Family Stories

Sam and Lucy Tortorello

Scan_Pic1481 1I am so excited to share this beautiful wedding photo with you! May I introduce Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Lucy Tortorello of Newark, New Jersey! This is perhaps my favorite wedding photo! The bride is lovely in her white wedding gown, but the immense veil steals the show! Look at the embellishments around her head and at the end of the veil – gorgeous! The bouquet looks too large for the bride to hold! I counted 38 large roses – and I’m sure some are hidden in the photo! And standing beside his lovely bride is the handsome groom! The photo was taken at Roma Studio, 86 Broadway, Newark. I thought this was a 1920’s photo – and after a bit of research found out that was correct!

Scan_Pic1482 2Sam Tortorello was born in 1903 in New Jersey. His parents, Bernarnino and Carmela Tortorello, along with older brothers Anthony and Joseph, immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1897, and were naturalized in 1918. In the 1920 Essex County, New Jersey, census Bernarnino and Carmela are both listed as 49, Anthony, 23, Joseph, 20, Samuel, 16, Tessie, 13, and John, 4.

Lucy was born November 23, 1903 in Nocera Infiore, Italy, to Vincent Nobile and Anna Sicignalo. The family immigrated to the United States in 1906. In the 1920 Essex County, New Jersey, census, Vincent and Anna are listed as 42, Lucy, 17, Frank, 14, Philip, 10, Irene, 8, John, 6, Ferdinand, 4, and Sophie, 2, and Ralph Sicignalo, 30, Anna’s brother.

In the 1930 census Sam and Lucy are newlyweds, Sam listed as 27, born in New Jersey, a tool maker at a machine shop. Lucy is listed as 26, born in Italy, married one year. In 1940 Sam and Lucy are listed with children Carmela, 9, named for her paternal grandmother, and Vincent, 6, named for his maternal grandfather. Lucy’s parents live next door.

Sam died in November of 1980. If Lucy were still alive they could possibly have been married 51 years. Does anyone know additional information about this couple?

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23 replies »

  1. No, I never saw the photo before! Can you tell me how you came to have the photo and do the research?

    • I purchase old photos to use for the blog. It’s most interesting for me if there is a name on the back of the photo, perhaps where the photo was taken and the photographer’s name. This photo of Lucia and Sam was so beautiful – I could not resist buying it. I had their names and through my research found out a little about their parents and when they came to America from Italy. It is so exciting to hear from someone who knew them! Do you remember them? Did they have a happy life together? Does the photo resemble the man and woman you knew?

      • Lucy was my maternal grandmother’s niece. She was my dad’s godmother. I saw her and Sam often while growing up. They were wonderful, loving people!

  2. I don’t remember them, I was much younger, but she looks a lot like my great Uncle Frank. They are definitely Uncle Frank’s sister and brother in law. I’d like to show my Uncle and get his feedback 🙂

  3. I am Vincent Tortorello, the son of Sam and Lucy. My sister, Carmela and I live together after Lucy died at age 105. We are both very interested in how you came across the picture.

  4. Lucy was my great grandmother and i was blessed enough to have grown up with her! She passed away when I was about 22. I never got to meet Sam, but have heard lots of stories! Vincent is my grandfather and Carmela is my great aunt! My family is so interested to come across this article!

  5. I’m Donna the daughter of Vincent and the granddaughter of Lucy and Sam. Also the mother of Sarah who commented earlier. I have this photo among many others. My Aunt Carmela took very good care of all the family photos. I can find the family photo along with the wedding party. They had a wonderful life together and we have a very close family. I’m wondering how this photo was came to be for sale on eBay.

    • The news about Sam and Lucy’s happy life makes my heart sing! Their children, grandchildren and greats must love them very much from the response I’ve had on this post. I don’t know why this lovely photo was for sale, but I’m truly glad I have it! Thank you for this great opportunity to ‘meet’ all of you!

    • Phyllis
      Perhaps you can contact the seller on eBay for us? I believe your purchase history is kept and you can contact the seller. Thanks.

      • I have just recently found this blog & I am enjoying it tremendously! I absolutely love Lucy’s veil, it’s breathtaking and I hope it was saved and passed down the generations to be worn by all the other brides in the family…

      • Thanks! This is my favorite wedding photograph that I own. I received an email from the descendants of Sam and Lucy, said they lived a long, happy life together. There was no mention of the veil, but I hope it was worn by their daughters and granddaughters!

  6. Phyllis replied directly to me about how she got the photo. She said: “The Ebay dealer said she thinks her husband bought the photo of Sam and Lucy at a flea market in Woodstock, N.J. She didn’t have any other information. I hope this helps solve the mystery!”

  7. This is a wonderful story I think it is great that the family have their own copies of this photo and the ownership is clear it belongs to Kentucky Kindred thank you for sharing.

    Beautiful history and love story this family was so blessed to have their Mother and Grandmother Lucy live to 105 !

    I know she was amazing from just reading the family comments. We must count our blessings, My Great Grandmother Francis was born in 1848, I never knew her and I only have one picture, she was the daughter of a Slave Master and African Slave relationship. My father was 40 years older than my mom he was born in 1893 this is why Francis was my Great Grandmother. I never met any of my Grandparents they were obviously gone before I was born . What a pure gift from God to have had Lucy and Sam at the head of this family. God Bless this family !!

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