Brick Wall Ancestor Giuseppe “Joseph” Distefano. Need Help finding his parents

+8 votes
My great great grandfather is Giuseppe “Joseph” Distefano born December 17, 1871 in Nicolosi, Catania, Sicily, Italy and died December 27, 1947 East Hampton, Middlesex County,Connecticut, USA. We don’t know who his parents are and have hit the brick wall with the language barrier. We need resources and help in finding his birth parents. We do have the marriage record. The boat record they travelled to America and his naturalization Records. Any help is appreciated

Thank you
WikiTree profile: Joseph DiStefano
in Genealogy Help by Andrew Simpier G2G6 Pilot (729k points)
retagged by Andrew Simpier
The church and civil records all tend to follow a pattern, or formula. If you get one on two transcribed, and translated (try google translation for openers), you can get a pretty good idea of what the documents say.

Get an Italian genealogical word list (see Family Search).

After you get some familiarity with the documents it is not too hard to get the essential info.

2 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer

Family Search has both civil and church records for Nicolosi. Have you looked at these?

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (685k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
It is important to point out that almost all of these records require you to be at a FamilyHistory Center, and the one in NYC has notoriously slow internet speeds, so I can only imagine how slow they are elsewhere.
I am sorry to hear of the internet issues at the NYC FHC. That has not been my experience at the FHC where I volunteer in Northern California.

In the past I used a dial-up modem, when that was the state of the art for home systems, slow, but I was able to make progress on my family research.

At one time I was downloading large files from one of the Czech archives that took hours. I would start it in the evening, and hope it would be finished by morning. Now, it takes just a few minutes.

We do the best we can with the resources available.
Thank you this has been so helpful! So much appreciated
Excellent resources !
We just got his death record and updated his bio and dates
+5 votes

Since he was married in 1896 in Nicolosi, this FamilySearch collection likely has the marriage pubblicazioni and possibly allegati you want:

Here's the Stato Civile atto di matrimonio:

Looks like his father was Paolo but was deceased (fu) before the wedding took place; his mother was Teresa (can't make out the last name but it seems to start with a G or maybe an S and ends in -nato;  browsing through the birth and death indexes looks like Spampinato might be it). Grazia's mother's name was Antonina, last name possibly Bonanno.

Church marriage record:

Handwriting much easier to read here, definitely Paolo Distefano and Teresa Spampinato. Looks like the FamilySearch church records go back quite a ways but aren't indexed before 1895 so you might just start browsing through looking for the parents' marriage records.

by Frank Santoro G2G6 Mach 5 (58.6k points)
Thank you for posting these wonderful resources.

Much appreciated
We just got his death record!!

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