Nicolo'  Terranova

Nicolo' Terranova (1890 - 1916)

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Nicolo' "Nicholas, Nick" Terranova
Born in Corleone, Palermo, Italymap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in New York, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 18 Nov 2014
This page has been accessed 502 times.

Categories: Corleone, Italia | Corleonesi Immigrants to New York | Corleone Mafia | Genovese crime family | Corleone Mafia Siblings-In-Law | Corleone Mafia Siblings | Corleone Mafia Children.


Nicolo' Terranova is born and baptized 19 January 1890 in Corleone. He is the son of Bernardo Terranova and Angela Piazza. His godparents are Antonino Palazzo and Giuseppa, his sister.[1]

His father is a member of the local mafia in the late 1880s.[2]

Nicolo' emigrates to New York on March 8, 1893 with his parents and siblings.[3] He is two years old.

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.[4]

When the family arrives in the United States, they live in New York for about a year, then move south, looking for work, first to Louisiana, where Bernardo and Giuseppe planted sugar cane, and then to Bryan, Texas, where the men picked cotton. The family contracted malaria while living in the South, and returned to New York in 1896.[5]

By 1903, Nick, Ciro, Vincenzo, and their older-half brother Giuseppe Morello, found the powerful Morello crime family in New York, beginning with the 116th Street gang in what is now Spanish Harlem.[2][5] At the time the Terranova-Morello families are living in New York, this is a popular destination for new immigrants from Sicily.

Nick is acquitted of murder charges in shootings in 1906 and 1908.[2]

Nick, age 25, and his bodyguard are killed on 7 September 1916 in Brooklyn, in a war against the Camorra in Brooklyn. His address at the time of his death is listed as 350 East 116th Street, New York City. He is buried on 12 September 1916 in Calvary Cemetery. He had never married.[6] By 1919, the Camorra were assimilated into Morello's crime family. Brother Vincenzo succeeds Nick as boss, and Ciro as underboss.[7]


  1. Baptism of Nicolaum Terranova, record no. 34, 19 January 1890, "Italia, Palermo, Diocesi di Monreale, Registri Parrocchiali, 1531-1998," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 November 2015), Corleone > San Martino > Battesimi 1889-1895 > image 60 of 427; Archivio di Arcidiocesi di Palermo (Palermo ArchDiocese Archives, Palermo).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Definitive History of the Genovese Family. Accessed 17 November 2014.
  3. Critchley, David (2008). The Origin of Organized Crime in America : the New York City Mafia, 1891-1931.
  4. Ship manifest, SS Alsatia, arriving 8 March 1893. Accessed online 31 January 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nicolo Terranova-Morello (Genovese) Family Boss Accessed 23 November 2015.
  6. "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 February 2016), Nicolo Terranova, 07 Sep 1916; citing Death, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,324,302.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Nicolo' by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Nicolo':

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Nick Terranova
Nick Terranova


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