What You Can Expect To Find On This Site
This site contains:
To move around and view the material click on any of the underlined text or use the links that you'll find at the bottom of each of screen.
I'm a first generation American born in Hartford, a Connecticut yankee (so to speak) of Sicilian parents. I say, so to speak because, to Sicilians, I'm an American, while to Americans, I'm a Sicilian-American. So I have one foot in each world. How fortunate I am that my father chose to make this his country. I've made many trips to Sicily and while it's a beautiful place, I can understand why my folks decided to come to America. For a brief glimpse at the underpinning of the political philosopy that shapes America glance at these American Documents.
My parents were from Caltagirone, a city of about 40,000 in the eastern Sicilian province of Catania. My father, Salvatore was born there and baptized in the parish of San Giorgio. The earliest Dieli record in San Giorgio is the baptismal certificate of Giacomo Paolo on February 4, 1648, so it's fair to say that Dielis have been there for a long time. My mother, Rosalia Brusca, was probably born in Messina and transferred to the orphanage in Caltagirone, along with an older brother as survivors of the terrible Messina-Reggio earthquake of 1908 in which 70 to 80,000 people died. As part of the rescue effort the orphaned children were transferred to orphanages throughout Italy.
When my parents married, they set up their first household at #4 via Goito in the town of Licodia Eubea, located about 18 kilometers east-southeast of Caltagirone, measured in a straight line. Consequently, my parents' first two children, Francesco and his younger brother, Vincenzo, were born in Licodia Eubea and we found the records of their births in the town Registry Office. There are still a significant number of Dieli families living there although the population of Licodia has declined from about 6000 to its current 2000.
The four younger children were born in Hartford after the family was reunited in this country. As a result of the immigration I grew up without knowing my grandparents. Like so many other immigrant children, my interest in genealogy was sparked by the search for my extended family. This site documents what I found and am continuing to find. In the process I'm learning about the history, language, and culture of Sicily some of which I am also sharing with you.
Our genealogy research began with a visit to the Registry Office of the town of Caltagirone where we obtained a complete listing of the family of my grandparents, Francesco di Paolo Dieli and Concetta Recca. They had eleven children, five of whom survived infancy. My father Salvatore was the oldest of the five. The archivist at the registry office told us that if we wanted earlier information we would need to consult the archives at my grandfather's parish church. We then went to the parish church of San Giorgio, located in the old part of Caltagirone abutting the northeastern wall of the old town. There the pastor, Father Vacirca, very kindly allowed us to spend many sessions searching the archives, which go back as far as 1566. As a result we were able to draw an unbroken line going back to Antonino Dieli and Felicia Strazzo who were married in 1752. Because we were unable to find a baptismal certificate for Antonino, we estimated 1730 as his year of birth. Here's a look at a diagram of my branch of the Dieli family.