221 – Family Nibbles – Volume 8

Family Nibbles – Volume 8 is here! This book is about the lives of our Pensa and Riley ancestors, with a little bit of Gardella thrown in.

Family Nibbles – Volume 8

Stories of Our Pensa and Riley Ancestors

We were lucky to find references to the Pensa and Gardella families in Italy dating to the 1500s.

The families had lived in the mountain village of Roccatagliata for generations when Antonio and Rosa Pensa departed for America in 1869.

With few belongings and no English-language skills, they made a life in St. Louis.

Pensa book club

After Rosa Pensa died, Antonio raised the children as a single parent. He had the help of the good book.

Spinning a yarn

John and Ann Riley left Ireland in the late 1840s to escape The Great Famine.

The Rileys tried coal mining in Pennsylvania, farming in Indiana and Iowa. They were among the early settlers in Pettis County, Missouri in 1859.

They bought a 40-acre farm near Georgetown, three miles north of Sedalia. There they raised a family of nine children.

Sedalia, Missouri became the backdrop for the next generations of the Rileys, and a few Gardellas and Pensas.

Will Riley came of age in Sedalia. In the 1880s, he began a long and successful career.

Will Riley and Josie Pensa married and raised a family of six children.

These families left a lasting legacy. We’re the evidence. Without their pluck and perseverance and a bit of luck, we wouldn’t be reading this today.

Cathy Teply (Jarvis) baptism – 1953

Family Nibbles Volumes

  • Family Nibbles – Volume 1 Stories of Our Teply Ancestors 1600-1865
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 2 Stories of Our Teply Ancestors 1865-1925
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 3 Stories of Our Jarvis English Heritage
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 4 Stories of Our Jarvis Ancestors 1680-1800
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 5 Stories of Our Jarvis Ancestors 1800-1865
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 6 Stories of Our Jarvis Ancestors 1865-1920
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 7 Stories of Our Jarvis Ancestors 1920-1938
  • Family Nibbles – Volume 8 Stories of Our Pensa and Riley Ancestors

You can get the books any of three ways: Amazon paperback, Google eBook, or Kindle eBook.

Amazon Books Paperback

You can get the paperback books at Amazon. Search for ‘Family Nibbles’ or ‘Family Nibbles book.’

The price for each volume is $30. They’re worth every penny!

Google eBook

You can find the eBooks on Google Books or Google Play. They’re free!

They’re best read on your iPad or tablet using Google Play Reader app. And you can read in Firefox on your Macbook.

Kindle eBook

You can find the ebooks on Amazon or Kindle Store. The price is $2.99 per book.

You can read this version on any Kindle reader or Kindle app on your iPad.


It’s rewarding to collect Family Nibbles stories into this book, but the part I most enjoy is the research and discovery and sharing of our family stories.

We will continue our stories with a look at the history of our Gallagher family. Then we’ll catch up with the Rileys and Gallaghers through the 1920s and 1930s.

Thanks to all you readers.


2 thoughts on “221 – Family Nibbles – Volume 8

  1. Madeleine May 13, 2022 / 12:37 pm

    I’d love to be in contact with you as we are related, albeit distantly. My Gardella Family was from Neirone and as I have often been told, all Gardellas were from Neirone and we are all related.

    My grandfather was born Antonio Alessandro Gardella in Detroit, MI.

    He was the son of Pietro and Luigia Biaggi of Neirone

    Pietro was the son of Antonio and Teresa of Neirone.

    My immediate Gardella family settled in NYC.


    • Mark Jarvis May 13, 2022 / 3:42 pm

      Thanks Madeleine,

      I think your quotation is great – “All Gardellas were from Neirone and we are all related.”

      I have been doing genealogy on lots of our family surnames, and I’ve never seen such a dominant family, especially from a remote village.

      Hope you enjoyed the posts on Neirone area. I certainly enjoyed researching and writing them. And now my goal is to visit. Don’t know when, but hope soon.



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