I'm a quarter Italian on my mother’s side - her father was full blooded Italian. My great-great-grandparents' origins are in Abruzzo and Benevento in Italy. On the left is a portrait of Lauretta DeLouise, my late maternal grandfather’s aunt, and her parents (my great-great-grandparents). She died at the age of 18 in New Haven, Connecticut, of meningitis. My grandfather’s father, Lauretta’s brother, was born on Leed’s Island in Guilford in 1891, where their father worked as a stonecutter. My great-grandfather received his schooling in Vermont, and then returned to New Haven at the age of 18, and made his family there. My grandfather and most of his siblings remained in the greater New Haven area as well.
The trunk in the picture on the left currently sits in my living room at home in Connecticut. While my mother currently uses it to store family photos, it came over from Italy with my great-great-grandparents. It was used by the family for many years to store linens, and was in the possession of my great-uncle until a few years ago, when he gave it to my mother.
– Molly Hellauer