Date of Arrival

MOSČ - 13 April, 1888
GIOVANNA - 27 August 1901

Age on Arrival

MOSČ - 18 years
GIOVANNA - 20 years

Marital Status


Port of Departure


ITALIAMERICA home          ITALIANO        |      Family Names

By: Sandra Luciano




The Luciano family descends from the Molise region of Southern Italy. Inhabited since very ancient times, as shown by a Samnite Necropolis, in the area called Morgia. The Catasti Onciari, a census ordered by Charles II Bourbon, shows Luciano ancestors residing in Abruzzo as early as 1747.

A century later, in midst of the rocky mountain slopes of the Gran Sasso, Majella and Velino, with vast forest, soft hilly landscapes and magnificent sandy beaches of the Adriatic coast, it was there that Pasquale Luciano, a sheepherder, and his wife Benedetta Iafigliola, lived and began a family together, in the village of Gildone, located in the province of Campobasso .

Pasquale and Benedetta had several children. Four of them, Nicola, Teresa, Saverio and Mose' Luciano, transcended the boundaries of their Mediterranean birth, leaving behind the generations before them, departing from Napoli on a journey full of hope for a better life in America.

Pasquale, while herding sheep, would often travel down the hilly slopes into the valley with his sons. He died a very young man, around 40 years, after an accident while working with his son. He had called to Mose' to toss him a rope from the bed of a wagon where he stood. When reaching for the rope Pasquale fell suffering gave injuries. Residing in a one room home, with a fireplace in the center for cooking and heat, he was confined to his bed while infection from his injuries ravaged his frail body. On Easter morning that year, Benedetta said good bye to her husband and took her children to celebrate mass at Sant' Antonio Abate. Upon their return to the small home, they discovered that Pasquale had crossed over to the other side.

Mose' was completely grief stricken and blamed himself for his father's untimely death. Determined to provide for his mother and siblings, he set out on a path that would do just that. With promises to his mother, Mose' with dreams of a better tomorrow, left the tiny village of Gildone. He departed Napoli and journeyed to the United States as an Italian Immigrant, he entered through the port of Castle Garden at Ellis Island.

After a short stay, in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, with his brother Nicola, Mose' settled in Marlborough, Massachusetts, outside of Boston. Nicola then arranged for the marriage and travel of Giovanna Strazzera , the 20 year old girl, who's sister what married to his cousin. Giovanna would marry Mose' Luciano, an older man she did not personally know, upon her arrival in America.

Giovanna, the daughter of Giuseppa Mariantonio and Giuseppe Antonio Strazzera of Roccarosa, L 'Aquilla, Italy, with broken English, traveling alone, departed Napoli in 1901 and made the journey across the ocean on a ship named the Scilla. Roccarosa was occupied by the German soldiers, nearly 98% of the village was brought to ruble and destroyed, by allied forces bombing runs during World War II.

Upon her arrival at Ellis Island Giovanna Strazzera was greeted and introduced to the man she was to marry and spend her life with, Mose' Luciano. Unknowingly neither Mose' or Giovanna would ever see their homeland again. They were married in Marlborough, Mass. on 6 October 1901.

Typical of Italian naming traditions, Mose' and Giovanna named their children after their parents. The first born son was names after Mose' father, Pasquale. The first born daughter, after Givovanna's mother, Giuseppa (Josephine). The second born son after the Giovanna's father, Giuseppe (Joseph). And the second born daughter after Mose' mother Benedetta.

Within the year following the birth of their first child the couple traveled with Nicola Luciano to Cleveland, Ohio where they resided for several years. Nicola worked as a prominent brick layer and mason. His descendants remain in the Cleveland area of Ohio to this day.

Mose' sister, Teresa and his mother, Benedetta had arrived from Italy and together the family celebrated the wedding of Teresa to Mr. Principi. Together they resided in the Cleveland area until the time of their death. Teresa's descendants remain in the Cleveland Ohio area. Benedetta Luciano resided with her son Nicola and does not appear to have returned to Italy prior to her death between 1911-1920.

Mose', Giovanna and their children moved 70 miles northeast to Erie, PA where they settled and continued to build their family together. As Mose' worked as a fireman and night watchman, Giovanna gave birth to eight children: Pasquale, Joseph, Benedetta, Josephine, Dominic, Anna, Angelo and Angelina Luciano.

Mose' and Giovanna suffered very hard times when their son Angelo, at only six years old became sick and died on Christmas morning. A horrific event for any parent to endure and even more traumatic since only two years earlier their infant daughter Angelina had died.

Mose' built his family a beautiful home, which remains today on west 37th Street in Erie, PA, where he and Giovanna cared for each of their children and grandchildren with laughter and a gentle kindness. Despite the adversity they suffered, clearly, Mose' and Giovanna were filled with a love for family. Their kindness touched not only their children and grandchildren but those they encountered.

Mose' Luciano had a very special relationship with his grandchildren. As a young man, Mose' would place the children in a wheel barrel and take them for rides around the property and he also planted trees throughout his property. One granddaughter later collected fallen maple seeds and nourished them until they became mature trees. To this day they are symbolic reminders of his efforts and dreams. A cosy and beautiful guest house was developed on another granddaughter's property in dedication and honor of his memory. It is called Moses Inn.

In conclusion, although time has passed and the descendants of Pasquale Luciano have scattered to various geographic locations over two distinct continents, one thing remains the same over a century later. The dedication and love for family, the loyalty and the trust, Pasquale instilled upon his children, while in Gildone, remains a time honored tribute to the cultural influences they brought with them to America.