The
Venella Family
Of
Camden NJ

This is another in a series of pages about families that lived and thrived in Camden. Anthony R. Venella has been kind enough to send many pictures depicting his family at events in and around Camden, some going as far back as the 1920s. The Venellas are of Italian descent, and there story is in many ways the story of the many Italian families who first pursued the American dream in Camden. 

Of course, families with lots of children produce lots of marriages, and the Venella family is related through marriage to the Tantone family, the LoRusso family, the Del Rossi family, the Speno family, the Coratolo family, the Burgo family, the Martinelli family, the Decampli family, the Fattore family, the Palimeno family, the DiMattia family and many others.  

Needless to say these pages are open to participation by the descendants of the families mentioned.... as a rule they are inspired by e-mail I've received from one or more family members. If you see something in error or feel that something should be added, PLEASE contact me via e-mail sop it can be added. Like everything else on this website, and in our lives, it's a work in progress. I welcome all comments, criticisms, and contributions..... pictures are more than welcome. Feel free to contact me by e-mail 

Phil Cohen, Camden NJ

Rocco Venella was born in Italy October 26, 1869 to Antonio and Andonetta Vinelli and was brought to America as a very young boy. At some point he began using the surname Venella. Arriving in New York on March 15, 1873, he was sworn in as Citizen in Philadelphia on September 9, 1880. At that time he lived at 737 Bainbridge Street in South Philadelphia. His witness was Ferdinando Bartolucci, who lived across the street at 720 Bainbridge. Rocco Venella would in 1897 marry a girl who lived at 722 Bainbridge Street, Marguerite Lorusso.

This is my Grandfather, Rocco Venella. This image was retrieved from a 'Tie Tac'.

I am hoping to eventually retrieve a photograph of him from a pair of cufflinks that my Cousin has with her in Florida. There is also a ring of his.

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

His future bride, Marguerite Lorusso came October 15, 1887 from Bologna, Italy  on HMS Britannic, a ship that brought many immigrants to America in its 29 years at sea. She was born on February 12, 1881 in Bologna, the daughter of Canio "Thomas" Lorusso and his wife, the former Rose Marie Colangelo. Canio Lorusso had been a tailor in Italy, but found work in a stone quarry upon arriving in America. He apparently passed away prior to World War I.

SS Britannic 1874-1903

Operated by the White Star line, this ship was replaced by a second SS Britannic, a sister ship to the famous SS Titanic. The second Britannic, launched during World War I also came to a premature end, after striking a mine in the Kea Channel between the island of Kea and the Greek mainland in October of 1916, 10 months after her maiden voyage in December of the previous year.

Rocco Venella was living at 726 Fitzwater Street in South Philadelphia when he married Marguerite on May 24, 1897. The Venella family was living in Camden by 1904, at 1824 Van Buren Street Street, as the family is listed in the City Directory of that year. Rocco and Marguerite Venella were both born in Italy. The couple wed in 1897, and by 1910 six children had been born, five of who were living. The living children were Edmund Anthony, (some of his nephews and nieces called him Uncle Tony), Mary, Harry, William, Mildred (Millie); another son, Daniel, sadly had died prior to the 1910 Census enumeration. As soon Harry, then 7 years old, had been born in Pennsylvania, it would appear that the family first came to Camden shortly before the 1904 Directory was compiled. 

1910
Census
for
1824
Van Buren Street

Click on Image
to Enlarge

Rocco Venella worked as a laborer in these years, he also worked over the years for a plumber, William J. Kelly, whose business was at 675 Ferry Avenue and as a huckster. William Kelly's father Daniel Kelly had operated a saloon at 671-673 Ferry Avenue from the 1890s through the 1910s, he was succeeded over by John Asbert, and in turn by the Knast family, who would remain in business there until the 1950s. 

On October 28, 1996 Julius "Shill" Venella wrote the following to his nephew Anthony R. Venella: 

"Pertaining to my Dad's work, he was a Plummer & worked for William J. Kelly Co.  The work shop & office was at the corner of Ferry Ave. & Van Buren St.  He worked in the basement making lead traps fittings.

As for my Mom, she was like a Seamstress work at home sewing coat sleeves on coats & making button holes & sewing linings on jackets.  All work was done By Hand .  The company will deliver & pick up the work she did, the company's name was  'De Palma Clothing Co.'"

As evident from his draft card, pictured below, by September of 1918 oldest son Edmund Anthony had gone to work, as a shipper at the Eavenson & Levering wool scouring plant at South 4th and Jackson Streets. 

Edmund Anthony Venella's Draft Card - September 12, 1918

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The family was still on Van Buren in January of 1920. The 1920 Census shows the following, at 1824 Van Buren Street, just south of Ferry Avenue in what was then called the Eighth Ward. Nearby at 1811 Van Buren Street was an early location of Antioch Baptist Church; at 650 Ferry Avenue lived politician Mikey Brown. Constantino Piraine lived at 676 Ferry, he would later own the bar at 1944 Broadway which became American Legion Post 274, his wife Mamie Piraine was politically active in the 1930s. After 1924 Stephen Haday would follow William J. Kelly at 675 Ferry Avenue and operate a grocery there well into the 1960s. Four more children had been born, Daniel, Maria Rosaria "Rose", Julian, and Dominick. Daniel, born on October 17, 1910 as Donato Venella, bore the name of his departed brother, as was the custom of Italian families of that era. The Venellas "Americanized" the given name of Daniel when it was time for him to enter school. They did the same for his brother Julian, who was renamed Julius, and Maria Rosaria was known simply as Rose.

When the census was taken Rocco and Marguerite Venella resided on Van Buren Street with eight of their children, Antonio  (his correct name was Edmund, but some of his nephews and nieces called him Uncle Tony), Harry, William, Millie, Daniel, Rose, Julian, and Dominick. Daughter Mary had married to James Angelastro.

Nearby at 1644 South Sixth Street, at the time of the 1920 Census, lived William and Mary Anderson with their children, twins Katie and Lester. Katie Anderson and Edmund Anthony Venella married, a son, Edmund Anthony Venella Jr., was born on December 6, 1924. Lester Anderson later became a Camden fire fighter. 

Sadly, on March 7, 1923 Rocco Venella passed away. 

On January 19, 1997 Julius "Shill" Venella wrote to his nephew, Anthony R. Venella:

"Julian was changed by the state of N.J. in the Six Grade to Julius - Three youngest Children received state help from the State  $4.00 per month. Also changed Danny's name from Donato".

The Venella family was still living at 1824 Van Buren when the census was once again taken, in April of 1930. At that time sons William, Daniel, and Dominic still resided there, as well as daughter Rose, and daughter Mildred and her husband Dominic DeCampli, who had married in September of 1928. William W. "Willie" Venella married & Theodora "Dora DiMattia on October 17, 1931.

Over the following years there were many more weddings, births, and sadly deaths. Marguerite's mother Rose Marie Lorusso died in Camden on May 11, 1934 at the age of 77. Marguerite Venella joined her husband Rocco on June 29, 1948. 

Marguerite
Venella

Willie Venella on Broadway, opposite the Midway Theater - 1957

Sister & Brother
Millie & Harry Venella - 1925

William W. Venella

September 1928
at his Sister Millie's wedding

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William W.  & Dora (Theodora) DiMattia Venella's
Wedding photo

October 17, 1931

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Dominick Lorusso
outside his barber shop
at
1640 Broadway

 

Angelina Tantone, Frank Coratolo, Mary (Tantone) Coratolo and Rosaria (Tedesco) Tantone.  Rosaria is the Mother of Angelina and Mary and my Grandmother. Angelina later married Frank DeNinno

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

Camden Courier-Post - June 22, 1933

44 WILL GRADUATE AT MICKLE SCHOOL
23 Girls, 21 Boys, Will Get Certificates for Hatch Junior High Today

Forty-four pupils ·of the Mickle School, Sixth and Van Hook Streets, will graduate from the B-A grade at commencement exercises to be held In the school auditorium at 11 a. m. today. 

The class is comprised of 23 girls and 21 boys. They will enter Hatch Junior High School in November. 

Those promoted are as follows: 

Helen Wasiluk, Ellen Turner, Sophia Bandaruk, Herbert Backskas, Catherine Clements, Andrew Christy, Eleanor Cloud, Americk DiGiacoma, Olga Evfimenko, Frank DiGiacoma, Marie Faiola, Richard DiGiacoma, Mary Flacco, Armond Driscoll, Roslyn Hait, Wallace Durszynski, Stephany Harris, Charles Flacco, Teresa Hisbacker, Russell Hunter, Elsie Hickman, Frank Kozak, Olga Kolody, Gilbert Krown, Elva Krown, Paul Krueger, Blanche Markiewicz, Anthony Mammoci, Catherine Melniczak, Howard Mason, Helen Pasco, Edward Mathews, Dorothy Prader, Alfred Narducci, Helen Pukas, John Patrick, Margaret Raditch, Stephen Pipito, Freda Rosen, Walter Ramick, Mary Russo, Dominick Venella, Carmella Sparano and Michael Volishyn. . 


Marguerite Venella

with her grandchildren
Mary and Tommy DeCampli
at the family home
1824
Van Buren Street
Camden NJ

1939


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camden
Courier-Post
June 30, 1933

One of the Venella boys played catcher for the Weldon A.C. baseball team in 1933.


Dominick Venella

at the family home
1824 Van Buren Street
Camden NJ

1939

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"Head of Table"   He is the 'Head of the Family' in regard to the house he is in. He is my Uncle William (Willie) Venella, the same one I mentioned about having a photograph of him selling pretzels from a carriage with Horn & Hardart's in the background. In front of the china cabinet is my Uncle William, in his arms is his Daughter (my Cousin) Dolores....the woman leaning over next to Dolores is her Mother, Aunt Dora (DiMattia) Venella. She was born in Italy and there are records of her arrival in the USA. In the foreground is my Aunt Carmella (who just passed away about a week ago) and her Husband, Uncle Julius...he has a unique story behind his name. Leaning in towards the table behind Julius first is Aunt Millie (Venella) DeCampli (his Sister) and next to her is Aunt Rose (Venella) Palimeno. Behind Aunt Carmella leaning forward is Aunt Millie's Husband Dominic DeCampli.

The other faces are blurred, but with help I might be able to identify them later."

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

Photograph at the William Venella home at 1142 Whitman Street, Camden NJ.  


From left to right: Head of the House, Uncle Willie (William Venella) & his Wife Aunt Dora  (Uncle Willie is in front of the candles on the birthday cake), clockwise arm & hand in the air.... Eva (DiMattia) Fattore who is my Aunt Dora's Sister, Dominick Dipietroandonio who is between Dora & Eva, below Eva's elbow is Elizabeth (Lizzie) Dipietroandonio (Dominick's Wife), Aunt Rosie (Venella) Palimeno (who is facing camera) to her left is Aunt Millie (Venella) DeCampli, Dominic DeCampli, Frank Repice, and in front on the right corner is Gilda DiMattia.  Frank Repice was Gilda's Fiancé. 

By the way my Aunt Dora immigrated from Italy; she is inscribed on the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island.   My Dad's Parents, Rocco & Marguerite (Lorusso) Venella are also inscribed on the Wall Of Honor.  A very interesting point I would like to make.   Their Home at 1824 Van Buren Street as well as others were being cleared for the construction of   'Route 676' in Camden and when I had their names inscribed they were put on  'Panel 676'.

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

Photograph at the William Venella home at 1142 Whitman Street, Camden NJ.  


As with the two previous photos of adults at the home of Willie & Dora, this one was taken the same day based on the clothing.   And I am guessing the year would have been around  1940.

Left to Right   Sitting with arm in air  Aunt Carmella Venella, standing, Uncle Shill Venella, sitting between Shill and back of another's head is Uncle Dominic DeCampli, standing Gilda DiMattia, Aunt Dora Venella, head of table, Uncle Willie Venella.  far right standing, dark hair, just below tall man is Aunt Rosie Palimeno, to her right sitting is Aunt Millie (Venella) DeCampli, boy (only back of head showing) is Cousin Tommy DeCampli, front of table on right is my Mom, Madeline (Tantone) Venella

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

Photograph at the William Venella home - 1142 Whitman Street, Camden NJ

William W. Venella
&
his daughter Dolores

about 1944

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The Anderson Twins
Lester Anderson and Kathryn "Katie" Anderson
outside the home in Fairview. 

Katie Anderson married Edmund Venella Sr. Their son, Edmund A. Venella Jr., served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II

Standing L-R: Sgt. Elton E. Cheshier (CG); Sgt. Robert N. Suitts (NG); 
Sgt. Edmund A. Venella Jr. (TG); Sgt. Paul E. McDaniel (APMG); 
Sgt. Gus T. Mitchell (CG)

Kneeling L-R: 2nd Lt Edwin 'Wren" Bowyer (P); FO Clarence E. Stauffer (CP) 2nd Lt Arne P. Hansen (N); 2nd Lt Thomas L. Elder Jr. (B)

Not shown: S/Sgt. Charles W. Weatherly (ROMG)

Sergeant Edmund A. Venella Jr., the tail-gunner on a B-24 bomber, was seriously wounded during aerial combat during a raid on the Giurgiu Oil Storage facility in Romania. 



Sgt. Edmund A. Venella Jr.
in Army hospital after the April 11, 1944 raid. 

Daniel R. Venella
1929

A young photograph of the 'second' Uncle Danny.   I believe he is standing in front of a garage door at Van Buren Street.

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006


Daniel R. Venella
1943

The 'second' Uncle Danny.   I believe this is either at 1824 Van Buren Street or at my Aunt Millie's house.

Anthony R. Venella
December 2006

Just Married!

Dominick & Madeline Venella
Wedding at
'Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church
September 14, 1940

Click on Image to Enlarge

Mom & Dad's (Madeline Venella (nee Tantone) and Dominick Venella.

Left to Right: At far left with print dress and hat is Grandmom Marguerite (Lorusso) Venella, Dad's Mom. Behind Mom is Aunt Rose (Venella) Palimeno, Dad's Sister. Behind Dad is Uncle Daniel R. Venella, Dad's brother, behind and to the right of Uncle Danny is Mom's Mother, Rosaria (Tedesco) Tantone, next to her is my Mom's sister Anne Del Rossi and I believe the girl on the far right edge is my Mom's Niece, Jean Speno, who today is Jean Verrecchio.

Anthony R. Venella, September 2006


Dominick
&
Madeline
Venella

Farnham Park
Camden NJ
September 14, 1940



Rosaria
and
Michele Tantone

Rosaria and Michele Tantone are the parents of Madeline Venella. The Tantones and Venellas are related through this marriage.

Click Here for photos of the party held in honor of Rosaria and Michele's 50th wedding anniversary in 1953. 


 

 

Anna Tantonio

Camden Courier-Post
February 26, 1938

 

 

 

Nancy Tantone
& two soldiers (1940s)

This is my Aunt Nancy (Annunzia), my Mom's sister (February 27, 1912 - May 9, 1973}.

Later in years she married Vincent N. Martinelli (Uncle Jim). Aunt Nancy is the Godmother of my Cousin Nick Pontelandolfo and of Elaine DelRossi, and she was in Nick's parent's wedding, Antoinette (Nettie) and Frank Pontelandolfo, which are all on my Dad's (Venella) side and makes the Families connect nicely. I have a photograph of Aunt Nancy & Uncle Jim apparently on their Honeymoon my Niagara Falls, and I have a photo of Aunt Nancy in that Wedding. I brought my Mom a beautiful dress from Hong Kong while I was in Vietnam. Mom let Aunt Nancy borrow it at their Sister's retirement dinner (all of them photographed together, and Mom gave Aunt Nancy the dress at her rest. She passed so very young.

Anthony R. Venella
September 2006

My Grandmother Rosaria Tantone lived on 4th Street in Camden for quite awhile with her daughter Nancy Martinelli. I know there was a store on the corner, so this might be at that address. Anyhow I thought you might be interested in the location and sign. I don't remember this Church, but only some type of store; apparently it changed hands at times. (The store was Salvatore's Cafe- PMC) Of course there are the traditional brick sidewalks. I particularly liked this photograph with my Cousin Frankie laughing. My Brother and I are here along with my Cousin Frankie's Sister Lorraine DeNinno.

Anthony R. Venella
March 2006

From Left: Frank DeNinno, Ronald Venella,
Lorraine DeNinno & Anthony R. Venella
in front of
1134 South 3rd Street, about 1947

Willie Venella on Broadway, opposite the Midway Theater - 1957


Michele & Rosaria Tantone

The pictures below were taken on July 18, 1953 at the party held in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Michele and Rosaria Tantone's 50th wedding anniversary. The party was held in the rear of 1259 Decatur Street, the home their daughter Angelina "Chickie" DeNiino and her husband Frank DeNinno.

 

Back Row: Anthony R. Venella, Jeanne Speno, Michael Speno, Jean Speno Verrechio, Frank "Sonny" Del Rossi, Rosaria Tedesco Tantone, Dominick A. Verrechio, Elaine Del Rossi 

Front Row: Ronald D. Venella, Frank DeNinno, Joyce Verrechio, Michael DeNinno, Barbara Verrechio, Lorraine DeNinno

Click on Image to Enlarge

Back Row: Grandmom DeNinno; daughters Nancy Tantone Martinelli, Angelina "Chickie" Tantone DeNinno, Rose Tantone, Anna Tantone; Rosaria Tantone; daughter Madeline Tantone Venella; daughter-in-law Rose "Nellie" Tantone; niece Jeanne Speno

Front Row: Mary Tantone Coratolo, Elaine Del Rossi, Lorraine DeNinno

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Back Row: Madeline Tantone, Michele Tantone, Angelina "Chickie" Tantone DeNinno, Rosaria Tantone, Anna Tantone, Anthony Tantonio

Front Row: Nancy Tantone, Mary Tantone Coratolo, Rose Tantone

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Jean Speno Verrechio & Dominick A. Verrechio
with
Joyce Verrechio & Barbara Verrechio

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From Left: Michele Tantone, Rosaria Tantone, unknown, unknown

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Dominick & Madeline Tantone Venella
with their son
David Venella

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Dominick & Madeline Tantone Venella
with their sons
Anthony, David, & Ronald Venella

From Left: Anthony, David, Madeline, Dominick, Ronald

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Nancy Tantone Martinelli, Elaine Del Rossi
&
Vincent "Jim" Martinelli

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Rose Burgo Tantonio & Anthony "Tony" Tantonio

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Rose Burgo Tantonio & Anthony Tantonio
with
Michael Tantonio & Gloria Stanmire Tantonio
and their daughter
Michealene Tantonio

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Michael Tantonio & Gloria Stanmire Tantonio
and their daughter
Michealene Tantonio

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Rosaria Tantone & Michele Tantone

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Remembering Madeline Tantone Venella
June 18, 1921  -  February 18, 2004

Our
Tribute to Mom

Forever
Within 
Our  Hearts

Remembering with Love-
Ron, Peggy, Dave,
Lauretta, Frank & Anthony

Left: Making  Govadeli’s (Gnocchi) in her kitchen in Fairview Village

1968 
In her garden in Fairivew Village Home
 On the patio in Clementon

December 9, 2000

Click on Images to Enlarge

Grandmother's Chair

My Paternal Grandmother was Marguerite Lorusso Venella. This wooden chair was hers and she could often be seen sitting in it. From what I have heard I believe the original color was more of a cream tone rather than this bright yellow which my paternal cousin Margaret Angelastro painted. When my Grandmother passed one of the items was passed on was this chair. My Grandmother’s 2nd eldest daughter Millie asked her sister Mary who was the eldest daughter if she wanted the chair and she accepted. When Aunt Mary passed Cousin Margaret inherited the chair and Cousin Margaret will pass it down to me.

Thanks Phil for allowing me to Share with you……….

Your Friend, 

Anthony Venella
February 4, 2012

Thanks to Anthony R. Venella for his help in creating this web page

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