Part 1
Nocera Inferiore

Part 2
Castellammare di Stabia

Part 3 - Brooklyn

Frank & Elizabeth
Giuseppe & Petronilla
Ciro & Louisa
Carmela & Catello LaMura
Salvatore & Maria
Lanzara Ancestral Chart
Bonifacio Ancestral Chart
Lanzaro Ancestral Chart

Lanzaro Ancestral Chart

LaMura Ancestral Chart

Causes of Death
Email Me


Part 3 - Brooklyn
Frank and Elizabeth

Last update 12/20/2020


The first Lanzaros to emigrate from Italy to America were Francesco and Elisabetta Lanzara and their two children, Giovanni and Grace. As I said previously, the Lanzara name changed to Lanzaro when they got to America. However, there is some evidence that the name changed in Castellammare di Stabia before they emigrated. I will try to provide more detail about that later. For the time being, we will proceed with the understanding that the Lanzara's of Italy became the Lanzaro's of Brooklyn. Note that I have also abandoned the color coding for names that I used in Parts 1 and 2.

Generally speaking, the immigrant's journey began in their hometown. They needed bribe money for some of the local officials to clear records such as military obligations and debts, as well as pocket money and travel money to the port city of Naples. Our ancestors made their way from Castellammare di Stabia to the port of Naples (15 miles) by the only means they could: on foot or by donkey cart. There waiting for them were the steamship representatives who put them up in shantytowns for the three day preparation and processing procedure. Also waiting for them were opportunists looking for their money. The steamship companies made money by the head and it was in their best interests to make sure that these people would survive a rough trip below deck. They were given medical exams, vaccinations, cleaned up, given a blanket and eating utensils and then manifested.

Once on board the passengers were briefed on the rules of the ship, which meant that they would stay below deck for two weeks in the noisy cramped quarters near the propeller shaft. Beds were bunk style and separated by a curtain. There were no showers and the common sink served multiple purposes. The 900 to 1500 people below deck often arranged themselves with friends from their village. Whatever mattresses were used often became infested with lice. People often got sick and many died during passage.

For those who survived the trip to the port of New York, they now had to endure more hardships. The ship disembarked first and second class passengers on the lower west side docks of Manhattan while steerage class passengers had to wait, sometimes for days on board, to be processed.

Besides the change in surname, many of our ancestors also Americanized their given names. Francesco became Frank, Elisabetta became Elizabeth and Giovanni became John. In October of 1887, they arrived in New York City, less than a year after the statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” was erected in New York Harbor, bearing the immortal words scribed by Emma Lazarus: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!".

Why don't I know the exact date of their arrival or the name of the ship they travelled on? I know the October 1887 date only from the citizenship papers filed by John Lanzaro many years later in 1907, when he was 24 years old. That's what he entered on the form. Since he was only 5 years old when he arrived, I can only hope that he was correct in his memory. When Frank, Elizabeth, Grace, and John arrived, the immigration process was not as organized as it would be when Ellis Island opened in January 1892. Those entering the United States for the first time were processed through Castle Garden, a fort-like structure located on the southern tip of Manhattan. After Ellis Island opened, all of the records kept at Castle Garden, going all the way back to 1855, were transferred to Ellis Island. That's where all those precious documents were when a fire broke out on June 14, 1897, and every one of them was destroyed.

The voyage that brought Frank and Elizabeth from Italy took two weeks to complete. With them were their children, 5-year-old John and his sister Grace. I don't know when Grace was born, but I believe she was younger than John. Grace became ill on the voyage but, in answer to Elizabeth’s prayers, lived long enough to be buried on American soil rather than being thrown into the sea as they had seen happening to others during the long and difficult trip. They made their way to Brooklyn, probably by walking across lower Manhattan to the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been completed only 4 years earlier in 1883. They settled in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Frank found employment as a barber while Elizabeth worked as a dressmaker. I do not know when Grace died or where she is buried.

On March 23, 1888, another child, Maria Lanzaro, was born. Since this was only five months after they arrived in America, I am assuming that Elizabeth was pregnant when she made the trip. As far as I know, Maria (Mary) was the first Lanzaro born in the USA. Another daughter, Anna Lanzaro was born a year later, on May 27, 1889. Another son, Vincent Lanzaro, whom the family called Jim, was born October 2, 1890.

The family lived in an apartment above a barbershop at 44 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Frank worked as a barber in the shop. He was providing a satisfactory income for his wife and four children when he died suddenly on January 6, 1892, leaving Elizabeth with baby Jim, 4-year old Anna, 5-year old Mary, and 10-year old John to survive on their own. Some family members later recall being told that Frank died from a heart attack, but his death certificate states it was of acute pneumonia.

Elizabeth was a brave woman who managed her family by taking in laundry. Then, as the children became old enough, they found ways of earning and assisting the family. Elizabeth had offers of marriage but would not consider any other person representing fatherhood to her beloved children.

When Frank died, there was no money for a funeral or burial in a regular cemetery. Instead, he was buried in a "potter's field" called County Farm. It was actually a large mass grave used by the adjacent Kings County Psychiatric Hospital to bury the mental patients who died there and were unclaimed. The poor residents of Kings County could also be buried there. This was Frank's case. There is no evidence that he was ever a patient at the Psychiatric Hospital. It took me several years of research to finally locate the area where the Psychiatric Hospital and potter's field used to be, immediately east of the newer Kings County Hospital on Clarkson Avenue, between Albany and Utica Avenues. The Psychiatric Hospital was torn down in the 1990's. The area is now a gated community of apartments. The bodies were all presumably moved a long time ago. I have never been able to find anyone who could tell me what happened to all the bodies and whether they had been relocated.

By 1900, Elizabeth and her four children were renting an apartment at 192 Degraw Street in Brooklyn. The building at this address was no longer standing in 1940. Elizabeth continued to sustain her family by taking in laundry and 20-year-old John found common labor jobs to add some support to the family, although he would be unemployed at least half the time.

By 1910, they had moved a block away to a rented apartment at 183 Sackett Street. John and Vincent (Jim) had opened their own music and record shop called the Neapolitan Talking Machine. Anna was working as a saleslady for a dry goods firm, while Mary stayed at home to help her mother maintain the household. This would all change within a few months when Mary married Vito Desiano. Vito had a job working for Mary's cousin, Ciro Lanzaro, who owned a "soda water" business. Vito, who had arrived in America in 1903, worked first as a driver, then as a bottler. After he and Mary were married, he moved in with her and Elizabeth and they started raising their own large family (10 children).

__________ John J. Lanzaro and Josephine "Maggie" Cuccurullo __________

On March 21, 1907, John J. Lanzaro submitted his Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. He was 24 years old and gave his occupation as "Dealer in Photographs." He had a dark complexion, stood 5 feet 5 inches, and weighed 135 pounds. He had black hair and brown eyes. By September 2, 1909, he had submitted his Petition for Naturalization and granted full citizenship on March 17, 1910.

John married Josephine Cuccurullo on July 27, 1913. Josephine was born Maria Giuseppa Cuccurullo on January 20, 1893 in New York, the daughter of John Cuccurullo and Concetta Maresca. She was called "Maggie" by the family. For a while, the couple lived with John's mother Elizabeth, his brother Jim, and sister Anna and her husband Vito Desiano at 183 Sackett St. It was around this time that John started his own music supply business out of the apartment. Sometime later, possibly 1921, John and Jim opened their own music and record shop called the Neapolitan Talking Machine, located at 311 Court Street in South Brooklyn. John and Maggie lived above the store. My father remembers visiting the store when he was in his late teens or early twenties (around 1933). He also remembered that his brother Larry bought a saxophone from John. By 1930, they had moved to 920 Homecrest Court, down in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn. In 1935, Jim retired from the business and left John in full ownership. By this time, John and Josephine were living at 580 Eighteenth Street in Brooklyn, several miles from their previous home. Sometime later, John worked as a real estate broker.

John and Maggie had 4 children:

Elizabeth Lanzaro, born July 11, 1914, had a job as a typist for the Federal Work Projects Administration. My father seemed to have fond memories of her. They were around the same age. On May 3, 1937, she married John Olinerio. The marriage did not last very long. On the 1940 Federal Census, dated April 9, 1940, she is living again with her parents at 580 Eighteenth Street in Brooklyn and listed as "single". Then five months later, she married Michael Siano, on September 24, 1940. Elizabeth died July 7, 2000 just before her 86th birthday. Ironically, she and my father died within five days of each other.

Frank Richard Lanzaro, born May 20, 1916, married Anna Manzione on January 6, 1940. Anna was born in New York on May 13, 1920. Her parents were Pasquale Manzione and Teresa "Tessie" DeCostanzo. Frank and Anna had a son and a daughter. Frank was 5' 5" tall, weighing 130 pounds. He had black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. Frank was 80 years old when he died on November 19, 1996 at Victory Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn. I learned from cousin Betty DeGennaro that Anna died on January 3rd of 2011. She was 90 years old. She and Frank are buried with Frank's brothers John and Fred at Ocean View Cemetery on Staten Island.

John A. Lanzaro, born February 5, 1922, was a veteran of World War II, serving with the Signal Corps in Germany. He never married. He stood just 5 feet tall, with black hair and brown eyes, and a dark complexion. I spoke to John on the phone a few times in the 1990's. He spoke about the family rumor that the Lanzaro name means Lance Makers and that the family originated from the Spanish island of Lanzarote. This conversation sparked my curiosity, so I did some research. Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, lying off the northwestern coast of Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean. It was known for its beautiful gardens and fruit trees until a series of volcanic eruptions lasting over 2000 days between 1730 and 1736 forced massive evacuations of the populace. Could our ancestors have made their way through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean and on to Italy? I posed this question to the Giuseppe Lanzara who currently lives in Nocera Inferiore, the Italian town where our Lanzara ancestors came from, and he claimed he never heard of any such story.

Following a series of strokes, John died at New York Community Hospital in Manhattan on June 22, 2000, two weeks before his sister. He was 78 years old. He is buried with his brothers Frank and Fred at Ocean View Cemetery on Staten Island.

Ferdinand Joseph Lanzaro was born May 20, 1923, his brother Frank's 7th birthday. He was 19 years old and studying letterpress printing and commercial photography at the New York School of Printing when he was inducted into the Army on February 9, 1943. Fred, as he was more familiarly known, was 5' 2" in height and weighed 113 pounds at the time. He had brown hair and eyes, with a light complexion. He began his overseas duty with the Army Air Force on September 1, 1943. He was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant and was a tail gunner on a B-25 with the 75th Bombardment Squadron of the 13th Air Force when he was wounded over the Celebes Islands in Indonesia. It was his 25th bombing mission. Its bombs unloaded, the plane had returned to strafe ground installations. It was only 50 feet from the ground when Fred's arm was blown off by enemy fire.

Although the crew applied a tourniquet to Fred's arm immediately, it was feared he might not last until the plane landed. He was given a blood transfusion on the plane and then an emergency landing was made on the northern Indonesia island of Morotai. Having established previous contact with the base, the bomber was met at the field by an ambulance where Fred was given his second transfusion.

Fred survived World War II. Like his brother John, he never married. He was 60 years old when he died on April 11, 1984 at Flatbush General Hospital in Brooklyn. He is buried with his brothers Frank and John at Ocean View Cemetery on Staten Island.


Maggie and John were living at 1129 40th Street in Brooklyn when she entered Unity Hospital for an operation for a fibroid Uterus. She died at the hospital one week later, on April 5, 1943. She was only 50 years old. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn in the same family plot as John's mother who died two years before in 1941.

Sometime later, John married Bertha Farber. Bertha was born October 24, 1895 in Lehe, Germany. Her parents were Wilhelm Farber and Johanna Duser. She was 5'5" tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She arrived in America in June of 1923 and worked for several years as a maid for the Solowey family in Brooklyn. John and Bertha were living together at 40 Caton Place in Brooklyn when he died there on February 7, 1955 at the age of 72. He was buried with Maggie at Holy Cross. Sometime around 1959, Bertha moved to Corona, Queens. Ten years later, in 1969, she moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut to live with her niece, Ann Perrotta, at 29 Atwater Street. Bertha died there on November 2, 1970, one week after her 75th birthday. She was buried at Saint Michael's Cemetery in Stratford, Connecticut.

____________________ Mary Lanzaro and Vito Mario Desiano ____________________

Maria (Mary) Lanzaro was living with her family at 183 Sackett Street when she married Vito Mario Desiano on July 24, 1910 at the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, 500 Hicks Street in Brooklyn. Vito was actually living next door in a boarding house at 181 Sackett Street. He had arrived in America in 1907. My father called Vito "Mateen", but I wasn't sure why until a few years ago when someone in the family told me they called him Martin (for Mario?). Vito was born November 27, 1885 in Lacco Ameno, a small coastal village on the island of Ischia, located just off the coast from Naples, Italy. Vito's father was Raffaele Desiano and his mother Grazia Marzalla. In 1883, a great earthquake killed more than 1700 people on the island and nearly destroyed Lacco Ameno. Somehow, Raffaele and Grazia survived and Vito was born two years later amid the rubble of the town.

Vito worked at the time of his marriage as a driver for the Lanzaro Brothers (Ciro and Salvatore) Soda Water business. Initially, Mary and Vito lived with Mary's widowed mother, Elizabeth, in her home at 183 Sackett Street. By 1920, they had moved a few blocks west to 329 Court Street, and by 1930, just around the corner back to Sackett Street, at 328 Sackett Street. With each move, Mary brought her mother to live with her, and to help her raise her 11 children.

Wherever it was, Mary’s house became the family focal point. Everyone went there for coffee. They had a long table that could seat 30 people. Vito was about 5'6" tall and weighed 150 pounds. He had brown hair and a scar on his right cheek. Mary was 5'1" in height.

Mary and Vito had 11 children; 2 daughters and 9 sons; 7 of the sons served in the military during World War II:

Ralph Desiano, born May 7, 1911, married Josephine Tomaka, who was born August 3, 1911. The marriage took place at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in 1937. This is the same church where their cousins Dolly Desiano and Peter Carulli, and Frank and Anne Murray were married, in 1942 and 1944, respectively. Ralph and Josephine lived in a large tenement at 3083 Crescent Street in Queens, New York.

In September of 1943, they moved to a neighborhood within Piscataway Township, New Jersey, called Arbor. Ralph worked for Mack Trucking and the Singer sewing machine company, and he may have owned a pawn shop in Brooklyn at some point in time. He and Josephine had a son and daughter. The daughter, Valerie Desiano, was born on Valentine's Day in 1938. In July of 1955, she married John T. Deering in Rahway, New Jersey. She had a second marriage, to James Farmer, before or after moving to Mississippi where she was head cashier for Dirt Cheap.

At some point, Ralph and Josephine joined Valerie in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Josephine died there in June of 1985 and Ralph on December 13, 1986. Valerie was living in nearby Escatawpa, Mississippi when she died at the age of 62 on December 21, 2000.

Elizabeth Desiano, born April 2, 1912, married Mateo Capoziello on April 14, 1940. Mateo, or Matthew, was born June 19, 1911 in Brooklyn, the son of Mateo Capoziello Sr. and Lucia Volonino. At the time of their marriage, Mathew worked for the City Parks Department. Elizabeth was 28 years old when she married. For years, her grandmother, Elizabeth Bonifacio Lanzara, would nag her by asking "When are you getting married?", and Elizabeth would say "When I'm 28, just like you." Actually, her grandmother was 30 years old when she married, at least, according to her marriage certificate.

Elizabeth and Matthew had two sons and a daughter. The daughter, Theresa A. Capoziello, was born December 18, 1946. Although I have never met personally with any of my Capoziello or Desiano cousins, I did share several emails with Terry, including a phone conversation in March of 1998. I remember another conversation where she told me she had quit her job in September of 2000, after working for the same employer for 18 years. At the time, she was becoming increasingly worried about taking care of her aging mother (88 years old), with whom she lived. Her old job required her to travel from one hour to 90 minutes each way. A few months later, she accepted a job as office manager with her chiropractor, whose office was only a few blocks from her home. She was very happy that this made it easier for her to care for her mother.

Matthew died on May 22, 1992 at 80 years of age, and Elizabeth was 93 years old when she died on March 9, 2006. Terry passed on June 13, 2017 at the age of 70.

Frank Desiano, born June 26, 1913, married a woman named Julia. Julia was born March 15, 1917. Frank, a veteran of World War II, enlisted in the Army just before his 29th birthday, on June 26, 1942. Frank and Julia had two sons. Julia died in October of 1987, Frank on February 5, 1994. She was 70, he was 80.

Grace Desiano, born September 23, 1914, but died at home right after her sixth birthday on September 28, 1920.

Restituta Desiano, better known as Dolly, was born May 17, 1916. May 17 is celebrated by the Catholic church as the Feast of Saint Restituta. Dolly was named after the saint, who is the patron saint of Lacco Ameno, the town on the island of Ischia where her father Vito was born. According to her granddaughter Diane Carulli Williams, Restituta was called Dolly because her face so resembled a doll.

Dolly married Peter T. Carulli September 6, 1942 in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Brooklyn. Peter was born January 25, 1916, the son of Nicolo and Mary Carulli. On February 27, 1941, Peter enlisted in the U.S. Army to defend his country during World War II. At the time, he was 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 143 pounds (personal observation: I'm 5 feet 9 inches tall, and the last time I weighed 143 pounds was in eighth grade!!). Dolly and Peter had a son and a daughter. The son, Richard Carulli, was born November 28, 1943. He was 70 years old when he died in Texas on May 28, 2014. Peter died in November of 1975 at the age of 59. Dolly died on October 24, 2006. She was 90 years old. Dolly, Richard and Peter are all buried together at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY.

Vincent Desiano, born March 20, 1918, married Nancy D'Allessandro. Nancy was born October 22, 1923. Vincent was an Army veteran of World War II, enlisting on March 24, 1942. Vincent and Nancy had a son and a daughter. Nancy died February 19, 1997, age 73, while Vincent passed on August 26, 2000. He was 82 years old.

John (Johnny) Desiano, born May 5, 1919, married Assuntine (Sue) Guerrera. Johnny was a plumber and a veteran of World War II. He was seriously wounded during his military service. He and Sue had a son and a daughter. In 1960, they moved to Tampa, Florida. Johnny died in Tampa on March 7, 1988, at the age of 68. He was cremated. Sue was 92 years old when she died in Tampa on March 17, 2009.

Louis Desiano, born August 11, 1921, married Theresa Calia. Theresa was born in Brooklyn on March 27, 1924, the daughter of Andrew Calia and Phillipa Buffa. Louis, a World War II Army veteran, enlisted on October 19, 1942. Louis and Theresa have two daughters and two sons. Theresa was 86 years old when she died on September 16, 2010. She is buried at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery, North Lauderdale, Florida. Eight years later, on February 15, 2018, at the age of 96, Louis passed away in Florida. He was buried with Theresa.

Vito Mario Desiano, born May 25, 1925, married Frances Lee. Frances was born October 29, 1928. Vito was a World War II Army veteran, enlisting shortly after his 18th birthday on July 20, 1943. He carried two bullets in his body until the day he died. He and Frances had a son named Lee Desiano and Lee had a son named Joseph Vito Desiano, known as Joey. Vito died in Tampa on April 20, 2012 at the age of 86. Joey was working as a mechanic for an auto repair shop in Tampa when he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on January 27, 2013. He was only 24 years old. Several months later, Frances died, in Tampa, on September 1, 2013. She was 84.

Joseph R. Desiano was born July 17, 1926. Joe worked as a mechanic and was a World War II Army veteran, enlisting shortly after his 18th birthday on September 13, 1944. According to his daughter, Denise Desiano Fulton, Joe "served in Naples during WWII. He woke up one day sick as a dog with pneumonia. He went to the infirmary and his entire troop was lost in battle while he was there. He was the only survivor." As Denise puts it, "Thank God for that otherwise I would not be here."

On June 5, 1949, Joe married Margaret Fitzpatrick. They have one son and two daughters. They lived in Elmont, Long Island before moving to Fort Pierce in Florida. It was Joe who traced the Desiano family's ancestry to the Italian island of Ischia. Joe passed away on August 2, 2009. He was 83 years old. At the time of his death, he had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is buried at Calverton National Cemetery, out on the eastern end of Long Island.

Anthony Joseph Desiano was born June 21, 1930 in Brooklyn. After graduating high school, he joined the Army, serving during the Korean War, stationed in Oklahoma. After his discharge in 1951, he became a baker with Drakes's Bakery in Brooklyn. During his 32 years with the company, he brought home countless boxes of Yankee Doodles and Ring Dings for his family to enjoy.

Anthony married Lorraine Castagnino, and later, around 1958, a second marriage to Carol Losinno. They had three daughters and one son.

Anthony also worked as a handyman, painting many houses in the neighborhood and working various construction jobs. He was affectionately known as "Doc" because he always had the best remedy for any challenge. He also made little inventions to make things run more efficiently at home. He enjoyed sports, especially fishing, painting by the numbers, and buying lottery tickets. He had an extensive collection of baseball cards and coins.

In 2003, he and Carol moved to Prince's Bay, on the south shore of Staten Island. On November 28, 2013, Anthony died at home, from cancer. He and Carol had been married 55 years. At the time of his death, Anthony had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Mary and Martin were living across from the western side of Greenwood Cemetery, at 104 Vanderbilt Street in Brooklyn, when she died there on February 21, 1958. She was 69 years old. Martin died the following year at Kings County Hospital when he was 73 years old on October 4, 1959. They are buried together at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, NY.

____________________ Anna Lanzaro and Louis DeGennaro ____________________

Anna Lanzaro was living with her family at 183 Sackett Street in Brooklyn when she married Luigi DeGennaro on February 2, 1913 at The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Church at 500 Hicks Street in Brooklyn, the same church her sister Mary was married 6 months before. Luigi, or Louis, was born June 21, 1890 in Italy. According to his marriage certificate, he was born in Carotto, Italy, in the province of Napoli, but I have never been able to find a town with that name. The closest matches are Quarto and Cardito, both of which are located just north of Naples. Louis' parents were Pasquale DeGennaro and Maddelena Gargiulo. Louis arrived in America in 1908.

Louis owned his own grocery or delicatessen store in Brooklyn, located at 498 Flatbush Avenue. The couple lived in an apartment over the grocery. In 1917, Louis registered for the draft, as he was required to do by law. On the registration form, he describes himself as being short and stout, with light brown eyes and dark hair, with a light complexion. He was a registered alien, but had submitted his first papers for American citizenship. He listed his birthplace as Sorrento, Italy. This is a town located directly across the bay from Naples, just a few miles west of Castellammare di Stabia. So, we have conflicting data concerning his actual birthplace.

In 1920, Louis became an American citizen. His naturalization certificate shows he was 5' 3" tall. By 1930, the family had moved across the street from Anna's brother John, at 917 Homecrest Court, down in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, between Avenues S & T, off Coney Island Avenue. By 1942, they were living at 211 Lefferts Avenue, in Brooklyn, a few blocks from the grocery store on Flatbush Avenue. By this time, Louis was 51 years old and working at the General Baking Company's Brooklyn plant, across the street from the grocery, at 495 Flatbush Avenue. He was 5'3" tall and weighed 148 pounds.

Anna and Louis had 4 sons and 2 daughters:

Pasquale (Pat) DeGennaro, born November 25, 1913, married Corinne Sundstrom on July 25, 1942. Corrine was born December 22, 1919 in Brooklyn. They lived in Hicksville, Long Island and had three sons and two daughters. Pat died on January 4, 1972; Corrine died May 9, 1984. They are buried together at Long Island National Cemetery.


Frank DeGennaro, born August 1, 1915, married Mary Merola on September 22, 1940. Mary was born October 15, 1919 in Brooklyn. They had one daughter. Frank and Mary divorced in 1968 and Frank married his second wife Josephine Tenore Cuomo on June 18, 1968. Josephine was born December 23, 1919 in Manhattan, NY. Frank died April 28, 1987 in Whitestone, NY. Mary died in Matawan, NJ on the Fourth of July in 1990.


Madeline DeGennaro, born August 9, 1917. The self-declared "black sheep" of the family who dared to leave the typical lifestyle to follow a vocation other than was expected of a nice Italian girl. She joined the Dominican Convent in Sparkill, New York, on July 16, 1939, and became Sister Ann Louise. She professed her first vows in 1941 and her final vows in 1946. In 1955 she received her BS in Education from St. John's University, Queens, NY, and Day Care studies at City College, New York, NY in 1976. She ministered at the following places: St. Mary School, Fulton, NY (1941-1942 as teacher, 1969-1970 as Principal); St. Ignatius Day Nursery, NYC (1942-1944 and 1970-1980) as Director and Administrator; St. Paul School, Norwich, NY (1944-1946); Cardinal McCloskey Home & School (1946-1948); St. Teresa School, Woodside, NY (1948-1967); St. Theresa School, Bronx, NY (1967-1969). From 1980-1988, Sister Ann Louise was a staff member at Siena Hall, Dominican Convent. She continued in volunteer service in Dominican Convent until 2011.

In March of 2015, Sister Ann Louise offered this on Facebook: “When I was 68 years old, I decided it was time for me to get my driver’s license so that I could serve my community. So I learned to drive and became very familiar with the county and the neighboring area, eventually venturing beyond that. My life has traveled different avenues that I never would have anticipated before joining the convent! To young women considering religious life today, I would say: there are so many opportunities to serve others. As a Catholic Sister you grow individually and with your community, regardless of how you minister and where you live. At age 97, I’m still heading down different avenues!

On March 31, 2020, Sister Ann Louise passed on at the age of 102. She died of natural causes during the terrible COVID-19 virus pandemic. She was buried at Saint Agnes Cemetery in Sparkill.


Salvatore DeGennaro, born August 5, 1922, died of diphtheria right before his first birthday, on August 2, 1923. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Madeline recalled that after Salvatore's tragic death, her father took a break from his grocery store in order to help her mother in her grief and packed little Madeline and her older brothers, Pat and Frank, and drove down to "Uncle Gene's" farm in Morganville, NJ. Uncle Gene was Ciro Lanzaro, who sometimes went by the name Eugene. For little 6-year-old Madeline, it was a real treat. She had never seen a real live cow or heard live chickens cackling. She remembers meeting some of Ciro's children, Larry, Cat, and Carmela, who would have been 16, 15 and 12, respectively. She also remembers meeting the little old lady they all knew as "Azee." That would have been Petronilla Lanzaro, Ciro's mother. Azee or zia was the Italian word for "aunt."


Louis J. DeGennaro was born in Brooklyn on July 7, 1924. He was a World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Force as a Staff Sergeant in Europe from 1943 to 1945. He was 5' 6" tall, weighing 140 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a sallow complexion. After his discharge, he worked for the U.S. Customs Service in New York. He was also commander of the American Legion Customs, Post 51.

Elizabeth (Betty) A. Ambrose was born in Hughestown, Pennsylvania on September 5, 1932. Her parents were Peter Augenti and Albina DeMartino. Peter and Albina were married September 27, 1931. Two years after Betty's birth, Albina sought a divorce from Peter in August of 1934. On January 4, 1936, when Betty was 3 years old, Albina married Michael Ambrose at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Pittston. Michael adopted Betty as his daughter. They lived in the DeMartino family home at 259 Parsonage Street in Hughestown. Albina and Michael had two more children of their own: Claire Ambrose and Michael Ambrose Jr.. Little Michael Jr. was only six years old when he was killed in a tragic automobile accident on March 5, 1948 while playing in the street in nearby Hughestown. He died two days before Claire's 11th birthday. Betty was 15 years old. He was buried at Denison Cemetery in the nearby town of Forty Fort.

For more about the Augenti, Ambrose, Trobacco and DeMartino families, click here.

Betty graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and then moved to Brooklyn, New York where she became the head nurse in the cardiac department of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Brooklyn. It was there that she and Louis met. They married in Pittston, Pennsylvania on May 11, 1957. An otherwise happy occasion was marred by the sudden death of Betty's grandmother, Louise DeMartino. The grandmother was waiting on her front porch for a ride to the wedding when she died of a massive heart attack.

Betty and Louis had a son and a daughter and lived in the Kings Plaza area of Brooklyn. Betty spent her professional and private life caring for others. She was always there for friends, family and strangers, going above and beyond to provide whatever care, comfort or words of encouragement were needed. After working for the Federal Government for 40 years, Louis retired and he and Betty moved to Pittston. Louis served as the secretary for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) in the Pittston area. He was a devoted member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Pittston, and its Holy Name Society. Louis was 84 years old when he died in Pittston on November 30, 2008. He was interred in the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pennsylvania.

In 2014, Betty moved to the senior community of Oakwood Terrace in Moosic, Pennsylvania. She was 87 years old when she died on July 29, 2020. She was buried with Louis at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.


Elizabeth (Betty) DeGennaro, born September 13, 1927, died at the age of 3 on February 28, 1931. She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.


Anna and Louis were living at 360 Avenue O in Brooklyn when she died at the age of 87 on February 6, 1977 in Brooklyn, followed only three months later by her husband Louis, on May 7, 1977. He was 86 years old. They are buried together at St. Charles Cemetery on Long Island.

____________________ Jim Lanzaro and Eve Manley ____________________

Vincent (Jim) Lanzaro married Evelyn (Eve) Manley on July 30, 1916 at the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 500 Hicks Street in Brooklyn. Eve was born June 21, 1889, way up in the Finger Lakes section of New York State, in a little village named Penn Yan. The name derives from the fact that the village was settled by people from Pennsylvania and New England (Yankees). Eve's parents were Charles Manley and Adella "Della" Dunn. At the time of the marriage, Eve had been living with her mother at 279 Dean Street in Brooklyn. After the marriage, Eve moved in with Jim at 341 Union Street.

Jim and his brother John owned their own music and record shop called the Neapolitan Talking Machine, located at 311 Court Street in South Brooklyn. John and Josephine lived above the store. Jim and Eve lived just a few blocks from them, first at 341 Union Street, then at 308 Union Street. By 1930, Jim and Eve had moved down to 230 East Fifth Street in the Kensington section of Brooklyn. In 1935, Jim retired from the business and left John to run it by himself.

Jim was 5' 4" tall and weighed 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and a ruddy complexion. He and Eve had two sons named Frank. The first one was Francesco Lanzaro, born December 17, 1916. But, he died after only a month on January 21, 1917. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn in a plot he would eventually share with his grandmother Elizabeth Lanzaro and several other family members.

The second son, Frank Charles Lanzaro, was born three years later on September 13, 1920. This Frank was in his senior year at college and working as a receiving and shipping clerk for a laundry machine operation in New York City when he was inducted into the Army on November 19, 1942. At the time, he was 5' 8" in height and weighed 195 pounds. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a dark complexion.

Frank served through the end of the war and was honorably discharged on Christmas Eve of 1945. While still serving with the army, Frank married Anne T. Murray on June 4, 1944 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, located at 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn. Anne was born in New York on June 24, 1922, the daughter of John Murray and Jane "Jennie" Cook. Eventually, Frank and Anne moved to Hartsdale, New York.

Frank and Anne had one son, Frank C. Lanzaro, Jr., born August 28, 1945 in Brooklyn. Frankie was living in White Plains, New York and working as a butcher when he died at Fordham Hospital in the Bronx on October 28, 1973. He was only 28 years old. I do not know the circumstances of his death, but his death certificate lists "Pending Chemical Examination." A cause of death will be listed as "pending" on a death certificate whenever someone is found dead and the immediate reason isn't obvious. These can include suspected suicides, murders, drug overdoses or accidents. We may never know why Frankie died so young.

Frank Sr. died November 17, 1977 in Westchester, NY. He was 57 years old. Anne lived on for many more years until her death in January of 2012 at the age of 89. She and Frank are interred at Mausoleum 1, wing 6, corridor B, crypt 12G, in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY. Frankie is with them in the same mausoleum, in 3G.

Jim and Eve were still living at 230 East Fifth Street when he died there on October 30, 1945. He was only 55 years old. At some point, Eve moved to 1129 East 13th Street in Brooklyn. She was living there when she died on March 13, 1961. She was 71 years old. She and Jim are buried together in a mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.

To view a collection of photos of Jim, Eve, Frank, Anne and Frank Jr., click here.


The family matriarch, Elizabeth, was living at 89 East 2nd Street in Brooklyn when she died on January 14, 1941, at the age of 89. She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery.

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