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Home: Surnames: Gonnella Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Gonnella Family of Caposele Italy
Posted by: Virginia Gonnella Sisti Date: January 14, 2002 at 18:49:54
In Reply to: Re: Gonnella Family of Caposele Italy by robert plimpton of 187

My name is Virginia Gonnella. I have a son named Paul Gennaro Sisti. I have two brothers, Philip Gerard and Daniel Joseph Gonnella. My father's name was Lorenzo Philip Gonnella, married to my mother, Florence Sica Gonnella. He was born on January 28, 1908 in Newark, New Jersey. His parents, Joseph Gonnella (nicknamed "Joe the Breeze") and Concetta Cibelli Gonnella came to Newark, N.J. from Caposele, Italy in the early 1900's before my father was born. They had 7 children, Donato (Danny), Lorenzo Philip (Phil McCann), Gerardo (Jerry), John, Joseph (JoJo), Rose, and Mary. I believe all of their children were born in the USA in Newark, N.J. My grandfather, Joseph Gonnella, Sr. had a speakeasy in his basement during prohibition. Some of his customers were roofers. Through them, Joseph closed the speakeasy and started Gonnella Roofing Co., which stayed in business until a few years ago when my cousin, Joey Gonnella, son of John, retired. My grandfather passed away in 1949; my grandmother, Concetta died in 1958; Uncle Jerry died in 1957 at only 47 years old. Since then, my father and all of his brothers have passed away. Mary Gonnella Santambroggio is living in Brigantine, N.J, and Rose Gonnella Marsillo lives in Llewellyn Park, N.J. (The Gonnella women seem to outlive the men by far.) The tiny village of Caposele had been hit by the earthquake in recent years, so it was re-built. I visited there during July, 2001. It is an adorable, quaint mountain town, quite built up with attractive new condominiums. From what I understand, our ancestors in Caposele were humble farmers and the women were able to walk, balancing gallons of wine on their heads! Read "Newark's Little Italy, The Vanished First Ward" by Michael Immerso. Turn to page 89. See the bald man on the right pinning the money on St. Gerard. That's my grandfather, Joseph Gonnella. If you read this book, you will see many other people who came to Newark's First Ward from Caposele, Italy. The First Ward was a great place to be back in the day! That was a real neighborhood.


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