Rosa was born in San Fele, Italy to Pietro Fortannascere and Ippolita Frascella. She came to America in 1905 with 3 of her children; Rosa Marie, Antonio and Vincenzo. They were on their way to Washington DC to join two of her sons; Pietro and Saverio. Domenico and Francisco came over a year later. Rosa and all her children lived the rest of their lives in Washington DC.