Genealogy in Villafrati

If you search your ancestors in Villafrati, in the province of Palermo, Sicilia region, the documents about your Italian family are stored in the City Office archives and in the parishes in the town.This is where to start your family history research.

Civil Records in Villafrati

In towns and villages of Sicilia and in Palermo province registry offices were established in 1809: it means that you could find your ancestors records in Villafrati town hall archives as of that date.

(If your goal is to get your Italian Citizenship and you need official certificates from Villafrati, please follow this link)


So, if your ancestors lived in Villafrati during the past centuries, then you should start your family research from the City Office of Villafrati to know more: our local expert is ready to help you in your research!

Otherwise, if you think to contact the town hall by yourself, we suggest you to read our tips for your search. They are useful advices to search in Sicilia and of course in Villafrati too!

Next picture shows the demographic trends in Villafrati from the Italian Unification (1861).
This is a necessary info to understand how many people lived in the town in the past.


To go on quickly in your research is important to know if the last name you are investigating is a frequent surname in Villafrati. As more your surname is common, as more it could be difficult to find the right branch of your ancestors family in Villafrati archives, expecially 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 Records in Villafrati

Church archives in Palermo province may store even older information. You will find religious records of the same events (births, marriages and deaths) but, most important, you could go further back in time!
So in case you would like to go back in centuries, it’s good for you to know that the parish registers in Sicilia started during 1500!

They are far less accessible expecially from abroad and very hard to read and decipher if you are not used and skilled.
But our local genealogists, are graduated in history and archivistics so, with their expertise, they can research the church registers of Villafrati on your behalf.

In case you want to visit churches, these are the addresses of parishes active today in Villafrati:

SS. TRINITA’ – P.zza Umberto

Anyway for our experience, if you plan to come here, we always suggest to start the research months before the arrival.
In this way you will avoid to waste your holidays in the offices or in the churches dealing with italian bureaucracy .
(Remember that archives are not open to public and officers and priests are not required by law to give you access to the local archives)
With the results gathered by our genealogist before your arrival, you will have more free time to visit the town and surroundings on your ancestors footsteps.

Another important source of information are the notary documents available to expert researchers in the State Archives.
If you are in Sicilia and you are able to decipher old italian handwritten documents you can reach the archive here:
Archivio di Stato di Palermo

Address: Via Vittorio Emanuele, 31 – Palermo
Phone: +39 0912704001 .002 .003
Days and opening hours: monday – friday 08:00 – 18:00 saturday 08:00 – 13:30 weekly closing: Sunday and holidays; no reservation

If you need a professional help from our local genealogist in Villafrati area , write to or fill the form here.

Our expert will study your request and will reply to you with a plan and a quote for your family research.

If you want to read this page in other languages:



Here below you can read the messages received from other visitors in Villafrati forum:
if you only want to discuss with other people interested in genealogy in Villafrati feel free to leave a message below.

28 thoughts on “Genealogy in Villafrati”

  1. Seeking help with “Piro” family. Antonio and sister Grazia hometown Villafrati, then to Termini, before leaving on ship SS Sicilian Prince from dock in Palermo, Nov 5, 1904 and landing in New York, Nov 21. Antonio Piro birthday likely 1882 and Grazia Piro 1883. THANK YOU

  2. I am attempting to locate information of my grandmother. Her parents were Serafino Dorsa and Isabella Desimone. I have found different spellings for both last names, but the spellings above are what I have from ancestry records. I don’t have much to go by, other than a possible link to Albania, and the fact that my great grandparents moved to Tunisia, where my grandmother was born. Immigration records state that both great grandparents were Sicilian. This is a long shot if anyone has information. Grazia

    1. Hi Sharon,

      I believe I may have some information about your grandmother’s family. Did she have a brother named Joseph? Did he have a son named Steve “Willy”? If so, he lived in San Jose. I know my dad (Dorsa) called Steve, “Uncle Willy”, but I’m trying to figure out the family connection.


  3. I am looking for the surname Santamauro, Santamoro, Santomoro….and any other spelling. i have a few records that indicate Villafrati as a hometown for my branch but the family seems to be elusive. any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. I have relatives with the same Santomauro name. Please share who your relatives are and maybe we have a common link. My grandmother was a Santomauro who married a Di Grigoli.

  4. Thomas Anthony

    I am looking to find out the story of the Tavolacci famiy and if I’m related to any of them. My grandfather was born there in 1901 his name is Thomas Angelo Tavolacci. His father’s name is Anthony and his Mothers name is Philomena.He was a wet plasterer that’s how he met his wife he was doing work at an orphanage where she was a resident . Does anyone know this story

    1. Looking for help in regards to my family in VillaFrati and how we could be related.How many brothers would my great grandfather have his name Anthony his wifes name Filomena

      1. Hi Thomas. I am not related to you but was able to travel to VillaFrati in 2017 and locate my family still living there. It was a wonderful experience! If you are able to go, the best place to start would be the town hall or the cemetery. Both were very helpful. Everyone there is very nice. Not much English is spoken in VillaFrati though. Best trip I have ever taken. So special to find my family! Good luck to you!

  5. Good Morning, my husband and I will be inSicily the week of September 5-13, and I am trying to locate my Grandmother Lala’s family in Villafrati, Palermo, Italy.She was born in 1891 and her maiden name was Varisco. My great grandmother’s maiden name was Souma?? So any info you might give me would very much be appreciated. Also, my great- grandfather Joseph Lala Sr. was born in 1862 and I think he was born in Poggioreale? Sicily, Province of Trapani. I appreciate any help on this as we are so excited about our visit.

  6. I am looking for my maternal grandfather Salvatore Palazzolo (a). Census records show he was born in 1883 and immigrated to the US in 1906. Family members say he was from Villafrati. He married Numziata Mercanti in 1915 we believe in Sicily. If you have any info please send it. Thank You

    1. Ahthony, I think I have a photo of Nunziata & Salvatore Palazzola, your grandparents and their family. Nunziata “Nancy” was a younger sister of my grandmother, Carmela Mercanti Dispenza.

  7. I am looking for a person to copy some birth certificates in vicari, villafrate, roccamena and bagheria. Is there a person on company that provides this service?

  8. I am trying to find any information on my grandfather Pietro Pollaccia born around 1887 in villafrati and married Murieta Russo of same birth year or any current family still living there.They moved to the USA in early 1915-1920 they had a son victor(my father) and a daughter eleanore.
    Thank you

  9. am trying to find my ancestors in Villa Frati. My great grandmother lived there and her name was Josephine Cali. She married my great grandfather Salvatore Cali. Josephine’s last name before getting married was Josephine Masi. Thank you!

    1. Hi Deborah, I think I can help you. My grandmother was Leonarda (Laura) Masi (your great grandmother’s sister) and she married my grandfather Dominic Cerniglia. Both were from Villafati. Your Great grandmother’s parents were Anna Maria Parisi and Giuseppo Masi. They had 6 children – Josephina, Francesca, Leonarda, Vincenzia, Mary & Salvatore. they moved from Villafrati to Chicago in early 1900’s. I knew your grandmother, she came to visit us a few times with Francesca (aunt Francis) in California when my grandmother was visiting from chicago.. Their other sister Vincenzia (my aunt Jenny) also lived in CA. Their sister Mary passed away at a youn age- I believe liver cancer, and their brother Uncle Sal also died fairly young of heart attack. Anyway, I believe your great grandmother lived in Cefalu, Sicily after she was married-that was the home for the Cali family. Anyway, I just got back from Villafrati a week ago and did research at the church for roots on Parisi and Masi family. Lots of Cali, Masi and Parisi and Cerniglia records. you are welcome to email me for more info.

      1. Judy, I am Joe, we are related, might have even met on a trip in the 70’s to visit your grandfather, Uncle Dom. My mom and dad, Lil and Frank lived in San Diego before my dad died of cancer in 1995. Marietta Masi married my Grandfather, Joe. My dad grew up with Donald Cerniglia and he was in my parents wedding. There is very much more here to discuss, looks like you have done a lot of research in our family tree. My wife Mary and I are going to Sicily in October of this year and plan to visit Villafrati, so would love to talk.

  10. Giovanni Di Marco and Vita Dioguardi came to the US from Villafrati in 1906. I find it difficult to receive a response from parish. I had the letter written in local dialect sent money or donation to priest. No response. Our family settled in Hammond Louisiana. Any help from knowledgeable persons is appriciated

    1. Good evening,

      My grandfather also came from Villafrati in 1906. My family (both sets of grandparents) settled in both Hammond and Ponchatoula. My grandparents had a strawberry farm on Range Road. My parents attended Hammond High. There’s a very good chance my mother knows your family. Feel free to contact me.

      Thank you,

      1. Thomas
        I’m The Grandson of Giovanni &Vita Dioguardi DiMarco from Villafrati they lived in Hammond LOUISIANA and my father Pasquale moved to San Jose CA. Others from Villafrati with them were Lalas Cali Lacascio. Spelling can vary

      2. My great-great grandparents immigrated from Villafrati and settled in Hammond for a time as well, and also worked on a strawberry farm. Very well could be the same farm. Their names were Rosario and Frances (I believe Francesca before Americanized) Cali.

  11. Our Grandfather Salvatore Frank Reina was born in Villa Frate June 1888. Father’s name was Nicola Reina and his mother Crossifisa Mumfree. Salvatore wrote that he had 5 deceased siblings and 3 living when he immigrated to the Us aboard the Carpathia in July of 1906 at the age of 18. We seek more information regarding his father Nicola and mother Crossifisa Mumfree and what happened that 5 of his siblings died at an early age. Thank you for your time. I look forward to any information you can provide as we have no history of our ancestors in Sicily.

  12. My husband and I will be visiting Palermo in May of this year.. I would like to try to find living relatives of Francesco and Anna Maria Zito they are my grandparents and came from villafrati Palermo ..this is a once in a lifetime trip and my lifelong dream.. I would love to meet any or all of my bloodline is there anyway you can help me get in touch with them?? My grandfather was born 23 January 1877, my grandmother who’s maiden name was Malle was born 30 August 1879. As far as I have been able to find out they were both from villafrati!!! I do not have birth certificates or marriage license (yet) so this is about all the information I have at the moment I believe my great grandfather’s name was Vincenzo Zito and my great grandmothers name was Catarina I think paperwork is very difficult to read!!

    Thank you
    Theresa(Terry) Zito/Pluemer

  13. My wife and I will be visiting Villafrati in September of this year. My mother was born there on December 7, 1911. I would like to find out if she has any relatives still living there. Her maiden name was Vita DiChara, daughter of Sam or Salvatore and Rose DiChara, but I’m not sure of the spelling of her last name of DiChara. Do you have any recommendations on different aliterations of her maiden name.

  14. Hello:

    My grandfather and his siblings were from Villafrati. The family name is Ligammari. My great grandfather was Pietro and his wife was Caterina D’Amato. I have found many of their travel records to America but would like to learn more about their family history in Sicily. Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you.


    1. Yes . I know the Ligammarri family well. My grandfather and based on your information with great grandpa and greatgrandma. Same family

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