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Tour Guides in Sicily

9 Apr

The best private tour guide service for Sicily ! Customize your trip (from one person to a large group), visit your ancestral village, meet people by your surname (maybe even organize a private dinner event with them!). Visit your ancestral church, the cemetery,  stop at the town hall to get a vital record… and also visit any of regular tourists sites all over Sicily, with an English-speaking private escort! No need to rent a car (unless you prefer), but the tour guide will take you around on a carefree narrated private tour. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS.

http://TourGuidesInSicily.com/tour-guides-in-sicily/

Pennsylvania Vitale Family – Montalbano Ionico, Argusto, Satriano…

1 Mar

The Vitale family moved around from 1700s  to 1900s.  James (Vincenzo) Vitale (b.1892 in Montalbano, Province Matera) moved to western Pennsylvania in 1910 — meeting half-brother, Gregorio Giorgio Vitale, who married in 1909 in Italy, but soon went off to find work in America.  Gregorio’s whereabouts after that is a mystery.  He may have died (he was much older than James).  James ended up living in Charleroi (Wash. Co., Pa) and then Ford City (Armstrong Co).  Their father was born in Argusto (Prov. Catanzaro) in 1851. He married second wife, Vittoria Ricciardi, in 1881 in her native village of Montalbano– according to tradition (wedding in the parish of the bride).  People in that area often chose marriage partners from outside their own village.  James and siblings were born in the mother’s village, but the half- brother was born in a different town, because his mother, Teresa Strano, was from another place.  When James went to America, his father was in Roggiano Gravina (CS).  Jame’s grandfather was born in Satriano (Prov. Catanzaro).  Each time a direct ancestor chose a marriage partner and raised children in a new place, there were also sideline relatives who remained in the original village.  The surname Vitale shows up today in various provinces. If you are seeking a Vitale from a particular village, those from other nearby towns should not be discounted as family, because they could well be related.   Many (not all) Vitales who exist in different villages  are related by blood–today spread throughout the Basilicata Region.  The link to the common ancestor could be in the 1800s or the 1700s or earlier.

To follow their trail, research must proceed backwards “from the known to the unknown” each step of the way in proper order.  From Jame’s death record in Penn.his date of birth and names of parents were learned;the ship record  mentioned his place of birth.  The birth certificate was then located in Italy, with his parent’s marriage in the same town.  This revealed year and place of birth for his father, providing names of the next generation back.  Proceeding to the other town, we found the marriage record of that next older generation.  One step at a time, a tree was built that included all siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles etc.  The Vitale tree now has over 1,200 people on it !  This includes the maternal lines of Vallone and Vecchio families of Argusto.  Pallante does a thorough job. 

But James Vitale who died in Ford City, Pa. left only daughters, and his surname did not carry on in the new country.  It remains unknown whether  Gregorio left sons in America.  The wife he left behind in Italy in 1909 died there “a widow” in 1931.  That village reports no children of Gregorio found, nor his death (1909-1931).  Jame’s family didn’t realize he had a brother, but would like to know what happened to him  after 1910.  A sponsor for a Pennsylvania research project is needed to solve this problem.   Also, many of the Vitale’s on our big tree in Italy who were sideline relatives of James  had descendants who also immigrated to America– to various cities. You may be wondering about the town of origin of your Vitale immigrant. Chances are the Pallante Center would only need to do a short project to connect your Vitale immigrant to the tree that is already built.

Biccari (Province Foggia) Italy

1 Mar

Many surnames in Biccari have roots that extend into the 1500s in that town. Luckily, church records do exist, so that extensive genealogical research is possible.  Civil records are available for 1809-1829.  The 1746 census of Biccari (Catasto Onciario) survives at the regional archives in Naples, Italy.  The Pallante Center can arrange for this to be searched.  It will show the head of the family, his age and occupation, his wife’s name and age, list of children’s names and ages, and also will indicate other household members, such as a parent  (with a mother’s maiden surname and notation if she is a widow), and also if a sibling of the head of the family is living in the same household.  It can help you see the big picture in the mid 1700s and how many families with your surname existed then.  Surname spellings may have changed as people emigrated out to various new lands.  It is important to consider alternate spellings when researching ship records, census and other records outside of Italy.  Often if the immigrant was not literate, they just kept the spelling as it was written for them in the new location.  Sometimes they went with a new spelling on purpose because they thought it would help them fit in better in their new homeland.  The Pallante Center has put together many Biccari family trees.  We are currently working on the Basile family, who immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tummillo’s of 18th Century Muro Lucano

21 Feb

In 18th C. Muro Lucano, there existed at least 25 different Tummillo families. Because so many, and also repeating first names of family heads 1699-1799, common ancestors for these groups likely are in the 1600s; family heads with same first names were probably cousins (not brothers), based on the way the Italian naming custom works. There were likely more than one or two Tummillo families exisiting in the 1600s. The earliest that PCIR has found is a Tommaso Tummillo (born about 1698 or earlier), but some early records have been destroyed. The Tummillo folks of Albany, NY (whose surname spelling changed to “Tommell” ,and also a Chicago line, trace back to Biase Tummillo (b.1726), son of Vito Tummillo and Rosa Colonna. Biase had a sister Teresa (b.1722), who married Andrea Perillo in 1748. Biase’s son Sabato (b.1762) and wife Rosa Pisaturo were married in 1784. They had at least two sons, Giuseppe and Nicola. Nicola’s wife, Maria Mennonna, gave birth to 10 children (not all lived) but in 1872, son Sabato (b.1820) married Brigida DiVito. Brigida gave birth to nine. Their son Nicola (b.1848) married Angela Cantore in 1872. Four children: son Francesco lived in Chicago, while another son Sabato, lived in the area of Albany, NY. The only daughter, Brigida, died in 1907 at age 17. Descendants of Francesco and Sabato have recently discovered each other (through PCIR) and are happily sharing information. One other son, Antonio (b.Aug. 8, 1881), is believed to have also emigrated to the USA. PCIR is now in pursuit of Antonio and his descendants. Families of Francesco and Sabato eagerly await the moment when they can be reunited with the family of their ancestors’ missing brother.

 

http://www.PallanteCenter.com

Ship records lead to a Cleveland family’s roots in Italy

20 Feb

We have located the village of origin for the Frate Family of Cleveland, Ohio…Rionero Sannitico (originally Province Campobasso, now Province Isernia). As it turns out, a great many Italian-Americans in Cleveland’s Little Italy emigrated from Campobasso area. Learn more in Gene Veronesi’s book, “Italian-Americans & Their Communities of Cleveland.”

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