Bruce's Surnames
In Loving Memory of Bruce Sandlier      Bruce and I married in 1990.  I had been researching my lineage off and on for many years and in 1995 Bruce started researching his roots.  For a time we both worked on his families and then worked independently on our respective histories.  In Oct 1998 we launched our Forget Me Not webpage.
      Beginning in 1999 Bruce's main focus was his Italian heritage.  He was in the process of extracting the Italian records from the LDS microfilms of his ancestral villages.  In late 2009 he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.  He continued his research until the cancer left him too weak to continue.  He died on 11 Aug 2011.

E-mailI am in the process of changing all of Bruce's e-mail links on our webpage to mine.  Contact me with any questions or comments and I will try to respond as best I can.  Email (Marge Galus Sandlier, 1 Jul 2012)


Bruce's G Grandmother Martha BROWNBACK SHOWALTER is descended from Gerhard and Mary Rittenhouse PAPEN BRUMBACH. According to the Genealogy of the BRUMBACH FAMILIES published in 1913, Gerhard arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1683 from the Palatinate of the Rhine. Mary Rittenhouse PAPEN, born about 1695, was a daughter of Heivert and Elizabeth RITTENHOUSE PAPEN. Mary came with her father Heivert from Muhlheim, Germany. Gerhard and Mary were married around 1716 or 1718.

Bruce's lineage from Gerhard and Mary PAPEN BRUMBACH is as follows:

Martha, the oldest of the seven children born to Jesse BROWNBACK and Sarah A. KEELEY, was born December 3, 1840 and died May 12, 1920 in Phoenixville, Chester County, Pennsylvania. She married Jacob Funk SHOWALTER on March 25, 1880 in East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennslyvania. Martha and Jacob had one son, Harry Baum SHOWALTER (Bruce's Grandfather).

The other children of Jesse and Sarah A. KEELEY BROWNBACK were:



Bruce's G Grandparents Bernardino DeVITIS and Maria Libera ESPOSITO immigrated from Palombaro, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy. We recently found Bernardino and Maria listed on the manifest for the S.S. La Bretagne at the Ellis Island web site. The S.S. La Bretagne sailed from Havre, France on April 26, 1902 and arrived in New York City on May 4, 1902. Information on the manifest indicates that this was Maria's first trip to the U.S., but Bernardino had traveled to Philadelphia on an earlier trip. When they left Palombaro, their only child Carmela remained behind with Maria's parents.

While back east in April 1998, we visited for the first time the Philadelphia Branch of the National Archives. We found Maria in the 1920 Pennsylvania federal census. According to this census, Maria immigrated from Italy in 1901 and was naturalized in 1913.

Carmela Libera DeVITIS, Bruce's Grandmother, was the oldest child of Bernardino DeVITIS and Maria Libera ESPOSITO. She was born October 31, 1900 in Palombaro, Chieti, Italy and died July 26, 1974 in Philadelphia, PA. In September 1920 she married Raffaele Santoleri (Ralph SANDLER) in Philadelphia, PA.

The other children of Bernardino DeVITIS and Maria Libera ESPOSITO were all born in Pennsylvania. They were:

Aside from the names of Maria's parents, Giovanni ESPOSITO and Palma DeINNO, and Bernardino's parents, Giuseppe DeVITIS and Giovena GIANGULIO, we have no earlier information on either of these lines.



Bruce's G Grandmother Sofia DiPLACIDO was the youngest child of Vincenzo Saverio DiPLACIDO and Maddalena DiGIORGIO. According to Aunt Faye, she was born March 28, 1869. We are unable to verify the date due to the lack of any civil records for the years 1866-1870. We have also been unable to determine when she died, although Aunt Faye did tell us that she died in the Greentree, Pennsylvania area. Sophia married Antonio SANTOLERI on March 14, 1897 in Pennapiedimonte, Chieti, Italy. The 2 oldest boys were born there; Luigi in 1898 and Raffaele in 1899.

The other children of Vincenzo Saverio DiPLACIDO and Maddalena DiGIORGIO were:

On Oct 25, 1905, Sofia left Italy along with the two boys and Antonio's brother, Raffaele, who accompanied them on the trip. They arrived at Ellis Island on Nov 13, 1905, headed for Antonio's residence in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Our attempts to find Antonio and Sofia in the 1910 Pennsylvania census index turned up nothing. A year or two later, I began corresponding with my cousin Don's wife Eleanor who was also trying to find more information on Antonio and Sofia. She had recently found Antonio and Sofia in the 1910 census by going through it line by line. The last name had been entered as SANDERLIER, with an extra 'R'. This spelling generated a different Miracode Index value than the one we were using for SANDELIER and was the reason that our search failed.

Bruce's DiPLACIDO lineage is as follows:

After Sofia died, Antonio married Fioridea DiGIORGIO RAZZI. Fioridea was the daughter of Giuseppe Nicola DiGIORGIO and Maria Giovanna GIULIANTE. Giuseppe Nicola was a younger brother of Sofia's mother, Maddalena, making Sofia and Fioridea first cousins.

Fioridea had five children from her first marriage. She and Antonio had three children of their own.

The DiGIORGIO lineage is as follows:



Bruce's 2nd Great Grandmother was Barbara FUNK, daughter of the Rev. Jacob FUNK and Mary SHELLY \ SHELLEY. Barbara was born 3 Jun 1795. She married John SHOWALTER on 25 May 1820.


Bruce's Grandmother Eva Estella GRAHAM was born to William J. GRAHAM and Mattie Atmore HUMPHREYS on September 5, 1890 and died December 20, 1974. She married Harry Baum SHOWALTER on March 22, 1916.

On our April 1998 trip to the Philadelphia National Archives the earliest record we found so far on Bruce's G Grandfather, William J. GRAHAM, was in the 1900 Pennsylvania federal census for Philadelphia County. According to the census record William J. GRAHAM was born in Ireland and immigrated in 1882.

William was also enumerated in the Pennsylvania federal censuses of 1910 and 1920. The censuses uncovered a great deal of information for us. Enumerated with William at one time or another were his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Charles and Margaret HUMPHREYS; his brother, Harry (aka Henry) GRAHAM; his daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law, the John PEACOCK family. We knew there were HUMPHREYS in the family line, but did not have the connection to them until we found them in these censuses.

Update (by Marge):  In early 2012 added the Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 collection.  In the process of adding Bruce's family tree to, I found the church marriage record for William Johnson GRAHAM and Mattie Atmore HUMPHREYS.  They married on 23 Jul 1885 at St John's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The most exciting find was the parents' names on the record.  William, age 28, was a son of Robert and Elizabeth GRAHAM of Ireland.   Mattie, age 18, was a daughter of Chas. H. and M. K. HUMPHREYS of Philadelphia. 

More about GRAHAM Family


Having found Charles H. and Margaret K. HUMPHREYS enumerated with their daughter and son-in-law, William and Mattie GRAHAM, we tracked them as far back as the 1880 Pennsylvania federal census. Enumerated with them were several other siblings of daughter Mattie. According to the censuses, Charles' parents were both born in Pennsylvania. Margaret's father was born in Paris, France, her mother in either Maryland or Delaware. We do not have her maiden name as yet.

We have not yet followed up on the several leads these census records opened for us.

The children of Charles H. and Margaret K. HUMPHREYS were:



Sarah Ann KEELEY, mentioned earlier in the BROWNBACK / BRUMBAUGH section, was Bruce's GG Grandmother. The oldest child of Jacob KEELEY and Sophia SHULER, she was born November 13, 1815 and died June 28, 1898. She married Jesse BROWNBACK on Feb, 27 1840.

An email from another KEELEY researcher in September 2001 opened up this line for us. Previously we did not have information about Sarah KEELEY BROWNBACK's parents.

Bruce's Keeley lineage is as follows:

The other children of Jacob and Sophia were:

(October 2001) Bruce spent a week in New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania. He photographed several of the KEELEY and SHULER tombstones at Brownback's Cemetery in East Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania.



Bruce's GGG Grandmother Elizabeth PENNYPACKER was born to Mathias / Matthias PENNYPACKER and Mary KUSTER / CUSTER on May 28, 1769 and died June 13 1818. She married Daniel SHOWALTER on April 20, 1789.


Bruce's 6th Gr Grandmother Elizabeth RITTENHOUSE, daughter of William RITTENHOUSE (RITTINGHAUSEN, RITTINGHUYSEN), married Heivert PAPEN. Their daughter Mary married Gerhard (Garret) BRUMBAUGH.

Brownback researcher recently corresponded with us (Nov '99). Lorna generously shared several pieces of information she collected regarding the RITTENHOUSE family. One article is from the web page of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking. The museum's Virtual Tour includes a link titled Papermaking Moves to the United States. This article indicates that the first paper mill in the United States was established by William RITTENHOUSE in 1690 near Germantown, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence with the webmistress of the American Museum of Papermaking revealed that there is a Rittenhouse Mill Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bruce and I attended a BROWNBACK family reunion the weekend of July 22, 2000, celebrating the 317th anniversary of the arrival of the Brownbacks in the United States. Part of the weekend activities was a bus tour of the area that included a stop at Rittenhouse Town, the site of the first paper mill in the colonies. We are working on getting some pictures up of this memorable weekend.



Bruce's G Grandfather, Antonio SANTOLERI/SANDELIER was born in Guardiagrele, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy on May 17, 1877. Antonio was the oldest child of Luigi SANTOLERI and Balbina DeLAURENTIIS. Researching Antonio and his family turned out to be both challenging and rewarding. Our findings completely contradicted everything that we thought we knew about Antonio's father. According to Bruce's Aunt Faith, Luigi had been a monk. He left the order and married when he was in his fifties. Antonio was his only child. When Luigi died not long after that Balbina remarried and eventually immigrated to the U.S., settling in the Erie, PA area.

The first challange was to find Antonio's birth record. We began the search in 1875, based upon the year on Antonio's headstone. Two years of birth records later we found Antonio, born on May 17, 1877. From that record, we were able to verify that the names of his parents given to us by Aunt Faye were correct, but later discoveries cast doubt on Luigi's having been a monk.

We have found Luigi's birth record and marriage banns which show that he was born June 8, 1819 and was married in February 8, 1874. The marriage banns list Luigi's occupation as contadino (farm-worker). We next found the birth records for two younger sons, Pietro, who was born Sept 5, 1878, and Raffaele, who was born Feb 3, 1880. Then we found birth records for two more children. Twin daughters, Rosa and Rosaria, were born Jan 12, 1883. Sadly, Rosa died two weeks later on Jan 26, 1883. A margin note on Rosaria's birth record indicates that she married on Aug 8, 1907. The last find for Luigi was his death record which lists his date of death as Nov 15, 1888. While reading the section of the record that describes the deceased, we found the entry "vedovo di Rosa de Laurentiis e marito di Balbina de Laurentiis" - "widower of Rosa de Laurentiis and husband of Balbina de Laurentiis". Further research has turned up the following information on Luigi's first marriage:

As it turned out, Luigi's second wife Balbina, was his niece. She was the daughter of Rosa Maria's brother, Antonio Maria DeLAURENTIIS, and Angela Domenica TORRIERI.

Balbina remarried a year after Luigi's death. Her second husband was Antonio DiNARDO, a widower from the neighboring town of Pennapiedimonte, Chieti, Italy. Balbina and the children resettled in Pennapiedimonte. Balbina and Antonio had one son, Domenico DiNARDO, who eventually emmigrated to Eire, PA and married Giovannina IMBROGNO.

On March 14, 1897, Antonio married Sofia DiPLACIDO in Pennapiedimonte. Their first two sons, Luigi (Louis) and Raffaele (Ralph) were born there over the next two years. We have been told that Antonio traveled between the U.S. and Italy for several years before bringing the family to the U.S. According to the 1920 New Jersey federal census, Antonio immigrated in 1900. We found Sofia, Luigi and Raffaele listed on the manifest of the S.S. Italia at the Ellis Island web site. The S.S. Italia sailed from Naples, Italy on Oct 25, 1905 and arrived in New York City on Nov 13, 1905. Listed with them was Antonio's brother Raffaele, who accompanied them on the trip. We believe that Raffaele made at least one more trip to visit Antonio. Information on the manifest for the SS Dante Alighieri which arrived at Ellis Island on 22 August 1920 matches that which we have for Raffaele.

After settling in Pennsylvania, Antonio and Sofia had two more sons, Peter and Thomas. According to information sent us by another cousin, Sofia died in childbirth when Peter was about four years old. That would put her death around 1911, which is when Thomas was supposed to have been born. However, Thomas is listed as being 3 months old on the 1910 Pennsylvania federal census so the death during childbirth story is probably not true. We were also informed that Sofia was buried in the Greentree, PA area, but we have not been able to locate her.

Antonio then married Fioridea "Flora" DiGIORGIO RAZZI. Flora was previously married to a Joseph RAZZI and had five children from this first marriage: Anthony, Joseph, Leo, Doralinda (Dolly) and Margaret. Antonio and Flora had three children of their own: Robert, Edith, and Sylvester (Jim). The same cousin who gave us the information regarding Sofia's death indicated that Sofia and Flora were first cousins. We originally had Flora's maided name as DePRINCE (DiPRINZIO). On our July 1999 trip to New Jersey, we discovered in the obituary for Antonio, that it was actually DeGEORGE (DiGIORGIO). We also learned that one of Flora's sisters had married a DePRINCE, hence the confusion.

By 1920, the family was living in Elk Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey, where Antonio farmed. As their children married, they settled in the neighboring towns of Galssboro, Clayton and Franklinville.

Flora died July 23, 1937. Antonio died October 14, 1948. Both are buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Hurffville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Bruce's grandfather Raffaele "Ralph" SANTOLERI/SANDELIER/SANDLER was born in Pennapiedimonte, Chieti, Italy on June 15, 1899. He married Carmela DeVITIS in September of 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At that time, he was a boarder at the DeVITIS residence and was using the SANDLER surname. Sometime after their first son was born, Ralph and Carmela moved to Clayton, New Jersey. They were the parents of five children:

LeRoy "Roy" Anthony SANDLIER was born LeRoy Anthony SANDLER on March 18, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Roy died November 7, 1993 in Franklinville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  He married Eleanor Ruth SHOWALTER May 11, 1946 at Asbury Methodist Church, Camden, New Jersey.  Eleanor was born April 7, 1924, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the only child of Harry and Eva GRAHAM SHOWALTER.  She died on May 3, 2001 in Franklinville, Glouscester County, New Jersey.

Both LeRoy and Eleanor are buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Hurffville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.

They were the parents of four children; two are living.

Bruce was the oldest child born to LeRoy and Eleanor.  He was born May 2 1947 in Camden, Camden County, New Jersey.  He and Marge married in 1990 in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.  Bruce died August 11, 2011 of prostate cancer.  He was cremated and his ashes will be buried at Westlawn-Hillcrest Memorial Park in Omaha.

Bruce had no children but was a loving step-father to Marge's two sons.

Dale was the youngest child of LeRoy and Eleanor.  She was born August 9, 1951 in Audubon, New Jersey.  She died November 29, 2010 in Bradford, Pennsylvania and is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Hurffville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  She had 4 children.

Richard John SANDLER was born January 5, 1924 in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  He married July 20, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His wife remarried and is still living.  Richard died June 1, 1964 at the Veteran's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried at the U.S. National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.

They were the parents of three children.

Robert N. SANDLER was born 10 May 1948 in Woodbury, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  He died February 28, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gloria M. SANDLER was born September 12, 1925 in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  She married Theodore "Ted" E. DARBY April 6, 1946 in Malaga, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Ted was born January 2, 1920. Gloria died August 20, 1977 in Elmer, Gloucester County, New Jersey and is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Hurffville, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Ted died May 16, 1989 in Bradenton, Florida and is buried in Bushnell, Florida.

According to Bruce's Aunt Faye, Ted was born in Collinsville, Pennsylvania, however census records show he was in Connelsville, Pennsylvania.

They were the parents of two children.

Daniel "Dan" John SANDLER was born December 21, 1927 in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth "Betty" Jane SHARPE December 16, 1950 in Glassboro, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Betty was born November 22, 1941 to John SHARPE and Sara MUSGROVE.  Dan died April 29, 1993 in Ellenton, Florida; he was cremated and his ashes scattered.  Betty died December 22, 2010 in Ellenton Florida.

They were the parents of four children.

Faith "Faye" Hope SANDLER was born August 3, 1932 in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey. She married March 5, 1960 in Franklinville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Her husband is still living.  Faye died February 5, 2002 in Oklahoma and is buried in the Downing Family Cemetery, on the homestead land of her husband's relatives near Locust Grove, Oklahoma.

They were the parents of three children

By the 1950s Ralph and Carmela owned a number of businesses; Sandler & Sons Plumbing and Heating, a small apartment house, a mom & pop grocery store and a sandwash that was located on the southeast corner of the family property. The sandwash was dismantled in the early '60s and the bank was graded to create a small man-made lake. All of the children except Faye built homes around the lake for their families.

Ralph died June 17, 1952. Carmela died July 26, 1974. Both are buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Hurffville, Gloucester County, New Jersey.

We are often asked about the various spellings on the name. We suspect that SANTOLERI became SANDELIER either by chance; some official somewhere wrote down what he thought he heard, or on purpose; some immigrants wanted to 'Americanize' their name. We do have some documents where Antonio used both SANTOLERI and SANDELIER. We do not know why Ralph started using SANDLER, but we know that he was using it by 1920. We found him in the 1920 Pennsylvania Federal Census, enumerated as a boarder living with his future mother-in-law Maria ESPOSITO DeVITIS. According to Roy, the spelling of SANDLIER came about during WWII when he was living with an Aunt and Uncle and using their last name (SANDELIER). He was drafted into the Army which somehow dropped the first 'E' and he left the spelling that way. Recently found documents tell a different story. Roy's 1942 draft registration has SANDLIER as the last name. This would be prior to enlisting. A 1943 Oklahoma drivers license, issued when he was training at Camp Gruber and a gasoline ration card for the week of May 7-13, 1943 show he was using both SANDLIER and SANDLER at that time.



Bruce traces his SHOWALTER ancestry back to Jacob (the immigrant) and his wife Maria SAUNDERS SHOWALTER who arrived in the United States around 1750. He is actually descended from two of their children, John and Barbara SHOWALTER. Bruce's G Grandparents Jacob Funk SHOWALTER and Martha BROWNBACK SHOWALTER lived on Church St. in Phoenixville, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Bruce's lineage from Jacob and Maria SAUNDERS SHOWALTER is as follows:

We've spent a great deal of time researching this line at the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society library. We've made numerous trips to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, visiting the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area, area cemeteries and churches. Bruce has met several SHOWALTER researchers online. The SHOWALTER family is quite extensive. This line connects to the BROWNBACK, PENNYPACKER and FUNK families, all of which have extensive histories in and around Chester County, Pennsylvania.


SENNAPIEDIMONTE CIVIL RECORDS including births, deaths and marriages

In 1999, Bruce began researching his Italian family lines in Pennapiedimonte. Initial research focused on the immediate family of his Great Grandmother Sofia DiPLACIDO. He completed his research of the SANTOLERI lines in Guardiagrele, and then resumed his research in Pennapiedimonte.

Working backwards from 1900 and having completed years 1820 to 1900, he realized that he was related to so many of the inhabitants that he was now skipping just a few records for any given year. At that point, he decided to go back and extract the records that he had skipped. Once that task was completed, the next step was to make his research available to others.

The initial release of the Pennapiedimonte Civil Records was in February 2010 once the pages for the years 1880-1900 were ready. The plan is to release additional years on a weekly basis until all of the currently extracted years are completed. Then the data for the remaining 10 years will be extracted and released.

A note to anyone still using Internet Explorer 6.0 or lower: these pages will work, but they won't look pretty!

Marge's Note, Jun 2012:  Bruce was unable to complete this endevor before his death in Aug 2011.  I will eventually look through his computer to see if he has any additional extracts that can be added to our webpage.



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