Like the Minicolas the Luisi family originated in Roseto Valfortore, Italy. Five sisters from the Luisi family emigrated to Peterborough in the early 1900’s with four of them eventually settling permanently in the community. Rosaria was the first to arrive. She had married my great grandfather’s brother, Leonardo Minicola in early 1903 in Roseto Valfortore. They settled in a farm house on Erskine Avenue in what was then North Monaghan township. They farmed 40 acres of land and ran a small grocery store from their home. A few months later Carmella Luisi emigrated to Peterborough and lived with Leonardo and Rosaria. She arrived at Ellis Island on the 13th of July, 1904 at the age of 9 under the watchful eye of Nicholas Minicola and his new bride Filomena Cottura.

Rosaria (Luisi) Minicola’s sisters who settled in Peterborough married into well-known Italian families. Maria (Mary) Nicola Luisi married Leonardo Campanaro on the 29th of November 1906.
Giovanna Annunziata Luisi married Giuseppe (Joe) Vitarelli on the 8th of July 1913 and Filomena Luisi married Domenico della Rochetta on the 7th of November 1912.

The Vitarelli’s and Campanaro’s both settled on Elm St., Peterborough’s “Little Italy”. The Vitarelli’s lived at 541 Elm (now Hopkins), The Campanaro’s lived at 553 Elm.

Carmella Luisi lived with Rosaria and Leonardo Minicola for a number of years at their home and store on Erskine Avenue before leaving for Orange, NJ and marrying Giovanni Scarponcini. There was a large Italian population in Orange, NJ and that’s also where my great grandfather, Donato Minicola, met and married my great grandmother Adelina.

Back in Roseto Valfortore, their father, Filippo Luisi had been widowed twice and each time had remarried.

Right: L-R back row – Luisi sisters Rosaria (Minicola), Carmella and Maria (Campanaro). Front L-R: Donato Campanaro, Rose Minicola and infant Philip Campanaro about 1909

Carmella and Rose

Left: Rose Minicola on the left and Carmella Luisi on the right. Credit: Roy Studio Collection PMA

Click the button below to view the Luisi family tree.

Luisi Family Tree

One Comment

  1. Beverly (Campanaro) Randall March 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I am a granddaughter of Maria Campanaro and I love your website. I appreciate all of the work you have put into this endevour.
    The photo of Rose, Maria and children includes Maria’s two sons-Donato born Aug 1907 and Phillip born Jan 1909.
    I would think the picture was taken in 1909.

    My brother Gerry and I and spouses plan to visit Roseto Valfortore in Oct of this year.

    Thanks again, great work

    Bev Randall

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