Michelle Ann Kratts

Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

St. Mary’s Section, Babies (St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York)

In St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Another book from St. Joseph’s Cemetery contains the babies buried in St. Mary’s Section.

This book covers 1942 to 1963.

Again, pardon our blurry images.  We had to photograph the pages as they were too fragile for a scanner.

In the near future, these blurry pages will be re-photographed.

Babies 1

Babies 2

Transcriptions for St. Mary’s Section, Babies:

St. Joe’s baby graves

St. Joseph’s School, Niagara Falls

In School Days, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm
St. Joseph's School

7th Grade class, St. Joseph’s School, Niagara Falls, circa 1920. Frances Scrivano (Buzzelli) is the second girl seated in the third row of desks.




Click on this article from June 26, 1922, Niagara Falls Gazette. This was the third commencement service at St. Joseph’s School.

organ recital

February 9, 1924

Niagara Falls Gazette

Music week

May 5, 1925

Niagara Falls Gazette

(Click to make larger)

Falls Schools

September 9, 1930

Niagara Falls Gazette

Graduating class

St. Joseph’s Graduates

July 3, 1939

Niagara Falls Gazette

Courtesy Marcia Buzzelli

Cleveland Avenue School, 1927 or 1928

In School Days on April 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm
Cleveland Avenue School

Cleveland Avenue School, Niagara Falls, New York, 4th Grade, Room 2, 1927 or 1928


Photo Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

A Silvaroli Wedding

In The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York, Wedding Parties on April 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Silvaroli Wedding

This is the wedding of Joseph Palumbo and Josephine Silvaroli, circa 1918, Toronto, Ontario.

From left to right–back–standing:  Tom Silvey, Octavio Palumbo, Vito Palumbo, John Christopher, Felicia Christopher, Nick Silvaroli

Sitting:  Johanna Genetta, James Silvaroli, Joseph Palumbo, Josephine Silvaroli Palumbo, Lena Genetta, Annie Silvaroli Iati

Front:  Mary Christopher and Ruby Silvaroli Martin

Photo Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

A Proud American

In The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Vito Palumbo
Vito Palumbo was born on August 2, 1884, in Arcadia, Italy. He died in Niagara Falls, New York, on July 9, 1934. He is buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

This photograph was taken in Toronto.  Mr. Palumbo had a business selling fruits and vegetables.

Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

Mrs. Palumbo Serves her Country

In Off to War, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

When her husband went off to war, Mrs. Anthony Palumbo also served her country. She worked as a
guard at Carborundum on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls, New York.

Amelita Ciambrone Palumbo

Amelita (Amy) Ciambrone Palumbo, guard for Carborundum Chemical Plant, Niagara Falls, New York, early 1940’s

Women Guards marching for a parade in Niagara Falls, New York, early 1940's

Women Guards marching for a parade in Niagara Falls, New York, early 1940’s



Photos Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

Letters from the Front

In Off to War, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Patricia Palumbo

Patricia Palumbo

Like many other little girls in Niagara Falls, the war in Europe was not so far from home for Patricia Palumbo.  Her father, Anthony Palumbo, was with the Service Battery, 116th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, US Forces, in the European Theater.

Here are some postcards from Germany from Private Anthony Palumbo to his daughter in Niagara Falls.

Click on the pictures for closer views.

Pockingpostcard backside 2

Postcard from Germany

Postcard backside









Photos Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

Anthony Palumbo, US Army

In Off to War, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Anthony Palumbo

Anthony Palumbo, of Niagara Falls, New York, was with the Service Battery of the 116th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, US Forces, European Theater.

Anthony Palumbo 2

Photos Courtesy Patricia DiNieri

St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York, Lots A,B,C

In St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on April 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

1__1923 and 1924

Transcription (by Margaret Bowen) 1923, 1924 and some 1925



Transcription (by Margaret Bowen) 1925


3__1926 and 1927

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1926 and 1927


4_1927 and 1928

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1927 and 1928


5_1928 and 1929

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1928 and 1929


6_1929 and 1930

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1929 and 1930



Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1930


8_1931 and 1932

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1931 and 1932


9_1932 and 1933

Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1932 and 1933


9_1933 and 1934


11_1935 and 1936

Transcription (by Margaret Bowen) 1935 and 1936


12_1936 and 1937

Transcription (by Margaret Bowen) 1936 and 1937


13_1937 and 1938


Transcribed (by Margaret Bowen) 1938


15_1939 and 1940

Transcribed (by Margaret Bowen) 1939 and 1940


16_1940 and 1941

Transcribed (by Margaret Bowen) 1940 and 1941



Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1941



Transcription (by Peggy Taylor Hulligan) 1942

Are Any of Your Ancestors in the Book of Witches?

In Societies, Witchcraft on April 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

A witch trial

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Exodus xxii, 18.

The book finally arrived. Set against a stark black cover is the gilded title: “Associated Daughters of Early American Witches, Roll of Ancestors.” It is quite impressive to look at and I must admit the pages are burning with a little more than just history and genealogy. There is something more in here.
Of course, I poured through it, wondering if my own family might be included. There are over 300 “witches” mentioned and each entry includes birth, death, parents, spouse, children, accusation and references. There is a handy index in the back, as well. And you might be surprised how many national figures from our early American history actually show up in this book! John and Priscilla Alden, Ann Hutchinson….and ancestors of many famous people. But what about my own? I wondered.


Anne Hutchinson on Trial

Most of my early Americans were in Virginia during this time period. This society (and this book) honors the ancestors of women who were mistreated during the Witch Hysteria in Colonial America prior to 31 December 1699. It covers all of the colonies, however, unfortunately not much remains from the south as many court houses and records were destroyed during the Civil War. But I do have some New England lines and I decided to check them out.

The first thing I did was to open up the index and browse through for any familiar names. And there were a few: Carter, Crawford, Harding, Hobbs, Jones, Taylor, Abbott, and Sanford. As crazy as it seems, some of these very early families are my most documented. But nothing seemed to work out until I came to the last name on the list: Sanford. And this is where I found my “witches.”

I journeyed back in time to a world of treachery and suspicion. No one was safe. If you were beautiful, you had sold your soul to the devil. If you danced in the woods, you were worshipping Satan. If you were a healer, a visionary, if you were gifted in any sort of way, if you had different opinions or beliefs…it was very likely that you would be accused of witchcraft. Those accused were imprisoned, tried, tested, tortured and either acquitted or put to death. Imprisonment was awful. Some were taken from their sickbeds and locked away for months. Women gave birth in these prisons, in shackles and in chains. Others died due to the deplorable conditions before their sentence was announced.

Dunking a Witch

Dunking a witch

You could always confess and that might buy you some time. They wanted you to confess; to justify their accusations. However, such a confession would imply your guilt and complicity in various crimes—often that crime was murder, for unusual and unexplained deaths (especially children’s deaths) were usually blamed on “witches.”

My part in this story begins in 1607, with Thomas Andrew Sanford, my 10th great grandfather. The lineage is a long one: myself, my father, Ada Johanna Knuppel (my grandmother), Mary Winifred Chambless (my great grandmother), Mary Virginia Brown (2nd great grandmother), Sarah Amanda Roberts (3rd great grandmother), Eliza Brown Lancraft (4th great grandmother), Nathaniel Lancraft (5th great grandfather), Sarah Jocelyn (6th great grandmother), Abigail Abbott (7th great grandmother), Anna Sanford (8th great grandmother), Thomas Sanford (9th great grandfather) Thomas Andrew Sanford (10th great grandfather).


My third great grandmother, Sarah Amanda Roberts

I never knew that Thomas Andrew Sanford existed until now. There are hundreds of sets of grandparents in our family trees but that does not make any one of them any less significant. If just one of them did not exist, we would not exist. It is a matter of science. All we are is the sum product of every person who preceded us. Nothing more and nothing less. Some scientists say that, perhaps, we even carry their memories. Everything is recorded in our DNA. Even our memories and life experiences. Even the memories and life experiences of our ancestors.

Thomas Andrew was born in Essex, England, around 1607/1608, to Ezekiel Sanford and Rose Warner. He came to America on the Arabella in March of 1631 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Eventually he was granted land in Milford, Connecticut, where he settled permanently. Thomas had a brother named, Andrew, who also came to America, and settled in Hartford, Connecticut. Herein lies our family witch story.

Salem, that village whose name is synonymous with witch hysteria, had a rival in the panic of the 1600’s and it was Hartford, Connecticut. In fact, Connecticut’s witch hysteria preceded Salem’s by decades. There is an interesting book, The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, 1647-1697, by John Taylor, that provides some excellent resources for anyone interested in this often neglected part of the story and of the history of our fascination with witchcraft. It contains all the details of the old texts and their descriptions of how to know a witch, how to examine a witch, how to punish and execute a witch. Here is a link to an online version of the book:


Most importantly, for me personally, this book also contains the story of my uncle and aunt, Thomas and Mary Sanford.
According to written documents, Andrew and Mary were indicted on witchcraft charges on 6 June 1662, based on the confessions of Rebecca Greensmith. The Greensmiths were not popular citizens. They had been accused and convicted for stealing and other petty crimes over the years. It was in prison that Goodwife Greensmith indicted the others.

“I also testify that I being in ye wood at a meeting there was with me Goody Seager Goodwife Sanford & Goodwife Ayres; and at another time there was a meeting under a tree in ye green by or house & there was there James Walkely, Peter Grants wife Goodwife Aires & Henry Palmers wife of Wethersfield, & Goody Seager, & there we danced, & had a bottle of sack: it was in ye night & something like a catt cald me out to ye meeting & I was in Mr. Varlets orcherd wth Mrs. Judeth Varlett & shee tould me that shee was much troubled with ye Marshall Jonath: Gilbert & cried, & she sayd if it lay in her power she would doe him a mischief, or what hurt shee could.”

Goodwife Greensmith and her husband were both found guilty and executed in January of 1662 on Gallows Hill—near Trinity College, where a large crowd gathered to enjoy the entertainment.

Another accusation came from Robert Sterne.

“Robert Sterne testifieth as followeth.
“I saw this woman goodwife Seager in ye woods with three more women and with them I saw two black creatures like two Indians but taller. I saw likewise a kettle there over a fire. I saw the women dance round these black creatures and whiles I looked upon them one of the women G: Greensmith said looke who is yonder and then they ran away up the hill. I stood still and ye black things came towards mee and then I turned to come away. He further saith I knew the persons by their habits or clothes haueing observed such clothes on them not long before.”

Their actual crime was conducting public meetings other than those held by the elders of the village—which, in turn, meant that they were consorting with Satan. The actual offense? They were caught dancing in the woods, drunk on alcohol. Andrew was acquitted, but Mary was found guilty and hanged on Gallows Hill. (Although one account I found said the following: Like some weird spectre of the spirit world, she disappeared!) Whatever actually happened to her, Mary, the mother of five, was only about 42 years old.


Andrew moved his family to Milford, following the tragic loss of his wife and lived out the rest of his life near his brother, my grandfather. He remarried and died in 1684. My grandfather died in 1681. Although witch accusations were very commonplace in New England during this time, Andrew (and the rest of our family) must have been very fearful of repercussions. For it never ended in their lifetime. Just a few miles away in Salem, Massachusetts, something else was brewing and more lives would be lost.


Hanging witches

If you are interested in finding if you have any family connected to the early American witches, make an appointment with me at the Lewiston Public Library.  Email : mkratts@gmail.com.   You never know!

Direct lineage to an accused “witch” may make you eligible for membership in the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.  This is a society of women who claim lineage to one of the individuals who were accused in early America before 31 December 1699.  It is a genealogical society that seeks to preserve the names of those accused.

Check out their website at: