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San Pietro Avellana

Cristofaro diSanza


This Page last updated on .

I moved all of Chris diSanza's information to this web page.

My grandmother, Lucrezia Carlini Frazzini, had this photo in her album.
Chris diSanza

My mother remembered the name diSanza but she is not sure about it. He was born in Italy. Visited the US about about 1928-29. He stayed with the Frazzini's in Beaver Falls, PA. He was a good friend of Ercole Colajanni in Beaver Falls. He was not married at the time. He moved to western US (CA?) thinking he was going to get into the movies.

I got this email in Feb 2006 from Attilio diSanza who tells us who this man is:

"My father's first name was Emidio, his brother Cristoforo went to America in 1920, first of all in South America, then in North America where he worked as an actor in several films in Hollywood, without becoming a star of course.

My uncle Chris lived in Chicago, in Chicago lives his daughter Elvira, maybe in Chicago Heights, she has three daughters and grandchildren. The second one is Gloria who worked in N.Y. as a manager of an important factory related to hairdryers, she was also an important hair stylist. Now she has retired and lives in N.Y., in Phoenix and in S. Pietro where she has bought a house. My grand dad was Callisto Di Sanza who married to Elvira Fiocca (from Castel Di Sangro), niece of an important artist, Teofilo Patini. My mother was from another village near Venafro (Sesto Campano).

The wife of Cristofaro was Eufemia Brutti. She sang as a lyric singer in Chicago."

Mark's note: Teofilo Patini has a football stadium in Castel di Sangro named after him.
Here is some information about Chris diSanza.

Social Security Death Index Record
Name: Christophe Disanza
SSN: 327-14-9144
Last Residence: 60634  Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States of America
Born: 18 Sep 1903
Died: Jun 1971
State (Year) SSN issued: Illinois (Before 1951 )

(Feb 2006) I've sent away for his SSAN application. It should show his father as Callisto diSanza and his mother as Elvira Fiocca. I've also sent away for his death certificate.

I now have the SSAN application form and death certificate for Chris. They both confirm his parents names as Calisto diSanza and Evira Fiocca. Christopher was born on 18 Sep 1903 and died 28 Jun 1971. His wife's name was Frances Brutti. He is buried in Assumption Cemetery in Glenwood, IL.

Social Security Death Index record shows Frances Disanza of Chicago Heights, IL, born 16 Sep 1914 and died Oct 1985.
Chicago Tribune (IL)
Edition: Chicago Tribune
Christopher DiSanza, beloved husband of Frances, nee Brutti; loving father of Gloria and Elvira Keil; grandfather of three; fond brother of Lucia and Amico in Italy. Visitation Wednesday, 2 to 10 p.m., at Gerardi Arends Funeral Home, 2520 Chicago Rd., Chicago Heights. Funeral Thursday, 9:30 a.m., St. Rocco Church. Interment Assumption Cemetery. Glenwood. 754-2114.
Record Number: 19710630dn023
Chris's son Calisto:
Social Security Death Index Record

Name: C. J. Disanza
SSN: 360-28-8523
Born: 8 Mar 1935
Died: Apr 1966
State (Year) SSN issued: Illinois (1952-1953 )

Emails and photos from Judy Richert

Found Fannie Brutti in the 1920 census, Chicago Heights, IL with parents, Joseph and Mary Brutti. She was born in IL..

I searched on for people with the family name of Brutti around Chicago and sent a bunch of letters. I received this email in return:

Date:            Sun, 26 Nov 2006 14:02:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject:         Brutti Family/Chris DiSanza

I recently received a letter from you in regard to my uncle, Chris DiSanza (I knew him by this name and/or Uncle Chris).  I don't know the picture you sent in the letter but it certainly looks a great deal like the man I  knew. I also remember my parents talking of Uncle Chris coming to the US and going to Hollywood. I am the daughter of Orlando Brutti, brother of Eufemia (Fannie) Brutti DiSanza. My dad passed away last year (October 4,  2005). Before he passed away, my dad and I did some recording of what he knew about the Brutti family. I am happy to share what I know about Uncle Chris and Aunty Fannie and their family. I have some pictures of them that I can also email if you are interested. I'll start out with  the information I have and you can let me know what else you wish.
    *   Chris DiSanza was born September 18, 1903, and passed away June 28, 1971. I believed he died of throat or lung cancer.  My memory  of him was a good one. He loved to sing and laugh! He enjoyed  playing cards and following horse races! When I was old enough to be aware, he worked for the State of Illinois as a road worker. He also  helped manage his daughter, Gloria's, various beauty salons.

   *   Chris was married to Eufemia (Fannie DiSanza) who was born September 16,  1914, and died October 10, 1985, of complications of diabetes. She was the daughter of Joe (Giuseppe) and Maria Morganelli Brutti who lived in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
   *   Fannie was a talented opera singer and Graduated from Balatkas College of  Music in Chicago, Illinois.  She studied opera in Milan, Italy and debuted with the Illinois Opera Company in 1947. As far as I know, Chris helped/directed/acted in various stage performances and operas that  Fannie starred in. I don't know the date of Chris' and Fannie's  wedding. They had three children; Calisto (passed away in 1966 of complications of appendicitis), Gloria DiSanza and Elvira (Vera) Kiel. Gloria and Vera, who were very close to my dad at one time, lost contact with our family after my grandmother died (1994). Last I knew Gloria lived out east and Vera lived in Crete, Illinois. I don't believe either of them live in those locations anymore, though.

I believe you are also in contact with my cousin, Carol Frazzini Elliott, and her cousin Madeline from California. My mother's sister,  Genevieve married Lawrence Frazzini, who Chris was related to. It's really  a small world!

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you  with.
Judy Richert
Crete, Illinois  60417
Dear Judy,

Thanks so much for your email reply to my letter.

I've been searching for about 3 years for information about Chris and Eufemia.

My mother, who is 94, remembers Chris visiting them in Beaver Falls sometime in the 1930's. That was the last time she saw him. When I started my genealogy research a few years ago and found the photo, somehow she remembered that his last name was diSanza. She was probably 90 at the time.

As I mentioned in my letter, I am in touch with a nephew of Cristofaro in Italy. His name is Alfonso diSanza. I will relate to him what you told me.

I thank you for all the information you sent. Much of it is new to me. I would really be interested in scans of any photos that you have of him and his wife and children. My mother will like to see them for sure.

I have a scan of the 1920 census sheet which shows Fannie, Orlando and their parents, Joseph and Mary. I'll be happy to email that scan if you like. I was not able to find them in the 1930 census.

In the 1930 census, I did find a Marino and Mary Brutti with daughters Europa and Bruna (in Chicago Heights, Wentworth, Ave). And another 1930 sheet with Peter and Mary Brutti.  I can also send you that scan if you are interested.

I also have a 1907 manifest from Ellis Island showing Antonio Brutti and son Giuseppe arriving from Grottammare, Italy. They were going to Wentworth Ave in Chicago.

I would appreciate any address or phone information you might have about Gloria and Vera. I write a lot of letters like the one I sent you and will send out more letters - you never know what they might turn up.

Dear Mark,

I'm glad I could help you in your search for Uncle Chris. I'm sure he and my Aunt would be amazed that we could be in contact this many years after  their deaths. I only regret we couldn't have gotten together before my Dad died. He would have loved the idea of giving you information about his  family. 

He knew Chris ever since he came into his sister, Fannie's, life so he certainly would have had other things to tell you. I did forget to mention that Chris and Fannie lived in Chicago Heights all of their lives. Originally they lived with my grandparents, Joe and Maria Brutti, in a two flat. Then they moved to another apartment and eventually  were able to buy their own home in Chicago Heights. As I said, they had  three children. They are/were older than me, but I do remember spending  many holidays and occasions with them. 

After Chris' death, my aunt Fannie  moved in with my grandparents where she stayed until her death. I would  like to be able to give you more information on Gloria and Vera, but we no longer are in contact. Last I knew, Gloria was an executive in the Revlon  company in New York City.  I know she had plans to move to Arizona to retire, but I can't confirm that. Vera and her husband, John Kiel, lived  in Crete, Illinois for many years. I believe they planned to retire to  Florida (possibly Orlando area).  Vera and John have three daughters, Karen, Patty and Kathy. I will look through my parents old paperwork  to see if I can find an old address book for names and addresses. I will  also gather the pictures I have and send them to you. It may take me a few days, but I'll get it to you soon.
I would enjoy seeing the scans of the 1920 sensus of Joe, Mary, Fannie and Orlando. I don't know about the other Brutti's you mentioned. I don't believe they were related -- just another family with he same last name. I would also appreciate the 1907 manifest from Ellis Island. I have some information from that website but not the manifest. 
Hopefully this gives you a little more information to share with your  mother. How wonderful that she is still with you at 94 and able to remember so much.
Thanks for getting back to me. I'll keep in touch with the pictures and any old address information I have.
Judy sent me these two pages from her scrapbook:

Emails from Gloria diSanza

On 5 Mar 2007, Gloria diSanza left this note in my Guestbook:

My dad was Cristoforo Di Sanza and was born in San Pietro Avellana. I still have first cousins who have apartments there. I also have an apartment in S.Pietro. I don't know if I am a relative of the Di Sanza's of the 1800's.

Dear Gloria,

Thanks for leaving the note in my Frazzini guestbook.

My grandmother, Lucrezia Carlini, had a photo of your dad in her photo album. You probably saw it on my web page.

Ever since I found that photo about 4 years ago, I've been trying to find out who Cristoforo diSanza was. And why my grandmother had that photo.

I learned about you from my cousins in Italy, Attilio diSanza, and Alfonso diSanza d'Alena. I found a couple of addresses for you and wrote letters but most were returned as undeliverable.

You may have seen on my web page that your cousin, Judy Richert, contacted me and sent me a few photos of your father and you. I've copied her on this email.

I've attached a document that shows what I know about your family tree. Its mostly on the diSanza and diTella side of the family from San Pietro.

Let me know if you get this email. I'll be happy to share any family tree information that I have.

Date:            Wed, 07 Mar 2007 12:39:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject:         Re: San Pietro Avellana

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your prompt response to my note. 
It is exciting to know I have a cousin, in the USA, whose mother knew my father well and helped him when he came to the USA. 
I have printed your web page on my dad and will go over it in the coming weeks.  Then, I will get back to you with any corrections as well as  more info on Dad, Elvira, Calisto (my brother) and myself.
Where do you live?  Can you be contacted by phone?  Are you  married?  Do you have children?  etc., etc.
We are not going to Italy this summer as we just got back from Italy  in January.  We spent the New Year holiday with Sergio (Attilio's brother),  in Napoli.  We got a chance to visit SPA for 2 was very  cold, but I love it out there.  I have a very warm feeling in my heart  being in the town where my father was born. 
Take care.
Ciao cugino,
cara Gloria,

I can tell you a little about myself.

I grew up in the town of Aliquippa, near Pittsburgh. My mother's family had moved to Beaver Falls. My father grew up in Aliquippa
and that is where my parents lived (and still live) after they got married.

I went to school in Pittsbugh, Carnegie-Mellon University. I workd around a Philadelphia for a while and in 1978 moved to San Diego where I still live.

I recently got married (in 2004) for the first time to Sally. Sally is a CPA. I've never had any kids but Sally had three and now has 5 grandchildren (who call me Grandpa).

I gave up work a couple of years ago but I still can't say for sure that I am retired. I spend most of my time doing Genealogy research.

My mother, Benilda (or Betty), will be 95 this year. She and my father (who will be be 90) live in Aliquippa with my sister, Diane. My other sister Patricia, lives in Washington DC.

My genealogy work started out, of course, with my family, but it has expanded way too far. Since I realized that everyone from SPA is related, every person that I find from SPA is a potential cousin.

Sally and I were in Italy in 2004. Had a great time. We spent a week in SPA, a week in my father's hometown of Sant'Eufemia a Maiela and then a week being tourists in Roma, Firenze and Venezia.

I'm looking forward to sharing a lot of family history with you.

Hi Mark,
About a month ago, I received an e-mail from my niece who gave me some info on you and your quest to find out more about my father, Cristoforo Di  Sanza.  I had every intention of writing to you sooner, but, as you know,  things come up and I had not written, as planned.  I would like to go over the info on the  web page and add to the info, as I know it, from my  father and mother, as well as in my memory.
Your cousin, Attilio Di Sanza is my first cousin.  That probably makes us cousins also.  Attilio's brother, Sergio, is coming to America, in  May, to be with me for 3 weeks.  I will go over the Elvira Fiocca part of the family to add to your chart. 
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Dad's sister, Lucia, a  couple of years ago.  She passed away shortly after at the age of 90. Attilio's mother passed away a few months before, I believe she was 89.
Anyway, Mark, so that I don't ramble on, Ill close for now and write again  soon. I have also copied Judy on this e-mail with thanks for following up with some photos.
cara Gloria,

Everyone from SPA is related one way or another. From what I've been able to find, both you and Attilio are my 3rd cousins, 1 time removed. So that makes you and my mother, 3rd cousins.

Our common ancestors are Amicangiolo diSanza and Rosa Maria Buzzelli. They were both born in the 1700's. I've found that all the Buzzelli's orginally came from Castel di Sangro.

I just have a thousand questions for you about your father. Did he have any success in Hollywood? Maybe you can tell me what you think is important about him.

Also tell me about the brothers and sisters of your father. I only know about Emiddio, Attilio's father.

I'd like to use what you tell me on my web page about your father. Let me know if that is ok and let me know if any part of what you email should be omitted from the page.

I try to be careful what personal information I use on the web page, especially about people still living. But at the same time, I like to share as much as possible. I've found the younger cousins still in Italy are very interested in what happened to paesani who came to the US.

I'd like to learn about your brother who died so young and about your sister Elvira.


Other Emails

Date:        Fri, 27 Jul 2007 21:38:11 -0400
From:        "William D. Colianni" <>
Subject:     Re: [SanPietroAvellana] Re: Youngstown Weirton and Ellwood

I like to confirm your reminder to the Sanpietresi.
My great grandfather Gennaro Colaianni , I believe he made the first trip settling in Minneapolis in the 1870's and his second trip was in the early 1900.s. He was a widower and he returned to Minneapolis with the rest of the children. At that time the contracting company was formed and headed by my uncle Joe.  Some of the employment of most the workers were Italian including many from SPA but the majority of them were Chinese. My father was the one responsible for production and daily activities. All the brothers supported the education of uncle Paul who became a Civil engineer and subsequent he was elected President of the Sanitary District and Vice Mayor of Chicago during the Cermak mayoral days.
I do not know the number of Sanpietresi that were some what  assisted by him but the number of Italians employed by the city of Chicago or engaged as contractors were in the thousands. I distinctly remember 2 persons helped by my uncle,  Arduino Giampaolo and Cristoforo Di Sanza.
Bill C.

Date:            Sun, 29 Jul 2007 10:51:19 -0400
From:            "William D. Colianni" <>
Subject:         Re: [SanPietroAvellana] Re: Youngstown Weirton and Ellwood City

Caro Marco,
Thank you for your e mail.
I looked at your web page regarding Cristoforo Di Sanza. I can only add minor comments.
We had several family and friends get together in the 1960's and always enjoyed Chris' super sense of humor.
He always reminded us that one time he acted with Ida Garbo and that made him proud.
At one time he worked for the Water Purification System of Chicago with Arduino Giampaolo. Arduino and Chris were very good friends.
Keep up the good work and take care,
Bill C.

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