The Coniglio and Alessi
Heritage Path

 

      The Coniglio family website has links to the ancestors of Gaetano Coniglio and Rosa Alessi.  The Coniglio side and Rosa's maternal side were born in the town of Serradifalco, Caltanissetta Province, Sicily (Comune di Serradifalco, Provincia Caltanissetta, Sicilia), while the Alessi's, prior to Rosa's father Leonardo, were born in Marianopoli, a nearby town in the same Province.

       The ancestral pages show images of original census and naturalization documents from the United States; immigrant's ship passenger manifests; and original Sicilian records ~ civil records of birth, marriage banns, marriage and death (some dating from 1820).  While the Sicilian language is different and distinct from the later-formed Italian language, civil documents were recorded in Italian.  The records also include church records (in Latin) of baptism, marriage and death (some dating from 1737).  The records, in archaic handwriting, are transcribed in their original languages, and then translated to English.

       Each person that is linked has a path sign like the ones shown below.  Clicking the "up" arrow will go to the page of a person's father or mother in the Coniglio/Alessi line; clicking the "down" arrow will show the child or generation descended from a person, and the "sideways" arrows will lead to the page of a spouse.  Clicking on Gaetano or Rosa's photo or name below will link directly to his/her page.

       Try it, and enjoy your walk on the Heritage Path!
 

Heritage Path

   

           

   

 

 

        Conforming with local law and custom, Gaetano and Rosa were married in the Chiesa Matrice (Main Church) of San Leonardo Abate in Serradifalco on 30 November 1912, and once more in the Casa Comunale, or Town Hall of Serradifalco, on the following day, 1 December, 1912.      
        The two ceremonies were necessary due to the touchy relationship between church and state at the time.  Couples who married only in the church were considered by law to not be legitimately bound.  Any children of such a couple would be illegitimate in the eyes of civil authorities.  To avoid this situation, most couples married in church and in separate civil ceremonies.   The signatures at the bottom of the record are those of Gaetano and Rosa.  Notice that Rosa signed as "Rosina", as Gaetano called her.

Da Anagrafe di Serradifalco, 2008      

From the Serradifalco Registry Office, 2008      

 

         Most of the records used to develop this work are from the town of Serradifalco, Caltanissetta province, in central Sicily.  Images of original Serradifalco civil birth, marriage, and death records are available on microfilms taken by representatives of the Mormon church at the Caltanissetta state archives for the years 1820 through 1910.  A list of those microfilms is at http://bit.ly/SerradifalcoCivilRecords.  Serradifalco's church records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths are also available on microfilm for the years 1698 through 1910.  A list of those microfilms is at http://bit.ly/SerradifalcoChurchRecords.  Civil records are available on line for the years 1866 through 1910, on the free Mormon website https://www.familysearch.org and on the subscription site http://www.Ancestry.com, at http://bit.ly/SerradifalcoCivilRecordsOnLine. The latter site also has Serradifalco death records for 1931 through 1939.  More recently the Italian government has begun to post civil record on line on its 'Antenati' (Ancestors) site http://bit.ly/ItalianRecordsPortal.  As of January 2016, records are available there for 47 Italian provinces and regions, including Serradifalco's province of Caltanissetta.  Serradifalco's records, including many for post-1910, are at http://bit.ly/SerradifalcoAntenatiRecords

          The civil records are in the 'Napoleonic format' advocated by Napoleon when he ruled much of Europe.  His forces held the mainland portion of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies at the time and instituted civil record-keeping there as early as 1805.  These early records are called 'Stato Civile Napoleonico', or 'Napoleonic Civil Status'.    Napoleon never occupied the island of Sicily, but Bourbon Spain, which controlled insular Sicily, was so influenced by his policies that it instituted Napoleonic civil records on island Sicily in 1820.  The original format was on pre-printed forms that were uniform throughout the island, with blanks for local clerks and officials to fill in with details.  Through 1860, the Roman Catholic church had strong influence in Sicily, and civil records were cross-referenced to ecclesiastical actions.   Birth records carried a section that indicated that the birth had been reported to the church, and that the church had responded, confirming that the child had been baptized.  Civil marriage records merely stated a couple's intent to marry, and though they listed the spouses' names, ages and occupations, and the names of their parents, they had a section that indicated that the contract had been sent to the church, and showed that the church had performed confirmed the actual marriage and confirmed the date.  Civil records for this period are called 'Stato Civile della Restaurazione', or 'Restored Civil Records', since there was no nation of Italy at the time and the actual records are from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies' archives.

          In 1861, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was 'unified' with northern states to form the previously non-existent Kingdom of Italy.  One result of that event was that the Roman Catholic church was divested of much of its power, property and influence.  Baptisms were not considered proof of birth.  Church marriages were not recognized by civil authorities as legal marriages, and children of spouses married only in church were illegitimate and could not legally inherit property.  The church-friendly civil record forms were used until about 1865, but for several years after unification, from about 1866 through 1874, all civil records were completely hand-written, and still provided the same basic 'Napoleonic' civil information, but with no mention of the church.  In 1875, new pre-printed forms were issued by the civil authorities, again in the Napoleonic format, but with no reference to the church.  Those forms were used through the early 1900s, and comprise the 'Stato Civile Italiano', or 'Italian Civil Status'.  Generally, Mormon microfilming of records has been limited to the years 1910 and earlier, although more records for later years are slowly being made available.

          Some family records that were registered after 1910 were obtained through personal communication with Serradifalco town officials.   The chart below shows the records available for Serradifalco on microfilm.  There are some gaps.  The town Anagrafe (Registry Office) may have civil records for the years that are missing form the microfilms, which were made at the Provincial archives.  The shaded portion of the chart indicates the years included on Ancestry.com.  The microfilms whose numbers are on the chart are on extended loan at the Mormon Family History Center at 1424 Maple Road, Williamsville, New York 14221 (716-688-2439).  Click on the image to enlarge and print.  Records beginning in 1866 (shaded area) are available on-line at the several venues noted above.

 
 
  ~ The Lady of the Wheel (La Ruotaia), my first book, inspired by my genealogical research of Sicilian families.  It's a historical novella about foundlings and sulfur mine workers in 1860s Racalmuto, a town in central Sicily.
 
 
SICILIAN LINKS Sicilianit Is Sicily 'Italy'? The Sicilian Languge
Cognomi ~ Sicilian Surnames Ngiurii ~ Sicilian Nicknames Place-names as surnames Sicilian Coats of Arms
Foundlings The Sicilian Naming Convention Americanized Sicilian Given Names Converting Latin given names to Sicilian
La Bedda Sicilia ~ My history of Sicily Heritage Path ~ original Sicilian records Civil Record Format ~ 1820 - 1910 I'm a Sicilian American
My Lectures on Sicilian Genealogy Sicilian Occupations in Civil Records Sicilian Records at the Buffalo FHC The Thing
 
 

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