This book, "THE MEROLA'S" is the story of my ancestors including both my maternal and paternal grandparents and their voyage to America on the same ship. It provides current and future generations of our family with both the Petrizzi and the Merola Family Trees. It also gives a little information about the Adessio family. It covers seven generations of my family, contains little snippets of their life and many photographs and documents of the families through the ages. It includes an illustration of the S.S. Neustria on which they traveled fromItaly toAmerica, highlighting part of the ship's manifest. The book contains photographs fromItaly and theUnited States over a period of nearly one hundred twenty-five years, from 1890 to 2012.
My maternal grandfather and his two cousins arrived in America in 1886. They found the streets were not paved in gold, but they could earn a good living and support a family here. After two years they returned to Italyto find wives and came back to America in 1890 with their new brides. This book is their story.
I had for many years wanted to create a family tree for the young people in the family, many of whom live out of state, those who as you spoke to them, usually said, "Who are you speaking about. Are they related, and if so, how are they related?"
I created an extensive Family Tree. I went back seven generations, beginning in Italy and culmination in the United States. I decided that I wanted to tell the young people a little bit about their ancestors, so I included mini-biographies of my grandparents, aunts and uncles and some of my cousins who are no longer with us. I also included some short stories about them. At this point, I decided the younger members of the family now knew where they fitted in the family, and a little bit about their relative's lives, but they couldn't visualize what these people looked like, so I included photographs of these ancestors.
I was able to collaborate with two of my cousins. I wrote the bios of the relatives and e-mailed them to these cousins and my sister for their clarification of what I had written. I had copies of documents and many photos of the family which I included. I then called my sister, making her crazy saying, "Momma had a photograph of so and so, and it looked like this, see if you can find it and mail it to me." She always did.
The information in this book was not obtained using Ancestory.com, which is not the most reliable source; rather, the stories and facts were handed down to us by our aunts and uncles over the years and as we recalled some of our experiences growing up.
It depicts the life of a family of Italian immigrants, their pursuit of citizenship, the hardships and the challenges they faced. In reading the book you can see how times and concepts change, as well as the struggles of our ancestors and how they handled adversity and dealt with any obstacles they encountered. It shows how with perseverance and determination they prospered and became valued citizens. These people, my relatives, became doctors, lawyers, a District Attorney, clothing designers, pharmacists, CPAs, and a U.N. Representative to name a few. There were also many teachers, bookkeepers, business owners and managers, builders, architects, photo-engravers and engineers.
It took me about two years to complete this project and deal with a publisher, but I finally achieved my goal. I had my book published, purchased the quantity I required and upon receiving the copies, sent them to all of my relatives and gave a few copies to close friends. It truly was a labor of love.
It was very gratifying to receive notes, letters, phone calls and e-mails from my cousin&