This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Seeking a new life in America

Even though on my paternal side my family goes back in America for over 300 years, on my maternal side I am only the second generation born in America. My maternal grandfather was born in Castelfranco in Miscano, a Province of Benevento, Region Campania, Italy. His daughter, my mom, was born in America, and so was I.

This is the wave that most of us think about when we think of immigration, just before the turn of the century. The people coming over from Europe, "huddled masses, yearning to breathe free". And my family were indeed "wretched refuse" from Southern Italy, a place of grinding poverty. I don't have the exact records of when my grandfather Lorenzo Scinto arrived here as a child, or whether he went through Ellis Island, but I like to imagine that he was excited to see The Statue of Liberty.

Lorenzo Scinto
My family ended up in a typical Italian neighborhood in Chicago, where Lorenzo became the first of his family to receive an education. He learned to speak English, and as a young man headed out to Michigan seeking work in the lumber industry. He married a American French-Canadian girl and became a Presbyterian for her. She learned to cook spaghetti for him. I still have the family's special recipe for the sauce! He eventually became a foreman for one of the great iron ore mines, the Mesabi, in Coleraine, Minnesota.

From "wretched refuse" of Italy he became an engineer, and a well-respected and successful man. My family sought a new life in America, and found it.
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