The Stanton's/Layer's (Father's Side)

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My great Grandafather was a direct descendant of Thomas Stanton, also in this line was L. Frank Baum (his mother was Cynthia Stanton), and Enoch Stanton who fought Benedict Arnold at Groton Point (his name is engraved on the landmark at Ft. Griswold where the battle took place).

Thomas Stanton immigrated here from England in the 1600's, he was an Indian Interpreter and Negotiator in the colony of Connecticut. In addition, he was one of the original founders of Stonington, Connecticut. He fought in the Pequot War and was a delegate at the Treaty of Hartford, which ended the War.

L. Frank Baum Picture

L. Frank Baum's mother was Cynthia Stanton, whose father was Oliver Staunton (direct descendant of Thomas Stanton). L. Frank Baum is best known for being the author of the 'Wizard of Oz' and in addition he wrote 13 novel sequels.

Groton Monument

Enoch Stanton, another descendant of Thomas Staunton, fought in the Revolutionary War against Benedict Arnold. He was a Lieutenent in the Continental Army at Fort Griswold. The fort played a key role in the early stages of the Revolutionary War. It defended the port of New London. British Troops raided and burned New London during the battle of Groton Heights. Enoch and his brother Daniel lost their lives during this battle at Fort Griswold and are commemorated on a monument at the fort.

The DiPasquale's/Cassone's (Mother's Side)

My great grandfather, Giuseppe DiPasqaule, immigrated here from Ragusa, Italy in 1918 at the age of 20. In Italy his family owned a provisions company under 'Culotta' where they manufactured fine cheeses. When he arrived in the United States he realized it wasn't the "Land of Promise" that he hoped it would be. He fell on hard times and then came Prohibition. Seeing it as his only way to 'get ahead' he partnered with some people he knew and bought into a speakeasy.

Picture of Italy

My Grandfather's Uncle was an interesting character. His name was Alfonse Cassone, and came here in the early 1900's from Foggia, Italy and settled in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There he fell into a life of organized crime. Which included working for the Italian Mafia as an enforcer, collecting debts, and intimidating witnesses.

Author: Thomas Layer