Super Sleuth

Super Sleuth
Digging Up The Past One Relative At A Time

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


A Pilgrimage to the Mother Land:

In 2014, my husband and I traveled to Italy for a second honeymoon.  We originally wanted to go the previous year, but unfortunately, we were victims of Hurricane Sandy and needed to spend time cleaning and renovating.  Fortunately, the damage wasn't too extensive, but we were emotionally and physically drained.  A relaxing vacation was just the ticket.  Neither of us had ever been out of the country before and didn't really comprehend the beauty that was going to lie ahead.

Among the wonderfully picturesque sights and the gorgeous weather, we arranged to meet some of my relatives in Caserta.  An absolutely huge reunion was awaiting us and we were extremely grateful at the warmth and hospitality from my extended family.

This is my beautiful third cousin!  We met on Facebook several years ago and realized our great-grandfathers were brothers!  We share the same 2x-great-grandparents.  She has come to be my overseas sister and I love her to pieces.  

After our stay on the mainland, my husband and I traveled down to Sicily and visited the town where my maternal line was from--Vizzini, Catania.  We knew the address of the residence owned by my family and went to see it in person...

I have never been so overwhelmed in my life!  This was a dream come true.  This was the house where my grandmother was born.  This was the house that was filled with the aromas of delicious home cooking.  My ancestors climbed these stairs daily.  The current owners of the house allowed us to peruse inside.  I couldn't stop crying.

After we returned, I decided to do more research on the town.  Unfortunately, church documents are not uploaded for Vizzini, only the civil records, but I was able to do some extensive research due to a hint I found in a death record and found a new town in my lineage!  Kindly consider the following:

The record you see above represents a Church marriage record from the town of Sortino, Siracusa, Sicily.  The document is penned in Latin, which took a little time to decipher, but eventually I was able to crack the code.  The couple celebrating their marriage is my 8x-great-grandparents, Antonio Muzzicato and Blasia de Mauro and they joined in matrimony on 4 NOV 1731.  Luckily, the marriage records for the town of Sortino reach back to the early 16th century.  The Church in question, San Giovanni Apostolo ed Evangelista (St. John the Apostle and Evangelist) was the setting for many of my ancestors' Baptisms, Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, and Deaths.  Through hours of research, my magnifying glass, and a Latin to English dictionary my results are as follows:

14x-Great-Grandfather:  Antonino Corvo
13x-Great-Grandfather:  Nicola Corvo (married 1568 in Sortino)
12x-Great-Grandfather:  Antonino Corvo (married 1596 in Sortino)
11x-Great-Grandmother:  Ciula Corvo (married 1629 in Sortino)
10x-Great-Grandfather:  Tommaso Muzzicato (married 1665 in Sortino)
9x-Great-Grandfather:  Sebastiano Muzzicato (married 1699 in Sortino)
8x-Great-Grandfather:  Antonio Muzzicato (married 1731 in Sortino)
7x-Great-Grandmother:  Leonarda Muzzicato (married 1756 in Sortino)
6x-Great-Grandmother:  Liberanta de Mauro (married 1779 in Sortino)
5x-Great-Grandmother:  Antonia Bongiovanni (married 1798 in Sortino)
4x-Great-Grandfather:  Sebastiano Pitrozzello (married 1835 in Sortino)
3x-Great-Grandmother:  Lucia Pitrozzello (married 1879 in Sortino)
2x-Great-Grandmother:  Giuseppa Costanzo (married 1889 in Palagonia)
Great-Grandfather:  Gaetano d'Angelo (married 1912 in Vizzini)
Grandmother:  Giuseppa d'Angelo (married 1936 in Manhattan)
Mother:  Anna (married 1962 in Staten Island)
Me:  Elizabeth (married 2003 in Staten Island)

This branch represents the furtherest I can dig.  It shows how the family migrated from Sortino to Vizzini over the course of 300 years.  Those are some very impressive genes.  I am looking forward to hunting down more hidden gems.  

Thank you for reading and happy hunting!


  1. That's amazing! Good digging. How special to visit the home where your grandmother was born.

    1. Thank you very much, Nicole! Yes, it was certainly special and a very "full circle" moment. I was also escorted to the town's cemetery to see where the resting place of my ancestors was. Truly amazing! Thank you for posting!

  2. You're welcome! I included this in my list of favorite reads.

    1. Oh, that is so nice of you! I appreciate the support! Thank you kindly!