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Phil Coniglio
(born Felice, named after his father's second-eldest brother Felice Coniglio)

Born: 26 December1920 ~ Robertsdale, Pennsylvania
Baptized: 4 September 1921 ~ Church of the Immaculate Conception, Dudley, Pennsylvania
Married Betty Hinton: 30 June 1951 ~ Buffalo, New York
Died 7 October 1995 ~ Buffalo, New York

Betty Jean Hinton



        Phil was the third Coniglio to be born in the United States, and the last to be born in Pennsylvania.  Our parents Gaetano and Rosa Alessi Coniglio and my eldest brother Gaetano (Guy), who was born in 1913, emigrated from Serradifalco, Sicily in 1913 and 1914.  Phil was born in Wood (Woodvale) or Robertsdale Pennsylvania on 26 December 1920.  The date was from family memory, as it was recorded in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and the record subsequently burned in an accidental fire.
        Robertsdale did not have a Catholic church at the time, and it's believed that Phil and his older brothers Leonard and Ray were either baptized by a visiting priest, or taken to be baptized at Immaculate Conception Church in nearby Dudley, Pennsylvania.
        Phil's baptism record corroborates his birth date as 26 December 1920.



Dudley's Immaculate Conception church in 2018

Father Matt


        On 5 November 2018, almost 98 years after Phil was born in Robertsdale, Angie and I visited the Immaculate Conception Church in Dudley, Pennsylvania, and with Father Matt Baum's assistance, found the baptism records of Leonard, Ray and Felice. 

Robertsdale Post Office, Pennsylvania 16674

Dudley Station

to the church


        I sent  myself a postcard from the Robertsdale Post Office.  Serendipity that the card is imprinted with what looks like a 'family tree'!


        It's four miles from Robertsdale to Dudley.  The elevation goes from 1,785 feet above sea level in Robertsdale to 1,975 feet in Broad Top City, back down to 1,627 feet in Dudley.  It's very likely that the Coniglio's had to walk there and back when a child was to be baptized, which may explain why they delayed making the trek after a child was born, until weather permitted.


        One reason the records have been so hard to find is that the Immaculate Conception church had been burned down twice by the Ku Klux Klan because it served Sicilians and other Catholic immigrants.  Felice's record was in this volume.  It is second from the bottom in the two pages shown below on the right.

1915 - 1922 Register

Years covered

Second record from the bottom, both pages


Baptism Record ~ Dudley Immaculate Conception Church - 1921

        Felice's baptism record gives his name in Latin - Felix.  Our mother Rosa Alessi's surname was mis-spelled 'Alesse', and a spurious 'Arena' was written under her surname.   The surnames of Phil's godparents, the Campagna's, were mis-spelled 'Compagnia'.   The bottom record is shown because Gaetano and Rosa were the godparents of Assunta Campagna, baptized on the same date as Phil.  Her parents likely were also from Robertsdale, and the families travelled to Dudley together.  The record shows that the Coniglio family was in Pennsylvania at least until 4 September 1921.
*Note that the baptism record at this Pennsylvania church shows the details of Felice's marriage to Betty Hinton in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Buffalo, which took place thirty years later.



Dec 26 Sept 4 Gaetano Coniglio   Philip Campagna

 J. C. Carr

  Married to Betty Hinton NC
June 30 - 1951 - Buffalo N.Y.
  1920   1921 Rose Alessi   Mrs Phil Campagna   Church of Nativity of B.V.M.
Dispenseation by Rev S. J. Faiola

        Mrs. Phil Campagna, Felice's godmother, was Gaetana Arena, born in Serradifalco, the daughter of Pietro Arena and Maria Montante.  Gaetana was thus the great-great-granddaughter of Angelo Mont'alto, making her Gaetano Coniglio's third cousin.  Assunta Campagna was Felice's fourth cousin.


Part of "Coxie's Army" in front of the La Stella factory, 314 Myrtle Avenue, about 1932.

Back row: Vito "Bugs" Maniscalco, Tony "Wickersham" Nigro, Santo Vitrano
Middle row: Felice "Felix the Cat" Coniglio, Joe "Coxie" Calcaterra, Ray Coniglio
Front: Tony Coniglio


The La Stella building at 314 Myrtle Avenue, across the street from the house the Coniglio family lived in at 309 Myrtle.

In 2014 it was being prepared to house John Domres'
Buffalo Brewing Company.

La Stella was a household bleach manufactured by the Capodicasa family, and was widely used by the Sicilian American families of Buffalo's East Side.



Tony top, Phil middle, Ray standing in road.
Boarding truck to Musacchio's farm,
North Collins, about 1936.


Wearing crossed hammers Aviation Metalsmith insignia.

Click on above photos to enlarge



          Phil loved pulp science fiction, and always had a great supply of the latest magazines for me to read whenever I visited him, as a teenager, and even when I was going to UB.

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Jeff              John

Ray Silvestro   Jean
Rachel      Lauren

Bill Lang
Sarah    Greg    JoAnn


To Phil's Page 2




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Gaetano & Rosina


































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