||Ciro Terranova is a black sheep because they were outcast, outlawed, or outlandish.|
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According to the his marriage record, Ciro Terranova is born and baptized on 24 June 1887 in Corleone, the son of Bernardo Terranova and Angelina (Angela) Piazza. A certificate of birth recorded by the city gives his date of birth as 20 July of that year. Ciro's godparents are Calogero lo Jacono and Leoluchina di Miceli, a married couple. A margin note on his baptism records Ciro’s marriage in New York on 25 April 1909 to Teresa Catania.
His brothers Vincenzo, and Nicolo', parents, and four sisters all immigrate to New York to meet his older half-brother, Giuseppe Morello, in 1893.
Bernardo Terranova, age 40, his wife Angela Piazza, 44, and children Lucia, 16, Salvatrice, 12, Vincenzo, 7, Ciro, 6, and Nicolo', 3, immigrate together on the SS Alsatia from Naples, arriving in New York 8 March 1893. Bernardo is listed as a laborer, and literate: his wife and children are not. Unlike almost everyone else they travel with, who have one or two pieces of luggage with them, the Terranovas have sixteen bags with them. Bernardo has six, Angela has four, Lucia, two, and each of the younger children has a piece of luggage.
Ciro, Vincenzo, Nicolo, and Giuseppe found the powerful Morello crime family.
From Wikipedia: "Ciro earned his nickname, "the Artichoke King", by purchasing artichokes at $6.00 a crate from California, then selling them in New York at a 30-40% profit. Ciro's violent reputation preceded him, frightening vegetable sellers into buying them."
Ciro marries Teresina "Tessie" Catania (30 April 1892, Palermo - d. 1978), the daughter of Calogero Catania and Anna Montala', in St. Lucy's Church in New York on 25 April 1909. Witnesses are Gaetano Lo Monte and Rosa Portoghese.
In June 1920, Ignazio Lupo’s sentence is conditionally commuted by Pres. Harding June 1920 and he goes to live with his wife Salvatrice and the Terranovas at 338 E 116th St. Ignazio and Salvatrice live there until 1927, when they move to Brooklyn, into an "elaborate" house they build on a lot given them by Ciro and Tessie Terranova in May 1926.
By December 1929, Ciro and his family -- six Terranovas plus two children of his brother who was killed by racketeers and his 80-year-old grandmother -- live in a $52,000 Spanish type home at 989 Peace Street in "fashionable" Pelham Manor, New York. Ciro paid cash for the home, a very rare occurrence. Neighbors suspected shady dealings in the Terranova home -- Ciro allegedly would stay up late at night after his children and grandmother went to bed and "fast moving cars would come up to the Terranova home. Men with caps drawn low over their brows would enter the house and before long, would leave again. Guards lurked around the place...it was noticeable the Terranova limousine never came from Harlem Market by the same route on two successive days." Ciro denied all of this and maintained that he was "just a young fellow from Sicily making his way in the world."
In the 1930 federal census of Pelham Manor, in Westchester County, New York, Ciro Terranova, age 40 (b. 1890), heads a household. He owns his home, worth $50,000. His wife, “Gessie” is 37 (b. 1893); they married when he was 20 (in 1910) and she was 17. The children were born in New York: Angie, 17 (b. 1913), Angelie, 16 (b. 1914), Vernon, 14 (b. 1916), Josephine, 13 (b. 1917), Anna, 12 (b. 1918), Vincent, 9 (b. 1921), Norma, 6 (b. 1924), and Bessie, 2 (b. 1938). Ciro is an artichokes importer. He and his wife, both from Italy, are naturalized citizens. Ciro immigrated in 1892 and his wife in 1902. The next couple in the census, William Ruenoz, 30 (b. 1900), from Spain, and his wife Margaret, 24 (b. 1906), born in New York of Italian parents, do not have their own household number, and are initially listed as the chauffeur and maid, respectively, but those are crossed out and replaced with Head and Wife, respectively. William immigrated in 1920. Their occupations are listed in the appropriate column.
City directories that list the Terranova family at 989 Peace St call Ciro a mason in 1930 and 1934, and a baker in 1936.
On February 18, 1938, Ciro Terranova suffers a stroke. He dies two days later. His residence at the time of his death is listed as 338 East 116th Street in Manhattan. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery. at Columbia Hospital, age 49. "Ciro was the only one of the four Terranova brothers to die in bed."
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