Welcome to the family history site of the Montaltos.
We are the descendants of Nicolo Montalto and Candelora Mirto (Anna Cappellano),
immigrants from Sicily, who arrived in America in 1906.
After more than 100 years in America, the family established this website
to preserve the precious memories of our ancestors and the “legacy of love” that they created.
Here you will find a page about our immigrant forebears, Anna and Nicolo,
as well as separate pages for the seven branches of the family established by their seven children.
You will also find a detailed history of the family focusing on
the harsh circumstances of Anna and Nicolo’s life in Italy.
“The past is always present in our lives.”
Candelora Mirto (Anna Cappellano), wife of Nicolo Montalto,
at the window of her home at 545-50th Street
in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, ca. 1937
A Note on the Meaning of “Generation” on this site
Following the practice of the U.S. Census Bureau and most social scientists, the “first generation” refers to the immigrant generation, the “second generation” refers to the children of the immigrants, the “third generation” to the grandchildren, etc.
We did, however, depart from this practice in classifying Gaetana (Annie) and Giovanna (Jennie), the two oldest children of Nicolo and Candelora, who immigrated to America with their parents. Although they were born in Italy, they spent most of their formative years in the U.S. Hence, we have listed them as second generation, along with their five other U.S.-born siblings.
The Italian Naming Tradition
The children of Candelora (Anna) and Nicolo followed the Italian tradition of naming their children after their parents in order to honor them. According to this tradition, the first-born son is named after the father’s father. The first-born daughter is named after the father’s mother. Second-born sons or daughters are named after the mother’s parents. For this reason, there are many people in the Montalto extended family with names derived from Anna and Nicolo. In this photo, you see the first-born sons of the four sons of Anna and Nicolo (Frank, Joe, Tony, and Sal), all given the English name of Nicholas. The first-born daughters of these four sons were named Anna, Annette, Lora (from Candelora), and Ann Marie. As far as the three daughters of Anna and Nicolo were concerned, their second-born daughters were named Anna, Anna, and Candelora. Two of the three daughters (Annie and Millie) did not have sons. The second-born son of Jennie was named Nicolo but he died in infancy. Names derived from Anna and Nicolo also appear in later generations.