I hope everyone is enjoying the early summer. I will be away from WordPress until mid or late July. Postings about the next phase of our family history will resume in September. I will return to reading of WordPress friend blogs in two weeks.
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.
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
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.
“Freedom from Fear” by Norman Rockwell (1943)
Public Domain. NARA Archives, Washington, D.C . via Wikimedia Commons (see Resources for link)
This coming Sunday, June 18th, 2017 is Father’s Day in the U.S. We remember the patriarchs of our family lines, the fathers of our ancestors and the fathers of our ancestresses. We thank you for the strength, dedication, hard work, commitment and love you gave your families.
“Silent Strong Dad”
by Karen K. Boyer
He never looks for praises
He’s never one to boast
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most
His dreams are seldom spoken
His wants are very few
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken too
He’s there…. A firm foundation
Through all our storms of life
A sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad.
The Fathers of Our Family Lines
Nunziante di Muro
Pietro di Muro
Giuseppe di Giaimo
Francesco di Giamo
Remembering you with love,
–Sabbatino Serrapede, Jr.
–EmilyAnn Frances May
“Freedom from Fear” by Norman Rockwell, 1943
National Archives and Records Administration Identifer 513538
Record group: Record Group 44: Records of the Office of Government Reports, 1932 – 1947 (National Archives Identifier: 373 )
Series: World War II Posters, compiled 1942 – 1945 (National Archives Identifier: 513498 )
NAIL Control Number: NWDNS-44-PA-77
“Silent Strong Dad”
© Karen K. Boyer
Published: February 2006
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.
• 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.
Michael Muro and I have been in touch since early this year thanks to another cousin and the family history project. After many emails, we moved on to contact by phone and text messages. We both have very involved schedules so the logistics for the meet-up took a while to work out.
We decided to meet for lunch on Saturday, February 25th at the Fraunces Tavern, a historic landmark in Lower Manhattan. The building dates back to the American Revolutionary War and was a meeting place for many of our Founding Fathers. Today the Tavern offers a delicious pub-style menu along with a diverse selection of brews (beers and stouts) and coffees. There is also a museum of American Revolutionary War artifacts on the second floor.
It had been a busy week at work and I forgot to take my 35mm camera so I could be guaranteed some clear, memorable photos. It was then that I also recalled I now had a new Android phone by LG. I decided to take the photos with the cell phone camera and then work them up in PaintShopPro to create something memorable.
I had not seen Michael in many years. He attended the wake for Grandma Josie in 1995 but since I was in such shock at the loss of my beloved Gran, nothing from that time is easy to recall. Michael had such a laugh when I told him that I can recall, as clear as if it was just a few years ago, how we sat together at Grandma Josie and Grandpa Sam’s 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner. The guy I had been dating at the time had already left and the dinner was not through yet. My boyfriend-at-the-time had a long drive back home and his departure was understandable. So there was Michael and I with my Mom and Dad enjoying the atmosphere of Romano’s, an old school Italian restaurant that was located on 13th Avenue near the corner of 70th Street.
I hope you will enjoy the story these photos tell. That I have finally gotten around to posting them on Memorial Day Weekend seems just right. This is more than just a weekend to kick off the start of Summer. It is a weekend to honor the memory of all who have given themselves in service to our country. This does not mean we have a blind patriotism nor a hateful scorn of our past. Instead it means learning from history by taking the events as they actually happened and extracting a meaning from the positive and negative. History teaches us much if we listen to what she tells us and do so with an open mind.
From Brooklyn, I took the R Local train to Rector Street in Manhattan. I thought a long walk from that station down to Pearl Street, where Fraunces Tavern is located, would be good. I worked in the Wall Street area for many years. I wanted to revisit Trinity Church and Federal Hall before I met Michael and Peter. As I recall the afternoon, these first two stops added to the meaning the second part of the afternoon had. This is because as Michael, his cousin Peter and I had enjoyed our time together we celebrated our shared bonds of ancestors from Agropoli and celebrated our heritage as Americans.
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
Passenger List of the Conte Verde, the ship Sabato Serrapede came to America on.
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
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.
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.
“Maternal Admiration” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.
The Serrapede Family
Angela Maria Borrelli
Anna Maria Conte
Teresa Patella d’Alessandro
Emily Leatrice Serrapede
The Muro Family
Anna Maria Monzillo
Anna Maria Baldi
Maria Giovanna di Giaimo
The Aiello Family
Lucrezia M.F. Bartolotta
We remember with gratitude all our matriarchs in our family lines this Mother’s Day on May 14, 2017.
In memory of the Mothers of our family lines who were with us from our beginnings. You not only fed and nurtured our bodies but also saw to the development of our spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth. With your love we progressed and with your blessings we achieved. With your advice we were guided and with your caution we were protected. There are never enough words to express the gratitude we have so we’ll say it simply, “To all the Mamas in our family past, present and future–Thank you, thank you. We will always love you.”
–EmilyAnn Frances May
–Sam (Sabbatino) Serrapede, Jr.