Our story began in the early 1900s, when two young Italian ladies, Carmela, aged 18 and her sister Caterina, aged 15, set sail on their own from Marsala, Sicily to Brooklyn, NY. They were sent by their parents to live with their father's mother " for a better life". They earned their wages sewing in a Brooklyn factory.
Carmela, our maternal grandmother, was introduced to Joseph Ardito, also from Sicily; they married and had two children, Margaret Ann, our mother, who was born April 12,1926 and a son Benjamin who was born a few years later.
Margaret Ann was the first in the family to go to college. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Albany State and her master's degree from Cornell University. She taught at Groton High School and later became a guidance counselor. She met our father, Robert Clare, when she was teaching in Genoa, her first job out of college. They married on New Year's Day in 1950 and had four children, Peter, Christine, Lorianne and Joseph.