University of Minnesota

Testa, Palma, Papers

Finding Aid


Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Testa, Palma
Dates: 1931-1998
Abstract: Correspondence, convention programs and artifacts documenting history of several local OSIA Lodges in New York.
Quantity: 1 lin. in.
Language: English, Italian
Collection ID: IHRC3382


Collection donated to the IHRC by Palma Testa of New Jersey in 1998.


Palma R. Testa was born in Amsterdam, New York, the only child to Amalia Eva and Tony Cerito. Amalia Eva, or Molly, as she was known, was one of ten children, nine of whom were born in Albany and Amsterdam, New York. Her parents, Josephine Di Palma and John Carbonelli, both immigrated from Caiazza (Caserta). As a teenager, Molly became a top sample maker at the Fownes Glove Mill and continued to work after she was married to Tony, who came to the United States from Sicily as a baby with his family of skilled stone masons.

Soon after they were married in 1913, both Molly and Tony joined the Order. Molly served as Venerable of Cornelia Lodge #526 of Amsterdam, New York, a ladies’ lodge in which all the officers were first generation, bilingual, Italian American women. Palma grew up in the Order, attending OSIA sponsored meetings, conventions, parades, games and dances as a child and young woman. After moving to Mamaroneck in 1968, Palma became active in the Alessandro Manzoni Ladies Lodge #258, where she has served as lodge delegate, among other offices, and regularly contributes her baking and public relations skills. Her husband, Louis J. Testa, served as Venerable of Italian Heritage Lodge #2227 of New Rochelle and Deputy to the Antonio Meucci Lodge #213 of East White Plains in the 1970s.


Biographical: - essay: Palma R. Testa, “Eva M. Cerito,” biography, 1998 - essays: Palma R. Testa, OSIA memories, 1998

State: - NY convention program, “Grande Banchetto in Onore dei Congressisti della Sons of Italy Grand Lodge,” 1931 Local: - NY Heritage Lodge #2227 thirteenth annual dinner dance program, 1983

Non-OSIA: - essay: Dr. Vincent Bonelli, “Dante (1265–1321),” n.d.

Artifacts: - NY, wooden shoes signed by Angelo Sellaro, son of Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro, at Grand Lodge Convention, Niagara Falls, 1931 - NY Cornelia Lodge #526 Venerable cape, 1930s - NY Antonio Meucci Lodge #213 pins, n.d.


The Testa, Palma collection is available for public research.


The Testa, Palma collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


The Testa, Palma Papers, Italian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Order Sons of Italy in America

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