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Going Back To Our Roots

TribalPages-The Crolla Family

Italy,Manchester - 1800's-2008


"Ancoats Little Italy"    

My father Anthony Eugene Crolla

Pictured Above Anthony Crolla´s idol was Mario Lanza. He was one of the great Italian Tennors & sang in many Holliwood films, he also sung the Christmas Classics. I can see a strong ressemblance between the way my dad & Mario Lanza look. My dad even named one of his sons after him (my brother Mario). I´ve dedicated a page on this site to my dads hero Mario Lanza in the navigation bar above, which incudes some rare recordings you can listen to ...& Enjoy!

Ancoats Pictures
George Leigh Street from Gun Street to Henry Street.
George Leigh Street from Gun Street to Henry Street

Gun Street looking from Blossom Street.
Gun Street looking from Blossom Street

Gun Street facing west.
Gun Street facing west

Gun Street facing east.
Gun Street facing east

Babies pram on Gun Street on negative.
Babies pram on Gun Street on negative

Gun Street No.s 33-47.
Gun Street No.s 33-47

Italian Links

Manchester, Ancoats -

Ancoats Little Italy
Manchester Images
Liverpool Little Italy
Anglo-Italian FHS
The Picinisco Website
The Abruzzo Forum
The Glasgow Story- Crolla´s

Santina´s Genealogy

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I am doing Genealogy Look-Ups


"Santina´s Genealogy Services are here to help you with the research of your Manchester family history"    

Our Dad and his Family

Anthony Eugene Crolla Gun Street facing east Gun Street from Blossom Street corner

Our dad Anthony Eugene Crolla[above] was born 22/02/1927 & he grew up on Gun Street in Ancoats Manchester[Seen above].The street has since been demolished in 1959 & modernised with luxuary apartments & office blocks. Gun Street, Blossom Street, Jersey Street, Cotton Street&Lees Street in Ancoats were lived in by many generations of Crolla's going right back to 1871 when they first arrived in Manchester from Italy.Old&New Ancoats Maps

It´s such a shame we never got to see the place my dad, his brothers & sisters used to call home. The New Cross area of Ancoats in Manchester was known as the "Little Italy" of England. Although Liverpool, Glasgow & Middlesex/Clerkenwell had one too, Manchester was the first & the most populated from the 1870´s during the industrial revolution which will be explained further on the "Victorian Crolla´s" page, right up to the 1940´s when the Italians started to spill out into the surrounding areas of Moston, Old Trafford & Chorlton upon Medlock.

Chorlton on Medlock Plymouth Grove No 163 - Conways 1959 Chorlton on Medlock Plymouth Grove No 163 - Conways 1965

The family later moved from Gun Street to Freme Street in Chorlton on Medlock where the photo's below were taken. Most of the boys in the family were in the army WW2 except dads brother Bernard who joined the Navy. All the brothers including my dad and also Angelo Iafrati [dads sister Rosies husband] were skilled Terazzo Tilers, a craft passed down by their Italian ancestors and originating from Rome. They all worked at Conways Tiles on Plymouth Grove[above] for most of their lives doing tiled doorways in shops, government buildings and churches at various locations around the country. Dads brother Vincent also worked in the office there at Conways.

Bernard Crolla Vincenzo Carmine Crolla Anthony Crolla, Eugenia Panetta, Gus Panetta, Michael Crolla Anthony Crolla, Nancy Crolla, Loui Panetta

From left to right is my dads brother Bernard Crolla(1923-1969), then brother Vincent Carmine Crolla(1925-1959), not sure the next guy we think a POW apparently grandma used to take them in at the wknd, then my dad Anthony Eugene Crolla(1927-1971), then their mother Eugenia Panetta[nee Colletta], the next is my dads brother Gus Panetta, then my dads youngest brother Michael Angelo Crolla(1930-2004). Next photo is my dad Anthony Crolla again, then my dads sister Nancy Crolla(1929-2005), then the last is brother Louie Panetta.

Joe Panetta Mary Panetta, Gus Panetta, cousin Philimina Colletta, Angelo Iafrati, Rosie Iafrati[nee Panetta],Louie Panetta

Above from left to right is dads oldest brother Joe Panetta, sister Mary Panetta, brother Gus Panetta, cousin Philimina Colletta, sister Rosie's husband Angelo Iafrati, sister Rosie Iafrati[nee Panetta], and brother Louie Panetta.

Marriage of Eugenia Colletta & Antonio Panetta Common Law Marriage of Eugenia Panetta & Bernard Crolla

My grandmother Eugenia Colletta had 5 children with Antonio Panetta[above left] whom she married in Fylde Lancashire England in 1910. They were Joseph, Augustine(aka Gus), Luigini[eo](aka Loui), Maria C (aka Mary)&Rosina (aka Rosie)Panetta...Antonio Panetta sadly died from TB in 1921 this making Eugenia a widow.

She then met my grandad Bernard Crolla[above right] & starting in 1923 she had 5 more children called Bernardo(aka Bernard), Vincenzo(aka Vincent), Anthony(my dad), Anunziata(aka Nancy)&Michael Angelo Crolla.

Although the above photo suggests a wedding with the ring on Eugenia's finger and flower in Bernards lapel,apparently grandma used the name Crolla most of the time whilst& after she was with Bernard but they never actually got married on paper and she was buried as Eugenia Panetta. This was not because they didn't want to, but was due to the fact that unfortunately he was already married in Manchester in 1907. The picture was most likely the wedding they could never have but always wanted. I was told grandad Bernard Crolla swept grandma of her feet when they met and they absolutely adored each other till the day he died. He left his wife Mary Crolla(nee Foster) whom he lived with on Addington St in Ancoats to live with Eugenia and her children on Gun Street. Divorces and weddings were expensive affairs in those days. I think a lot of people in Ancoats fell into that category because of the death rate at that time in late 1800´s. Many were on second and third marriages, or some just addressed themselves with their husbands names as if they were married. In those days you could sign important documents using a false name and no checks were made. If you were illiterate then it would depend on the transcriber understanding the correct spelling from the Italian spoken dialect or broken English he is given when he put pen to paper. These documents would then be marked with an ´X´ meaning they were illiterate. It gets complicated trying to trace these people but I totally understand why they did that back then.

Vincent, Bernard & my dad Anthony all died in their mid 30´s/early 40´s from heart attack [Thrombosis]. Their mother Eugenia died from heart attack one year after my dad in 1972. Grandad Bernard died from Diabetes in about 1931 in hospital. I´m not sure which hospital yet, if anybody knows can they please contact me. I'd think grandma must have suffered dreadfully having lost two husbands and then three sons so early on in life. She probably gave up hope & the will to live in the end.

My dad Anthony& mum Hermine[nee Gscnitzer] had 7 children Antonio, Paolo, Marco, Mario, Yolanda, Santina[me]& Dino. Paul emigrated to Norway 20yrs ago,the rest of us are still in Manchester. Uncle Bernard and his wife Kathleen had 3 children Bernard, Kathleen& Vincent. They are still living in Liverpool. Uncle Bernard died around December in 1969 whilst we were still in Australia. Uncle Vincent& his wife Joyce had 4 children Vincent, Anthony, Peter and Heather who still live in Manchester. Uncle Vincent never saw Heather because he died whilst Joyce was pregnant in 1959. Anthony passed away around 2000 in a tragic motorcycle accident. After seeking preventetive treatment for the family heart trouble which was on both sides, Uncle Michael who lived in Stockport died in April 2004 in Bolton& was in his seventies& Auntie Nancy also died one year later in Urmston Manchester. Uncle Michael& wife Josephine Carmel had 5 children Michael, Bernard, Julie, Marina& Joseph. They all still live in Manchester. Auntie Nancy& husband Mauro had 3 children Rita, Bernadette& Leonard. They are still in Manchester except Rita who lives in London. Auntie Mary had 2 children Angela& Eric Butterworth.They are all still in Manchester. Uncle Gus& his wife Martha never had their own children. They adopted 2 children Bernadette& John. John died about 7 years ago. They emigrated to Canada in the early seventies. Uncle Joe& his wife Hilda had one child Joseph who is dead now, he was Grandma's first Grandchild. Uncle Louie& wife Josephine [nee DeFelice] emigrated to Australia in the early sixties& over the following years had 7 children Josephine, Gloria, Gino, Anthony, Pauline, Louie& Vincent. Our family were to follow them shortly after in 1967 we lived in Brisbane for 4yrs. Although that was a long time ago the childhood memories are still vivid& we often talk about the experience. It was an amazing place to live& I´m so glad we have that to look back on [*see Crolla Photo's in navigation bar]. Dad looked but never found his brother Louie in the years that followed. Unknown to our dad at the time Louie had moved to NZ briefly and lost all contact before moving back to Australia. Louie didn´t know about dad looking for him either& was mortified when he found out after dad died in 1971. As brothers they were very close& dad really missed him when he emigrated. I suppose if they had the technoligy we have today this would never have happened. Uncle Louie died in the late 70´s in Australia. Auntie Rosie& husband Angelo Iafrati had 3 children Maria, Philip& Francis. They later emigrated to Canada after grandma died where their daughter Mary Bonfield [nee Maria Rose Iafrati]& family had already settled in Toronto in 1960& son Philip Iafrati settled around 1971. Francis is still in the UK& lives in Wales. Aunty Rosie died in Canada in 1992& Angelo Iafrati has just reached his 102nd birthday& lives close by to his daughter& son Mary& Philip in Canada. Gus also settled in Canada in about 1972 as both brothers Joe& Gus were born there in Toronto. This was because grandma emigrated there in 1910 with her husband Antonio Panetta, her mother Anunziata, step father Michael Angelo Crolla& grandma´s 9yr old brother Sylvester Crolla. Grandma had Joe and Gus in 1911& 1912& was pregnant with Rosie before they all headed back to England around March 1914 where Rosie was born back in Manchester in November. Louie was born in 1917& Mary was born in 1918.

We now have only one living relative from my dads generation which is his sister Maria C Butterworth[nee Mary Panetta]. All the children they produced between them are all alive except the three mentioned above from Uncle Vincent´s, Joe´s& Gus´s families. As for heart trouble hopefully we are all fit& well& most of us barr the above moves mentioned are still in or around Manchester, Liverpool& Wales..... Thank God, they all must be looking down on us& smiling :-)

My dad died at the age of 44yrs& I was only 6yrs old. I so wish I would have had the privilage to know him as an adult, so I´m putting this site together in honour of his memory xXx... God Bless Him!!!

As many Italian names were Anglocised in this family, this site will contain full names at birth & also dates of births/deaths/marriages all gained from public records and used strictly for genealogy purposes only. As I respect the families wishes,anybody wanting any of these details removed then please contact me asap&I will see that they are deleted immediately

I would just like to thank Auntie Rosies daughter our cousin Mary Bonfield in Canada for all her help in putting together the family history 1900 to post war years and without her none of this would have been possible,so thankyou ever so much Mary your a star.

Almost done constructing now... Please come back for updates.Thankyou Santina Crolla


Andrea Boccelli-Brindisi