206 – St. Louis 1880s

In 1880, the Pensas and Gardellas had been in St. Louis for ten years. The population was 350,000, up from 310,000 in 1870. Irish and Eastern Europeans were the largest immigrant communities. The number of Italians had grown to thousands, and would increase dramatically in the next 20 years.

Here’s an amazing fact. In 1880, our Pensas, all the way from Roccatagliata, were the only Pensas in the United States.

Pensa surname – Ancestry.com
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205 – St. Louis 1870s

We’ve visited the home village of our Pensa and Gardella families in Italy. We’ve investigated the mystery of Josephine Pensa’s birth.

Now we’re back in New Orleans. The S.S. Paganini arrived at the docks March 1, 1869, having left Genoa three or four weeks earlier. The Pensa and Gardella families were among the 85 passengers, all Italians.

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202 – Life in Roccatagliata 1800s

Antonio Pensa

Antonio Pensa was born in Roccatagliata in 1825.

His father Giovanni and mother Caterina were born in Roccatagliata, probably in the 1790s. And their parents and grandparents were born in Roccatagliata.

Antonio married Rosa Gardella, who was born in Roccatagliata in 1835. Rosa’s parents and grandparents were born there too.

It was their home village.

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