51-Serrapede Family in America April 18, 1931: It’s a girl! (Part 1)

Introduction: Events around Brooklyn on April 18, 1931

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Close-up of page 1 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle edition for April 18, 1931.

Weather forecast for April 18th-19th, 1931 in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

On Friday, April 18th, 1931 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s weather report stated that “at 8 a.m. the temperature in New York City was 52 degrees.” A milder day was ahead on Sunday, April 19th.

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Short news items from page 1 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Page one combined headline stories such as a crisis in Nicaragua and a movement by Catalonia to separate from Spain with many short news items that were not the stuff of headline news. They provided bits of information readers could discuss with their neighbors or co-workers. In Florida, Conkey P. Whitehead was being sued by a woman claiming breach of promise. Jack Guzik, a business manager for Chicago gangster Al Capone, pleaded guilty in Federal Court to income tax evasion. And in Brooklyn, New York restaurant owner Patrick White was taken to Greenpoint Hospital after a former employee punched him in the jaw.

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Mrs. John Krall of Queens is pictured with her three sets of twins on the day her youngest ones were baptized.

Page 2 featured a photo of Mrs. John Krall and her three sets of twins. Her latest pair was baptized on April 18th. Mrs. Krall had three other children not included in the photo. She lived in Middle Village, Queens. We know a family in Bath Beach, Brooklyn who were also celebrating a happy day on April 18, 1931. Sam and Josie Serrapede welcomed their first child, a girl, into the world. This baby girl’s birth never made it to the newspapers but in our family history it was big news.

The baby Josie and Sam named Emily Leatrice grew up to be Sammy’s big sister and my Mom. Her birth certificate provides many details that enable us to create a snap shot of what life was like at the time she was born.

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51a-Serrapede and Muro Families in America: How a baby book started the family history project

Introduction

Greetings to all. It is good to be back after Summer Break. Thanks to Michael Muro, Giuseppe and Vincenzo Carnicelli, the family of Antonio Eugenio and Aldisa Aiello, and the Dell’Amore family for the enjoyable entries they contributed to during June through August.

With this posting, Uncle Sammy and I begin a shift in the presentation of the Muro and Serrapede family history. While we still have official documentation to draw on, we realize that after the 1940 Federal Census there needs to be other sources of information that will add to or verify the narrative.

We are taking a creative approach by combining family stories, local history, news coverage, pop culture, and personal history. With all the resources available through the internet the possibilities are dazzling. To start, we won’t aim for dazzling or sparkling but hope you will enjoy this story about how the family history project got its start. If it touches the heart and warms the spirit that will be more than enough feedback for us.

EmilyAnn’s story: The Our Baby Book

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Cover of Our Baby, A book of Records and Memories.

I didn’t know what to make of Mom’s idea to use the “Our Baby, A book of Records and Memories” as a starting point for writing down her childhood memories. She bought this book while working at Brooklyn Union Gas during a long term temp assignment in the early 1990s. She said it put her into a cheerful frame of mind and provided the prompts she needed to recall specific times in her childhood. There were other journals and memory books on her bookshelf that she used to record other periods in her life. The end goal was to collect all these brief entries into a collection of vignettes and anecdotes about her life from childhood to young adulthood.

In the early 1990s through 1996 the internet was not part of our lives yet. I had taken creative writing courses in college but it was for the most part tedious and heavy handed. We read selected samples of different styles of writing. Then based on the sample we had to create something like it. There was no free writing, no prompts, nothing that got the creative juices going to take us on a journey into the flights of fancy creative writers can experience today. Thanks to the internet there is a wealth of techniques and exercises available. And then there are wonderful writing tools like 750words.com that keep one disciplined in their daily output. I’ve no idea where Mom got her unique approach to writing but it was working out well for her. As I watched the small collection of memories take written form, I thought there was something to the free form process she took using only illustrations to get started.

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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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Family Story: “Please Stay!”

Introduction

Nick and Rose Muro are my maternal Great Grandparents through my Grandmother Josie Muro Serrapede.  Philomena and Rosie were my Grandmother’s sisters and my Great Aunts.  Since I was so close to my Mom and her generation I called them my Aunties.

This story is about Auntie Philomena.

Philomena’s mother Letizia passed away when she was a young child.  Nicola married again a few months later.  His new wife, Rosina, was a widow with a young son.  Rosina had five small children to become a mother to upon marrying Nicola.  She enforced her new role through the strict manner in which she ran the household.

Everyone in Wilmerding called Nicola and Rosina by their American names, Nick and Rose.  Their American names are used in the telling of this story.

Family Story

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Philomena Muro circa early-mid 1930s.

Title:  “Please stay!”

Time Period:  1930s through 1940s

Locations:  Wilmerding, PA and Brooklyn, NY

Summary:  Coming to America dealt a change in lifestyle Nicola never expected.

Nick journeyed to Calabria after the death of his first wife Letizia.  He met and proposed to Rose while there.  Rose, a young widow with one son, accepted his proposal.  They were married within the year.  Rose had a big job waiting for her in America:  to become mother to Nick’s 5 young children by Letizia.

Rose soon began having her own children by Nicola.  As the household increased in size Letizia’s oldest children got more chores to do everyday.  Rose wanted to be a mother to all the children but her strictness did not lend itself to that perception amongst Letizia’s children.  Although Letizia and Rose’s children got along very well and had good relationships for all their lives, Letizia’s children were never completely on-course with Rose.

Letizia’s three daughters were, in this order, Josie, Philomena and Rosie.

Josie was the first to leave in the late 1920s to get a job in Brooklyn.  She married within 18 months and made Brooklyn her new hometown.  Back in Wilmerding, the extra chores then fell on the next of Letizia’s daughters, Philomena.  Every morning she had to clean the floors in the children’s rooms.  Philomena was up very early mopping the floors and scrubbing the corners of the rooms.  All this was completed before she went to school.

After graduating school at age 14 Philomena decided she wanted to move to New York.  Once her sister Josie was married and living on 66th Street in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, Philomena slowly considered, prayed and eventually realized her plans to came up to Brooklyn.   This happened within a few years of graduating.

Nick pleaded with Philomena to stay in Wilmerding.  His sons Louis and Peter were also going out-of-state in search of work.  Nick said, “Dearest daughter, per piacere! Stay with us.  My blood is going all over the country.”  Philomena was not moved.  She proceeded with her plans.

Philomena got on board the train and made it up to New York.  She headed straight for Josie and her brother-in-law Sam.  Once she had gotten a job, Philomena had a discussion with her brother-in-law Sam.  Sam said it was better that Philomena get her own place.  The apartment he and Josie shared could not accommodate another adult since his daughter Emily needed her own room. Sam and Josie wanted to have another baby, too.

Philomena persevered and succeeded.  Her hard work and gentle nature won over a family in the theater who hired her as a nanny.  That was an experience Philomena always treasured and a story for another time.

In time Rosie came up to Brooklyn, too.  She had the assistance of Josie and Philomena.

Nick was saddened by the movement of his children away from the town he had settled in.  He had expected them to remain close so he could see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in future years.

This was America and the family dynamic had changed.  Even if Letizia had not died the Muro family was no longer in Agropoli.  America offered opportunities family never had back in Italy.  Sooner or later, the movement away from the first generation who settled here was going to happen.

—As told to EmilyAnn Frances May by Philomena’s son
November 1, 2015

50a-Serrapede Family in America: Family and Match Making

Introduction

After the posting of 50-Serrapede Family in America: Josie and Sam get married, 1930 I heard from Cousin Michael Muro. He sends his regards to Uncle Sammy and our readers. Michael has spent the last three months hosting Giuseppe Carnicelli of Agropoli during his stay in the United States. Michael has travelled with Giuseppe from Pittsburgh to New York, Florida and other locations. Giuseppe has also been studying English conversation and reading during this time. Michael and Giuseppe will return to Italy after the July 4th holiday.

Michael shared with me additional information about his own family’s connections with Josie and Sam. Based on these relationships Michael offers up some scenarios that expand the possible ways in which Josie and Sam were brought together.

Relationship Notes

50a-michaels20pedigree20chart_zps4cza8w2vPedigree Chart for Michael Muro with maternal and paternal lines.

50a-emilyanns20pedigree20chart_zpsvqpheu0pPedigree chart for EmilyAnn Frances May showing her maternal line only.

Michael and I share Nicola “Nick” Muro as our common ancestor.

Nick Muro was:

–Michael’s Grandfather along his paternal line.
–EmilyAnn’s Great Grandfather along her maternal line.

Michael’s maternal Grandparents were:

–Raffaele (Ralph) and Pasqualina (nee Camperlingo) Di Fiore

Michael’s paternal Grandparents were:

–Nicola “Nick” and Rose (nee Rosina Aiello Marasco) Muro 

Michael’s parents were:

–Raymond (Raimie) and Frances (nee Di Fiore) Muro

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50-Serrapede Family in America: Josie and Sam get married, 1930

Introduction

Around 1928, Josie Muro had to leave her hometown of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania to avoid the damage gossip would cause to her reputation and the honor of her family.  A young man named Ernest, who was already engaged to another woman, started a flirtation which Josie was reluctant to stop.  Josie’s parents met with the parents of the woman Ernest was engaged to.  All parties agreed the most expedient thing to do was send Josie to live with relatives in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.  Ernest would not know where she went and the matter would be settled.  Josie came to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn where she lived with her maternal Aunt Elisa Scotti Errico and family.

Three years earlier in August of 1925 Sam Serrapede came to America from Agropoli.  Until 1930 he lived with his sister and brother-in-law in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  Given the distance between Red Hook and Dyker Heights we will try to use the Marriage Certificate to recreate a possible scenario as to how Josie and Sam got together.  Even though Josie and Sam shared many memories and family stories throughout the years, they never reminisced about how they met, their courtship or their wedding day.

Relationship Notes

Sam (Sabato) Serrapede was the son of Gennaro and Emilia (nee Papplardo) Serrapede.

Josie Muro was the daughter of Nick (Nicola) and Letizia (nee Scotti) Muro.

Josie and Sam were:

• Sammy’s Parents.
• EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandparents.

The Marriage Certificate of Sabato Serrapede and Josephine Muro

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Marriage Certificate of Josie and Sam.

Obtaining Josie and Sam’s marriage certificate helped answer the questions we had concerning their whereabouts prior to marriage.  Sam gave his address as 2472 West Street in Brooklyn.  This is the same address where his sister Filomena and her family were living when the 1930 Census was taken.

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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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