Below you will find links to Italian-American cultural organizations, Italian genealogy websites and Italian genealogy aides. There are also links to help you find Catholic parishes around the world and learn about Italians of Jewish faith and ancestry.
Cyndi’s List – Italy Page – Cyndi’s List has long been the “go-to” source for genealogy information. Her Italy page has more links than I could ever even imagine having on my page!
Italian Genealogy Online – All kinds of links to interesting Italian information, including Roman history, Italian art, Mediterranean foods, message boards and more.
Italian Parish Records — This website has links to digitized parish records and indexed civil records, which can be found on their website as well as FamilySearch and other websites (including Sicilian Family Tree!). See the Search By Region tab at the top to see what links to records are available for your particular town. You can make a donation and they will consult a published census from 1942-1943 to see what the churches in your particular town have on hand. Some of the churches have records going back to the 1300s (!!) but most start in the mid-late 1500s. This can help you make requests for documents, if you know what the church has.
Il Circolo Calabrese – This website is for those with ancestors from Calabria, but it has lots of
helpful information for anyone researching in Italy. Click on the RESOURCES link to see some outstanding form letters!
Italian Genealogy Homepage – This website is a great resource. There are forums, stories and articles that can help you with your research.
Italian Genealogy Links – This site has a list of links to other web sites that have helpful information. I added it here because it includes links to individual town information for Comunes such as Petralia Sottana, Vizzini, Entellina, and more.
European Newspaper Sources
European History Primary Sources – Click Browse Digital Repositories and then search by Country, Language, Time Period, or Type of Source. Newspapers is one of the source types that you can choose and they have materials from many countries.
Europeana – This website has articles from newspapers in 20 European countries dating from 1618-1996. Use the search bar at the upper right for quick searching of a surname or a town name or whatever you like. I searched one of my family names “Schimmenti” and found a 1957 document related to Santo Schimmenti being the producer of a documentary about Petralia Sottana. Try searching the name of your native town or your surnames for interesting finds!
Wikipedia List of Online Newspaper Archives – Self-explanatory and includes links to 90 countries, plus sub-categories for each US State, parts of the UK, etc.
Search Google with Pursuing Our Italian Names Together (POINT) and look for a chapter near you.
Map a Surname – This cool website puts a dot on the map of Italy every time it finds your surname in the Italian White Pages. The bigger the dot, the more people with that name. This can actually be helpful in finding towns (or at least regions/provinces) of origins for uncommon surnames.
Behind the Name – This website with names from all over the world gives you the origin and information about the name. Very interesting!
Italiansrus.com – This website has an Italian Surname Collection that you can search and that you can add your family surnames to. Perhaps you will find a long lost family member here!
Sicilian Family Tree’s Surname Registries – We host surname registries for the towns of Misilmeri and Ventimiglia di Sicilia.
Italian Surname Meanings and Origins
The Sicilian Nobility – Similar to the next web site, this link takes you to information on the nobility in Italy and it’s history, titles and ranks.
Nobility of Italy – Includes information about the different titles and ranks of nobility in Italy, the history, and other interesting facts.
History of Noble Families – This web site has the actual histories of noble families, showing the titles passed down over the generations. Fascinating to read through, and while the histories themselves are in Italian, the introduction and contact information is given in Italian and English.
Italian Titles of Nobility – Helpful article that describes all the different noble titles such as Signore, Visconte, Barone, etc.
Nobility of the World, Italy – Try to ignore the distracting background and focus on the information. Scroll down to see a list of Sicilian Peers of the Realm from 1848.
Catholic & Jewish Faith
Chiesa Cattolica Italiana (Italian Catholic Church) – This website is all in Italian but with a little patience you can follow the links to a list of diocese and parishes, including phone numbers and addresses. Start at the top picture toolbar.
Italian Diocese – This web site gives a listing of every Diocese in Italy. You can click on the name of the Diocese and go to the official web site of that Diocese, and then find the listing of churches within that diocese. Here is another site that does the same thing: Wikipedia Roman Catholic Dioceses in Italy
Catholic Parishes in Manhattan – Archdiocese of New York, Wikipedia listing (includes addresses and established dates, sorted by Borough)
Archdiocese of Brooklyn—Chronological List of Brooklyn Parishes 1822-20008; Chronological List of Queens Parishes 1843-2009
United States Catholic Diocese – This page on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website will help you find the website of every Diocese in the US. From the diocese pages, you can find links to every parish within the diocese.
Catholic Heritage Archive – Find My Past has built a fantastic collection of Catholic church records in their Catholic Heritage Archive. They have records from the dioceses of Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia and Toledo. If you have Irish, English or Scottish ancestry, they also have records from Ireland, Scotland and England.
Jews in Sicily – A history of the Jews in Sicily by Dr. Gaetano Cipolla. It is written in both English and Sicilian, which is fun for learning the language.
European Jewish Congress, Italy – This informative page gives a brief history of Jews in Italy and includes demographics, information on schools and synagogues, and sites of Jewish interest.
Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah – Located in Ferrara, opened in 2017. Read this excellent article about the museum.
Italian Script Tutorial—This page gives you lots of information about deciphering old handwriting. On the left hand tool bar look for alphabet charts to see the way letters were written and click Italian surnames to see a helpful list of frequently used foundling surnames. Some pages are under construction.
Italian Letter Writing Guide or the Italian Genealogical Word List
Latin Genealogical Word List–especially helpful if you are using Catholic church records.
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Grifasi’s Sicilian Almanac – This website has wonderful information about cultural information regarding Sicily. For instance, history, proverbs, art and literature, and more. Very interesting information.
Italian American Cultural Organizations
National Italian American Federation
WW2 Alien Enemy Control Program-This PDF file from the Department of Justice concerning the Italian Internment camps from WW2 is quite interesting and provides lists of detainees and lists of fisherman and railroad workers who were only allowed to work in certain areas. More information can be found at Wikipedia, National Archives.
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute – This website has a community calendar of Italian American events for the New York area as well as links for having an Italian holiday (like Thanksgiving Italian Style) and includes ways to teach your children about their Italian heritage with fun games and crafts. It also has a link for information about restrictions to Italians during WW2, Italian Radio Programs, and more. Check it out!
Italian Cultural Institute of New York – Lots of cool information here and includes a list of events in the New York area relating to all things Italian.
Links to Italian Cultural Organizations – This site provides a group of links to different organizations like the Sons of Italy, UNICO and the National Italian-American Foundation.