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Leonardo Panella and

Louise Semonella

Leonardo Panella and Louise Semonella met when he was a boarder in the Semonella home. 

Leonardo came to the United States from Greci as a 19 year old.  He traveled on the ship the S. S. Irene with his 27 year old sister Pasqualina, who was going to join her husband Leonardo Mazzarella. 

They left the Port of Naples on September 27, 1912 and arrived in New York at Ellis Island on October 10, 1912.           

Leonardo Panella and Louise Semonella Wedding Picture

Leonardo and Louise were married December 3, 1916 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Canton, Ohio.  Father Martorelli Officiated at the wedding.

They moved into the basement-only house at 2815 Ivanhoe in Canton, Ohio.   The second floor came later.  It was a frame house but later was stuccoed.  This is the house where alle their children grew up. In the picture below Leonardo and Louisa are greeting Mr. Scrima and his children.

Leonardo's mother and father were Michele (Michael) Panella and Vincenza Cerussi. This family was one of the larger families in Greci, Italy.  Family lore in both the United States and in Greci credit Michele and his wife Vincenza with having 22 Children. 

At least four of their children settled in the United States. Along with Leonardo and Pasqualina, Angelina also came to settle in Canton, Ohio.  Another brother Nicola lived in New York.

Today in Greci there are many Vincenzas.  In the United states there are at least three Vincenzas. Leonardo and Louisa named one of their daughters Verna as did Pasqualina who named one of her daughters Verna.  Pasqualina's daughter Verna has a grandaughter Vincenza.

Leonardo and Louisa had two sets of twins; the first set of twins , born in 1918 were named after Leonardo's parents, Michele (Michael)  and Vincenza (Verna).  Michael was stillborn and Vincenza died of the flu at age six months.  The second set of twins born in 1920 , were also named Michael and Vincenza (Verna). The second set of twins lived.

In Greci, Michele and Vincenza, lived in a house covering a whole village block, that today has been subdivided into at least 10 separate homes where grandchildren and great-grandchildren live.


Vincenza Cerussi and Michele Panella

Vincenza was born in 1857 in Orsara, Italy a village near Greci.

Michele was born July 4, 1854 in Greci

They were both buried in the cemetery in Greci. Their graves no longer exist because graves are recycled and other families members usually are buried in the same grave sites.


Louise's father and mother were Augustino Semonella and Maria Antoniette Capabianco. To their grandchildren they were known as Tadon and Mamell. Family lore has it that he was a stow-away on a ship to the United States in 1892. He reportedly hid by clinging to the flagpole.

Augustino and Maria took in boarders to make additional income.  In the census records of 1920 and 1930 each list several boarders.  As stated above Leonardo was one of the bourders that stayed at the Semonella house.

 Augustino Semonella and Maria Antoinette Capabianco

Augustino was born August 24, 1865 and died December 17, 1938

Maria Antoinette was born in 1870 and died February 8, 1931


This is the ship in which Augustino traveled to the USA. Its name is La Normandie.  It left from Le Havre, France and docked in New York on September 15, 1890. On the ships records he is listed as being 26 years old.

In the 1900 Census records, his home is listed as Noble, Cass, Indiana.  He is listed as a boarder and that he has been married for 13 years.  His birth year is recorded as September 1865.

In the 1910 Census records, Augustino and his wife Antoinette have six children.  Their names and ages are recorded as Louise age 8; Fannie age 7; James age 6; Yves (James) age 4; Tonio age 2; and Louis age 7 months.  There are five boarders listed as living with Augustino and Antonette.

In the 1930 Census records, Augustino is recorded as 66 years old and Antoinetto is recorded as 61 years old.  The following children are still living at home: James age 26; Louise age 18; Anthony age 21; Joseph (Louis) age 24; and Florence (Theresa), age18. Note: Louise married Leonardo in 1916 and was not living in her parents home.

          Clockwise from bottom left - Louise, Fanny. (standing), Jimmy Somonella and Columba Meola 1917

Louisa and Faye Seomella

Augustino, Fanny, and Tony Semonella

On the porch - Leo and Louise Panella and Lou Scrima

Louise Semonella Scrima, Leonardo Panella, and Faye Semonella Scrima

Dominis Capabianco and Child, Mark Meola with child, Leonardo Panella with Esther, Unknown father with child, and Mark Meola, Jr. Kneeling

Editor's note: If you know the names of the children or the Unknown father in this picture please send to jrmazz@bellsouth.net

Out for a smoke.  Leo panella, Mr. Pucci, Leonardo Mazzarella. Leo Panella and Leonardo Mazzarella were brother-in-laws.  Editor's note: Let me know if you know the first name of Mr. Pucci  and also the boy.

Lou Panella, Louise Panella, with Mr. Pucci.  Name of the children are unknown.  Editor's note: Let me know if you know the first name of Mr. Scrima or the name of the children in this picutre. Same Mr. Pucci as above and same boy in front.

Leo Panella cutting hedges at Esther's Panella (Capp's) house in Canton

       Louise Panella taking flowers from her garden

to St. John's Cemetery in Canton, Ohio

To see page 2 of Leonardo Panella and Louise Semonella click on title below. 

Family - Sisters and Brothers