Maternal side:
My grandfather, Pietro Amodeo, was the son of David Amodeo and Marianna Pappalardo. David and Marianna may have had another son named Lawrence, but we do not know too much beyond that. Pietro first immigrated to America before the turn of the century and settled in New York City. He had been married once before he met my grandmother, and had 4 children from his first marriage: David, Benjamin, Rose and Mary.
During a visit to Palermo around 1904 or 1905, Pietro was asked by Giovanni Lucchese to escort his daughter Rosalia to the United States. Giovanni was fairly wealthy, owning considerable property around Palermo. He had refused a suitor's request to marry Rosalia, and the suitor had threatened to kidnap her. Concerned for Rosalia's safety, Giovanni decided to have Pietro escort her to the USA to stay with her brothers, Phillip and James, who were already living here. Pietro and Rosalia fell in love on their way to the USA, and were married against Giovanni's wishes. It was not until many years later that Giovanni reconciled with Rosalia over her marriage to Pietro.
They moved between Chicago and Brooklyn several times, before settling in Buffalo, NY around 1916 and had 12 children: Marianna, John, Jacqueline (Katy), Domenic, Frank, Juliette (Julia), Romeo (Lawrence), James, Agatha, Joseph, Thomas and my mother, Gloria. The Amodeo family settled on Buffalo's West Side within a couple blocks from another family from Palermo, the Sammarco's. The Sammarco's had 11 children, and were very close with the Amodeo's; in fact, four of the Amodeo children married four of the Sammarco children.