S: Family History of Laura Ann
FC: My Family History | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
1: Laura Ann | Born October 2, 1947 in Los Angeles, California
2: Great Grandparents | Grandparents | Parents
3: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. "Always remember where you came from". My interest in family history began as a little girl! | My Grampa Domenico Volpe | Annie & Sonny Volpe
4: Mom was born on October 23, 1927 in Los Angeles, delivered by her Grama Anna D'Angelo. She was able to obtain an 11th grade education and then married my father, Bill. When they were on their "honeymoon" which really was a couple days off for Bill, they were held up at gunpoint. When my father refused to give up the money, the gunman shot my mom in her knee. She carried fragments of that bullet for the rest of her life. Her life got much better when she divorced Bill and married Jim Gardiner.
5: Trueman Nolan Marks was born in Fresno on May 8, 1926 and died in Long Beach on November 27, 1983. Bill entered the Navy during WWII but was discharged for mental problems. I realized how ill he really was as life went on. He was a very bright man with wonderful craftsman skills. The thing that always got in his way was alcohol. I don't think he was ever cut out to be a father or possibly a husband. I really believe that he had great potential but he had a demon that always got in his way. I believe that he loved me as best a he was able but a father he was not. There are many stories that could be told, but it's best to let them rest with him.
6: James Emmett Gardiner married my mom on April 27, 1958. He passed away on October 26, 1998. He was truly my dad. Even though we had a rough beginning, he was the dad that was always there for me. He was the person I went to for advice and wisdom. He was loving and caring and was just a wonderful man. I am so thankful that mom found him and they made a life together. It was very hard for me to leave Grama & Grampa and live with my mom. She was not the easiest person to be around, but he made it tolerable. When he passed away our family lost its cornerstone. | Mom & Dad
8: Lena Laura Rizzo was born in Chicago on July 22, 1907. She later moved to Morgan City, LA with her family. Grama married Domenico Volpe on July 27, 1924. | My Grandparents
9: Domenico Volpe was born in Castelvetrano, Sicily on April 19, 1895 to Santoro Volpe and Anna D'Angelo. On September 20, 1901, Dom arrived at Ellis Island with his mother and siblings. Their father had come a year ahead and they met him in Bryan, Texas. He came to California in 1922 where he met Grama at a St. Joseph Table. I lived with my grandparents until I was 9 when my mom remarried. My grandparents had a store called "Sonny's Market" at 1245 E. Nadeau in Los Angeles. Behind the store was a little house that we all lived in. My cousin, Donny, lived with them until he left home. I remember that Grama always had something on the stove. She ran the house, worked in the store and took care of Donny and I. We were a full time job! I went to St. Malachy's school through the 4th grade. I can remember my first day of kindergarten. Grama dropped me off and I ran to the window and screamed for her to take me with her. Grampa never learned to read or write but he could sign his name. I remember one time that he had me help him learn road signs for his driving test. I loved both of them dearly. They were very hard working people with good values. Grampa died on September 4th, 1962 from heart disease and Grama passed away on October 2, 1980 from cancer. She died on my birthday and that was very hard for me for a long time. I was very happy that in 2001 I was able to visit Castelvetrano and see where Grampa was born and the church he was baptized in. It was very special for me.
10: Maternal Great Grandparents
11: Lucia Cutrone was born in Corleone on August 15, 1890. When she was 8 years old her family emigrated to the U.S. coming through Ellis Island. They settled in Morgan City, LA. where Lucy married Leoluca Rizzo in St. Mary Parish, LA on July 22, 1905. They each signed their marriage license by marking an "X" by their names. At some point they moved to Chicago where their first child, Lena, was born in 1907. By 1913, they were again living in Morgan City, and by 1924 they had moved to Los Angeles, California. The Rizzo family suffered a great loss in 1927 when their 16 year old son and 11 year old daughter died within 9 days of each other from appendicitis. What a horrendous thing for them to endure. Lucy and Luke both became U.S. citizens. Luke was a laborer and Lucy was a housewife. I remember Grama Rizzo well. She spoke broken English and was most definitely the head of the family. She cooked and worked in her garden until very shortly before her death. I was with her at the moment she passed away. I remember her rapid breathing and then it just stopped. I went to get the rest of the family to call the doctor.
12: This photo was given to me by a relative in Sicily | This is the family of my Great Great Grandparents Carmelo & Angelina Cutrone
13: Great Great Grandparents Carmelo Cutrone was born in Corleone, Sicily on November 20, 1857. His parents were Antonio Cutrone and Guiseppa Firmatore. Angelina was born in Corleone on May 8, 1867 to John Savona and Lucia Sanzone. They were married in Corleone on February 13, 1886. They arrived at Ellis Island on October 28, 1898 . All of Carmelo's siblings came to America except Guiseppe, who stayed behind to care for their father. All descendants living there now come from Guiseppe. Carmelo died in Morgan City, LA of stomach cancer and Angelina died on October 9, 1953 of heart disease in Morgan City, LA.
14: Grama Marks at my house for Easter
15: My Paternal Grandparents Eugene (Shorty) Marks was born on June 5, 1889 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died on August 18, 1947 in Coalinga, CA. Serena Elizabeth Lemley was born on April 2, 1896 in Weatherford, Texas and died on May 8, 1983 at age 87 from a heart attack. They were married in Colton, CA on January 1, 1914 an had two sons, Trueman Nolan (Bill) and Stephen Rowe. Grama Marks was a woman who always cared about how she looked and took very good care of herself, always doing her morning stretches. As a little girl, I loved going shopping with her because she would always take me to a special place for lunch. I was the only girl in her life so she really doted on me and made me feel special. Grampa Marks died shortly before I was born but my mom always told me that he was very excited to have a grandchild. I know that he only had a grammar school education and worked as a grocer's clerk and a representative for the Shell Oil Company.
16: Paternal Great Grandparents
17: Callie Edna Martin was born in Kansas on May 18, 1868. She married James Lemley and had two daughters, Serena and Jordine. Her parents were Benjamin Martin and Margaret Gage. She died on June 20, 1957. In her later life, Grama Lemley was blind and I remember her always sitting by her radio listening to her shows with a blanket across her lap. For as long as I can remember, she lived with Grama Marks who took care of her until she died. We used to call her "Little Mama".
18: James Lemley was born November 6, 1856 in Texas and died on January 16, 1953 in Hermosa Beach, CA at age 96. Jim could neither read nor write and listed his occupation as a farmer and tree surgeon on different census reports.
19: Photo of Eugene Rowe Marks, Stephen Rowe Marks, and Serena Marks Serena & Jordine Lemley (Serena was my GramaMarks)
20: Great Grandmother Olive Margaret Hoagland was born December 18, 1849 in Salt Lake City and died December 19, 1900 of pneumonia. After her mother's death at age 5 she was raised by her grandparents. When she was 15 she went to her Uncle John's to help in their hotel and it was there at the "Ogden House" that she met Stephen Rowe Marks. They were married on September 26, 1870 She and Stephen are buried at the City Cemetery in Salt Lake City along with other family members.
21: Great Grandfather Stephen Rowe Marks was born in Monmouthshire, England in 1849. His parents were John Rowe and Hannah Bow Stephens. He arrived at Ellis Island on July 24, 1866 and headed to Utah crossing the plains of Nebraska by ox team. He was very active in the Mormon church in Salt Lake City and was a bodyguard to Brigham Young. In 1883, he and a companion were taken out by a mob near Laurel, Indiana and stripped, tarred and feathered for preaching the Mormon gospel. On two other occasions he was shot at during an ambush. On September 18, 1872 he married Olive Margaret Hoagland, daughter of pioneer Lucas Hoagland and Rachel Hale Hoagland. He fathered eleven children. Stephen owned his own furniture store and died on July 8, 1924 in Salt Lake City.
22: Great Great Grandmother Rachel Hale Hoagland was born August 27, 1849 in Bradford, Mass.She grew up in Nauvoo where her father was a Bishop. They were friends with prophet Joseph Smith. When she was 17, her father, mother, and two little sisters all died suddenly leaving her to care for her three young brothers. On December 24, 1848 Rachel married Lucas Hoagland in Salt Lake. Lucas was in California when Rachel | gave birth to Olive, whom she named after her own mother. Olive was born in a tent, on the ground, in the early winter. In the spring of 1851, Lucas returned from CA. He moved his family to San Bernardino. Early in 1852 Rachel lost a child through premature birth and became seriously ill. There was no medical attention and she developed a serious infection that went to all part of her body. This brought on a condition that affected her eyes which resulted in total blindness. Her condition worsened and on May 6, 1854 she passed away. Rachel was the first white woman buried in San Bernardino. The burial had to be conducted at night because of the danger of Indian attacks. To prevent the possibility of her grave discovery, all surface signs of the burial were obliterated and her exact spot of rest was never acknowledged.
24: I married Ted Whaley on July 10, 1965, four weeks after graduating high school. I was 17 and he was 20. We were married 7 years but, because we were so young, it didn't really have much of a chance. I met Jay while working for L.A. County Probation. We were both going through divorce and became fast friends. We married on September 27, 1974, a bit premature as we now know. Neither of us had really worked through our divorces so the first 3 years were pretty rough. We both had a strong commitment to not going through another divorce, so somehow we weathered our storms and got to a good place. Jay adopted Kristi when she was 7 years old and we really tried to forge a family. There were LOTS of challenges along the way but neither of us would give up. I have to admit that I was not the world's best mom, but I surely loved my children and tried to do the best I could for them. Every parent makes mistakes and I made my share, but as the years went on, I tried to learn and become a better parent. I hope my children realized that. The best part was becoming a grandmother! I would walk through fire for them and hope they will always have good memories of "Grama"!.
25: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers
26: My Children | Ronald Michael Whaley was born at Ft. Lewis, Washington on September 3, 1968. Ted was stationed there prior to discharge from the Army.
27: Kristina Marie Nyhuis was born at Anaheim General Hospital on March 8, 1973. She had to stay in the hospital longer than I did because she was jaundiced and had to be under a heat lamp. I was thrilled the day I got to bring her home. The first morning she was home I woke to find Ronnie in her crib - scared me to death! He said she was "his baby" and he was taking care of her. | Pride and Joy!
28: Cassidy is born | Leaving for Germany 1966 | Special Moments in my life!
29: Family Cruise 1992