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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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STORYTELLER LOCATION YEAR TOOK PLACE TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN HOW YOU HEARD
Mother's & uncle's orphanage New York City, New Jersey 1910s New York City Letter from my mother's & uncle's orphanage

Ada Webster, claiming to be a "British West Indian" aged 21, gave birth to Agnes Piazza in New York City, 1930. The birth certificate named the father as husband Arthur Piazza, an Austrian merchant seaman. Baby Agnes Piazza was placed in an orphanage Angel Foundling Home (?) in 1930. Ada Webster died of tuburculosis in New Jersey in 1932.

According to limited research, the British West Indies are now known as the Caribbean islands. Also, in New York during the 1930s, people who contracted tuburculosis were quarantined in New Jersey. It is possible that Ada was immediately quarantined and unable to make contact with Arthur Piazza, who could have been away at sea during her pregnancy.

Ada Webster's baby, Agnes Piazza, gave birth to Ann Piazza Feb. 11, 1949 and Russell Piazza Apr. 1, 1952. Both children were placed for adoption at Angel Guardian Home in Brooklyn, NY. The orphanage states that the biological father denied paternity. His identity is protected by the orphanage.

Ann Piazza, now known as Saint Troy Piazza and never married, gave birth to baby girl, Villa Melanie Piazza on Jun. 3, 1967 in Queens, NY. Biological father is unknown. Saint Piazza lost contact with Russell Piazza shortly after birth of baby Villa. The siblings had been foster children of Ruby Labat and her husband in Brooklyn, NY.

Russell Piazza last contacted the Angel Guardian Home to obtain records for the purposes of a Baptism ritual.

Last known location of their mother, Agnes Piazza, was stated to be at a "care home" facility in New Jersey.

This story is one of the descendants of Ada Webster and Arthur Piazza, two immigrants who arrived in the US between 1909 and 1930, submitted for the internet record by their unmarried, childless great-granddaughter, Villa Piazza, now located in Los Angeles, CA. Saint Piazza is living in San Francisco, CA.

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