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|About The Domenico Pomponio Family Tree
This family tree has been developed for several purposes. The first is to honor my grandfather, Domenico Rosario Pomponio, the founding father of this group of Pomponio families in the United States. The second is to provide a pictorial record for the entire extended family group. The third reason is to provide a foundation for future members to develop, improve, and build apon.
Domenico originally came to the United States from Italy in 1900. He returned to Italy for several months and reentered the U.S. through Ellis Island on August 17, 1901. This time he came to stay. He believed that the opportunities for liberty, freedom, and prosperity were much greater in America than in Italy. Some time after his arrival he took a job working at an iron foundry or construction. He was seriously injured and sought medical aid from a "healer" named Raffaela Troilo- Ferrara. While he was recovering from his injuries he fell in love with Raffaela's daughter, Zeferina (Sophie) Ferrara. Eventually, they were married in Manhattan on January 8, 1905 and rented an apartment at 217 Mott Street.
Census records indicate they were living at 11 Old Wood Point Road in Brooklyn (Kings County) by 1910 and 14 Old Wood Point Road by 1920. At some time there was a fire and many of the family photographs, documents, and records were lost. Family members refer to an apartment on Withers Street but this has not been found in the census records. The address provided, 14 Old Wood Point Road is on a corner with Withers Street and may be the home remembered by the older siblings. By 1930 they had purchased a home at 22 Maspeth Ave in Brooklyn, NY. The 1930 U.S. Census indicates that at some time during the 1920's he converted the bottom floor to for use as an Italian specialty store. It is at this location that Dom and Sophie raised their family and the various branches of the Pomponio/Ferrara family tree developed their roots in America.
This project is the latest stage in a process of research and development that actually started in the 1980s as a middle school homework assignment for my daughter, Bernadette, in which she had to write a report about "her family roots". Then in 1983, my Great Uncle Philly (Filippo Addeo) died. After the funeral I was able to sit down with my Uncle Peter Addeo and discuss family history with him and my parents, Charles and Marian Pomponio. His knowledge not only included information about my maternal side to which he belonged but also to my paternal side because he was a friend my father's brother Ermindo. Ermindo enjoyed keeping the family history and had shared much of his information with Peter. Together we were able to develop the Pomponio/Ferrara and Addeo/Orlando branches in more detail.
This outline was kept for years and updated occasionally as marriages, births and deaths occurred. After over twenty years my brother Richard retired and began searching the family name on the internet. He wanted to construct a family history that included a family tree. Together we built upon the foundation that had already been constructed and began to contact relatives and search the net for anything involving our family names. We started with the name Pomponio, then Ferrara, Addeo and Orlando. As the project progressed we expanded outward to include inlaws and their families.
We found that name Pomponio and its derivations weave their way throughout the history of Rome and Italy. Although there is no way to make direct connections, the appearences of the name are both interesting and inspiring. There are at least three lineages of major significance. The earliest refers to Pomponius, a Sabine leader whose youngest son, Numa Pompilius (715 BC to 673 BC) was choosen as the second king of Rome. Numa ruled Rome after Romulus died and married Romulus' daughter, Tatia. The union united the two tribes and the history of Rome was on its way.
The next important appearance of the name refers to a woman, Pomponia, who married Publius Cornelius Scipio and was mother of Publius Scipio Africanus Major. Publius Scipio Africanus Major defeated Hannibal and the Carthaginians. He served as Consul of Rome in 205 BC and 194 BC.
I became aware of the third lineage as I suffered through two tormenting years of Latin in high school. Titus Pomponio Atticus (aka Attica Tito Pomponio 110/109 BC - 32 BC) was a Roman knight and a patron of letters. One of his close friends was the great Roman orator Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero). Titus' daughter, Caecilia Attica Pomponia became the first wife of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. The daughter of Caecilia and Marcus, Vipsania Agrippina (Pomponia), married Tiberius (Tiberius Claudius Nero) who eventually became the third emperor of Rome. This marriage was not to last because Tiberius was forced to divorce Vipsania and marry Julia Major, the daughter of the reigning emperor, Augustus.
The name continues to weave itself in and out of Italian history. At some unknown time at least one Pomponio member settled in the village of Liscia, in the Region Abruzzo, and the Provence of Chieti, Italy. This is the village where the family lived and Domenico was raised.
The Ferrara branch also started in the Chieti Provence of Italy. Raffaela Troilo brought two of her children, a daughter named Zeferina Ferrara and a son - Vincenzo Ferrara, from the village of Pollutri to America through Ellis Island in 1903. They traveled with the wife, Maria D'Abbisogno, and daughter, Concetta Ferrara, of Michael Ferrara, a third son of Raffaela. He had emigrated a year earlier, 1902. The ships manifests for all of them listed 66 Spring Street, Manhattan as their destination.
The Addeos emigrated from Palma, Campania, a small town located outside Naples, Italy. The first to venture over was Savario Montanino, the husband of Constanza Addeo. Constanza joined her husband in 1903. They were prosperous enough to afford to bring Biagio Addeo over in 1904, Filippo (Philly) Addeo in 1905 and their widowed mother, Mariannina Sorentina, also in 1905. Constanza and family headed for North 5th street in Brooklyn then moved to 35 Havermeyer Street. In 1916 Biagio married Rose Orlando moved into a small apartment on Metropolitan Avenue. Shortly after their first daughter, Mariannina, was born in 1917, the growing family moved to the Orlando brownstone on 72 Conselyea Street. Before the 1920 US Census Savario, Constanza, Filippo (Philip), and Mariannina (Anna) had moved to 37 Devoe Street in Brooklyn, NY.
The Orlando's also arrived somewhat separately. The first to make the voyage over was Andrea, the husband and father. He arrived in the United States through Ellis Island in 1900. In 1901, he was able to send for his wife, Theresa LaPenta and their two daughters, Rosa and Agnes Orlando. Andrea was one of the founding members of the Star Cork Company in Brooklyn. By 1916 or 1917 the family had grown with the addition of a son, Pasquale and another daughter, Michelina and purchased a home located at 72 Conselyea Street in Brooklyn, NY. This is the very building that Biagio and Rose Addeo and Virgil and Agnes Grappone raised their families. At various times The families of Charles and Marian Pomponio, Peter and Martha Addeo, and Phil and Diana Mule lived at 72 this address.
The home was eventually inherited by Rose and Agnes as part of the estate of their father, Andrea who died in 1942. Agnes bought out Rose when Rose moved to Hollis Queens in about 1953. Agnes remained in the home with her family until she died in 1998. This house still remains in family ownership (as of 2014) and was occupied continuously by family members until the deaths of Diana Grappone-Mule in 2007 and Phil Mule in the fall of 2009.
These four main trunks form the foundation of the extended family that is recorded within this website. There have been and will continue to be changes to the names and events that are herein recorded. It is my hope that each member of the family will take on the role of recorder for themselves and their immediate relatives. In this way the tree will continue to sprout new branches and incorporate new members.
19 January 2010
Alan R. Pomponio
Revised 9 February 2014
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