The Greco Family

The story about the Greco family, and all their offshoots, carried the theme of the importance and closeness of the family unit throughout the narrative.

The next family researched resided at 535 St. Philip for almost thirty years, the Greco’s. While the Ruffino story centered around family and work, the Greco narrative focused on relationships and the connections between families living on the block together. Salvador and Rosa Greco were the head of the family. Natives of Palermo they immigrated to New Orleans around 1880. Shortly after arriving, Salvador purchased 535 St. Philip in 1890. The family proceeded to reside here until they sold the property in 1923. Seven years after this purchase, Salvador died at the age of 57. Rosa remained in this house surrounded by her children and grandchildren for another 26 years before she passed in 1923 at the age of 72. Her seven children blessed her with 81 grandchildren, and another nine great-grandchildren. The house on St. Philip was the residence for all of her children at different stages of their lives: when single, when first married, and once again when widowed; a trend Felicia Greco Bova exemplified.

Felicia Greco Bova’s life was inextricably interwoven with Rosa Greco’s. Felicia Greco as the oldest of the Greco children, was born on October 16, 1870 in Palermo. She appeared in the 1900 census as married to a Francesco (Frank) Bova with four children residing in 535 St. Philip. Between this census and the next, she became a widow with another child, four year old Salvador. The Bova family continued to live with the Greco’s and all the extension until Rosa’s passing. While there exists a lack of information gathered pertaining to the Bova family, spouses are known. Felicia’s oldest, Mary, married Vincenzo Serio and had two sons: Pierre and Frank. Salvador Bova, Mary’s sister, married twice. With his first wife, Rosaria Saccone, he had two daughters: Rita and Angelina. His second wife was Pauline Buffa. Philippina married Paolo Ianni on July 28, 1920 at the age of 23. Paolo received his naturalization record short after marrying Philippina. Pascal, Frank, and Carmelo (Emile) Ianni were their children. Her oldest two sons were quite the track athletes. The Times-Picayune listed track meet after track meet where the brother earned metals and broke records. Pascal ran the 70 yard dash and the 440 yard relay. He also competed in the broad jump in the 63 inch class. Frank began with the brand jump in the 55 inch class but eventually earned a spot in the 63 inch class. Both boys performed under St. Mary’s team. Felicia Greco Bova’s daughter Rosa also embodied the same trend of residence with the Greco’s. 

The plot of Rosa Bova and her sister Anna’s relationships centered around the boys next door—the D’Anna’s.

Paolo (Paul) D’Anna grew up across the street from Rosa at 534 St. Philip. A romance ensued and they were married. Tragically the marriage did not last long, as he died in 1915 at the age of 25. During the marriage, Rosa and Paolo moved to 528 St. Philip and had two children: Felicia and Paul. After his passing, Rosa moved with her young children into 535 where her mother and grandmother lived. A few years later the Times-Picayune announced the wedding license of Rosa Bova D’Anna and Anthony Olike. Together they had a girl, Josie (Joyce) Olike. Rosa became a widow for the second time in 1968 with the passing of Anthony. She lived for another ten years before she died leaving behind three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Rosa’s sister Anna, was also charmed by the D’Anna family. While researching Anna Bova, the New Orleans States had a wealth of articles from a socialite standpoint. The newspaper reported on parties, gatherings, and weekend getaways. Common names mentioned in conjecture with Anna’s include: Irene Douffoure, Albert Douffoure, Josey Bunta, Helen Gipson, and Garnet Gipson. Her cousins Rose Greco, and Rosalia and Rosa Dominici often appeared together as well. The next news article mentioning Anna listed her marriage license to Leonardo D’Anna in 1937, at this time she was 37. Leonardo D’Anna’s World War I Draft Card described him as a short barber with a medium build and brown eyes complimented by black hair. His World War II Draft added a dark complexion and height at five foot one. At the age of 31 he moved across the country alone to California. There he roomed with a family. Leonardo waited until he settled and the he married Anna and brought her with him to California. This is where the story ends, little else was discovered regarding their romance and lives. Felicia’s sister, Dominica, continues the narrative of the Greco family.

Dominica Greco Bova Dominici’s narrative of relationships followed a similar pattern as her sister Felicia and her niece Rosa. Antonio Bova was her first husband. Together they had a daughter, Gaitana. He passed and she remarried before 1900. Gaspar Dominici was her second husband. They resided at 535 with Dominica’s family after the 1910 census. Gaspar’s World War I Draft Card describedhim as tall with a medium build. His eyes were brown and his hair, black. In 1936 Gaspar passed, and in 1963 Dominica followed. By 1963 they had six children, nine grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Dominica’s eldest daughter, Gaitana lived at 535 in 1910 when she was 16. The 1910 census named Bartholomew Perroni as a roomer in the house of Gaitana’s uncle, Rosario Ianni. The next census has the two married with three children—Inez, John, Gasper—all under five. They later had one more child together, Maime. Her son Emanuel’s story is a relatively short one. He died, a barber in 1929 at the age of 28. Salvador married Bertha Christina and honored his late brother by naming his only son after him. This family moved from St. Philip to 927 Ursuline—right next to their Ianni cousins at 929 Ursuline. The Times-Picayune announced Emanuel’s engagement to Haydee Petrina Betancourt in 1965, and it included a picture. Together the couple had four children. For the last three Dominici children, only the spouses name is known. Rosalia married Alfred Bonneval and then Samuel Tamburo. Rosie wed Joseph DeLouise and adopted Donna Jo DeLouise. Ralph and Stella Barlotta had Ralph Jr. Felicia Greco Bova, Rosa Bova D’Anna Olike, and Dominica Greco Bova Dominici all epitomize the mentality and belief as family as the center. As the matriarch, Rosa Greco’s house on 535 St. Philip became a place of refuge and support.

As aforementioned, the difficult with this type of scholarship is a lack of material, a prominent problem for the history of the remaining Greco’s. Maria (Mary) married Salvador Battaglia on October 27, 1909 at the age of 19. According to Salvador’s World War I Draft Card, he was from Palermo and of medium height with a stout build and grey eyes with the typical black hair. At the time of this card, in 1918, he was 41 years old and resided at 535 St. Philip. Their marriage produced nine children: Angelina, Rose, Gaetan, Josephine, Conchetta, Annie, Vincenza (Virgin), Philip, and Eleanor. Their story ends here for this work as this was the end of the source information. Joseph Greco—Maira’s sister—a man of medium height and build with browns eyes and black hair at the age of 34, married Louise Montfort. She graduated from the school at Ursuline Convent in 1895. Joseph made his career as a waiter at the Roosevelt Hotel restaurant. Together they had five children: Salvador, Joseph, Lucille (Leah)—who married Edgar D’Aquin—Raymond, and Marguerite—who wed Anthony Giammanchere. Louise became the president of the parent’s co-operative club of the McDonogh 15 school in 1939. Joseph passed in 1953 and Louise in 1981. They had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Similar to the Bova sisters marrying the D’Anna brothers, Stefana Greco married Rosario Ianni, brother to Paolo Ianni who married Stefana’s niece Philippina. They also had three children who they likewise named  Pascal, Frank with a Salvador in the mix. Regarding the rest of the Greco family, only known are their spouses’ names and their children. Vincenza (Virgin) married first Giuseppe DeLomonde and then Joseph Merendino. The last Greco, Antonino married Giuseppina (Josephine) Esposito. Of their six children only four marriages are known. Catterina (Clara) wed Emanuel Alessandra and had Joseph and Anthony. Rosa became Mrs. Adrian Hesse and mother to Donald and Robert. Josephine and Lawrence Imburgia had no children. Louis Greco and Kate had a daughter—also Kate. Marie and Salvador’s relationship status remains illusive.

The story about the Greco family, and all their offshoots, carried the theme of the importance and closeness of the family unit throughout the narrative.

While the Ruffino account focused mainly on business endeavors, the Greco’s were relationship heavy. Most of the Greco’s, even after marriage, referred to 535 as their home. Rosa Greco, as the matriarch, ensured that all her family remained close. The Greco’s emphasized the significance of family, a trend vital to the Creole Italian central history.

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