The Name Mammone | Famous Mammones | Mammones in Italy and Elsewhere | Immigration History
The Name Mammone
I have very little on this topic. Please help by sharing any information you might have.
Mike Mammone kindly sent me the following, from the Webster's Dictionary definition of Mammon:
Mammon: n., (1) New Testament, riches or material wealth. Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9, 11,13. (2) (cap.) a personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity. (ME mammona < LL < Gk Mam(m)onas < Aram mamona riches) -- mammonish, adj.
Mammonism: n., the greedy pursuit of riches -- mammonist, mammonite, n.
Hey, maybe we should play the lottery! I do remember learning that there was an ancient Arab god of money, Mammon. Mike pointed out that the word has a very long history indeed, originating in the Aramaic language, the language of Jesus. Pretty cool!
In terms of more recent etymology and usage, John Mammone sent me the following in 1998 (see John, I'm a pack rat too!):
"While visiting Sara [John's daughter, who lives in Italy] ...she told me, reluctantly because she didn't want to hurt my feelings, that 'Mammone' is a term used for the bogeyman, certainly in the Apuglia region where she lives but also in the South as a whole."
John recently sent me an update...it turns out that the bogeyman is actually spelled Mammani, so maybe this isn't about us after all!
From other (perhaps less reliable) sources I've heard that Mammone is slang for some diverse and not-so-complimentary terms, such as "mamma's boy" and "idiot". Not sure I'm happy about any of these.
Here's something that might support of the "bogeyman" usage. John provided the following quote from Modern Italy, A Political History, by Denis Mack Smith. John clarified, "Please pardon the following gorey details but imagine my surprise when I came across this passage related to the politicalization of the numerous brigands throughout the country":
"The ferocity of this kind of war knows no bounds. When the Piedmontese entered Neapolitan territory in October 1860, one of the first actions of General Cialdini was to shoot every peasant found carrying arms. This was a declaration of war on people who needed arms to defend their property, and it reaped a whirlwind. Captured soldiers were sometimes tied to trees and burned alive; others were crucified and mutilated. Times had not changed much since the days of the brigand Mammone [emphasis added], who had been wont to drink out of a human skull, and never to dine without a freshly severed human head decorating his table. The law of the jungle prevailed, and the soldiers were stirred to excesses in retaliation. No quarter was given, but terror was used against terror. Men were shot on suspicion, whole families were punished for the actions of one of their number, and villages were saked and burned for sheltering bandits." (page 69)
Famous or Notable Mammones
Please send me info on this topic!
The only one I know of at present is Robert Mammone, the Australian actor who appeared with Russell Crowe in the 1990 film "The Crossing." Read all about him at his fan site Virtual Robert Mammone.
Mammones in Italy and Elsewhere
I have very little on this topic. Please help by sharing any information you might have.
William Mammone's dad, Sammy Mammone, was a professional boxer in NY from 1939-1946. William provided the following family information to me in March 2004 (Editor's Note: I have combined info from 2 emails here. See also several photos and newspaper clippings that William kindly submitted for the Photo Archive on this website):
My name is William Louis Mammone, I was born and raised in Providence, RI. I'm presently living in North Walpole,NH area.
I have two sisters, Carmela Mammone, who lives in Rye Brook, NY, and Alean Timm who lives in Stamford, CT.
My father's name was Samuel "Sammy" I. Mammone. He was born in Cos Cobb, CT in 1917. He was a professional boxer in NY from 1939 to 1946. My father died July 18, 2001 when he was 83 years old.
My father had three brothers, Mike, Tony and Ted, and two sisters, Helen Mammone Luzi and Sue Mammone Wauok.
My grandfather was Salvatore Joseph Mammone. He was born in 1881 in Cosenza, Italy, it's believed. He arrived in this country in 1906 from Cardinali, Italy at the age of 25. My grandfather's sponsor was said to be Angelo Brunno of Fall River, MA. This was told to me by my aunt Helen Mammone Luzi. Salvatore died in 1944 at the age of 63.
My grandmother was Carmela Aurello (or Lorello) Mammone, and she was born in 1882 in a region called Rose, Italy, so we have been told. She died in 1945.
My father left my mother when I was born in 1947, never met my family until 1994 in Rye Brook, NY. There I met my father for the very first time, my sister Carmela, my aunt Helen and her husband Joseph Luzi, my uncle Ted Mammone. I was told there were more in the family but very little contact with them. For instance, my uncle Mike has a son, his name is Mike also. He lives in Stamford, CT, Then there's my unlce Ted Mammone who now lives in Grenich, CT. He has a son named Ted who lives in Grenich, CT with his family.
I have photos of my grandfather, two uncles with their wives, my father and my grandmother so if we can put them in the photo gallery that would be nice...
Mike Mammone sent the following from his survey of the Netscape White Pages in April 1999:
There are 134 Mammones with phone listings in the Unites States.
They are found in the following states: CA, CT, FL, MA, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VA. The largest numbers are in NY, NJ, MA, OH, and PA.
544 Mammones are listed in Italy.
67 are listed in Sora, a town just southwest of Rome.
I have personally received e-mail from Mammones in the Toronto area, and even as far away as Adelaide, Australia! Not sure that we're any relation to them, though.
The late Rudolph Mammone from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, sent me the following info about his family's coming to the U.S.
My father, Angelo Rafaele, was born, as we have determined, in Bari, but spent
his childhood the mountain village of Mongiana, in the Catanzarro Province.
In 1902, at the age of 12 he was brought to America by his father, Pasquale.
He began his stay in America working in the coal mines and railroad in West
Virginia. In about 1910 he returned to Italy and married, Raffaela Timpano in
He then returned to America with the intention of sending for my mother and by
then a son, Luigi, but the World War made that impossible.
On his return to America, he went to Niagra Falls, NY, where he was employed in
a paper mill, After a few years, somehow he learned that work was abundant in
Beaver Falls, Pa, and made his way here. He worked for a number of years
at the Armstrong Cork Co. In either 1915 or 1916 he went to work for an
Italian wholesale grocery co, and after some years he opened his own grocery
store in 1920. In 1925 he was able to return to Italy and then brought his family
back to Beaver Falls.
Children born to Angelo and Raffaela Mammone, were Luigi, born it Italy in 1911.
Children born in Beaver Falls, were Rudolph in 1925, Alfred in 1926, and Mary
My father had only a sister, so finding close relative Mammones has been
virtually impossible. There are two other families in the immeadiate area, but
as far as we have been able to acertain, they were either 1st or 2nd cousins.
Concerning the name Mammone, it occurs in the bible as denoting the devil
in the passage "you cannot serve god and mammon.
And about the brigand. About 30 years ago I was waiting in the office of a
supplier when I noticed a book on the table with an intriguing title.
"Monsters and Gouls". I picked it up and flipped through pages when a name
caught my eye. Thirty years have an effect on memory, but I am quite sure that
it either Giacomo or Gaetano. When I got home I mentioned this to my mother,
and she became quite agitated, asking were I had heard of such a man.
I then assumed that the story was true and she did not want to divulge any
embarrasing details about an ancestor.
I would be most pleased to have any information that you might find concerning
Joan Sapienti Andrews, whose mother Elena Mammone Sapienti lives in Haverill, Massachusetts, sent me the following info about her family
[Bartolo Mammone was born in Sora, Italy in the late 1800's. He was] married to Lucia DiPuccio of Sora, Italy. I know that he had a cousin in Leominster
Settled in Berlin, NH and then to Haverhill, MA
[Bartolo and Lucia had] 6 children: Phyllis, Violet, Albert, Silvio, Elena, Marguerite
The family moved to [Glendale] California in 1946 except for Elena who stayed in
Haverhill and married John Sapienti. I am their daughter, Joan Sapienti
Andrews, born August 1949. I have a brother J. Michael Sapienti who owns
Icenter in Salem, NH. (a huge Ice and entertainment center) I have two sons
Michael Andrews 24 years old, Somerville, MA, a graduate of Ithaca College
and Christopher Andrews 21 years old, a UNH junior.
Silvio Mammone is doing very well, His daughter Michelle DeWerd owns a ranch in Los
Olivos, CA (email@example.com) Sil and his wife have a home on that
ranch. Sil's son Michael is a doctor in Southern CA. Albert is retired from
his business Almaco and living on an estate in Redding CA.
My mother said that her father had a brother Bernard and a sister who both remained in Italy.
Joan Sapienti Andrews, JAndrews49@aol.com
Bette Ann Mammone, from New York State, sent me this information:
i have read with great interest the website on mammones. our family (still
many of them in Vallefioritia (Province de Catanzarro) continues to have land
holdings there from over a century ago. It is my understanding the Greek
translation of Mammone is "great mother." OR according to a recent people
magazine article, mammone means mama's boy. strongly disagree there.
Bette Ann Mammone, BetteAnnBMammone@aol.com
Immigration to America
The Mammone brothers who immigrated from Italy were Joseph, Donato and Francesco.
More history about the descendents of these brothers is located on the following pages:
There is a story about our family's immigration to America that I believe is attributed to these brothers. (Although it is possible that I have the generations confused and that this is the story of only ONE of the brothers and his descendents). This story was told to me in 1996 by several family members in Hyde Park. I have done my best to faithfully reproduce it here, but would welcome any additional details, corrections, or differing versions that family members can provide.
The mother of the generation who came to America was a woman from a well-to-do family in Italy. As a young woman, she fell in love with the carriage driver (footman) to her family. Against the wishes of her parents, she married this man and left home. Her parents disowned her and hung a black wreath on her door, publicly stating that their daughter was, as far as they were concerned, dead.
Years later, after she had borne her children, the woman's husband abandoned her. During a game of cards, there were acusations of cheating, and a heated arguement ensued. One thing let to another, and the husband bit off the thumb of his opponent. In order to escape retribution, he fled the country and went to America.
His wife was forced to go to work in the fields to support herself and her children. Coming from a privileged background, she had never had to work before. It was not long before she died of sunstroke and the children were orphaned.
The children were taken in by the monks of Saint John in the local monastery, at the base of Monte Christo. The older children soon left to make their way in life. The youngest son stayed for some time with the good brothers. When he reached the age when he must choose to either join the monastery as a priest or depart, he decided to leave. He and his older siblings made plans to travel together to America.
Coming to the United States, the siblings set out to locate their father and settle the score with him for abandoning them and their mother. In fact, they planned to kill him. Eventually they did find him -- but when they saw each other they forgot their anger and embraced him. They were happy to be together again.