My grandfather, Pietro Amodeo, was the son of David Amodeo and Marianna
Pappalardo. David and Marianna may have had another son named Lawrence, but
we do not know too much beyond that. Pietro first immigrated to America before
the turn of the century and settled in New York City. He had been married
once before he met my grandmother, and had 4 children from his first marriage:
David, Benjamin, Rose and Mary.
During a visit to Palermo around 1904 or 1905, Pietro was asked by Giovanni
Lucchese to escort his daughter Rosalia to the United States. Giovanni was
fairly wealthy, owning considerable property around Palermo. He had refused
a suitor's request to marry Rosalia, and the suitor had threatened to kidnap
her. Concerned for Rosalia's safety, Giovanni decided to have Pietro escort
her to the USA to stay with her brothers, Phillip and James, who were already
living here. Pietro and Rosalia fell in love on their way to the USA, and
were married against Giovanni's wishes. It was not until many years later
that Giovanni reconciled with Rosalia over her marriage to Pietro.
They moved between Chicago and Brooklyn several times, before settling in
Buffalo, NY around 1916 and had 12
: Marianna, John, Jacqueline (Katy), Domenic, Frank, Juliette
(Julia), Romeo (Lawrence), James, Agatha, Joseph, Thomas and my mother, Gloria.
The Amodeo family settled on Buffalo's West Side within a couple blocks from
another family from Palermo, the Sammarco's. The
Sammarco's had 11 children
, and were
very close with the Amodeo's; in fact, four of the Amodeo children married
four of the Sammarco children.