Genealogy in Cefalù

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If you know (or you think) that your ancestors were from Cefalù, 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 Palermo province were established in early 1800: it means that you could find information in Cefalù registrar as of that date.

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

Would you like to know if any distant relatives live in Cefalù?

Check how many people with the same surname live today in Cefalù


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

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

It could be important to know if the last name you are investigating is a frequent surname in Cefalù. As more your surname is common in Cefalù, as more it could be difficult to find the right info about your ancestors in Cefalù archives if you have not exact dates.
It could be useful for you to know that some of the most common surnames in Palermo province are:
Aiello, Amato, Barone, Battaglia, Bruno, Caruso, Catalano, Costa, Cusimano, D’Amico, D’Angelo, Di Maggio, Di Salvo, Ferrante, Ferrara, Gambino, Geraci, Giordano, Greco, La Barbera, La Rosa, Lo Cascio, Lombardo, Macaluso, Mancuso, Maniscalco, Mannino, Marchese, Marino, Martorana, Mazzola, Messina, Mineo, Orlando, Palazzolo, Parisi, Pecoraro, Piazza, Randazzo, Rizzo, Romano, Russo, Sciortino, Siragusa, Taormina, Tarantino, Vassallo, Vitale.

Church archives in Palermo 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 Cefalù and Palermo province, you could plan to investigate churches’ archives by yourself (or with us!), but from abroad is very difficult to obtain any result unless you find a reliable local help.

In anycase, if you want to try to contact churches, here there is the info about parishes today in Cefalù

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.

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 Cefalù, or if you have questions regarding your family in Cefalù, 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 cefalù .
Our expert in Cefalù area will reply to you


23 Messages to “Genealogy in Cefalù”
  1. Karen says:

    My relatives are from Palermo. I am looking for information on Salvatore/Samuel Calata Bianca and his wife, Concetta. They have two daughters Rose and Pauline. Rose and Pauline were born in 1885 and 1887 and went to America around 1903-1907. Pauline’s daughter, Augostina was born in Palermo in 1904.

    I am also looking for information on the Adamese family, Julio and his son, Charles, both born in Palermo. Charles was born in 1903 and went to America in 1906. I am also looking for anyone in the Patanella family. James Patanella is my great-grandfather.

    Any help is appreciated.


  2. Maria says:

    I am trying to locate my father’s relatives and hope someone who reads this can help.

    My father was born Pasquale Marino in Cefalu, Italy along with his brother Joseph. His father I believe was also named Giuseppi Marino and was a baker in the town of Cefalu. My grandmother’s maiden name was Concetta Lusco and her mother was Maria Lusco. My grandmother had a sister Francesca Lusco Armieri who married Giuseppi Armieri from Rosolini, Italy. They left Italy for the U.S. anywhere from 1911 – 1915 and settled in the Bronx, N.Y.. There were other members of their family who also settled in the U.S. but in different states.

    I would love to find my family members if anyone is familiar with them or their existing relatives. Thank You

  3. Theresa says:

    I’m looking for some information on both the Piazza and Valenzia sides of my family from Cefalu.

    Venera Valenzia – born 2/7/1878 to parents Concetta and Diago (or Diego) Valenzia
    additional siblings – Andrew, Dora, Joseph, Rose, and Sam.
    Venera left Cefalu around 1910?

    Vincenzo Piazza born 1884 to Annunciata and Andrew (assume Andrea?) Piazza
    other siblings: John, Sam, Joseph, Catherine, Josephine, and Benedicta

    Vincenzo and Venera Piazza had Andrew (Andrea?) and Diago who both died in infancy in Cefalu, and Annunciata (born 1900-1905?) in Cefalu before they left and came to Baltimore, MD.

    I’m told that Vincenzo’s mother ended up in Beaumont Texas but Vincenzo died in 1913 and we don’t know where any of the other siblings went in the US (texas presumably) or if any stayed in Italy!

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!


    Any information would be appreciated.

    • Dennis says:

      Hi Theresa, I don’t have information “downward” from Vincenzo and Venera but do have several generations “upwards”. Vincenzo Piazza (born 16 Feb 1884, Nati record #76) had parents Andrea Piazza and Nunzia La Martina (born ~1852 and ~1862 respectively, married 2 Aug 1882) and married Venera Valenza on 26 Nov 1903; she was born 3 Feb 1877 (Nati record #46) to Diego Valenza (b 29 Mar 1846) and Concetta Esposita (known as Catanese) b 29 Nov 1845, they were married 2 Oct 1871.

      We are probably very distant cousins through Valenza’s – there were not many in Cefalù and I’m fairly sure they’re all part of one family line but still working to connect them up. As an interesting note the given name “Venera” (which was very rare in Cefalu) occurs associated with a Valenza all they way back before 1750, as daughter of a Natale Valenza 1692 referenced in the 1748 Rivelli (tax census records).

  4. Jack says:

    I am looking for a Samuel Serio that immigrated to the United States early in the 20th century. I believe he was born in 1884 in Cefalu.


  5. Mary says:

    My grandmother’s name is Carmella Lanza (Sansone) She was born to Slvatore Sansone and Josephine Sansone (Zito). Birth date for her was 12/6/1888. She died in November of 1976. My grandfather’s name was Giusepe Lanza and he was born in 1880. There were both from Cafalu Italy. Can anyone out there help me find my relatives in Cafalu Italy? Thank you!

  6. Valerie says:

    I am researching my husband’s family on his mother’s side. She is a descendant of Luigi Tumminello and Concetta Barravecchia Tumminello. One of Luigi’s children was Beatrice and she became a nun. Any information available on her would be greatly appreciated— is she buried in Cefalu? What is the name of her order of nuns? Birth date, death date. Thank you!

  7. Susan says:

    Perhaps my ancestors were cousins? My great grandfather was Giuseppe Piraino ( 1864-1929) born in Cefalu Palermo and came to Baltimore MD. Married Josephine C. Piraino in 1895 and had 5 kids: Vincent, Tony, Josephine, Sarah, Mary. Initiated in an early census that there was listed a Salvatore Piraino/ Salvatore & Sons tailors. Both lived on Calvert St. He’s buried here at Holy Redeemer Cemetery and there is an Emanuele Piraino also – born 1860 same family crest and says father was Vincenzo- Baroni di Mandralisca. Stemma Ereditario coat of arms on both stones.

  8. Matthew says:

    My name is Matteo Bowen and me I am trying to find my members of family that came from Cefalu.
    My Grandfather in Grille was born Gioachino Serio 8-11-1867, Wife Concetta Maria Geppi, Brother Carmelo Serio its names of sisters were Maria Serio and Jennie Serio.
    My grandfather in Grille entered to United States or around the 1872

    Il mio nome è Matteo Bowen ed io sto tentando di trovare i miei membri di famiglia che vennero da Cefalu.
    Mio Nonno in Grata era Gioachino Serio sopportato 8-11-1867, Moglie Concetta Maria Geppi, Fratello Carmelo Serio I suoi nomi di sorelle erano Maria Serio e Jennie Serio.
    Mio nonno in Grata entrò a Stati Uniti o circa i 1872

    • Dennis says:

      Hi Matteo, here is some information that may be helpful. I have translated all of the available Cefalu civil records referencing Serio’s (my grandfather was a Serio).

      Gioachino was actually born 11 Aug 1865 from the Cefalu civil records, it was common for US and Cefalu birth dates to differ by exactly one or two years (but same day) for a number of reasons. His parents were Rosario Serio, b 10 Feb 1834, died 23 Dec 1901, and married Giovanna (Anna) Fertitta, with a late recording on 29 Jan 1886. The marriage record includes the names and birth dates of their children (including Gioachino). The children (from this and other records) were:
      Santa Serio, b 29 Sep 1862 d 7 Jul 1864
      Gioachino Serio, b 11 Aug 1865 d 19 Dec 1940
      Maria Santa Serio, b 5 Sep 1868 d 8 May 1957 in Baltimore, married Battista Battaglia 1869-1957, with at least 8 children
      Carmelo Serio, b 20 Oct 1872 d 28 May 1873
      Carmelo Joseph Serio, b 9 Feb 1875, d 17 Apr 1954 in Baltimore, married Rosa Salvatora Carnaggio 1876-1971, with at least 8 children

      Rosario comes from a line of Serio’s that used the dual surname “Serio Papa”. His parents were Cosimo Gioachino Serio Papa, b 1789-1803 d 27 Dec 1875, married Maria Santa La Martina on 28 Sep 1822, with children including Salvatore (Rosario) 13 Aug 1828-1901, Domenica ~1833-1837 – 1869, Giovanni ~1833-1841 – 1 May 1887, Rosario Giuseppe Alfonzo 10 Feb 1834 – 23 Dec 1901, and Pasquale 23 Aug 1839 – 11 Nov 1908.

      Cosimo’s parents were Rosario Serio Papa b 1754-1757, d 17 Feb 1827, m Domenica Barranco, with children including Saverio 1782 – 12 Dec 1852, Salvatore ~1786-1786 – 19 Oct 1866, and Cosimo Gioachino as above.

      Rosario’s parents were Saverio born around 1720 and Giuseppa Papa, probably born a few years later.

      We are probably distant cousins through the Serio Papa’s; I have a *lot* of DNA matches pointing backwards through Rosario and Domenica, but haven’t been able to connect up exactly yet.



  9. Joseph says:

    We are travelling to Sicily in August and would love to find relatives/family in Cefalu ~ Benedetto Fulco was my grandfather’s name. His father’s name was Giuseppe; he left Cefalu in 1922 (he was 17 when he came to America)

    His brothers name was Antonio and his sisters names were Concetta, Michalena and Francesca

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  10. John says:

    I am researching my parental grandparents; Vincent James “Jim” Barranco (born April 23, 1877) and his wife Giuseppina Marie (Amato) Barranco (born April 3, 1885) both born in Cefalu and married there on February 5, 1907. They came to America and arrived at Ellis Island on May 6, 1907. They lived in western Pennsylvania and had 10 children, 7 daughters (Rose, Sara, Carmeline, Margaret, Josephine, Mary Jane, and Angeline) and 3 sons (Joseph, Samuel and Vincent Jr.). I am trying to obtain a copy of their birth records and marriage license. I am hoping that the information contain upon them will lead me to their parents and other ancestors. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  11. Larry says:

    We are planning a trip to cefalu italy in september2016..the main purpose of our stay there is to find family history. We know that cefalu is where my family came from…they came to Baltimore Maryland.I would love some help with the “how to”part of our search while we are there. I know we will need a translator for sure as my Italian is very minimal. Let me know if you have any advise. We will be in cefalu for 10 days. Thank you Larry giordano

  12. JOANNE says:

    I will be traveling to Sicily next year and am interested in searching and possibly visiting the towns of my parents, Mazzara del Vallo and Cefalu. Also, Polizzi. Any information to help in my search?

  13. H. Cesare says:

    We are descended from the di Cesare, di Giorgio, and D’Agostino families of Cefalu & Lascari. One family came in the 1890s and another in the early 1930s. Anyone related to those surnames?

  14. Barbara says:

    I am interested in some information about how it happens that so many families went from Cefalù to New Orleans. For example, did the ships go directly there or did they go first to New York and then did people travel to New Orleans. Is there a resource that discusses this? Also, I’d like some advice to try to learn what church they attended? We have no idea at all – just Catholic! Thanks.

    • Benita says:

      Hi, I also have grandparents from Cefalu who went from Palermo directly to New Orleans, I can’t tell if anyone responded to you. So yes, when they purchased tickets they knew which port the ship was to go to. My grandfather was Domenico Cicero, he and his older brother Salvatore had been to the US before and came through NY. Evidently they liked the weather better in the South. My family were farming/grocery merchants. They worked what they knew best. After the Civil War, not a whole lot of people would work in the heat. Sicilians were used to it. The Mississippi Delta was fertile. They wanted to own land. Also there was a Society in NO whose members were from Cefalu, and they helped get family to the states.

    • Brenda says:

      Many Italians did go to New Orleans because it was a Catholic area and a major port city-my family came there from New York–quite a few Italians settled north of New Orleans at White Castle, Brusly Landing, & Plaquemine, LA. others settled near the town of Independence, LA–these are small towns for the most part–many who did not stay in New Orleans went thee.

  15. Barbara says:

    Looking for relatives from Cefalu, my grandfather & his brother Sam came here in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. My grandmother was aslo from their her surname was Mormino. My grandfather was John Marino & my grandmaother was Mary Mormino. They were married at the church that comes up in all the Cefalu pic’s only know because my Grandma’s brother painted a pic of the church as a wedding gift.

  16. Joe says:

    I am looking to find any relatives in cefalu italy. My great grandfather and grandmother came from there to America through new Orleans in early 1900′ last according to my papa’s birth certificate was degrespino or digrispino. It is spelled despino now. Any help would be great. Thanks

    • Jasmine says:

      I am looking for specific names from Cefalu, Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

      My Grandfather is Salvatore Sam Piraino born to Giovanni (John) Piraino and Rosa Marsiglia. They had 4 other children; Rosa, Maria, Rosaria, and Concetta. The family says he is born is Sant’Ambrogio.
      Sam married Angela Cicero and they had 9 children; Rose, John, Angie, Conie, Charles, Sam, Marie, Emil, Louisa, and Margie. Angela’s parents are Pasquale Cicero and Angela Ilardo.
      This is the only information I have. Your help is greatly appreciated.

      • Dennis says:

        Jasmine, I have information for your Pasquale Cicero and Angela Ilardo, found in the Cefalu civil records.

        Pasquale was Pasquale Santo Cicero, born 1 Nov 1852. An extract of his birth record is in the Allegati supplemental files for his marriage in 1885. His parents were Stefano Cicero b~1821-1823 d 4 Sep 1894, and Angela Brocato, b ~1827-1829, d 26 Apr 1894, married 11 Jan 1852.

        Pasquale’s grandparents were Fidele Cicero and Anna Cefalu, probably born ~1795; and Pasquale Brocato b~1796-1798 d 3 Aug 1850, and Rosaria Tamburo, b~1802-1803 d 7 Feb 1886.

        Angela Brocato’s grandparents were Simone Brocato b~1758-1768 d 12 Apr 1842 and Angela Tumminello, and Nunzio Tamburo and Carmela Piazza.

        Pasquale Brocato’s grandparents were Domenico Brocato and Anna Maria Abbate, and Parquale Tumminello and Arcangela Termini.

        I have a birth date for Angela Cicero to Pasquale Cicero and Angela Ilardo of 24 Jan 1887.

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