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 firstname.lastname@example.org our expert in Messina area will study your request and we will reply to you with a research plan and a quote.