Ok guys, I’m cheating a bit here, but I hope you can forgive me. June is a crazy month for me (some really cool things are happening that I’ll post about later this week), so I just got around to typing up Grammy’s family history notes last night. Since I’m already knee deep in awesome family stories that have yet to be posted, and because I have about 300 other things going on in the next few days, this week I’ll be having Sunday with Grammy instead of Tuesday with Grammy. I know, I know…
At this point, I’ve made my way through most of her notes and I’m ready to get this family history party started. I’ve been on the fence about whether to post everything I transcribe, or to paraphrase, but I’ve decided to just put it all up here, so I apologize in advance for some super lengthy posts coming your way.
And so it begins, the family history according to Grammy…
The Story of Eduardo Guarino D’Amarino, My Maternal Great-Grandfather
Eduardo D’Amarino was born on November 27th, 1881 to Anthony & Giovanina D’Amarino in Caserta, a small town on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. The family had olive trees growing on their property and when the olives were ripe, they were pressed, and the precious oil was stored in barrels in the cellar.
When Eduardo was a boy of about 8, he was sent by his father to the cellar to fill a bottle with oil to be used to prepare the family supper. Eduardo filled the cruet, but failed to secure the spigot on the barrel properly. When his father went to the cellar the following day, there was a pool of oil covering the floor and most of the barrel of oil was lost. His father was so angry that he gave him a severe licking. Just at this moment, Anthony’s brother arrived for a visit and was appalled at the punishment that Eduardo had received. This brother was married but had no children, and told his brother Anthony that, “Sometimes God gives children to someone who doesn’t deserve them”. He then asked permission to take Eduardo and home with him, to which Anthony agreed. Eduardo was raised by his uncle, which proved to be a blessing because he was given a fine education and the opportunity to apprentice with a master carpenter who taught him a valuable trade.
Eduardo came from a rather large family and one brother named Phillip had emigrated to America. He wrote to Eduardo and persuaded him to come to America to live with he and his family in Oakland, California. Eduardo left Italy at age 19 and came through Ellis Island to join his brother in California.
Phillip lived on a large farm with his wife and 5 (or 6) sons. The family supported themselves by raising many kinds of of fruits and vegetables which were sold at a local farmers market. Eduardo worked on the farm and whenever produce was ready, he would take it to the market via the family’s horse and wagon.
All the money from this was turned over to brother Phillip and Eduardo found himself working, but being paid nothing for his labor. He finally summoned the courage to ask his brother if he could please pay him something for his work. The answer was, “No, I have a large family to support and I can’t afford to pay you anything right now”. Eduardo continued to work for more time with no pay and finally approached his brother again with the same request. The answer was, “Why do you need money? You have a home here, you don’t have to pay for room and board, what else do you need?”. This was the final straw.
On the following day, Eduardo loaded the wagon as usual, hitched up the horse, and left for town. When he arrived at the farmers market, he sold all the fruit and vegetables—then he sold the horse—and then the wagon. He used the money to take the next train back to the East Coast where he had a cousin living in Waterbury, Connecticut.
He settled in Waterbury and met a young girl named Lucia Angelo-Cola, who would later become his wife…