My Dad is Italian American. His dad, Antonio DellaVecchia was born in Italy in 1903. His Mom, Clara (Chiara) Moro was born in New York City in 1911 to Italian Parents. I haven’t done much research on his family as I feel woefully inadequate as a researcher.
Since completing the Boston University Certificate Program in December of 2017, I have begun to branch out. Now that my husband has retired, I am now able to plan some local research trips to the NYC Municipal Archives and local cemeteries to begin gathering information that isn’t available online.
I grew up in an area of Queens that is near LaGuardia Airport but isn’t Astoria or Jackson Heights. It is now lumped in with East Elmhurst but that doesn’t really fit either. I grew up between Astoria Boulevard and Ditmars Boulevard. Across the Grand Central Parkway from my house was St. Michael’s Cemetery and I always heard that my Great-Uncle Berlendo was buried there and how he was murdered.
On December 19, 2018 I decided to stop at St. Michaels and do a little research of my family there. My first stop was the office where I got the locations of the graves.
My first stop was the grave of Nicholas “Sweeps” Mangini. He isn’t really my relative but my dad always talked about Sweeps. He is Ida Mangini Moro’s brother. He is buried in Section 22 with his wife. Unfortunately I am not sure of her name at this point I believe it was Mae.
I am always saddened when there is no marker. Especially when it is the end of the line. Who will remember them.
I next made my way to Berlendo’s grave in Plot 6. Plot 6 is huge but the office told me how to find the graves in the plot so it was fairly easy to locate. Part of the reason for this trip was to see who was buried in this grave. My Mom and Dad had a disagreement. So this was the easiest way to end it. Well my Dad couldn’t remember the 3rd person and my Mom had the wrong people.
Well my Dad happened to be correct as he did say that his Uncle Michael was not buried there. In this plot is Sebetino Mangini (who I believe to be Ida Moro and Sweeps’ Dad. I now need to do more research on this line to confirm but the dates do seem to line up), Ida Mangini Moro and Berlendo Moro. Adding these names for my upcoming trip to the Municipal Archives to see what I can find on their deaths. Death Certificates are hidden gems for information.
I then made my way to the St. Michael Mausoleum and my parents were pretty spot on for the locations of my dads Aunt Josephine and Uncle Willy’s resting place which unfortunately did not seem to be marked the are in Section B22.
My last stop for paying my respects were Aunt Jenny and Uncle Nicky in AW104.
If you know me at all you know that I do not do mausoleums generally. They kind of freak me out but I will say these are done really well and are very peaceful.
This mini-cemetery research trip along with my trip the other day to Cyprus Hills Cemetery have lit a fire in me to tackle the Italian and NYC research. I think I am going to like my husband being retired.
Can’t wait to hit up the Municipal Archives in a week or two.