When Marianna Bellanti was born on June 10, 1877, her father, Girolamo, was 50, and her mother, Giuseppa, was 53. The ages of her parents are truly exceptional in this time period. Marianna was born in Palermo.

abt. 1896

About 1896, she married Pietro Balistreri.

Marianna and Pietro, with Giuseppa and Pietro. Marianna is pregnant Lena Balistreri Salerno who lived into this century to 103 yrs old!


At age 31, Marianna Billanti (32) and her children, Giuseppa (9), Pietro (7), Lena? (4), Gelorno (3), and Salvatore (newborn) sailed the Batavia to New York. They were living in Sant’ Flavia, Sicily and were headed to Buffalo, NY.

Marianna Ballanti – Balistrieri 1932. This photo was taken in Dante Place where they had the family store. This was the last picture taken of her before she died of ovarian cancer.

A cousin on Facebook told this story about Marianna. “My Mother would often tell the story about when Great Grandma would bake bread and Great Grandpa (Pietro) would sit at the table and sing in Italian and teach her and her sister the words, so they were all singing this song in the Kitchen. Great Grandma Marianna would run into the kitchen screaming her head off in Italian!!! Come to find out the song was……”The Bread is burning”…..Ahh, ha ha ha hah a ha haa! “The “Bread is Burning”, Ahh, ha ha haaaa ha ha!!”


Marianna died on March 18, 1933 in Buffalo, NY when she was 5 years old.