Luigi and Appolonia Costantini
Oh Cindy, how I wish you could
share with me the excitement of
first seeing this wonderful
photo. In this picture are our
great great grandparents, Luigi
Costantini and Appolonia Del
Andrea. Great Uncle Joe
Costantini had this photo on his
mantel and made a copy for me.
Considering that Luigi was born
in 1836, we are very fortunate to
have this. It arrived on Dec.
5th, just in time for your
birthday. I imagine many in our
family haven't even seen this
photo, especially many of our
cousins. The house that Luigi
built in Italy is still standing and
a great grandchild of his still
resides in the home.
The following was written by a great grandchild of Luigi's which gives a nice
glimpse into the life of Luigi Costantini:
"My great grandfather was born in 1836 in Borca di Cadore, Providence of
This information was stated by Luigi's son, Angelo, saying it to his son that he
must have been a resolute man. In 1836 the family was crumbling. Luigi joined
the Austro-Hungarian Imperial army around the 1850's where he served as a
Grandier and a Cavalry Hussar, in the first regiment Granadier of Lombardy of the
Imperial Army. He was stationed in Vienna and around the empire.
In June and July of 1866 at the break of the Austro-Russian War he was sent into
battle in Kinigratz, Morvia, presently Czechoslovakia near Sadowa, where Bismark
defeated Austria. This gave birth to the German Empire officially after war was
declared in Paris. Luigi was wounded in a Battle that day, he had a bullet in his
leg. (he limped for the rest of his life). At the end of the day he was taken to a
castle by the Germans and when he refused to have it amputated he was thrown
out like a dog. He was treated with herbs by a local farmer and returned home
with a pension from the Austrian Army.
After the war he wanted to marry Appolonia Del Andrea against his families will, he
was kicked out with a miserable inheritance, consisting of a few pieces of land
where he built a house with his own hands, which still remains in the possession
of my second cousin. (Louis, age 38 living in South Africa).
He married Appolonia in 1876. They raised animals and had a farm. They had nine
children, seven sons and two daughters. Oreiste, Arthur, Romano, Peter, Umberto
(my grandfather), Angelo and Joseph (twins) Luigia, and Maria. All of his children
came to the United States except for Angelo and the two girls. They were tin smith
in the U.S. in Passaic, except for Peter he went on to Connecticut to work for Pratt
Witney. Today there are none living."