Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why It's Called the La Monica Family Reunion


Hello Family,
I’ve been thinking. (That’s a switch!) Being as some of you are in the fifth generation of the LaMonica blood line, you might have wondered why the reunions are called the LAMONICA FAMILY REUNION; especially if no one in your immediate family is, or was to your memory, named LAMONICA. (Sicilian trivia: La Monica means - the Nun!)
Several years ago, I wrote a history and genealogy of Joseph and Carolina LaMonica, (Joseph was my father), and inserted it in the three ring binder which is placed on the corner display table at each reunion. The genealogy included his brother and all his sisters names, their emigration from Sicily (those that emigrated), where they lived in the United States and the names of their children. All of these immigrants were, of course, LaMonicas. The three women, took on the last name of their husbands,
and the name of LaMonica was lost unless someone had kept close track of your heritage.
Should you have missed the opportunity to look through the book and read the story of your immigrant grandparent, however many times removed, I will now give you a little background by which you can trace your heritage. Look back at the courageous Sicilian, who in the very late nineteenth, or very early twentieth century, left Santa Caterina Villarmosa, their little farming village in the center of the island of Sicily. With little or perhaps borrowed money, unable to speak or understand “American”, he or she traveled to this great and wonderful land of opportunity. They left their parents and families, not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and in fact, never did!
But, they CAME! Because they came - you, your parents and everyone after them have been born into our great nation.
I am not certain which of the LaMonica siblings was the first to emigrate to America. For some reason, however, I think it was Michelina. Michelina married Joseph Interbartolo. They lived in Boston, Massachusetts after coming to America. They had five children: Joseph, Rose (Amoroso), Charles, Grace (Matthews) and Salvatore.
Pietro (Peter) LaMonica was one of only two boys in the family. Pietro married Maria LaMonica. Maria was the first cousin of these LaMonicas. When she and her brother, Santo, were very young, their father, Pasquale LaMonica, the brother of Calogero LaMonica, the father of these of whom I write, and his wife both died. Santo and Maria were taken in to live with their Uncle Calogero and his family. Pietro and Maria fell in love and by a dispensation of the local bishop, were married. When they emigrated, they came to southwestern Pennsylvania, in the area of Uniontown. Pietro and Maria had five children: Rose, who never married, Charles, Pasquale, Carmella / Lena (Keating) and Virginia (Malnati).
Giuseppe (Joseph) first came to America in 1902. He too came to the Uniontown, Pennsylvania area. In 1904 he returned to Sicily upon learning of the death of his father. There he married Carolina Pastorello. He returned to America in early 1905 and later Carolina joined him in Uniontown. Joseph and Carolina had twelve children: Rose (Sage/McGlasson), Constance (McKinley), Josephine (Wells), Caroline who never married, Charles, Margaret (Rabbitt), Victoria (Buchanan), John, Mary(Trimbath), Florence (Hostetler), Grace (Kacmar) and yours truly, Gerald.
Rose married Salvatore (Sam) Terravecchia. They lived in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Rose and Sam had seven children:
Rose (Colianni), Peter, Josephine (Hruby), Charles, Mary (Adams), Samuel and Grace. Rose died in childbirth with Grace. Grace was taken and nursed by Pietro’s wife, Maria, and lived with them all her life. Grace never married.
Maria married Michael Rey. They lived in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. Michael and Maria had four children: Geatana, known as Katie (Felice), Rose (Espy), John and Mary (Girardi).
Of all the LaMonica children, only one, Luminata, did not emigrate to America. She remained in Sicily and married Giuseppe Andolino. They had two children: Vincent and Grace. Grace married a man by the name of Bonaserra and remained in Santa Caterina, Sicily. Vincent emigrated to America and came to southwestern Pennsylvania also. He married Michelina Comforte and lived in the small town of Lisnering (spelling in question). Vincent and Grace had two sons, Philip and Joseph.
I hope that this will help you and/or your children see where you fit in to the LaMonica family. You might want to keep this information for grandchildren as the further we get from the original immigrants the more likely it is that we could lose track of where we come from.

Gerald (Jerry) LaMonica October 2007


Caterina said...


Caterina said...

My name is Catherine La Monica.
I live in France
My father's name is Salvatore La Monica. He was born to Santa Caterina Villarmosa 12/06/1951.
His father : Giuseppe La Monica.
His mother : Caterina Piazza.
It's the same family ?
Have you got an idea ?

Joanne Quinn-Smith said...

I believe that Salvatore La Monica is a cousin, but I will have to defer this question to my uncle Gerald who is one of three of the last Newboro, Pennsylvania, USA La Monica siblings, there were 12. He is the unoffical historian for the family and has been to Caltinisetta several times.
My granmother's name is Caterina. You can check out our family social networking forum at:
So sorry that I have not checked this sooner. I will refer this to my Zio Jerry and see what he has to say.
Ciao, Joanne La Monica Quinn-Smith

Joanne Quinn-Smith said...

It seems that you began you first post in French. I can understand a litte French, am much better at Italian.
Also I believe my Uncle Jerry writes Italian very well.

Joanne La Monica Quinn-Smith

Jeanine said...

I think I am a part of your familia! My name is Jeanine La Monica and my Nano was Joseph (Giuseppe) La Monica a homicide detective for L.A.P.D. My little nani and little nano (great-grandparents) arrived in Ellis Island in May 1909 from Sicily. They relocated to Tampa, Florida and their names appear on a monument in Tampa of Sicilians that began Tampa. Little Nani had three children Aunt Mary, Uncle Julio and my dear sweet nano has passed and I want to find my lineage and roots to share with my only son. Sincerely, Jeanine