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Coming to America..........The Cutrone Family

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Coming to America..........The Cutrone Family - Page Text Content

S: Our Cutrone Ancestors

BC: Corleone --= the town of our ancestors | An incredible vino!

FC: Family and Memories | Our Cutrone Family Ancestors

1: This book is dedicated to every descendant of Antonino Cutrone and Giuseppa Firmaturi, both of whom were born in Corleone, Sicily. From them, the branches of our family tree sprout from all directions. Thanks to Leon Resignola, I now have additional information on the family that was not previously available. Also a thank you to Catherine Cutrone McMichael who visited Corleone and was able to obtain information showing that Carmelo had two siblings that we never knew existed. That would be Salvatore who died at age 6 and a sister, Lucia. That is why I felt this book had to be redone so the information would be accurate and complete as I know it. I am certain that a wealth of information is yet to be discovered. Laura Ann Nyhuis, Great Granddaughter of Lucia Cutrone Rizzo

2: The Beginning | Antonino Cutrone (the patriarch) is in the middle. Family #2 is that of Carmelo and Angelina Savona. #3 is the family of Guiseppe Cutrone and Rose Cascia who stayed in Corleone to care for Antonino. The relatives that still living there are his descendants. #4 is the family of Salvatrice Cutrone and #5 is Bernard and his family. This photo was given to me by Rosetta Cutrone when I visited Corleone in 2001. However, I have some questions about accuracy. | Cutrone

4: & | I could not find birth or death dates for either Antonio or Lucia, but I do know that both were born and died in Corleone. Angela Savona was born on May 8, 1867 and died on October 9, 1953 in Morgan City, Louisiana. Her father was Biagio Savona and her mother was Lucia Sarzana. She had three sisters, Rosa, Lucia, and Giussepina and three bothers, Luca, Terido, and Vincenzo. Angela bore 12 children (two died at birth). She never learned English and spoke her native Italian until she died. One of her favorite sayings was "Se Benedica" as someone was saying goodbye to her. She arrived with her husband and children on the Vessel California on October 28, 1898 which sailed from Palermo to Ellis Island in New York.

5: The Carmelo Cutrone family. Date and location taken unknown.

6: Carmelo was born on November 10, 1857. He and Angelina were married in Corleone on February 13, 1886. He died in Morgan City, Louisiana of stomach cancer on September 12, 1917 at the age of 89.

7: In 1992 Manny Cutrone, son of Lawrence (Sam) Cutrone provided much information on the family history. When the family came to America all of the Italian names were translated to American versions. Carmelo became Camille. All of the children of Carmelo Cutrone named one of their sons Camille in his honor. Carmelo's life in Sicily was similar to many in the town. They were farmers who did odd jobs to enhance their income. One such job was selling ice. When the weather was right, he would cut ice from the frozen lake in the mountains above Corleone and bring it into the city of Palermo. Everything indicates that the Cutrone family had little to keep them in Corleone at the end of the 19th century. Four of the five sons sought new opportunities in America. John Cutrone would tell the story that the Cutrone family had productive land in the countryside. At the time of Mussolini, Sicily was subjected to political instability and the Cutrone land came into dispute. Salvatore Cutrone was a priest and had enough political influence to reintroduce the claim to the property into the courts. After a long legal battle, the property was returned to the Cutrone family. | Shortly after the mandate. Father Ciutrone was violently murdered in his rectory which discouraged the rest of the family from taking possession of the land. Carmelo's brother, John, had already come to America and indicated that there were good opportunities for a better life in Louisiana. The trip to America took most of his money so he had to earn money before he could proceed to Louisiana. The family lived in New York for about six months while he took whatever work he could find. Manny remembers his grandmother (Angelina) saying that she did not like the big city but wanted to live in a warmer climate with open country. Once Carmelo had saved enough money, they made the trip to Louisiana. His brother told him to come to Morgan City. When they arrived they settled on the Ben Thompson plantation. For two and a half years he worked for Ben Thompson for $1.00 a day. It soon became clear that he was locking himself into the plantation system and it would be impossible to gain independence. Carmelo discussed this with his brother John, and they agreed the family must break free from the plantation. Since he owed the plantation store a small amount, he could not just leave.

8: In the middle of the night, Carmelo's brother John, and a man came from Morgan City with two small boats. The family took wooden beds and a few items of furniture as they left the plantation by night. They traveled to Morgan City in 1901 where Carmelo worked for the Cotton Saw Mill for $1.25 a day. Within a few months he had enough money to purchase a lot on Oil Tank Road. He built a small frame house and a short time later he purchased a larger piece of property on Railroad Avenue where it was possible to have a small garden, construct a larger residence and eventually establish a small grocery store. When Carmelo died in 1917, the store was the primary source of income for the family. It was operated first by John and Luke. Anthony (Tony) was the oldest son and married Sara Siracusa of Morgan City. Josephine operated a small grocery store on Greenwood St. in Morgan City. She never became a U.S. citizen. Mary married Leon Resignola of Morgan City. They also ran a grocery store several blocks from the Cutrone family store. | John, who was born in Sicily, married Leona and then Angie, was involved in many different business and political ventures. He and his brother Luke, started a barber business. Luke and John were business partners. Jennie married Lorenzo DiMicelli and moved to Baton Rouge. They also ran a small grocery store. Rose married and lived in Baton Rouge. They ran a bar. Rose never had any children but did adopt a son. Salvatrice was the youngest in the family. She always lived in Morgan City and was the daughter who stayed home to care for her mother. She married Tony and ran a store with her husband, but never had any children. Lucia married Luke Rizzo and moved to California. She was a housewife while Luke was a laborer. Camille Cutrone of Morgan City recalls visiting his Aunt Lucy in 1938 and tasting wine made by Uncle Luke Rizzo in his cellar.

9: Angelina Savona Cutrone

11: The children of Angela and Carmelo

12: Bernardo Cutrone 1880-1956 | Bernard with son Anthony in 1951 | Charles Carmen Cutrone son of Bernardo | Chuck & Angela Grandchildren of Bernardo

13: Bernardo Cutrone was born on September 10, 1880 in Corleone and died in Nesquehoning, PA in 1956 from heart failure.. His actual entry date into the U.S. is not clear. He married Elena Castroro after meeting her in New York City. His profession was that of shoemaker and he owned his own business. Bernardo and Elena had eight children: Anthony, Moses, Louis, Antonnette, Josephine, Charles, Bernard, and Jenny. They settled in Mauch Chunk PA and both are buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Nesquehoning, PA.

14: Giovanina Cutrone Moretta 1859-1946 | Information provided by Anita Granberg | Giovanina and son Filipo

15: Giovanina and her husband, Domenico Morretta, came to the U.S. before Carmelo. They came with her brothers, Leoluca and Bernardo and their sister, Salvatrice. It was between 1887-1888. They moved to Louisiana where her husband died. She was 36 years old and moved to New York with her children to get work. She took in piece work and her daughter went to work in the sweat shops at 11 years of age. She said that she sat on telephone books to appear taller and older when the child welfare officers inspected the shop. When her daughter Josephine married,, Giovanina moved in with her and her husband. There is a story that the Mafia threatened her son-in-law, George Greco, to pay protection for his two eldest children. Giovanina sent them on the night train to PA and instructed him to leave the children and return on the very next train back to New York.. This way no one would know where the children were. In the meantime, she dressed as a man, with a hat and suit, and went down to the cellar where the Mafia men met. She threatened them to leave the family alone and put her finger in her pocket pretending it was a gun! Nothing ever happened to the children and the men probably thought this woman was crazy. "Great Grandma" loved the nickelodeon and went during the day when the kids were at school for 5 cents. Then on Saturday, she would tell Anna to take her to the movie because she worked so hard, but really wanted her to read the subtitles to her. She loved Rudolph Valentino. Giovanina is buried in the Morales family plot in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.

16: GIOVANNINA Cutrone, born August 27, 1859 married Domenico Moretta in Corleone on September 20, 1879. She came to the United States in 1890, possibly arriving in New Orleans. Her daughter, Salvatrice, was born October 22, 1880. Salvatrice married George Greco in New York City and then made their home in Nesquehoning, PA.

18: This is the marriage certificate of Giovanni (John) Cutrone. I don't have an exact date of his entry into the U.S. but it seems that he was the first one to arrive since he was married in 1897.

19: I have very little information on Giovanni (John) Cutrone. I know that he was married to Vincenza Giordano and they had 13 children. They moved to California and spent their lives there. My godmother, Lucy (Aiello) Cutrone, was married to Sam, son of John. | (Upper) Salvatore (Sam) Cutrone, son of Giovanni (Lower) Frank Sardegna Great Grandson of Giovanni Cutrone

20: Leoluca Cutrone 1865-1931 | I was not able to find out much information on Leoluca. I know that he was naturalized on January 20, 1904 in Brooklyn, New York. He stated that his arrival into the U.S. was January 1886 and that his occupation was a coal peddler. He was married to Frances Chapetti and I know they had at least one son named Sam Peter and two daughters, Anna and Josie. The witness to his Naturalization was Giacommo Cammarato, husband of his sister, Salvatrice. He states that he was 5'8 and 1/2" with gray eyes on his passport application. He lived in the Dallas Texas area for 23 years according to his death certificate. He was a retail grocer for 48 years of his life and worked until two days prior to his death which was related to his high blood pressure. | Anna Cutrone DeCarlo, daughter of Leoluca | Luke with sister, Giovanna

22: The Children of Carmelo and Angelina Cutrone Generation #3

23: Josephine (Guiseppena) Cutrone Freia 1888-1967 | Donna Freia Mula, daughter of Josephine forward right | Rosemarie Mula Signer | Ray Signer & Laura Taken in Corleone in 2001

24: Our Family History | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." | Lucia Cutrone Rizzo | 1890-1977

25: The children of Lucy & Luke | Nick Rizzo | Lena Rizzo Volpe | Frank and Carmela Rizzo | Camille Rizzo | (L) Lena, Angie, Marge Rizzo, Roxie Rizzo, Jenny Rizzo Lothrop

26: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | Lucy and Luke Rizzo (L) Jennie (R) Camille

27: Lucy was 8 years old when her family arrived at Ellis Island. From what we know, the family stayed in New York for about 6 months and then went to Morgan City, Louisiana, where they made their home. She married Leoluca Rizzo in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana on July 22, 1905 and both signed their marriage license by marking an "X" by their names. Lucy was 15 at the time of her marriage. At some point they moved to Chicago where their first child, Lena, was born on July 22, 1907. They were once again living in Morgan City for the birth of Angelina on July 17, 1913 and Rosario (Nick) on October 24, 1915. Jenny was also born in Morgan City on May 10, 1922. Camille was born in Los Angeles on August 13, 1924. These dates are information taken from her naturalization papers. Lucy died on February 3, 1977 in Downey, California at age 87. After the death of her husband, Lucy became a United States citizen on July 10, 1947 in Los Angeles, California. The Rizzo family endured a tragedy that no family should suffer On June 3, 1927 their son Frank, died of a burst appendix. Then on June 12, their daughter, Carmela, died on the operating table of a ruptured appendix. Frank was 16 and Carmela was 9 at the time of their deaths. Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

28: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

29: Naturalization application | Marriage License

30: Mary Cutrone Resignola 1894-1984 | Information provided by Leon Resignola | Leon Resignola grandson of Mary (upper left)

31: Mary was a very happy person, dancing around her kitchen as she would prepare meals and sing Italian songs. A very religious person whose family meant the world to her. She was very independent . Her husband knew that when she called him "Leonardo", she meant business! Likewise, Leon usually referred to her as Mary, but when he meant business it was always Madalina! When a car dealer opened, she wanted a car. She was one of the first women to learn how to drive in her city. She purchased a Model T Ford, and since she could not drive, she had the owner of the dealership teacher her how to drive it. She loved her cars. During WWII, with the depression of the economy she could not get tires for her car. Her son traveled the country delivering seafood and she had him pick up new tires for her car in New York and bring them back to her. She would get a new car about every 5 or 6 years. One of the saddest days in her life was when her son told her she had to give up driving as it was too dangerous. She was very close to her sister, Josephine, and would always take her with them to church or to visit friends. Josephine and Mary would take the train to see their sister, Lucy, in California. They would take their lunch and off they would go to the train station.

32: Top left - Anthony Resignola, son of Mary Cutrone Bottom left - Frank Resignola Upper right - Leon Resignola, grandson of Mary Cutrone, son of Anthony

33: Leon has wonderful memories of his grandparents, Mary and Leon. He remembers milking the cow with his grandfather and. how his Grama Mary would always have Sunday dinner for the whole family and make the traditional Easter bread and fig cookies. He remembers her molding the dough into a traditional Easter basket and then braid the dough around the egg! I could listen to his stories for hours!

34: John Joseph Cutrone 1898-1993 | Camille (son of John) and Jackie Cutrone | In June 2010, Catherine (Kitty) daughter of Camille, visited Corleone and was able to obtain additional family information

35: Written by Camille Cutrone, son of John My dad told me that he was very ill on the voyage from Sicily. They were prepared to bury him at sea but he survived and went on to become successful. As a young boy he worked for 50 cents per day in sawmill. They charged him a nickel per day for water. He saved enough to become a barber and then went into the restaurant and bar business. When Carmelo and my Grandmother, Angelina, came here they were very poor. They could not afford to send all of their children to school so they would send my Dad for a while and then one of the others until they all learned to read and write. He borrowed money to buy marsh land in 1929, just before the great depression. He struggled through the depression to pay back the debt. The marsh land had fur bearing animals, e.g. mink, muskrat, otters, raccoons, which he hired trappers to harvest. The pelts were shipped to New York where manufacturers made fur coats for upscale New York stores. He was in partnership with his favorite brother, Luke, who had very little education but was a successful business man and was always supportive of his brother, John. He was one of the very few Christians in the business. He insisted that I go to college where I received 2 degrees, a BBA and an LLB.

36: Picture of Luke Cutrone, Lena Volpe and John Cutrone taken at the funeral of Lucy Cutrone Rizzo in 1977

38: { | { | LOVE | Rose Cutrone Ragusa 1906-1994

39: And the next generations ..... Though many of us may not know each other, we are all connected by our blood line through Antonino and Giuseppa and the wonderful heritage they passed on.

40: Lena Rizzo Volpe 1907-1980 | Lena was my grandmother. and a very special lady. She was born on July 22, 1907 in Chicago.. She told me that her early memories include starting school in Louisiana and living by the railroad tracks in a house with a big back yard.. Her first chores were to grind the coffee and get the wood ready for the morning stove. She met Domenico Volpe in 1924 at a St. Joseph's Table. She told me it was not love at first sight., but her mother felt the marriage was a good thing for Lena and insisted she marry. They were married at St. Patrick's Church in Los Angeles on July 27, 1924 and had a one day honeymoon to Venice Beach. Her first job was at Bishop Candy Company where she earned $12 a week. They had two children, Sonny and Annie. She and Dom were in the grocery business and owned a store in Los Angeles. Their last venture was ""Sonny's Market" at 1245 E. Nadeau. Their lives were not easy ones. They raised Laura until age 9 and Donny until he married. They were very hard working, good people. Lena died on October 2, 1980 and is buried alongside her husband and her son at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.

41: Dom Volpe | Ann, Lena & Sonny Volpe | Ann & Jim Gardiner | Laura & Teresa (Ann's daughters) Don Volpe, son of Sonny | Sonny's Market

42: They Served their Country

44: Carmelo-Great Great Grandfather | Lucia Great Grandmother | Lena Grandmother | Ann Mom | Laura | My children Kristi Fry and her son, Cassidy | My Son, Ron Whaley | My granddaughter Charissa Whaley | Lineage of Laura Ann Nyhuis

45: Grandchildren & Great-grandchildren of Lucia Cutrone Rizzo

46: Our Sicilian Connection

47: Life can be very surprising! Prior to 2001, I did not think we had one living relative left in Sicily. I wrote to a man named Leoluca Pollara, (Elisabetta's grandfather) who was married to Rosetta Cutrone. He told me that we had no one left but that I should make the trip to see Sicily because it was so beautiful. My husband and I decided to do just that. We planned a two week trip in April 2001 to visit both Castelvetrano where my grandfather was born, and Corleone where the Cutrone side came from. About a month before we left, I googled the white pages of the Corleone telephone directory and found 9 families with the name of Cutrone. I wrote a letter, had it translated into Italian, and sent a picture of Lucy Cutrone Rizzo along with a diagram of how she fit into the family tree. To my surprise, about two weeks before we left, I got an email from Gina Cutrone saying that she was married to our cousin, Guiseppe, who is called Pippo. She gave me her phone number and told me to contact her once we arrived. I called her as soon as we arrived at our hotel and she said she would come to pick us up. What a joy!!! She took us into town, where she and Pippo own "Cutrone Viaggi", the local travel agency. Plans were made for dinner and sightseeing the next day. That night we went to Rosetta's house and one person after the other came to meet us. We truly felt like royalty! I was the first person to return "home" since the migration to the United States in 1898. Gina spoke some English and I some Italian so we were able to establish that our ancestors did not have telephones and calling would have been far too expensive anyway. Many did not read or write therefore, most of them lost touch with each other. I can tell you that we come from a warm and wonderful people! We were made to feel so welcome and as "family".As we walked down the streets of the town, people came to say hello because we were with a family member. It was the most amazing experience! I could not encourage you enough to make the trip if you are so inclined. In October 2009 Michelle Rizzo Boland, her husband, my husband, and myself took a cruise that stopped in Messina, Sicily. Two of the cousins drove 3 hours each way to spend the day with us. Again, it was such a feeling of family that I can't really explain. Now their daughter, Elisabetta, spent 3 weeks with us, and a week with another of our cousins, Anita, in New York for the summer of 2010. We have come full circle!

48: Enjoying family time together | The line of Giuseppe Cutrone, the brother who stayed in Sicily to care for their father R-Girolamo, son of Giuseppe | Rosetta and Mimma are daughters of Girolamo | From Guiseppe, come all the descendants in Sicily | Onofrio, Stefania, Elisabetta, Alessia, Guiseppina, Bernardo

49: The | Giorgio & Lea Cutrone | The younger generations | The newest Cutrone, daughter of Giorgio and Lea

50: These are some of our cousins living in Corleone. This was our farewell night in 2001 | This is the Commune (City Hall) where all the records are kept

51: This is a copy of a document obtained by Catherine Cutrone on her trip to Corleone. It shows some birth dates and other family information.

52: The baptismal font used for our ancestors Marialice Pollara & Gina Cutrone | Cousin Anita visiting in Corleone | Fr. Salvatore's Church

53: Dinner in Messina 2009 | La Famiglia!! | Marialicia, Elisabetta, and Carmelo Moscato

54: As I was the first cousin to visit Corleone,, Elisabetta Moscato, granddaughter of Rose Cutrone, was the first from Sicily to visit us. She was in California from July 17 - August 4, 2010 and in New York with Anita Granberg for 7 days before flying home. She was able to meet many of her U.S. cousins but there are many more in Louisiana yet to meet! We met Frank Sardegna, great grandson of Giovanni, first to come. to the United States! | A part of the family tree

55: Anita and Ron Granberg hosted Elisabetta in New York

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  • Title: Coming to America..........The Cutrone Family
  • Family History
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  • Published: over 9 years ago