Monday, November 1, 2010

The DeVitos come to America

Unfortunately I know very little about my paternal Grandfather's side of the family. I have learned that on Dec 19,1920, Antonio De Vito, a Barber from Ruvo Di Puglia, Puglia, Italy brought his dress-maker Daughter, 22-year- old Aurelia, and his 14 year old son, Felice, to the United States. Once there the family stayed at Number 69 Brookfield St. White Plains, NY; at the home of Antonio's brother-in-law, Rocco Cotaldo Cioce. Rocco was the brother of Antonio's wife Carmella.

A few months later, on May 9, 1921 his wife Carmella, and Antonio and Carmella's older son Michele, joined the rest of the family in the US. Antonio and Carmella and the two boys moved from White Plains to Brooklyn, NY. Once there Antonio opened a barber shop, where both Michele and Felice worked.

Michele went by the name Michael, and remained a bachelor his whole life, and Felice, my grandfather, married my grandmother, Madelina Santora. Aurelia may have gone by the name Laura. She married into the Tedone family, and her husband owned a car dealership on Long Island either in Brooklyn or Queens. One of her sons was an arranger for Les Brown, and his "Band of Renown".

Rocco Cioce, the brother-in-law settled in White Plains where he became a stone mason, and his handiwork may still be seen in the area. His son became a stone carver, mostly creating headstones and monuments. He and members of his family are buried in White Plains, where I have visited their grave site. I have also been in touch with their decedents, cousins I would never have known about if it weren't for the manifests available from the Ellis Island website.

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