The American Story of Molfettese Immigration






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c. Early 1900s - Vincenzo Ghiberti (pictured on the left) first immigrated to Hoboken in 1906 and then moved to the U.S. permanently in 1920. I believe this image was taken between 1906 and 1911, before Vincenzo was married. It is unknown who the man on the right is. If you have any information regarding this photograph please email me at

c. 1915 - This image shows four members of the Lupo family and is a very early depiction of Molfettesi children living in Hoboken, NJ. (Pictured from left to right, Lena (Angelina), Paul (Pantaleo), Fannie (Philomena) and Charles (Carmine). The children's father was a carpenter named Vito Lupo who emigrated to the U.S. in 1907, first arriving in Massachusetts with his wife Giovanna Poli and sister Giovanna Lupo and eventually landing in Hoboken to meet up with his brother Giuseppe Lupo. The rest of the Lupo family arrived in 1914, but their reunion would be short lived since the patriarch of the family would fall to Tuberculosis in Dec. 1916. (All Lupo images are the sole property of Charles Lupo, for more information contact him at:

Click Here to see an Image of Vito Lupo c. 1897

Click Here to see an image of Vito Lupo and his wife Maria Giovanna (Jennie) Poli c. 1910

Click Here to see Vito Lupo's Ellis Island Manifest from 1907 (Line 7)

Click Here to see the Lupo family Manifest from 1914 (Line 14)

Click Here to see the Lupo family in the 1920 U.S. Census




My Grandmother’s Voyage to America
By Alex Sallustio

c. 1920 - This is the story of my Grandmother’s voyage to America with my mother, her sister and two brothers.

It all began when my Grandfather, Giovanni Sciancalepore, (Top Right in Photo) arrived at Ellis Island, NY on March 23, 1912. It was the custom in those days that a man, wishing to immigrate to the United States, would first come here and work to earn enough money to bring his family over, have enough to begin their new life and not have to depend on anyone. It was a time when dependency was not an option.

So, he left Ellis Island and went to 240 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ to live with his brother Michael (Top Left in Photo) and worked for the Lackawanna Railroad. After two years, he decided to make a trip back to visit the family. While there, my Uncle Francesco was conceived and with Giovanna, Corrado and Chiara, the children totaled four.

He arrived back in Hoboken to resume work. Ellis Island records show him entering the US twice. When he felt he had earned enough money to bring the family over and start their new life, he sent the funds to my Grandmother(Maria Luica de Gennaro, Bottom Right in Photo) with instructions for the trip.

My Grandmother was not happy. She was not keen to leave her mother and relatives to go to this land, 3,500 miles away separated by a huge ocean, where they spoke another language. She decided not to go. Finally, my Great Grandmother said to her simply, “Where the pants go, the skirt must follow.” Although she knew she would never see her mother again, she recognized the logic and decided to go. She packed up their belongings and the kids and took the train to Naples. Upon arriving at the Naples seaport, she learned that she missed the boat. It was a large boat and would have been an easier trip with less rocking. Instead, she booked passage on a smaller ship, the Regina d’Italia (Queen of Italy).

Now, this was 1916. World War I was on and the Atlantic was swarming with German U-boats sinking Allied ships. Their route was a zig-zag one hoping to avoid enemy contact. Back in the US, my Grandfather, awaiting the arrival, finds out that the ship the family was supposed to be on was torpedoed and all were lost. Imagine finding out that your whole family is wiped out. On September 16, 1916, The Regina d’Italia arrived. My Grandfather received a telegram from Ellis Island informing him that his family was here and he should come pick them up. He thought it was either a cruel joke or a mistake. What joy he must have felt when he first caught sight of the family he thought was gone.

As children, we used to tease my Grandmother with, “Gee Grandma, if you weren’t so stubborn, we wouldn’t be here.” And she would laugh and say, “That’s true.”

(This image is the sole property of Alex Sallustio, for more information contact him at:

c. 1950s- This image from the late 1950s or early 1960s depicts a typical wedding party and an extended family. The people on the left side of the image are Cosmo Damiano Magarelli, his wife, Pasqua Andreula, his sister "Lena," and his son Peter Magarelli. The wedding took place in Hoboken, NJ.


(This image is the sole property of Peter Magarelli)



c. 1960 - One of my most favorite images of Molfettesi men on the job site This photo features my dad Giuseppe in front of his father & three uncles. Back row from left to right: Benedetto, Vitangelo, Alfonso & Mauro Giuseppe Magarelli

(This image is the sole property of Mauro Magarelli, for more information contact him at:



c. 1963- This image from September 1963 depicts Francesco Angelo Visaggio holding the triangular flag during the procession of the feast of La Madonna dei Martiri. Visaggio's granddaughter, Sue Visaggio Antista, recalls watching her grandfather carry the flag with great pride while her father, Mario Visaggio, worried about the elderly Vissagio's ability to finish the entire parade. (This image is the sole property of Sue Antista Vissagio, for more information contact her at: