Genealogy in Villa San Giovanni

If you know (or you think) that your ancestors were from Villa San Giovanni, you could find info about your Italian family at Registrar of Vital Statistics in the City Office or at the parishes.

Registry offices in Calabria and in Reggio Calabria province were established in early 1800: it means that you could find information in Villa San Giovanni registrar as of that date.

So, if your ancestors were in Villa San Giovanni in the nineteenth or twentieth century, then you could try to contact the City Office of Villa San Giovanni to know more.

Would you like to know if any distant relatives live in Villa San Giovanni?

Check how many people with the same surname live today in Villa San Giovanni


Before to start your genealogy research in Villa San Giovanni, we suggest you to read our tips for your search . They are useful to search in Italy and in Villa San Giovanni too.

In the next picture you can see the demographic trends in Villa San Giovanni from the Italian Unification (1861).

It could be important to know if the last name you are investigating is a frequent surname in Villa San Giovanni. As more your surname is common in Villa San Giovanni, as more it could be difficult to find the right info about your ancestors in Villa San Giovanni archives if you have not exact dates.
It could be useful for you to know that some of the most common surnames in Reggio Calabria province are:
Agostino, Albanese, Barbaro, Barreca, Battaglia, Calabrò, Carbone, Caridi, Catalano, Chirico, Commisso, Costantino, Crea, D’Agostino, Ferraro, Foti, Giordano, Iaria, Labate, Laganà, Latella, Lombardo, Longo, Macrì, Malara, Marino, Marra, Martino, Minniti, Modafferi, Morabito, Musolino, Napoli, Neri, Nucera, Panetta, Polimeni, Quattrone, Raso, Romeo, Russo, Scopelliti, Sergi, Siclari, Spanò, Surace, Tripodi, Zappia.

Church archives in Reggio Calabria province may instead contain even older information, but they are far less accessible from abroad (and almost impossible by email).
Then,parishes send information not easily.

If you have the opportunity to visit Villa San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria province, you could plan to investigate churches’ archives by yourself, but from abroad is very difficult to obtain any result unless you find a reliable local help.

Another important source of information is the “Archivio di Stato” (National archive) in Reggio Calabria.

In any case, never give up! Probably the distance from your country and Italy, some difficulties in understanding and in translation, could complicate your search but this should not discourage you.

It’s important to plan your activities to carry on with simple goals (eg. search for a single date of birth, the name of an ancestor, the date of a marriage, etc.)

If you want to discuss with other people interested in genealogy research in Villa San Giovanni, or if you have questions regarding your family in Villa San Giovanni, just leave a message below

If your research is in a dead end and you need some professional advices from skilled and reliable Italian genealogists write to .
Our expert in Villa San Giovanni area will reply to you


  1. Melinda says:


    My grandfather, Domenico Scoplitte born around 1888 in Rosali travelled in 1909 with a Franco Di Lorenzo to New York City. Grandfather eventually settled on Sullivan St., where my mother and her brother were born in 1918. When my grandfather was
    naturalized, Franco Di Lorenzo of Sullivan St. was a witness on his behalf. My grandfather had a brother in NYC, Patsy (Pasquale). As a child, my mother used to help an older relative of my grandfather who owned a small store in Greenwich Village.
    I faintly recall my mother mentioning the name Di Lorenzo as a cousin. A relative
    lived in Tuckahoe, another on Long Island, and someone worked for a fire department.

  2. Debbie says:

    I found it easy to trace my dad’s family/relatives in Roca Rainola while visiting Italy, but was unable to do so with my mother’s family in Rosali, Villa San Giovanni.

    My grandfather’s name was Frank De Lorenzo, my grandmother’s either Santa Maria or Maria Santa Calabro. Frank and Santa or Maria both emigrated to the US around 1900. Both were from Rosali, but they went separately and only met in the US.

    I was told my grandfather Frank had two sisters who remained behind in Italy, but had no children. His father was a dyer of cloth.

    My grandmother had a brother, Dominick, who emigrated to the US first. I was told that my grandmother and her mother, who’s surname was Scopelitti, emigrated to the US after the big Calabrian earthquake, which killed my great grandfather. I think she was in her teens. There was also a cousin in the US named Patsy (Pasquale?) Scopelitti.

    My great grandfather was supposed to be the town barber, who also functioned as town “doctor” (?), putting leeches on people, etc. My great grandmother was his second younger wife. My grandmother had a small piece of land people in Rosali continued to rent/farm after she emigrated. It was sold by her son Dominick De Lorenzo, who visited Rosali after WW II. The people who rented it forwarded written communications to my grandparent’s apartment at 71 Sullivan St., New York, NY.

    I should also note that my grandparents, and later, my grandmother and her daughter, Emma De Lorenzo, travelled back and forth to Italy at least a couple of times and visited relatives there.

    While briefly visiting Rosali some years ago, I saw many gravestones boasting the surnames Calabro and Scopelitti (no De Lorenzos) but was unable to determine whether anyone related to me remains there.

    Do you have any input or suggestions for me?

    Thank You.

  3. Linda T. Daigle says:

    Hello Mr. Johnson,
    I would love to meet you and your wife and I would very much like to visit my old house.
    looking forward…………….best regards, Linda [LaRussa] Daigle.

  4. Robert Johnson says:

    Hi Lindsey
    I will be glad to send you a copy of my published articles. How can I reach you?

    Robert Johnson

  5. Robert says:

    Hi Linda LaRussa;
    I am the guy who lives in the house that you grew up in. I recently had an article about this house published in a local magazine. The name of the magazine is “Back to the Bronx”.and the name of my article is “The House that I. LaRussa Built’ . It would be great if you would read the article and tell me what you think of it.
    The same goes for you, Debra.
    Stay well.
    Robert A Johnson

  6. Linda LaRussa says:

    the church is the Holy Rosary in Villa San Giovanni, and my grandfather , Joseph, was a sculptor and made the Statue of Garibaldi, which hung in the square of villa san giovanni, but was knocked down during WWII, and i don’t know where it, is now. The painting in the church hangs above the altar, and my father donated it somewhere in the 1950″s.

  7. Robert A. Johnson says:

    Hi Again, Debra La Russa Czumak. Can you tell me where I can find a picture of your grandfather, Ignacio La Russa? Thank you so much

  8. Robert A. Johnson says:

    To Debra

    Hi Debra; I hope to hear from you again. I am Robert Johnson. Maybe we could meet on Facebook or perhaps you can drop my wife, Juanita and I a note or letter. We would both like to meet you in person.

    Hope to hear from you soon

    Robert Johnson

  9. Debra says:

    Dear Robert,

    I am the granddaughter of Ignacio La Russa. My mother (Ignacio’s daughter-in-law) and I visit Regina Pacis quite regularly, in fact we were invited by the Msgr. when Regina Pacis became a Basilica. I have a video of that where they mention my grandfathers name as the artist who did the main ceiling of the Basilica. I also have the original bozzetto he created in water color before painting the ceiling masterpiece. I also have a 1927 painting of my father with his dog when he was 2 years old and lived at 3545 Edson Avenue. If you wish to know more about it please feel free to contact me. Debra

    • Christine says:

      Hello Debra (and Linda!),

      This is so strange. My husband and mother-in-law descend from Rocco Larussa, Ignacio’s brother. I received an email two days ago from a woman who lives in Villa San Giovanni, hoping to get more information about Ignacio and his father Giuseppe. She is writing a book about him and mentioned a painting he gave to her church (at least I think it was her church – her English is not perfect). I just happened to come across this website as I was double-checking the spelling of Ignacio. I’m sure she would love to reach out to you, as I’m sure you could provide her with much more information than I could. I have a few photos and his obituary (in Italian), but not the stories you must have. Would you be willing to contact her? I can send you her email address and what she sent to me. It could be a great exchange of information!


  10. Robert Johnson says:

    Linda LaRussa, my wife and I would love to meet you. Perhaps the three of us can
    meet for lunch one day soon. It would be our pleasure.

  11. Robert Johnson says:

    My name is Robert A Johnson Sr. and I am in the process of writing an article about the house that I live in. I live at 3545 Edson Avenue, Bronx, New York. Why is the house that I live in important enough to write about? Because of who built it. Who built it? Ignacio LaRussa! Who is Ignacio LaRussa? Ignacio La-Russa is the distinquished painter that painted a masterpiece on the ceiling of the Basilica of Regina Pacis! (I think Linda knows what I am talking about I think she grew up here).
    In any case I would like to see prints of some ot his paintings before and after the Basilica.
    I appreciate any assistance I can get. Thank you.

    • Debra says:

      Dear Robert:

      I am the granddaughter of Ignacio La Russa. My mother (Ignacio’s daughter-in-law) and I visit Regina Pacis quite regularly, in fact we were invited by the Msgr. when Regina Pacis became a Basilica. I have a video of that where they mention my grandfathers name as the artist who did the main ceiling of the Basilica. I also have the original bozzetto he created in water color before painting the ceiling masterpiece. I also have a 1927 painting of my father with his dog when he was 2 years old and lived at 3545 Edson Avenue. If you wish to know more about it please feel free to contact me. Debra La Russa Czumak

  12. Maria says:

    I post the photo on Italianside Facebook

  13. Robert says:

    How can I get prints of the painting(s) painted by Ignacio LaRussa for the churches in Villa San Giovanni? Thank you.

  14. Maria says:

    HI Linda, I have a old photo with painting of your father, the name of church is Duomo di Villa San Giovanni o Immacolata Church

  15. Jim says:

    I saw a painting done by your father in a seminary in New Jersey. It was a painting about 24″ x 18″ about the Boy Scout religious emblem Ad Altare Dei.
    There is a picture of a scout kneeling in front of Jesus, dressed as a priest on the altar and pointing upward towards a priest raising a chalice above him in the clouds, there are three scouts standing off to the right of him. It is a very beautiful painting. I was trying to find out more about your father to let the seminarians know more about the painting and of him.
    Thank you, Jim

  16. Robert says:

    Does anybody know the name of the church the Linda is referring to? Anyone?

  17. Linda says:

    My father was an artist, Ignacio LaRussa, born about 1887 in Villa San Giovanni, and came to New York, USA. He donated a beautiful painting which hangs in one of the churches in Villa San Giovanni, over the altar. I went to visit in the 1990’s but an’t remember the name of the church, can you help me ? Thank you, Li nda

    • Robert says:

      Linda, did you find out the name of the church that your father, Ignacio LaRussa,donated his beautiful painting?
      Thank you

      • Maria says:

        HI Linda , I have all old church photo of Villa San Giovanni , I have this church name

        Immacolata of 1927 , church Maria Santissima di Porto Salvo in Cannitello, Maria SS del Rosario, SS Cosma e Damiano, S Maria delle Grazie

        • Robert says:

          Marie, please show us the photo

          • Lindsey says:

            Robert – Linda is my great Aunt and I came across this string during a genealogy search. Do you know if I can access a digital copy of your article? Thank you – Lindsey

          • Robert Johnson says:

            Hi Lindsey

            Tell me how I can get in touch with you and I will sent you copies of my magazine articles.
            Would be glad to

            Robert Johnson

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