Priscilla Normandy Greenwood's Family Album

My Grandaunts and Granduncles on the Tuorto Side

My Grandma Giovannina (Tuorto) Normandia's Brothers

The children of Daniele "Antonio" Tuorto
and Carmela Cassese Restaino
of Palma Campania, Province of Napoli, Italy


Great Uncle Sam Tuorto, New York

Grandaunt Jennie Tuorto

Granduncle Salvatore  "Sam" Tuorto and his wife, Giovannina "Jennie" (Montanino).   Uncle Sam was born on March 4, 1893, in Palma Campania, Napoli province, Italy. Aunt Jennie was born there on August 14, 1894. Her maiden name was Montanino. Her mother's maiden name was Raffaela Corbisiero.

Sam first came to America with his parents on the ship Brittania (Fabre Line) and arrived at Ellis Island on April 18, 1896, at the age of three. He returned to Italy several times.

He and Jennie fell in love in Italy and came to America on the ship 

He had a produce market at 551 Grand Street in Brooklyn when he was young.  They once lived on Bay 8th Street in a house formerly owned by Sam's brother,  Andrew. They had a daughter named Millie (whose  name was actually Raffaela Carmela) who married Ralph ( Angelo Raffael) Alternative. Their children were around my age and used to visit us at Grandma's house on Conselyea Street in Brooklyn. I only knew them as Sonny and Baby Anna.  Now I know their names are actually Salvatore Luke and Anna Giovannina

One family story I liked to hear when I was little was about the time Uncle Sam, Aunt Jennie, and my Grandma Jennie went to Italy in the 1920s. Sam took his big Cadillac on the ship. When they got to Italy, the streets were so narrow, his big car could barely get through! Christmas Eve at their house was a time to remember with the whole extended family there. The dinner was (and correct me if I get these wrong) eels, octopus, mussels, clams, calamari, scungilli, and other sea delicacies that were way too weird for us kids. One wall in the basement was made into a presepe, or manger scene. The highlight was at midnight when Ralph  got to put the little baby Jesus statue in the manger. Funny, the things you remember from your childhood. 

Granduncle Andrew Tuorto was born in Palma Campania, Napoli, Italy, around 1879, although his sister, Giovannina (Jennie) was born that year so it seems unlikely it was that exact year. He married Elizabeth Capozucca, who was called "Lizzie" who was born in 1886 in Italy, and died in December 1974 in Brooklyn. Their son, John Joseph (born Giovanni Giuseppe) named the children in a recent phone call. They were Louis, Carmela (Millie), Lucia (Lucy), Anthony, Salvatore (Samuel), Anna, Jennie (Jean), Mary, Laura, and Giovanni Giuseppe (John Joseph) . Their  granddaughter, Elizabeth Tuorto Petrusa  who was named after "Lizzie" said Lizzie actually gave birth 14 times. 

Andrew owned a produce market at 475 Grand Street, and a shoe store in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, around 18th Avenue and 86th Street. He was in the real estate business and also in the family import business, importing olives and olive oil from the family olive groves in Italy.  Uncle Andrew died April 30, 1945, in Brooklyn.  He and Lizzie are buried in Calvary Cemetery,  Woodside, Queens County, NY. 

It was Andrew who introduced his sister, "Jennie" (my grandmother), to her future husband, Michael Normandia.

Granduncle Benigno "Benny" Tuorto was born in Italy around 1887-88. He married Anna Pietranielli who was also born in Italy. Their children were Ralph John, Rose, Anthony (Tony), and Carmela (Mille).  Little Rose died of pneumonia at the age of five. 

Benny owned a barber shop on Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Relatives and friends looked forward to his elaborate Christmas display every year. He made a huge creche that filled a whole wall of his shop. It was called a "presepe" in Italian. People came from all over to see it. Uncle Benny died around 1951. His granddaughters Anna May and Benedette (who was named after him) have helped with information on their branch of our family tree. They are the children of the late Ralph John and Donata (Dorothy) Minella Tuorto.

NOTE: In 2001 I heard from three sources that Uncle Benny wasn't really our uncle! They all said he was a close cousin and we called him Uncle out of respect. I am still checking on this. He is on the 1920 NY Census at 144 Union Avenue, Brooklyn.

Granduncle Louis (Luigi) Tuorto was born June 21, 1889, in Italy. His wife's name may have been Maria Sorentino. Her brother owned a produce market on Grand Street between Leonard and Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn. Uncle George said they had a daughter named Anna and another daughter whose name we don't know yet. They lived in Toledo, Ohio, where Louie owned a produce market. Once all the brothers closed their Brooklyn  produce businesses and went to Toledo  to open a huge produce market with Uncle Louie, but it didn't last too long.   Louie owned oil wells out west and travelled a lot. Uncle George Normandy was sent there to help his aunt with the children while Louie was away. Louie died in New Jersey in May, 1963. That's all I know about him except that my brother, Michael Normandy, remembers that he  visited our  Normandia grandparents once at 37 Conselyea St., Brooklyn. 
Granduncle William (Biagio)Tuorto was born about 1883 in Palma Campania.
William was married to Giovannina "Jennie" Muzio who was born in Italy on Dec. 24, 1889. Their children were Camillia (Millie), Andrew, Anthony (Tony), William, Jr. (Billy), Thersa (Tessie), Joseph, Julia, and Louis. We think William came to America in 1893 at the age of 36.  My Uncle George Normandy talks about Uncle Willie on cassette tapes he made for me. He said Uncle Willie also had a produce and grocery market at 513 Grand Street in Brooklyn. Uncle George was sent to live with him for awhile. William died on April 22, 1926 in Brooklyn. Jennie died in August, 1964. Thanks to Lisa Wallace Tuorto for much of the information on this family line.
Uncle George said he thought my Grandma had one sister. I have never heard this from anyone else so I don't know if this is true or not. As far as I know, Grandma Giovannina "Jennie" Tuorto was the only daughter. She was born August 21, 1879 and died December 5, 1950. Photos of her are on another page.

If you are a related to the Tuorto family, there is a free, private, members-only, password-protected website for us. You can join by invitation only. Please write Lisa Wallace Tuorto if you would like an invitation. She is the administrator of the site started in January, 2001. Thanks, Lisa!

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Now Playing: "Those Were the Days"
All in the Family TV show theme song

"Those Were the Days"
Boy, the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade
Guys like us, we had it made
Those were the days

Didn't need no welfare state
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great
Those were the days

And you know who you were then
Girls were girls and men were men
Mister, we could use a man
like Herbert Hoover again

People seemed to be content
Fifty dollars paid the rent
Freaks were in a circus tent
Those were the days

Take a little Sunday spin
Go to watch the Dodgers win
Have yourself a dandy day
that cost you under a fin

Hair was short and skirts were long
Kate Smith really sold a song
I don't know just what went wrong
Those were the days

by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

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