Genealogy in Messina

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

Registry offices in Sicilia and in Messina province were established around 1820: it means that you could find information in Messina registrar as of that date.

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

Before to start your genealogy research in Messina, we suggest you to read our tips for your search . They are useful to search in Abruzzo and in Messina too.

Next picture shows the demographic trends in Messina from the Italian Unification (1861) an important info to understand how many people lived there in the past.

It could be important to know if the last name you are investigating is a frequent surname in Messina. As more your surname is common in Messina, as more it could be difficult to find the right info about your ancestors in Messina archives if you have not exact dates.
It could be useful for you to know that some of the most common surnames in Messina province are:
Arena, Barbera, Calabrò, Cambria, Caruso, Costa, Costantino, Crisafulli, Cucinotta, Currò, D’Amico, De Luca, Di Bella, Donato, Fazio, Ferrara, Foti, Genovese, Giordano, Giorgianni, Gitto, Giunta, Grasso, La Rosa, Lo Presti, Lombardo, Maio, Mancuso, Mangano, Marino, Mazzeo, Merlino, Messina, Morabito, Pagano, Parisi, Pino, Puglisi, Raffa, Rizzo, Romeo, Ruggeri, Russo, Santoro, Sottile, Spadaro, Torre, Trimarchi.

Church archives in Messina 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 Messina and Messina 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.
For our experience is better to start to search months before your arrival: in this way you will avoid to waste time in the offices and with italian bureaucracy and you will have more free time to visit the town and surroundings on your ancestors footsteps.

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


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.

If you want to discuss with other people interested in genealogy research in Messina, or if you have questions regarding your family in Messina, just leave a message below in the comment area

If your research is in a dead end and you need professional help from our local Italian genealogists write to messina@italianside.com our expert in Messina area will study your request and we will reply to you with a research plan and a quote.

27 Comments

  1. Joanne says:

    I an looking for birth (or baptismal) information for my Great-Grandparents, who were both born in Messina, Messina in 1859. My Great-Grandfather was Rocco Fava and lived at 11 Centonze Via from at least 1880 to 1888. He had 3 daughters by his first wife, Domenica Lanzafame, who died after their 3rd daughter was born. He married my Great-Grandmother, Gaetana Sparacio, who was being raised in a convent. They married in April 1888 and came to the USA with the 3 daughters, and Rocco’s father, Francesco, a few months later. The address and the name of Rocco’s first wife I read from the birth certificates of the 3 daughters (b. 1881, 1883, 1885). I was told that the other certificate copies that I am looking for were destroyed in the 1908 tsunami. Where else may I find this material, and how do I go about it?

  2. Anita says:

    I have a relative called George Cecil who was born in Messina in 1808. His next of kin and guardian was the Earl of Kilmorey, Francis Needham. Any info I would be extremely grateful. Thank you.

  3. Nada says:

    Im looking for my grandgrandmother name correct spelling. She was born in cairo on 23rd of May 1908 and registered on the 25th of May. Her Name is Maria (Bondi or Pondi) meer. im not really sure about the spelling. Her mom’s name was Rashel. She married an egyptian on 1935 called Abdel Ghaffar wahsh. Can You help me find any info about her ?

  4. Michaele says:

    i am searching for relatives of Mariano Maio from Messina Sicily birthday September 1 late 1800’s. He was married to Carmella Ali from Palermo Sicily.

    Please email if you have any information. Thank you

  5. Kathleen says:

    Another name we are researching is CAMMARANO from Messina.
    My great grandfather was Domenico Cammarano, a wine merchant born 1877 married Rosa Fiumara whose family owned hair dresser/ barber shop.
    My great great grandfather was Antonio Cammarano who married Maria Antonia Coppola or Coppla. Her ancestors names were Arnao and Grogiano. This goes back to 1815. Thank you for your help.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I am researching my family CORELLI from Messina. I do not know from what town. My great grandfather was Guiseppe Luigi Corelli (or possibly CORARELLI) born in 1868 who left sicily in 1884. My great grandmother was Carmella Laspina born 1874.
    My great great grandfather was Carmillo Corelli or Corarelli born in 1844. My great great grandmother was Domenica Anastasio born 1846.
    we are trying to find any relatives or possibly go farther back before the 1840’s and also find out from what town my ancestors lived.
    Thank you for any help.

  7. Mary says:

    I am looking for Cannavo’s in Messina. Specifically Carmela Cannavo born 1889; father was Carmelo Cannavo (b.1871) spouse Antonina Falcone. looking for children of Carmelo. Thanks so much.

  8. Tina says:

    Hi, I am looking for information on my Great Grandfather Salvatore Rizzo, he was born in Messina. Maybe a Birth certificate. Some way I can keep building my family tree and help find relatives.

  9. Gerry says:

    Hello i am from Athens Greece, trying to find my family routes that reach in Messina Italy. There are several official papers and the oral descriptions of my grandmother, which prove that my great great-grandfather was born and lived in Messina Italy. His name in Greek was Paschalis Amafis but i don’t know if there is any difference at the spelling of his name in Italy (e.g. Pasquale Amafi). It is supposed that he worked as a gardener there in the years between 1860 – 1890, as in 1892 (year of a notarial deed that is in my hand) resided in Greece.

    I want really to find out if there is any prove of the existing of my ancestor there and any information about the existence of any long relatives with the same name in Messina Italy or generally in Sicily in order to have some clues before planning a trip there.

    I would be really grateful if you could help me by any means and i am looking forward to your reply.

  10. Jimmy says:

    I am trying to locate the birth records for my great-grandmother, Lucia Barone. She was born 10 Sep 1911 in Messina. My grandmother says she was from Galati but I know there are two communes of Galati; one on the east coast and one in the mountains. She is the son of Germano & Adelaide (nee Capri?) Barone. Many of the records I search through do not list Galati to search.

  11. Michelle says:

    Hi,

    I’m looking for relatives from Mili San Marco, Messina. Salvatore Magali born around 1870. His son Giovanni Magali born 1892. Giovanni’s wife was Gaetana Cucinotta, born in 1900. She may have a brother named Santi. Her mother was named Antonina Cucinotta (maiden name Scoglio) born around 1861. Antonina may have a sister named Giuseppa Scoglio.

    Are there any alternate spellings of these names in Italy?

  12. Jasmine says:

    I am trying to find out any information on an Anthony Niosi and Josephine M. Munao, I am not sure if they were born in Messina or Sicily, any help you can give to this search would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

  13. Nancy says:

    My grandmother was born in Messina in 1888 0r 1899. I have her birth certificate.
    Her fathers name was Antonino Oteri. Her Mother’s name was Elvira Sturiale. I will be in Sicily next week. Can you direct me where to go to find out where they lived?

    • Ann says:

      Hi Nancy, I just came across your post. I am also looking for Sturiale from Messina. Did you have any luck when you were there?

  14. Andrew says:

    I am looking for information on my great grandfather franc’o caliri ellis island lists his last place of residency being in falcone, messina and he left for the United States in 1903 if memory serves

  15. Laura says:

    I am trying to locate the family of Joseph “Giuseppe” Niosi (1875-). According to his marriage record his parents were Francis Niosi and Josephine Casolito/Cusolito. He immigrated to Canada in 1888. The record also suggests that his brother’s was Domenico Niosi (abt. 1844 – 1893) who also immigrated to Canada.

  16. Gunnel says:

    I a friend of mine is looking for her grandparents ancesters. Their name was Pasquale and Olympia Cambria and they emigrated from Messina to the USA in 1900.
    Please mail me if anyone has any kind of information.

  17. Maria says:

    My grandfather Giovanni Giamboi and all his siblings were born in Messina. All their births are on record and site Santi Giamboi & Grazia Cambria as parents for each birth. What I am trying to find is the Birth & Death dates for Santi & Grazia along with the cemetery and grave location. Aprox. birth date for Santi is 1867 also believed born in Messina.

    • Patrick says:

      My mother’s side was from Messina. If you are looking for grave sites that far back you won’t find anything. After 70 years if there are no close relatives the body is removed to make room for more others. You will find the names mentioned in the records though.

  18. Sue says:

    I am search for my family, named Monastra. My mother was born in Torrenova, Messina, Sicily, and as far as I know only her father came with her. If you could give me a place to start, or any help I would greatly appreciate it!

  19. Nancy says:

    Hello. I have a birth certificate from my Grandmother. It says she was born in Messina, Italy. Her father was Antonino Oteri, her mother was Elvira Striale or Estriale. My grandmother’s name was Fancesca Oteri. She was born around 1898.
    Do any of these names come up in any records? I plan on going to Sicily in October. I would very much like to see where my grandmother and her family lived before coming to the United States around 1903. Can you help me?

    • Patrick says:

      My mother’s family was from Messina. As for Striale or Estriale I believe the name is Sturiale. My grandmother had a cousin with that name – fairly common in Messina

  20. DR KATHLEEN MESSINA says:

    I AM THE DAUGHTER OF ANTHONY JEROME MESSINA.
    MY GRANDPARENTS:GAETONO MESSINA (BORN 1-1-1877)
    MICHELA DIGUIGNO (BORN 11-11-1882
    CALTANISETTA SICILY
    GREAT GRANDPARENTS MAYBE
    CONCETTA LATRINA
    SALVATORE TERRITO

  21. Gayle says:

    Hi
    I am looking for information about George romeo. He was born about 1886

    I was told that he returned to Sicily but don’t know when

  22. Mitch says:

    I’m researching Philippe/Philipe/Filippo De Luca who was born on 20 January 1870 in Messina, Italy and I believe was a son of Bartolemes/Bartolemeo De Luca (who was the son of Filippo De Luca) and his wife Maria/Francesca (nee Cannata and who was the daughter of Gaetano Cannata). They had another son Gaetano.

    Dr. Philippe De Luca was an Italian physician and surgeon, who arrived in Australia with his wife and two children, in about 1908 and practiced in Australia.

    He returned to Italy to serve in the First World War where it is believed he was two years with the Royal Italian Field Ambulance in the Trentino and the Carso, and two years at the sanatorium for tuberculosis, at the Frascati, near Rome. Apparently he was twice mentioned in dispatches and was presented with a gold pen by the Duchess of Aosta (Cousin of the King of Italy), head of the Italian Red Cross.

    In 1920 he returned to Australia to continue his work as a Doctor especially in the research for a cure for tuberculosis.

    I’m interested in finding any family connections in Messina or information of his time in the Italian Army.

  23. Ugo says:

    Egregi Signori,
    Stó cercando informazioni per poder compilare la geneologia della mia famiglia, di origine siciliana. I dati che dispongo sono i seguenti:
    Nella fine del 1800 i miei nonni paterni emigrarono da Messina per Porto Said in Egitto. Si chiamavano BIAGGIO DI STEFANO E EMANUELA RUGERO. Nel 1901 nacque mio padre Umberto Di Stefano a Porto Said e si sposó nel 1932 con Maria Sorrentino. Io, Ugo Di Stefano, sono nato il 12 giugno del 1935 in Ismailia nell´ospedale della Compagnia del Canale di Suez, nella quale compagnia era impiegato mio padre, a Porto Said.
    Ringrazio di tutto cuore voi se potessi ricevere delle informazioni o orientazioni di come dovrei procedere.
    Molto grato, Ugo

  24. Marianna says:

    I am trying to put together my paternal family tree but am unable to.
    My fathers name was Rosario Lenzo, my mothers name is Carolina Di Nardo

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