Tag Archives: grandmother

Italian Heritage – part 2

Pietro Cresto’s first wife, Domenica Crestetto Cresto…

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Pregnant with their fourth child, and taken ill, she returned to Italy in 1896 with their two daughters, Rose and Domenica, leaving son Emilio in Rockvale with Pietro where Emilio died that same year at the age of twelve after falling from an oil derrick.  The baby was born, named Achille for the Greek doctor who delivered him – soon after, his mother died.  For the next three years the girls and their baby brother remained in an orphanage in Italy.

Ellis Island records from November 1899 show the three children accompanied by Ellena Cresto, Pietro’s niece, and Marianna Gardetto, thought to be a cousin of the children’s deceased mother, arriving in New York from Italy.

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Rose

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Domenica

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Achille

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  In a short time Pietro and Marianna were married.

Marianna Gardetto Cresto, my grandmother, born in Bosconero, in northern Italy in 1867.

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‘Theirs’…..

Louise

See post: ‘My women of influence…Louise’

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Theresa

See post: ‘Mothers Day…my definition’

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Peter

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Charles

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The mystery of shared heritage continues to unfold as life circumstances bring various cousins together.  Friendships among us are rich and wonderful, enhanced by our common bond, literally, the very fiber of our beings.

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Tales of the silver napkin rings

As with silver spoons handed down in my family, napkin rings also have stories to tell.  Some are quite straight forward:

Lemuel from Mother

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Lemuel was Lena’s second born son – my father

 Lemuel Joseph Downs

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Others have a back-story:

Mama from Evelyn    09

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‘Mama’ refers to Lena, my grandmother, married to my grandfather George Wallingford Downs in in 1909.  Lena was 19; George at 35, a widower with an 8 year old daughter, Evelyn.  The hope for relationship expressed in the engraving was not to be.  Evelyn was soon sent to boarding school; Lena and George went on to have 3 sons.  The oldest, George Jr., had no children, my father only one daughter, and his younger brother, Bernard died in infancy.
Evelyn married and had four children.  Lena, to the end of her days, only claimed two sons and one granddaughter.  She was never ‘Mama’ to Evelyn.

Evelyn Elizabeth Downs

with her grandmother

Susan Eliza Houston Downs

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Susan Eliza Houston Downs

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my great grandmother, my father’s grandmother, his father’s mother – Lena’s mother-in-law

This napkin ring does not so much tell its own story, as gives confirmation of the one just told.  Indeed, I was named for the Susan of the napkin ring, so it seems to logically follow that it would come to me…..eventually.  Nineteen years would pass between Susan’s death and my birth.  I would think that it might have been passed first during that time to Evelyn from her grandmother.  Instead, it came to me directly from Lena……

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Do you have family treasures with stories to tell???  Perhaps you have not yet listened……………

 

 

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