Italian Roots - Italian Name Studies -one month to our anniversary!

+8 votes

Hello Everyone!   

Italian Roots became an official project about 11 months ago:

As we head towards our first anniversary on WikiTree I thought we might build upon the success of our Italian Name Studies efforts.

If you aren't already a member of Italian Roots (and you want to be) please send me a note and I can issue your badge.  Also -- list yourself and your focus in the member section of our project page.

If your Italian surnames don't have a name study already, consider creating one, it is very rewarding.  We're happy to help you through the process.  Do be sure to check the list of existing projects on the One Name Studies index:

If you are new to creating One Name Studies projects, read up on it here:

Be sure to add the Italian Name Studies category on your project page and on the category index that you create for your surname so that they appear here:

If you have already created one or more Italian Name Studies projects, I recommend that you check that you have have that category applied and that you have both a project page and a category page for your study.

The category page (e.g. functions as an index for all profiles that are under the study and properly categorized or templated.

The project page - which should ideally be created in the manner described on the ONS page - functions as a landing page and hub for your name study.  

In the DeLuca example,  I have followed the process described in the ONS project - and as of today the basic text is pretty much what is created automatically.  Feel free to add detail, feel free to add focus to the project.   

It's likely that your interest in the surname is going to follow your lines or research, but I recommend establishing the Name Study with an eye to coordinating with others you are likely to bump into as you explore the surname.  Figure out the best way to develop sub-projects under the surname and you will build a resource that honors the WIkiTree spirit.

There's another very powerful thing that can be done to promote collaboration on your Italian Surname in the WikiTree context - once you have created your category and project page - ask us for a redirect so that the surname get's a project box on the genealogy page for your surname.

Again, here's the DeLuca corresponding example:

You will note, under the "related surnames" section in the upper right quadrant there is a box that says "DeLuca Project" ... that's prime real-estate for getting collaborators!  Let us know when your project page and category are ready and we'll get the redirect in place for you.

I do note that there are about three times as many subcategory entries of Italian Name Studies as their are project pages categorized under the category: 

It would be great to make sure we have both a project page and a category page for each surname.  Perhaps in many cases both already exist but are not tagged with the category Italian Name Studies. So if you already have one, please double check on that!

By the way: I set up the DeLuca example very quickly this morning, just to refresh myself on the process, and to be confident when I suggest it is something that can be started rather easily.  it can!

I'm going to close with an acknowledgment of our Italy Place Studies - they are also very much worth the time!






asked in The Tree House by Michael Maranda G2G6 Mach 6 (63.3k points)
retagged by Abby Glann
Looking at the DeLuca name I think you need an variation to it, I have a lot DiLuca's in my tree. The De was the Americanized version of Di.
I agree.  On my to do list for this name, and an important point for many surnames!
It's also very common at the end of names to have an I changed to an E.
That is how CENTANNI became CENTANNE !


2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

I for one would love to see more people in this project and start adding a lot more Italian communities into the fold and connecting them up. I have been adding to 5. 2 towns in Italy proper (Castel di Sangro and Prezza from Abruzzo) and 3 towns (Valledolmo, Tortorici and Cerda) from Sicily. I rotate every couple of months on which I work on to prevent burnout.

I think I have made our first Italian Roots familial connection. About 6 months ago I noticed that (Louie Vassmer) had Castel di Sangro as one of his tags and that his maternal family was from there.  Both of our great grandmothers were from there and mine was 6 days older than his.  I then went and found the birth certificate of his gg grandfather'Amico-84 (Aurelio D’Amico) . Something in the back of my mind stirred with the name. I had seen it somewhere before but could not remember. So I moved on and then a few weeks back I came back and started to make a huge effort to expand the relation in that town. I was looking through findagrave and was adding info for the brother of my gg grandmother, there I made the connection. His wife’s profile listed her parents.'Amico-88 she was the older ½ sister of Mr. Vassmer’s great grandmother, they had different mothers.  At this point there was no blood relation between us. I then stared to fill in his line. I filled in Aurelio’s ancestors back 4 generations to about 1700. By this time Mr. Vessmer and I have about 8 or 9 surnames in common. I switch to Aurelio’s 1st wife and add in a few and no connection yet. I then switched to his 2nd wife whose name is Angela Ziruolo .  I get to her great grandfather (Emanuele Iacobucci) who, lo and behold has a sister named Vincinza who is my 5th great grandmother. So Mr Vessmar and I have the same 6th great grandparents Sebastiano Iacobucci and Rosalia Sconciafurno, making us 7th cousins.  So not only did our great grandmother know each other growing up, they too were cousins. While his great grandmother settled in Chicago, her older sister lived across the street from my great grandmother in Niagara Falls, NY. 

answered by Jim Tareco G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k points)
selected by Michael Maranda
That's a great story!  I am very glad you posted it.  You've done so much work advancing Italian Roots.   I hope others are inspired to get involved.
Thank you. While I love my Abruzzi heritage I am particularly passionate about my Sicilian ancestors.
I have been adding folks from Alia, Sicilia for a long time. The Sicilian records on familysearch go back further than the records for the boot of Italy. I found some connections between people in Alia and in other surrounding towns. Valledolmo in particular, which is a few km from Alia.

My husband descends from 23 families who lived in Alia, sometimes more than once. Some of the names are Spanish, and may be families who came over from Spain during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies or even before. Alia was founded by a Spanish countessa in 1615. I am wondering if Spain would have kept any records of the population it was encouraging to colonize Alia for the tax revenue they would bring in?


Good question!  I don't know and am not sure how to find out.

On a side note I just watched a "Great Courses" dvd series on "The Italians before Italy"  -- it's a lecture series, it really filled in a lot of background.  They had it at my local library.

Valledolmo was founded in 1650 by a Genovese Baron and 50 vassals contracted to him. It was originally called castel Normanno.  Of the original  50 I am descended from at least 5. Barone, Battaglia, Caccamisi, Ricotta and Vacanti. What also make Valledolmo unique is that between 1890-1900 3,000 of the 8,000 people living there picked up and moved to WNY. There is a book called "From Valledolmo to Fredonia" written in the '40's that is a very interesting read. 

When it comes to "Italian" history, there really is no such thing. There was no "Italy" until 1860. Everything from Abruzzo south and including Sicily was the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbon Spanish. The rest from Lazio north was the papal States and various kingdoms.  Feudalism was still alive and well in Sicily in the early to mid 1800's. A very good book about Sicily is " Sicily - Three Thousand Years of human History" by Sandra Benjamin. In my opinion  it should be retitled three thousand years of human misery..

Sharon, after looking, your husband is also descended from those 1st 50 vassal families through the Privitera line, the name being La Privitara.
Thank you, Jim Tareco! This is fascinating. I downloaded the list of Valledolmo surnames, and see many familiar surnames there. I hope you are adding the Valledolmo families to wikitree.

My husband always thought he had some Norman ancestors, and perhaps vassels from Genoa were of Norman origin. The Normans invaded Sicily in the 11th o 12th century from what I remember.

I know that Sebastiano Tripi II is from Valledolmo.  I know my husband has Catalano and Miceli and few other names I see on the list. I want to study the information closer and find out which of the larger list families are from the 50 vassels.

Alia was settled by the Spanish beginning in 1615, so many of the families have Spanish origins. Do you know anything about Spanish settlements in Valledolmo or is the population mostly Genovese?

There are probably many connections between Alia and Valledolmo because the villages were not too far apart. Maybe a days journey of eight or ten miles on foot or with a donkey?

We should collaborate our data, because I have studies and profiles dozens of Alia families here on wikitree and perhaps we can find many connections. :)

I am also interested in the fact that the Valledolmo families went to Western, NY. I am a native of Buffalo, and have German ancestors who lived in Dunkirk, Ferdonia and surrounding towns in Chautauqua County. It would be interesting to investigate if any of the Valledolmo families are related in any way to my Germans, and also to see if any Valledolmo families eventually migrated north to Buffalo as my Germans did.I am very familiar with Buffalo genealogy and demographics and history, as I have been tracing my Buffalo roots for many decades :)

Thanks again for these interesting leads and I hope we can work together to connect our Italian families!

Sharon Troy Centanne
+5 votes
That's wonderful, Michael ! I have been reading some of these name studies profiles and they are interesting. What a great project !
answered by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (545k points)

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