In the Beginning…
So I guess it is best to start every story at the beginning. However, this isn’t really the beginning. It is the beginning as far as I know.
Like hundreds of thousands of other Italians, my family arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. I haven’t found an exact date yet, but I’m sure I will.
The great migration from Italy took place between 1880 and 1914; a total of 13 million Italians came to America and made it home.
My family settled in Newark. At its height, Seventh Avenue in Newark was one of the largest Little Italies in the United States with a population of over 30,000 within one square mile. The center of that neighborhood was St. Lucy’s Church, built by Italian immigrants in 1891. St. Lucy’s holds the National Shrine to St. Gerard, the patron saint of expectant mothers.
That’s where the story of my family begins. The First Ward of Newark.