Back To Message Board Start Page

p. nigro
Italian Ancestor Origins
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:05pm

Italian Ancestor Origins

Italian Immigrant Ancestor's Place of Origin, quick tips:

Find the *Ship Passenger Arrival Record* for your Italian immigrant ancestor.

You didnít say whether Salvatore son of Giovanni and Concetta is your immigrant ancestor or if his son Giovanni (John) is your Italian Immigrant ancestor. The good news is that IF your Immigrant Ancestor was born in a village in Calabria on 25-DEC-1889 there is more information on the Ships lists in the later years. I have even seen a few 1892 Passenger Ship Arrival Records that have a column showing the passengers' last town of residence in Italy, which was also their town of birth in Italy.

In researching my own Italian Immigrant ancestors from Southern Italy and collateral lines too (relatives but not of direct descent) so far *all* of their Passenger Ship Arrival records gave their last location and the town given was ALSO their place of birth.
It may have been a coincidence just for southern Italy as most So. Italian immigrants, at that time, did not want to move someplace else in Italy or Europe to work, they just wanted to leave the feudal system that still existed in Southern Italy (the Mezzogiorno) even after 1861 after they kicked out the Bourbons and Victor Emmanuel became the first King of Italy.
From about 1939(ww2) to current days, Italians from smaller comuni are moving to areas with more employment opportunities like Milano, Roma, Napoli, and even to Switzerland, Germany, UK and Australia and more of them have records of where they were born so if your relatives have any relatives born in the same town, contact them and anyone else who might have older momentos, postcards from the town and etc.

You can find your immigrant ancestorís year of immigration on his 1910, 1920 and 1930 US Federal Census records although sometimes the census taker entered the wrong year. Armed with that information and a little more you might, "still" , be able to pay NARA to send you a copy of your immigrant ancestors Passenger Ship Arrival Record and also a copy of his First Papers Naturalization application, which will give town of birth in Italy.

First try the links online to find your Immigrant ancestors' passenger ship arrival records.
Most Italian Immigrants came through Ellis Island although there were also ports of arrival in Boston, New Orleans, some arrivals in California, Hawaii and etc
More info and lookup links here:

In the Region of Calabria there are 22 businesses and 48 people listed with the surname(cognome) D'ALESSANDRO in the Italian Phone book. The online phone book doesnt list cell-phones or unlisted numbers so this is for hints only!:

These are the Calabrian Provinces in which they are located:
CS (56) (Province of Cosenza)
RC (5) (Province - Reggio Calabria)
KR (4) (Province - Crotone)
VV (4) (Province - Vibo Valentia -used to be province of Catanzaro before 1992)

Specifically the following link and Wikipedia (Italian Version is best) will help you find the names of the towns under the jurisdiction of the various Provinces in Calabria listed above.
You might need clearly typed references to help you read the place of origin of your ancestor on his/her passenger ship arrival record in case the handwriting of the purser (scribe) was too messy:

Here is a list of address and location lookup links for Italy to help you:

FamilySearch (the Mormons) uploaded images of a few towns in the Province of Cozenza but not all. I was going to see if they had any births in the year 1889 for a Salvatore son of Giovanni and Concetta. I didnt feel like going through the time consuming red-tape sign-in, as I never stay signed-in to anything, but you can go ahead and try to look for the birth record of your ancestor.

Watch out for the names of the wives -!-
Italian women, even after marriage, used their birth surnames. So if your immigrant ancestor married in Italy and sent money later for his wife she would usually travel under her birth surname and if she had children Ė her/their children will be under her husbandís surname.
Read more:

U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
often have place of birth listed on the records of your ancestors - if they lived in the USA at that time.

Best wishes and you can easily teach yourself to do your own family-tree research:

  • D'AlessandroAnonymous, Fri Apr 20 10:00pm
    Hi, I am searching for information on Salvatore D'Alessandro family. He was my great grandfather, His wifes name was Mildred. His mom's name was Concetta and his father was John. He was born December ... more
    • Italian Ancestor Origins — p. nigro, Mon Apr 23 3:05pm
    • calabria infodawn visintini, Sat Apr 21 11:46am
      try this web site I had the same problem with my father in law .He was born in treste finally got it.i addressed also town birth records on envelope.I am sure you have been on... more
      • Re: calabria infoAnonymous, Sun Apr 22 4:31pm
        Thank you so much!!! I just joined this site so I hadnít done Cindyís list? What is that??
        • genealogyd.visintini, Sun Apr 22 4:48pm
          when you go to cindy's list go to ITALIAN INFO it will let you click on to everything Italian. if you have a problem just email me at I have been doing this for years now so hope ... more
Click here to receive daily updates