This is a story about one Giuffre family and their many generations of descendants. We do not know much about their early life in Sicily other than a few facts mentioned in an old family album that was shared with me.
Gaetano (my great-grandfather) served his compulsory term in the Italian Army, which was about 8 years and spent some time in Tripoly.
The family business in Sicily was meat and they evidently were doing OK as they gave Gaetano an allowance while he was in the service. Not much is known of his mother and his father died right before he was born.
Gaetano married Giuseppa Pirrone on 5-July-1879 in Termini Imerese (which is not far from Palermo). She was the daughter of Michele Pirrone and Agostina Satariano. They had 7 children and all but one survived, little Maria who is buried right near Guiseppa's and Gaetano's gravesite in Washington DC. She has a little stone with just the name Maria on it. When I first saw it, I wondered who that was because I had never heard of this child before then.
Gaetano first came to America and worked as a carpenter in order to make money and returned to Sicily to bring his family back. His actual trade was that of a cabinet maker and he did finishing work. He returned to Termini Imerese for his wife and three children, returning to Washington, DC in 1888. Four more children were born to the couple, however one daughter, Maria, died in 1902 at just under 5 years old.
The family settled in Washington DC and Gaetano opened a shoe store. Over the years he had several different locations and we have pictures of two of those early shops. His son Tony carried on the family shoe business until the prohibition days. The family ended up buying the Budweiser Distributorship for Northern VA and still own it to this day, although it is now run by Tony's great-grandchildren.
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