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Going Back To Our Roots

TibalPages-The Crolla Family

Italy, Manchester - 1800's-2008


"Ancoats Little Italy"    

My Grandad Bernard Crolla abt 1922

Bernard Crolla [above] is my grandfather born about 1884 in Ancoats Manchester and died at Crumpsall General Hospital on the 24/10/1934 from Diabetes.

Bernard worked most of his youth first selling Ice Cream from the Crolla family cart 'Hokey-Kokey' style, then in his fathers Confectioner/ Bakery on George St Hulme making bread until 1904. In 1904 his father Antonio Crolla and Margaret left for Connecticut Pennsylvania USA taking their daughter Philimina with them to live with his daughter Teresa Parella (nee Crolla) and family who settled there the previous year in 1903.

On 23/10/1907 Bernard married Mary Foster and they lived at 26 Addington St Ancoats. Bernard started working at Smithfield Fish Market as a Porter in Manchester(below) and worked there until he died in 1934.

Bernard left Mary for a now widowed Eugenia Panetta [nee Colletta] living on Gun St Ancoats Manchester with her 5 Panetta children some time around 1921. From 1923 Bernard Crolla and Eugenia added 5 more children to the family on Gun St. My dad Anthony Crolla was 3rd born in 1927.

Smithfields Fish Market Manchester 1924

Male Ice Cream Vendors Picnic Ancoats

Manchester Shop Window 1900

Bostocks Boots Market St 1896 Manchester

Marks and Spencers Penny Bazaare Market St 1896 Manchester

Piccadilly Manchester 1895

Street Artist 1895 Albert Square

Antonelli Barrel Organs Gun Street 1895

Manchester Brick Layers 1900

Cotton Street facing east.

Cotton Street facing west.

Cotton Street facing east.

1904 Henry Street steps leading to Messrs McConnells premises.

1910 Ancoats Maria Street Passage to Royal Oak Inn Jersey Street.

Victorian Links

London&Manchester England -

Italian Musicians-Street Life in London 1877
Victorian Manchester
Origins UK- Manchester
The Annotico Report Italians Influence in Manchester
Irish Community in Ancoats
Spinning the Web-The Cotton Industry
Who Do You Think You Are-Ancestry.co.uk
Recalling the sights and sounds of our Little Italy
YouTube-Memories of Ancoats
The Glasgow Story- Crolla's

Santina's Genealogy

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Our Dads Maternal Family

My dads maternal great-grandparents were Rosina D'Agostino[nee?] & Sylvester D'Agostino a farmer from Italy. I am not sure if they ever came to Britain. As far as I know they had 2 daughters Anunziata D'Agostino b-1862 d-22/07/1936 & Marrietta.

Anunziata Colletta[nee Dagostino]

Augustine Colletta

Anunziata(mostly spelled Anunciata) married Augustine Colletta around the late 1880's. Apparently Augustine used to travel a lot because he was a teacher of languages. This brought him to San Paolo in Brazil where Eugenia was born. They then went to Villa Latina in Italy where Luigi was born sometime after that. I think this might be the village they originated from. They spent some time in Canada after that, then Ireland which was eventually where Augustine Colletta died. Nobody knows where he is buried in Ireland.

Luigi & Eugenia Colletta

Luigi Colletta  Eugenia Colletta

Anunziata was a widow in 1899. She lived at 110 Gt Ancoats St Manchester and was a Sewing Machinist. On 02/10/1899 she married her next door neighbour from 108 Gt Ancoats St called Michael Angelo Crolla b- 1874-9 d-20/01/1942. Michael Angelo was a distant Crolla cousin to our Crolla's. He was the son of MICHELE ARCANGELO CROLLA (n.8/05/1833-PICINISCO (IT)) & ROSA CELINI.

Michael Angelo Crolla & Anunziata Crolla

Michael Angelo Crolla  Anunziata Colletta

MICHELE ARCANGELO CROLLA'S family along with his brother Antonio Cesario Crolla b-1830 & wife Felicity Pia were to carry the rare deadly Crolla cancer gene published in the daily mail article in 2000.

My great grandmother Anunciata(aka Nancy) & Michael Angelo(aka Angelo) had a son in 1901 called Sylvester Crolla. He was Eugenia & Luigi Colletta's brother.

Tree from the Daily Mail Article Aug 2000

Crolla Cancer Genes

The family tree in the article is misleading & full of errors. I have the certificate to Michael Angelo & Anunciata Colletta formely Dagostino 1899 marriage. She was a widow & he was a bachelor. Her father was Slvester Dagostino (deceased) farmer. It says Michael Angelo's father was Michael Crolla, Musician. So I went to his address on the 1891 census at 108 Gt Ancoats St as stated on the certificate to check it out & sure enough I found his father Michael Crolla but by the looks of it his wife is a much younger Dominica & he has had 2 more young children Mary & Rose. He must have been widowed from Rosa Celini & remarried Dominica. I wonder if anybody in the Alex Best tree checked that out. They might have assumed Vittorio was Michael Angelo´s father because he & his third wife Florinda can be seen at the back on the left of Sylvester's wedding picture to Aurelia Fasoli in 1919. This has been confirmed as being Vittorio by his grandson Michael Crolla whom I sent the photo to.

The Daily Mail Article Aug 2000

Crolla Cancer Genes Article

Daily Mail. Monday. August 7. 2000

In 1882 four brothers brought their ice cream making skills to Britain. They also brought a catastrophic cancer gene.

Report by Lucy Laing

WHEN Italian brothers Vittorio, Gerardo, Petro and Eugenio Crolla came to Britain in the 1880s they brought with them a deadly legacy. Unknown to the brothers, Vittorio and Eugenio carried a virulent breast cancer gene mutation which was to devastate their family for the next five generations. The Crolla descendants are the largest family with the gene mutation that scientists have seen in England. The brothers came from Picinisco, a hillside village in central Italy, in the 1880s to set up their family ice cream business. They settled in Ancoats in Manchester, where they became one of the first founders of the Little Italy district. Since then, 25 women out of 120 born through the brothers’ bloodline have developed breast cancer and 18 of these have died. The Crolla curse has devastated whole families and 100 years later it is still spreading, with research suggesting more than one in three may carry the faulty gene. The passing of the gene is largely down to the eldest brother Vittorio, born in 1857, who fathered 15 children with three wives. Eugenio also carried it, although so far that branch of the family tree has yet to be fully traced. Petro had no children and although there is evidence of some breast cancers in Gerardo’s family, experts are unsure whether he was a carrier. The faulty gene has been traced back as far as the four brothers, but accurate records are not available any further back. In the 1960s five sisters died within years of each other and breast cancer is still affecting that family. The tragic family tree spanning more than 100 years helped scientists to discover the faulty BRCA 2 gene in 1995, which is the cause of many breast cancer cases. The normal chances of having a defect in BRCA 2 is one in 1000, but for the Crolla family it could be as high as one in two if a direct parent carries the gene. The Crolla family first came to the attention of scientists in 1993, when one of the family members, from Wales, answered an advert placed by the cancer institute at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. The institute was looking for women with a family history of breast cancer and both she and her sister had the disease. Both have since died. Diane Averill, from the Royal Marsden, who first coordinated the Crolla family research, said: ‘We didn’t know then that Sheila Rees would prove so significant for the research. The Crolla family tree just kept expanding and the enormity of it all amazed everyone.’ The family remains under scrutiny by experts in London and Manchester and the women have regular check ups at the Family History Clinic in Manchester as well as state- of-the-art mammograms. Gareth Evans, from the Manchester clinic, said: ‘We monitor the women from this family very carefully indeed. There are a lot of women who may carry the faulty gene who won’t have had the chance to develop breast cancer yet. ‘This family is of ongoing importance. We know the importance of factors such as the contraceptive pill, HRT and how these affect risk. Big families such as the Crollas allow us to identify what those factors are, which will hopefully lead to new ways of preventing breast cancer.’ If anyone would like to donate to genetic research, contact the Genesis Appeal on 0161 232 2233 or the Family History Clinic on 0161 446 3843.

Sylvester Crolla & Aurelia Fasoli's Wedding 1919.

Sylvester Crolla & Aurelia Fosoli's Wedding 1919

The wedding picture was taken in 1919 of Sylvester Crolla & Aurelia Fasoli...Michael Angelo's cousin Vittorio & his 3rd wife Florinda are stood on the far left at the back. Vittorio's parents Antonio & Felis were not there because they were dead by this time..Sylvesters dad Michael Angelo is just behind Sylvester on the left...the lady sitting down on the far left is my grandmother Eugenia Panetta(nee Colletta)...the lady sat next to her on the right is her mother & also Sylvester Crolla's mother, my great grandmother Anunziata(Nancy) Crolla. The 3 children in front of Eugenia & Anunziata are my dads siblings left to right Joe, Gus & Rosie Panetta. The man at the back between Sylvester & Aurelia´s heads is the childrens father Antonio Panetta who died a yr after the picture was took from TB.

Click here for all Census listed below
Antonio&Felice 8 Primrose St 1881
Antonio & Felice 9 Lees St 1891
Michael-Dominica Crolla 108 GtAncoats St 1891
Anunziata Ship Transcript Quebec Canada 1910
Anunciata-Canada Toronto 1911 Census

Moston Cemetery Anunziata & Michael Angelo Crolla's grave

When Anunziata had her 2nd marriage to Michael Angelo Crolla in 1899. He was much younger than her, his 1899 marriage certificate says he was born in 1879 which would make him 12yrs younger,the headstone says he was 17yrs younger, not sure which one is right. He was heart broken when Anunziata died, I've been told everybody loved her & she was a lovely woman to be around. They are in the same grave as each other with Sylvesters daughters Marie & Ann(Anunziata).

Moston Cemetery Anunciata & Michael Angelo Crolla's grave

This is what Cousin Mary told me about Anunziata's life with Michael Angelo

"When Grandma got married to Grandad Panetta they and her Mother and step father emigrated or went to Canada. They lived together in Toronto in the same house. They lived in a 3 story house. The top story they rented to Jewish people. Uncle Joe must have been born 1910 or 11 and Uncle Gus 1912. I have seen the street although the houses have gone now. Uncle Joe and Uncle Gus were Canadian citizens by birth. Grandma was 7 months pregnant with my Mum when they decided to go back to England in 1914. My Mum was almost born on the boat. Grandma told me in those days they had no passport they just walked up to the gangplank paid a pound and walked on the ship. Anyway, the first world war broke out and so they had to stay in England. Grandma used to say there was nowhere like England. Grandad Panetta however, always wanted to go back to Canada but could not because of the war. As well, he was sick most of the time with TB. I spoke with my Dad today and he said when they came back to Manchester/Ancoats they lived on Jersey St where my Mum was born. After that they moved to Gun St and then Pickford St. Each time the house was bigger because the family kept growing."

Vittorio´s brother Eugenio Crolla's Ice Cream Cart

Vittorio´s brother Eugenio Crolla's Ice Cream Cart

The Crolla Family Tree

My dads Paternal line is:

Beniamino Crolla b-abt 1825(my g-g-grandad)
+Gracinta b-1833(nee ?)

...Michael Angelo Crolla b-abt 1854
...Antonio Crolla b-abt 1856(my g-grandad)
...Mary Crolla b-abt 1861 m-1884
...Meyrick Crolla b-1860 m-1882
...Giovanni Crolla(aka John) b-abt 1862 m-1882 d-1912

Antonio Crolla b-abt 1856 d-?(my g-grandad)

+Chiara Antonelli(wife 1)b-1852 m-1876 d-?

......Carmela Crolla b-1877
+Donata Marino(wife 2 my g-grandmother) b-1864 m-1881 d- 29/01/1890
......Teresa Crolla b-1883
......Bernard Crolla b-1884 d-abt 1931(my grandad)
......Joseph Crolla b-15/09/1887

+Margaret Hamilton(wife 3)b-1865 m-abt 1891 d-?
......Philomena Crolla b-13/08/1891 d-1968

Bernard Crolla b-1884 d-abt 1931(my grandad)

+Mary Foster(wife 1) b-1885 m-23/10/1907 d-?
+Eugenia Panetta[nee Colletta](my grandmother) b-07/12/1892 d- 05/07/1972

..........Bernard Crolla b-1923 d-1968
..........Vincent Crolla b-1925 d-1959
..........Anthony Crolla b-1927 d-1971(my dad)
..........Anunziata Crolla b-1929 d-2005(aka Nancy)
..........Michael Angelo Crolla b-1930 d- 2004

My dads Maternal line is:

Sylvester D'Agostino b-abt 1845(my g-g-grandfather)
+Rosina D'Agostino[nee?]b-abt 1845(my g-g-grandmother)

...Anunziata D'Agostino b-1862 d-22/07/1936(my g-grandmother)
...Marietta D'Agostino b-?

Augustine Colletta(my g-grandad) b-abt 1862 d-abt 1896
+Anunziata D'Agostino b-1862 d-22/07/1936(my g-grandmother)

......Eugenia Colletta b-1891 d-1971(my grandmother)
......Louigi Colletta b-abt 1895

Michael Angelo Crolla(Distant Crolla Cousin) b-abt 1879 d-20/01/1942

+Anunziata Colletta[nee D'Agostino] b-1862 2nd m-02/10/1899 d-22/07/1936(my g-grandmother)

......Sylvester Crolla b-1901(Eugenia and Louigi Colletta's brother)

Antonio Panetta b-abt 1891 m-1910 d-1919
+Eugenia Colletta b-1891 d-1972(my grandmother)

..........Joseph Panetta b-1910
..........Agustino(Gus)Panetta b-1912
..........Rosalia(Rose)Panetta b-1914
..........Luigi Panetta b-1916
..........Maria(Mary)Panetta b-1918

Bernard Crolla b-1884 d-abt 1931(my grandad)
+Mary Foster(wife 1) b-1885 m-23/10/1907 d-?
+Eugenia Panetta[nee Colletta](my grandmother) b-07/12/1892 d- 05/07/1972

..........Bernard Crolla b-1923 d-1968
..........Vincent Crolla b-1925 d-1959
..........Anthony Crolla b-1927 d-1971(my dad)
..........Anunziata Crolla b-1929 d-2005(aka Nancy)
..........Michael Angelo Crolla b-1930 d- 2004