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Luca Pastore’s Migration to the United States


Giuseppe Pastore (Luca's father).


Casamassima, Corso Vittorio      Emanuele No. 19. Now a storefront, it was the former home of Luca and Antonia Pastore. Their children, Carmela, Constantino, Petronilla, Giuseppe and Concetta where all born and raised in this house.


Luca and Antonia Pastore in 1927


Luchetto il cacciatore 1976



May 1958 the Pastore's in the United States; Luca, Antonia, Carmela, Costantino, Patricia and Giuseppe.


Giuseppe in 1964. 


Carmela's wedding 1962. Luca, Antonia, Carmela, Costantino, Patricia and Giuseppe

Giuseppe. During a trip to Casamassima in 1969. Pretending to be a butcher at his cousin's butcher shop


Giuseppe, Luca, and Costantino Pastore
Casamassima, Summer of 1990


Mike and Joseph Pastore, Rome 1991

Luca Pastore
The Streets of Casamassima


Pastore's in Casamassima 1991, Luca, Joseph, Betsy Michael, Christina, Tony and Kenny.

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Born in Casamassima on October 13, 1904, to Giuseppe and Maria Pastore, Luca was the youngest of 7 children. His older siblings were brothers Vincenzo, Agostino, and sisters Concetta, Angela, Finella and Lucrezia.



While Luca was still in his infancy, his mother Maria passed away and so he never got to know her.  Therefore, he was brought up by his father Giuseppe and his older brothers and sisters.



The Pastore are descendents of a long line of butchers, who were well known in Casamassima  as the “beccaio” family. Having been in this business for generations, they owned several butcher shops in town. Luca, grew up to be a “beccaio” or butcher as well. However, he disliked this profession and later set out to learn a different trade. He chose to learn, and eventually became an electrician.  



Since he was a young boy, he loved to go hunting.  He eventually became one of the most expert hunters in town.  His knowledge of hunting and his training of hunting dogs placed him in touch with many of the higher classes and well-to-do professionals, who would seek his services and hunting expertise. He often would take them on hunting trips, sometimes days at a time. Luca became known as one of the most avid hunters in town and this earned him the nick name “Luchetto il cacciatore”.



In the 1920’s, while Luca set out to become an electrician and “cacciatore”, his older brother Vincenzo and 3 of his sisters emigrated to the United States of America, and settled in the New York City area.  During that period, the United States had open immigration and the U.S. Government encouraged workers to enter the country.  Therefore, any healthy and hard working person, provided they had enough money to buy passage on a ship, could come over to the United States to work.  Records of Vincenzo, Angela, Lucrezia and Concetta’s arrivals to the United States can be found on the Internet by going to the site www.EllisIsland.org  and searching the ship manifests and records.



In the meantime, Luca was drafted and served in the Italian Army , in the mid 1920’s. Later, after his discharge, he met Antonia DeCosmis, also of Casamassima, and in 1927 they were married.  They eventually had 8 children. 2 of which did not survive.  Antonia and Luca’s children are:   Carmela, Costantino, Petronilla, Giuseppe and Concettina. Concettina, the youngest, was born in 1949 with Down Syndrome.



After the Second World War, the economic situation brought much hardship to Italy and Luca was thinking of other ways to give his family a better life. He turned to his brother Vincenzo and sister Lucrezia who had settled in the New York City area, and asked for their help in migrating to the United States.  After many years of red tape, finally in 1955 Luca Pastore and his daughter Carmela, boarded the Italian Liner Conte Bianca Mano and arrived in New York. They got an apartment and settled in the Bronx, New York.


Thus, Luca Pastore’s family migration to the United States began. 



2-1/2 Years later, Costantino and Petronilla arrived in New York, and 6 months after, in 1958, he was joined by his wife Antonia and young son Giuseppe. Concetta, the youngest daughter, was not allowed to enter the United States by the U.S. authorities because of her condition of Down Syndrome. She remained in Italy and was taken care of by an aunt.   This broke everyone’s heart, especially that of the mother Antonia,  who swore to do whatever possible to have her daughter Concetta join the rest of the family in the United States.



The Pastore’s were now all living in the Bronx.  Luca, Carmela and Patricia, all worked in a garment factory owned by Luca’s brother in law Giuseppe Piccolino. Constantino got a job in the construction industry as a carpenter, while his younger brother Giuseppe (Joey) was of school age and attended public schools.



All family members eventually worked and had to financially contribute to the fund in order to sustain the family.  During many years of hard work and endurance, finally the Pastore’s were able to improve their lives, and eventually, Luca’s children started their own families. 



Carmela was the first to be married. She eventually bought a home in upstate New York.  A few years later Constantino and then Patricia were married. Constantino bought a home in the Bronx, while Patricia settled in a home in upstate New York.


Luca Pastore’s immediate household was now reduced to only his wife Antonia and young son Giuseppe.  



In 1966 tragedy struck and Antonia Pastore passed away from pancreatic cancer.  This devastated Luca. Then a few months later, Giuseppe, Luca’s youngest son was drafted in the United States Army for 2 years. Now, Lucas was left to live by himself in the Bronx, but was contemplating on going back to Italy.  But vowed to wait until his son Giuseppe came back from the Army and did so until 1968, when Giuseppe was honorably discharged. 



By now Luca was of retirement age and was constantly dreaming of going back to the old country. Eventually, having seen all of his children start their own families, and being satisfied that his children had all settled down with good jobs, in 1969 Luca Pastore returned to Casamassima, Italy. A few years later he was re-married to Ms. Rocchina Verna of Casamassima.



Luca lived in Casamassima with his new wife until 1995 when he passed away at the age of 91. Luca Pastore is survived by the following children and grand children:



Carmela Pastore: Luca’s oldest daughter. Now lives in New Jersey. Her children are Jackie Holmberg, Debbie Holmberg and Victor Holmberg.



Costantino Pastore: Oldest son. Now lives in Yonkers, New York. His children are Rosemarie Pastore and Theresa Pastore.



Patricia Pastore: Daughter. Now lives in New City, New York. Her children are, Frank DePasquale, Marisa DePasquale, Jennifer DePasquale and Albert DePasquale.



Joseph (Guiseppe) Pastore:  Youngest son.  Now lives in Levittown, New York.  His children are Michael Pastore, Christina Pastore and Anthony Pastore.



Concetta Pastore, Luca’s youngest daughter, is presently in a home for the less able and is being looked after by professionals in that field.  She is frequently visited by family, friends, her brothers and sister each time they visit Italy.



This concludes the story of Luca Pastore, but through his passion and love of family and his beloved home of Italy, he will always be remembered.



If anyone wants to get in touch with the Pastore’s, they can be reached by leaving a message on this site at  Info@Casamassima.net.


We also encourage you to write your own story about your Italian Heritage.  We will post it free on the Casamassima Site and everything will be in your own words.  Email editor@casamassima.net.

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