Castellammare di Stabia
Part 3 - Brooklyn
Frank & Elizabeth
Lanzara Ancestral Chart
Causes of Death
This webpage represents my attempt to document the history of our family using all the information that I have been able to gather through my research. Most of the data was taken from written documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates, cemetery records, census records, and other records. I have also used information from “oral histories” told to me by my father, Eugene Lanzaro (1913-2000), and by his brother, Lawrence Lanzaro (1907-1994), cousins Dominick Lanzaro (1910-2000), John Lanzaro (1922-2000), Frank LaMura (1902-1983), and other family members to tie many of the events together.
Our Lanzaro ancestral roots reach back in time and across the continents to Italy where originally our surname was Lanzara. Why and when the names changed is still a mystery. Suffice it to say that in Italy it's Lanzara and in America it's Lanzaro.
Several years ago I made attempts to obtain information from the original town in Italy that I knew my great-great-grandfather, Giuseppe Lanzara (1836-1901), came from. This was the town of Nocera Inferiore, located about 12 miles east of Naples, and only a few miles from the volcano, Mount Vesuvius. I knew enough at that point that Giuseppe's last name was spelled Lanzara and was able to obtain a transcription of his birth record. He was born in Nocera Inferiore on April 12, 1836.
Through the internet, I was able to find a list of several men living today in Nocera Inferiore named Giuseppe Lanzara, including their addresses. I wrote each of them a letter, in Italian, explaining my ancestry and asking if we could be related. Only one responded. This Giuseppe Lanzara has helped me to obtain most of the earliest data that I now have. Thanks to him I now know that Giuseppe's father was Diodato Lanzara (1800-1864). Then Giuseppe told me that his great-great-great grandfather was also Diodato Lanzara and his great-great-grandfather Giuseppe Lanzara, all from Nocera Inferiore. At first we were very excited that we were, in fact, cousins. Then Giuseppe did some more research of his own and discovered, even more incredibly, that his Diodato and Giuseppe were not the same as mine. At the present, we have yet to prove that we come from the same Lanzara ancestral line, but I'm sure back there somewhere our lines converge.
My great-great-grandfather, Giuseppe, had a brother named Francesco Lanzara (1844-1892). Eventually they made their way to another town nearby named Castellammare di Stabia and married two sisters, Petronilla Bonifacio (1844-1934) and Elizabeth Bonifacio (1851-1941). It was from Castellammare di Stabia that another generation made their way to America (Brooklyn), including the LaMura's. The entire story is told in much more detail by clicking on the links in the panel at the left. To get you started, here's the link to PART 1.