Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guest Blogger

My Italian Family, Part I by Alyssa J Pasquale

My daughter, Alyssa J Pasquale, has been taking classes to learn Italian. These classes are just for fun. Alyssa is a Doctor of Electrical Engineering, doing a postdoc at a national laboratory. Besides her classes she and her classmates gather once a month for a dinner where they all speak Italian. Each person prepares something to tell the others in Italian.

Alyssa is taking some stories about my husband's family, written by her Aunt Beverly, and is translating them into Italian.

The [notes] are from my research and are only in English.

In English:

My grandmother’s grandmother, Angela [Angela Valenti Brigandi c 1876 Sicily – c 1934 NY], and her husband Carmen [Carmen Brigandi c 1881 Sicily – c 1947], lived in Capo d’Orlando, Sicily. Carmen was a farmer and Angela a dressmaker.

They had 5 children in Sicily [Grazia, Carlo, Joseph, Fay & Antoinette]. However, they weren't in love, and for many years Carmen lived in New York while Angela remained in Sicily.

After the war, in 1919, Angela and 3 children immigrated to the US. The remaining 2 children immigrated in 1921. The family lived in Brooklyn. One of the daughters, Grace Brigandi [Grazia Brigandi Palilla 1901 Sicily – 1974 NY], is my great-grandmother.

[Note: the family can be found in the 1930 US Census, NY, Brooklyn at 1763 West 13th Street. Carmen was shown as Charles, 58, a presser of men’s coats. Angelia was 53. Son, Joseph was an operator on men’s pants. Daughters Alphonsia & Antonette were operators on ladies’ dresses. Anthony was nine years old.]

In Italian:

La mia famiglia italiana (pt 1)

La nonna della mia nonna, Angela, e il suo marito, Carmen, abitarono a Capo d'Orlando, Sicilia. Carmen era un agricoltore ed Angela era una sarta.

Loro ebbero 5 figli in Sicilia. Carmen ed Angela non erano innamorati e per molti anni Carmen abitò in New York quando Angela abitò in Sicilia.

Dopo la guerra, in 1919, Angela e 3 figli emigrarono agli Stati Uniti. Gli altri 2 figli emigrarono in 1921. La famiglia abitarono a Brooklyn. Una figlia, Grace Brigandi, è mia bisnonna.


  1. Great idea. What I need is a cousin to translate all the original documents that I have of my Dutch ancestors.

  2. Brett should check with Peter Miebes who used to contribute regularly to Sepia Saturday.

    The Irish and Italian lines in your family must do battle for your attention at times, I suppose.

    1. Wendy, some times the Irish & Italian lines have things in common: both were in New York City for a time & both have the Roman Catholic connection.


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