Civilette Family Reunion
The first reunion in more than 40 years was held on June 2 at the Beaver Club in Fredonia for the direct descendants of Matteo and Loreta Civilette, who immigrated to America from Valledolmo, Sicily in 1890 and moved to Fredonia in 1900. Here they raised six boys: Frank, Joe, Jim, Charles, Horace and Sam, and two girls: Jennie and Anna. Frank operated a barber shop on Central Avenue in Dunkirk for many years; Joe was an engineer for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh; Horace, originally a meat cutter for Zeizer's Market in Fredonia, later worked for Alco Products in Dunkirk with Jim and Charles during World War II; Sam operated a plumbing shop, Cave & Civilette, in Fredonia. Jennie Constantino/Castronova operated a neighborhood grocery store in Rochester with her second husband, and Anna was married to Romeo Biscaro, a local contractor in Dunkirk, and later to Joe DiSabatonio in Jamestown.
Frank, Ji, and Joe served in the U.S Army in World War I and Sam served in World War II, along with his nephews, Matt and Joe Constantino.
The Civilette family — pictured, from left, seated: Mathew Constantino, Anita (Biscaro) Golubski, Mildred (Civilette) Carman, Patty (Civilette) Wieloszynski and Rosemary (Civilette) Piede. Standing are: David Civilette, Romeo Biscaro Jr., Elaine (Biscaro) Raczka and H. Thomas Civilette.
The original eight Civilette siblings bore 20 grandchildren, who added more than 100 great- and great-great grandchildren. The oldest living descendant is 90 and the youngest is under 1 year old. Nearly 60 people enjoyed the reunion festivities, with relatives from Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Buffalo, Rochester and Saudi Arabia attending. These included nine of the 20 original grandchildren, who are pictured above.
Memories were shared, highlighted by vintage photographs that dated from 1900. The cultural history of Southern Italy and Sicily was reviewed including the oppression of the agrarian working class that precipitated the exodus of millions of Italians from 1880 through 1924 to the Americas in search of a free and rewarding life. The family history was traced from its beginnings in rural, mountainous Sicily, through the frightening ocean crossing, the "Little Italy" sections of New York City and Cleveland, Ohio, to the fertile and temperate shores of Lake Erie south of Buffalo, ideal for growing grapes. Although the family members have scattered around the globe, their roots are still in Fredonia.
LeBaron Family Reunion
Fifty members of the George and Mabel LeBaron family met for a reunion on Sunday, July 15 at the Sinclairville home of Roy and Cathy Bower. The blessing was given by David Hall prior to the picnic lunch. Food, conservation and games were enjoyed by all.
The oldest in attendance was 91-year-old John H. Stanton and the youngest was his 4-month- old great grandson Ashton, all of Russell, Pa. Out-of-town families came from: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Brooklyn and Baldwinsville.
The 2014 LeBaron family reunion will be held at the same residence.