"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Monday, March 25, 2019

Angela Capobianco- My Great-Grandmother with Mob Ties and Sauce

From left to right: My grandmother Estelle, my great great grandmother Angela, and my great aunt Marina.

For the personal ancestor project, I chose my great great grandmother Angela Capobianco. The reason I chose her is because I know for a fact she had an extremely interesting life and was dedicated to her family. I did not know much detail before, but I learned about her childhood, her love for sauce, and her ties to the Italian mob which is another main reason I selected her.

Angela was born around 1898 in Italy. When she was 14, she came to America, Ellis Island specifically, on a boat with her mother and two sisters and was sent back to Italy alone because they said her vision was not good enough. 

When she ended up coming back to America, she lived in New York for a while before moving to Baltimore, MD. Angela passed away in her 90's, when my mom was in college, simply from old age in Baltimore and was buried there. She is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, and her gravestone is a yard marker.

I got the opportunity to call my great grandmother's best friend Marie Elena who lived with her for over 30 years to find out close to all of my information on her. "She was the sweetest, most caring woman I ever knew. Her ability to put her family before herself was something I admired about her the most". 

My mom told me that my great great grandmother had a second kitchen in her basement, where she would make her own sauce and dough, and that she even considered starting her own sauce company. "She would make the best sauce from scratch in her basement. She loved doing it so much that she would have jars and jars of sauce shelved up".

Marie Elena also, surprisingly, gave me the inside scoop on her ties with the Italian Mob. She told me that my Uncle Mikey and Tommy lived above a pizza shop with her in New York. "Your great grandmother told me that she would clean the money for the Italian mob up in New York." She told me details that my grandmother had given her about how men would always be coming in and out of her place with guns. I thought this part of my great-grandmothers life was super interesting and the main reason I chose her. Thank you Mom and Marie Elena especially for taking me back and letting me get to know my great-grandmother better!

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