|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 1898 and stayed until
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
speciality 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.
Constanza headed for North 5th street in Brooklyn then 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. 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 and Vergil and Agnes
raised their families.
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 incorperate new members.
19 January 2010
Alan R. Pomponio
Revised 9 February 2014