Family History and Photo Gallery
It was the right around the year 1900 when my grandparents came from Italy to the United States, seeking a new start, and a bright future for their children. In the one-hundred years since then, much has happened. This page is a brief photographic history of my family in 20th-century America.
My grandparent's pages from the 1920 census. To the left is the Ferrari family, headed by Vincent and Linda. Below is the Cacciamani family sheet.
Vincent Ferrari was 47 years old in 1920, and his wife Linda was 46. Their eldest child, Zaira, had already moved to a home of her own, with her new husband, Benny. The youngest child in the family was Albino, my father, who was age 7 at the time of the census.
Vincent got a job working in the local coal mine, which was just about all that was available at that time to the many immigrant workers living in southwestern Pennsylvania.
As for the Cacciamani's, Aristeo was 38, and his wife Louisa, 31. My mother, Josephine, was just over one year old at census time, but was replaced later on by Henry and Mary Lou as the youngest children of seven.
Aristeo first worked in the mines when he came to America, but later became employed in a plate-glass factory as a laborer.
Vincent and Linda Ferrari, in a very old picture, possibly dating from the 1920's. These were my paternal grandparents, who came to America in the year 1897.
The above photographs are of Linda Ferrari, my paternal grandmother, and Aristeo Cacciamani, my maternal grandfather. These were taken somewhere around their homes in Pennsylvania, and the dates for both photographs are unknown.
Albino Ferrari, my father, sometime in the late 30's or early 40's.
This "not-so-good" quality photograph was taken from a newspaper clipping. The photo is of my mother, Josephine Cacciamani, who worked as a salesgirl in a local store in her town. She worked there for some time before being married..in those days, a wife did not work!
When they weren't working, one of the places that my parents used to enjoy was the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In those days, it was a great place to go. The photos below are of my mother, one of her sisters, and friends, frolicking in the New Jersey sunshine.
In the photo on the left, you can see my mother at the top of the heap (right-hand side), smiling. Her sister Clementine is at the very bottom. In the photo on the right, my mother is on the right, and her sister Clementine is in the middle, sitting down.
Here is a rare shot of the Pennsylvania ladies in some rather risque swimwear for the time. My mother is the third from the left, in front.
With the 40's, of course, came the war. My father, who had already spent some time in the armed forces, knew as soon as he heard the news from Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, that he was going to be back in the army again. Below is an excerpt from a group photograph taken in 1945. Albino Ferrari is the third from the left, in the back row.
Here is another picture of my father in uniform.
On the left is a photograph of Louisa and her son Henry, in his naval uniform. The photo on the right is of three of the Cacciamani children; Angelo (known as Chi Chi) on the left, Mary Lou, and Henry.
In the picture on the left, my mother Josephine (left) with her sister Annie. The photo on the right is of Louisa with her daughter Mary Lou, in her band uniform.
After the war, it was time for weddings and grandchildren to come along. This is a photograph of Louisa Cacciamani, with her grandson, Ronnie. Ronnie was the son of Clementine and her husband Eleo.
Albino and Josephine, sometime before their wedding.
My parents with their first-born daughter, Carol. These photos were taken sometime around 1950.
The picture on the left is of Annie Cacciamani. On the right is her wedding picture, with husband Adolph.
The above picture is from a family dinner party somewhere around 1957. On the far right is Zaira Ruozzi, my father's (Albino's) eldest sister. The rest, from the far left, are as follows:
Gary Ruozzi (being held in his mother's arms); Louise Ruozzi (wife of Richard); Richard Ruozzi (son of Zaira); Tommy Contrella (son of Beatrice); Benny Ruozzi (Zaira's husband); Richard Ruozzi Jr. (Gary's older brother); Vincent Ferrari (standing); Albino (my father); Beatrice Contrella (another of Zaira's children); and finally back to Zaira.
Two photographs from 1965: On the left, Ronnie with his father, Eleo. On the right, my sister and me, under the tree at Christmas.
My sister Janice, as a Brownie, in the Memorial Day parade, 1967. She is the one in the background with the wide-opened mouth.
When my father was a young man, he got his first job at the local mine, as his father before him.However, it was not long afterwards that he became an employee of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, running a crane on the track crew. This is where he spent most of his life's work. His love of trains also led him to weekend employment as an engineer on this steam train, at an amusement park in Pennsylvania. This engine was powered by real steam, and burned anthracite coal to heat its boiler. The train was built by the Crown Metal Company, which made trains for many other amusement parks around the country. Many of these trains are still in use today. The photograph on the left is of my father, in the cab of the engine of the "Little Toot", which you can see crossing the bridge in the picture on the right.
The three Ferrari children, on the day of my sister Janice's First Communion. That's me on the left, and Carol on the right.
My sister Carol, on her high school graduation day, in 1966.
Another Memorial Day, with Janice at the cemetary standing with our parents. Visiting the graves of our departed loved ones was a regular tradition on Memorial Day with our family.
This is a picture from 1968, of my father's sister Angelina, and her husband Tuppy, taken in front of their home. Angelina was the third oldest of Vincent and Linda's children.
This is a very rare and special photograph. Taken in 1971, it has all six surviving children of the Cacciamani family in one place at the same time (Angelo had passed away some years earlier). In the back row, from left to right, is Carl, Annie, and Clementine. In front, Mary Lou, Henry, and my mother, Josephine.
When my mother's parent's left Italy at the beginning of the century, they were not the only members of the family leaving the home country. However, they did not all come to America. Some members of the family went instead to Argentina, where they planted their own roots and started a history of their own. The two branches of the family stayed in touch over the decades, and the Argentine members came from time to time to the United States to visit the relatives here. In 1995 the most recent visit occurred. Below is the group photograph of the Pavese family's visit to America.
Seated (left to right):
Nick Iacavino (Mary Lou's husband, deceased, April, 1999)
Holly (Nick and Mary Lou's daughter)
Holly's husband, Joe
Mary Lou (at the end of the table)
First row standing:
Kay Cacciamani (Henry's wife)
Jackie Palmieri (Carol's youngest daughter)
Christina Ferrari (my daughter)
Toni Palmieri (Carol's eldest daughter)
Carol Palmieri (my sister)
Leslie Ferrari (my wife)
Judy Palmieri (Carol's mother-in-law)
Josephine Ferrari (my mother)
Albino Ferrari (my father; deceased, June, 2000)
Gustavo Pavese (Carlos and Susana's son)
Albert Palmieri (Carol's father-in-law)
Vince Ferrari (me!)
Hank Cacciamani (Henry and Kay's son)
Dominic Palmieri (Carol's husband)
Adrian Pavese (Carolos and Susana's son)
Nick Iacavino Jr.(Nick and Mary-Lou's son), holding his daughter, Morgan
This photograph was taken in the spring of 1998. It is of my sister Janice, and her family, visiting the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. The older boy (sitting) is Philip,
and the younger, Nathan. John is seated in front. Sadly, John passed away in October of that same year.
On Easter Sunday, 1997, the Palmieri's paid a visit to the Nation's Capitol and to the Ferrari's. We all enjoyed the cherry blossoms, as well as the inside of the Smithsonian Castle while waiting for the rain to stop.
From left to right above: Jackie Palmieri, Leslie Ferrari, Christina Ferrari, Vince Ferrari, Carol Palmieri, Toni Palmieri, Dominic Palmieri.
Much has happened over the course of one-hundred years. Many joys and many sorrows have come our way. Of the seven of the children of Vincent and Linda Ferrari, all have left this world. Albino, my father, was the last to pass away, in June of 2000.
Similarly with the Cacciamani's, only Josephine and Mary Lou are still with us. But with the sadness, there is always happiness to take its place. Children are born, grow up and have children of their own. Life goes on.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1997, my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. All of their children were with them, as well as their children's spouses, and all five grandchildren. Below is a photograph from that memorable day.
Special thanks to my cousin, Richard Ruozzi, for providing me with two very special photographs for this page.
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