The Depression Years
In the years soon after WWI, the Degregorio brothers seemed to think their chances of success were being hampered
somewhat by their last name. There were still remnants of the old Know Nothing Party, the Ku¬ Klux Klan was at it's highest popularity
and with defense work practically non-existent, anything they could do to help their situation, was given serious consideration, thus
the name changes to Gregory ( the translation from Italian)
Gus tried his hand at the poultry business. He decided that he would move
his growing family to what was known as "the country". Avon and surrounding towns had the open spaces to start small farms of all
kinds. The immigrants of the turn of the century, having roots from rural areas, were attracted to chickens, pigs, vegetables, cows
and anything else that would start off small, be fed and grow. Gus put his lot with the middlemen and bought a flatbed truck. He would
buy live chickens from the local farmers and bring them to Haymarket Square in Boston and sell them. The chickens were known as broilers,
somewhat smaller than the present fryer. When cooked they looked like two drumsticks, two wings and not much else. Feed was too expensive
to let them become fully grown roasters.
His early experience at the market showed him that the dealers, who had names without ending
vowels or lots of k' s and z' s, were giving preferences to others. Angelo in the meantime, wanted to be a Boston Policeman and found
a similar situation. Emilio had ambitions in the growing union movement, which didn't have two many Italians in high positions. When
they became Gregory‚Äôs, life opened up opportunities. Many descendents have felt they should have persevered. After all, Giannini
did all right with the Bank of America, even if his first customers were mostly Italian immigrants. Would the descendent Gregory lives
have been any different as DeGregorios? Before my marriage, I considered a return to the original name.
The following documents were
obtained from the Norfolk County Court House:It is interesting to read why they wanted to change their names.¬
Angelo ( Albert ) changed
his in 1925 and Constantino changed his in 1926. If Angelo had waited a two years his son Albert Jr would still be legally Angelo
DeGregorio.If Gus had waited one year , his son Michael would be legally Michele DeGregorio.Also, Constantino listed his name wrong.
His birth certificate had " Costantino "¬
Samuel Gregory applied for a passport in 1987 and discovered his name was legally Saverio
DeGregorio. Sam was born before Gus changed his name to Gregory , so Sam had to change his name to Samuel Gregory in 1987.