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Teresa Zaza 1881-1949



Teresa Zaza
Teresa was born 15 Feb 1881 in Accettura, her parents were Pasquale Digilio and Maria Francesca Mariano
She came to US, 11 Jun 1886 under the name of Teresa Mariano, age 2, with mother Francesca Mariano (her maiden name).
Teresa was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 15 she married Joe Perfetto born 1871,(25 at age of marriage). We think that this was an arranged marriage by her parents. But at the age of 19 Teresa was on the 1900 census with her parents. By August 1901 she was living in Manhattan and had met Rocco Zaza and became his mistress. In May of 1902, Pasquale (Walter) was born. His birth certificate said that she had one other child born to her earlier. She lived at 539 East 11th Street. She was an excellent seamstress. In 1919 she suffered a stroke which paralyzed her left side of her body. We don’t know how she supported herself, perhaps Rocco helped. After Walter’s daughter Theresa was born Teresa live with Mary and Walter. Teresa helped with the care of Theresa.

Theresa in 1928

                                  Theresa in 1936

  She would get Theresa up in the morning and ready for school. Teresa would even dress her while she laid half asleep in bed, then she would make breakfast for her. She would sometimes read nursery rhythms to Theresa. Teresa loved babies and little children. She would always talk to the kids on the street. When Theresa would ask her grandmother about her life growing up, Teresa would never share any stories, she never wanted to talk about it. Theresa remembers her grandmother as looking slender, with salt and pepper hair and brown eyes.
Teresa didn’t go out much but did visit Isabella Marchisella or "sisabel" as Theresa remembers her being called. Isabella was Theresa's Uncle Frankie’s mother. Isabella was born in Accettura. Theresa remembers only one visitor ever visiting Teresa, an Italian man about in his 50’s with a peg leg and named Sindon.
When Walter and Mary separated Teresa live in a little apartment of her own, Theresa remembers visiting her once there. 
 
Rose and Walter 1952

When Walter remarried a woman name Rose, Teresa lived with them for awhile. Rose treated Teresa kindly. Teresa died at Fordham Hosptal, December 16th 1949.

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