This blog's first guest post is by inveterate and unrepentant Genealogue reader Doogles McQuig:
In response to my query about the subject of challenge #117, Mario "Contasino", a most courteous reference librarian at the Riverside Library in Yonkers sent the following important clue:I looked up 300 Yonkers Avenue in the 1936 criss-cross directory. (1936 is one of the few years for which I have a criss-cross.) There I found listings for Nicholas V. Castasano, who is listed as employed in the junk business, and for Edward F. Castasano, who is listed as employed in “trucking.” Proceeding to the 1936 city directory proper, I found the same listings, but with some additional information; most significantly, that the wife of Nicholas is named Michelina.The librarian (not knowing any other details) tentatively concluded the correct spelling was probably "Castasano," and thus a Mario Castasano was the person to be found. But a quick search on Castasano turns up almost nothing. On the other hand, a much more common usage was Cantasano, and look what juicy details that name turns up:1910 censusRemember that Mario had two sisters in Brooklyn? Well, here's Edward M. (Mario anyone?) Cantasano with two sisters in Brooklyn. Right name, right place, right age, right family configuration. The middle initial is a bit of a misdirect because it's inconsistent with the Yonkers directory. However, continuing the search on "Edward F. Cantasano," the SSDI reveals a man of that name born on November 25, 1905, with the number issued before 1951 in New York. That works. Googling on "Edward Cantasano" leads to the Rootsweb Brooklyn archive, which tells us Edward graduated 8th grade in June of 1920 from Public School 17 at Driggs avenue and North Fifth street in Brooklyn. Still fits. Finally, and this is sweet, a search on Ancestry leads to a WWII service record for an unmarried Edward F. Cantasano who was born November 25, 1905 and enlisted from Westchester County, NY on 12 Mar 1942.
Brooklyn Ward 31, Kings, New York
Nicholas V Cantasano 42, born Italy (immigrated 1887)
Madeline Cantasano 33, born NY
Angela R Cantasano 9, born NY
Helene A Cantasano 8, born NY
Edward M Cantasano 4 born, NY
I wonder what inspired him to enlist?
Edward F. Cantasano died on January 17, 1989 and, according to the records at Ancestry.com, was interred on 24 Mar 1989 at Calverton National Cemetery, 210 Princeton Boulevard Rt 25 Calverton, NY 11933, Section 8 Site 13092.
So, what about it Genealoguers? Is this our guy? How best to find a next of kin?
I'll post a few more details in the comments, including some passport data on Nicholas, and a presumed uncle of Edward's named Vito G. Cantasano. They were each born in Craco, which happens to be in the province of Potenza, in the south Italy.