of Clarice, Michela and Carmela Serrapede.  Clarice Serrapede Ruocco was Sammy’s 2nd Great Grandmother and EmilyAnn’s 3rd Great Grandmother.  Her sisters Michela and Carmela married into a different branch of the Ruocco family that is not in our direct line.

Antonio Pappalardo was the son of Nicola and Teresa (Patella d’Alessandro) Pappalardo.  He is Sammy’s Great Uncle and EmilyAnn’s 2nd Great Uncle.  Antonio’s sister Emilia was Sammy’s paternal Grandmother.

 

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The Cholera Epidemic of 1866 in Agropoli

The Cholera Epidemic of 1866 is written about in Posting 21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes

Resources

“Dove of the Holy Spirit”
1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons
Link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gian_Lorenzo_Bernini_-_Dove_of_the_Holy_Spirit.JPG

Byzantine Prayer for the Departed
Pray Catholic
https://praycatholic.wordpress.com/common/byzantine-prayer-for-the-deceased/

 

21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes

Acknowledgement

Anthony Vermandois’ research on the families of Agropoli provides the basis of this exploration into our ancestors. He has compiled vital statistics of many families from Agropoli and the nearby towns which are available at his site, Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania.

Readings from other sources were also used in the preparation of this posting. A list of the titles and URLs is provided at the end.

Relationship Notes

This posting highlights events during the lifetimes of:

Maria Giovanna di Giaimo
-born in Agropoli, 1845
-died Jan. 7, 1915 Agropoli

and

Carmine Scotti
-born in Agropoli, 1846
-no date of death available yet

Carmine and Maria Giovanna (nee di Giamo) Scotti were:
–Sammy’s maternal Great Grandparents
–EmilyAnn’s maternal 2nd Great Grandparents

 

The Fisherman and his family: A Bittersweet Life

“A Neopolitan Fisherman” by Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety.

Today we often see the phrase “Bella Italia” describing the natural and cultural beauties of the country. Artists of the past such as Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety were inspired to leave their home countries to live in Italy.  Papety’s painting “A Neopolitan Fisherman” depicts a muscular, barefoot man dressed in the attire of a Neopolitan fisherman playing his mandolin on the beach while a woman with gold earrings and colorful headscarf looks on.  When I first saw this painting I thought it was too romantic to convey any truth about what life was like during the time Carmine and Maria Giovanna lived.  Having looked at the painting each day for the past two weeks I can now say it conveys a message.

The message speaks of a bittersweet life. It is a life filled with the rough beauty of nature.  The lives of those living amidst this nature are held captive by its unpredictability.  The fisherman and the peasant woman have a look of care and concern on their faces even though the moment when they hear the music gives them a chance to pause from their labors.  The rocks that dominate the foreground of the painting speak of a hard life.  No soft meadows or flowers adorn the landscape.  The sky is filled with many clouds.  The sun might or might not break through.

As a fisherman, Carmine depended on good weather and favorable conditions to yield the bounties of the sea when he spread the nets to make a catch. The families of Agropoli could also grow figs, olives or other fruits and vegetables if they had a even a small patch of land or a garden as a means to supplement their diet.  Even then nature held the upper hand and could provide abundance or devastation depending on forces that were out of a person’s control.

Maria and Carmine came of age during a period of great change as Italy united into one kingdom. Despite the natural beauty of their environment and the unification of the country the impression we have received is that very little change came into the lives of the poor in Southern Italy to make life better, easier or more hopeful for the future.

After the unification of Italy in 1861, Southern Italians now paid higher taxes to the northern part of the country rather than to local overlords. The new parliament located in Turin, in Northern Italy, had no interest or connection to the hardships of the Southern Italians.  Equally distant, the Southern Italians did not grasp the concept of a unified country having only the understanding of loyalty to their townsmen and locality.

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13-Serrapede Family in Agropoli: A Mother’s Influence on Her Sons

Introduction

In the previous series of letters to Great Grandmother Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede, I presented  reflections about how I have drawn closer to her in spirit. I based my reflection on getting to know her by remembering observations I made of her daughter and granddaughter.

On January 18, 2015 Uncle Sammy offered the results of his recollections of his father (Sabato) and Uncle Funzie (Alfonso). They were, respectively, Emilia’s oldest and youngest sons. Uncle Sammy told me that a mother’s influence carries on to her sons, as well. We considered the habits of Sabato and Alfonso and after our discussion agreed that these are the kinds of habits learned at an early age from one’s mother.

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12d-Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede-A Letter to my Great-Grandmother (Part 3)

Introduction

This letter is the last in a series about my maternal Great Grandmother Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede.  As a way to get to know her I recalled her daughter and granddaughter with whom I stayed during a vacation in Italy in 1976.  I believe that we inherit patterns of behavior from our parents.  In turn some of those behaviors have been transmitted from earlier generations. When a pattern consistently recurs within a family we can think on it and draw closer in spirit to the past.  We might even be able to better understand our ancestors as people and not just names and dates on the family tree.  This is made possible when we have family stories and factual data to add to our time spent in reflection.  After considering certain similarities between Great Aunt Italia and Cousin Italia I did feel closer to Great Grandmother Emilia.  When I think of her now I also recall the roses outside of Great Aunt Italia’s window and the warmth of the summer afternoons in Agropoli.

Relationship Notes

Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede was the wife of Gennaro Serrapede. She was my maternal Great Grandmother.

Great Aunt Italia: Daughter of Emilia and Gennaro. Mother of Cousin Italia. Sister of Grandpa Sam.

Cousin Italia: Daughter of Great Aunt Italia. Niece of Grandpa Sam. Wife of Antonio. Mother of Stefania. She is my First Cousin 1X Removed.

Great Aunt Filomena: Emilia’s oldest child and the favorite sister of Grandpa Sam.

Grandpa Sam (Sabato): Son of Emilia and Gennaro. Brother of Great Aunts Filomena and Italia. My maternal Grandfather.

Grandma Josie: My maternal Grandmother.

Letter No. 3

January 9, 2015
6:45 p.m.

Dearest Great Grandmother Emilia,

Cousin Italia worked very hard to make Grandma Josie, Grandpa Sam and I comfortable during our visit.  I’m sure you are proud of your lovely Granddaughter.  While we were in Rome she shopped everyday for fresh food which she prepared into simple and tasty meals.  She set a beautiful table even at breakfast.  She was always dressed in a crisp cotton blouse and skirt.  Grandpa Sam, Grandma Josie and I would wake up to find her at work making the café au lait, toast and getting fresh fruit arranged on a plate for us.  It was a different kind of breakfast for me.  I grew to like it very much, especially the fresh oranges and figs.  Continue reading

12c-Serrapede Family in Agropoli: A Letter to Great Grandmother Emilia (2 of 3)

Introduction

This letter continues the series of postings about reflections on my Great Grandmother which started in posting 12b.  In the second letter I consider the kindness shown to me by Great Aunt Italia.

Relationship Notes

Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede was the wife of Gennaro Serrapede. She was my maternal Great Grandmother.

Great Aunt Italia: Daughter of Emilia and Gennaro. Mother of Cousin Italia. Sister of Grandpa Sam.

Cousin Italia: Daughter of Great Aunt Italia. Niece of Grandpa Sam. Wife of Antonio. Mother of Stefania. She is my First Cousin 1X Removed.

Great Aunt Filomena: Emilia’s oldest child and the favorite sister of Grandpa Sam.

Grandpa Sam (Sabato): Son of Emilia and Gennaro. Brother of Great Aunts Filomena and  Italia. My maternal Grandfather.

Grandma Josie: My maternal Grandmother.

Uncle Sammy (Sabbatino): Son of Grandpa Sam and Grandma Josie. My maternal Uncle.

Second Letter

January 8, 2015
6:39 p.m.

Dearest Great Grandmother Emilia:

I love to look at the photos of the vacation in Agropoli so long ago.  They bring back memories of the sunlight shimmering over the sea while we walked to Great Aunt Italia’s in the freshness of early morning.  Grandpa Sam stayed behind on the day Cousin Italia, Grandma Josie and I went to visit members of the Scotti family in the Old Town.  It was on that morning I saw the house where Grandma Josie was born.

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12b-Serrapede Family in Agropoli: A Letter to Great Grandmother Emilia (1 of 3)

Photo taken while visiting Great Aunt Italia in Agropoli, Summer of 1976.  When I look at it I think of Great Grandmother Emilia. 

Introduction

In January of 2015 I spent time in recollection of the trip to Italy I made with my maternal Grandparents in 1976. Combined with reflections on the life of my Great Grandmother Emilia, I decided to express the resulting thoughts in the form of three letters to her. This posting consists of the first letter.

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