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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 8 years ago

Finding out my Italian roots: Southern Italy vs Sicily?

I'm part Italian-American from my fathers side (his mother). I'm interested in learning about my roots from Italy, and I want to find out where in Italy my family is from. Its either from Sourhern Italy or Sicily (my Grandmother isnt sure exactly). The Italian surname in my family is Leonardi, so if anyone knows exactly if that name is from a specific location or the history of that name please let me know!

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    In Italy 7,305 people have the Leonardi last name.

    In this web site you can see where the 7,305 people are located:

    Your grandma is sure about Southern Italy or Sicily, so I would guess Napoli-Campania region (where 116 Leonardi live) or Catania-Sicilia region (where 723 Leonardi live).

    i hope this helps. Good luck. Ciao, :-) Nicoletta

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  • Nick,

    People are always asking where their ancestors came from, based upon physical descriptions, surnames, etc.

    That isn't much more than a vague hint.

    I have known for years that I have ancestors from Northern Italy; earlier this year I found I had ancestors from Sicily. The problem is that about 500 years ago, they went to Sicily from Albania. But, after living in Sicily for 500 years, they would need to be counted as Italians. Strange thing: most of them that removed to America, most went to Florida...

    Anyhew, the moral of that tale is: start researching, starting with your own birth certificate, then finding the birth/marriage/death certificates (as applies) of your parents, their parents, their parents, their parents, and so on. And then go for DNA testing.

    Without doing that, you are merely guessing. That is like saying that someone with the surname Fernandez is from Spain, even though that person and his ancestors for the past 400+ years are from the Philippines.

    I have ancestors who lived in France and removed to Italy. This was centuries ago. Swiss ancestors who removed to Austria/Germany, etc., etc.

    With the high percentage of Italian ancestors from Greece, Turkey, Africa, France, Spain, Germany, etc., etc., you need to do a lot of research. And, of course, of Italians who removed to other countries....

    Don't look for an easy answer. If you do, you will find an easy answer, and in all probability, the wrong one. Remember: "You can always tell when you are going the right direction: it is all uphill."

    Source(s): life; genealogical research;
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Who immigrated to America? Once you have established that you can then check the ships manifest on Ellis Island it will state which region they came from, it really isn't as difficult as people might think but you need to get births and marriage certificates to prove you are tracing only your lineage. If you check the Italian white pages, it states there are 1343 people in Sicily with your surname, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack as that region is only one of several possibilities. There are many sites in the US that help with tracing Italian ancestors, researching and collecting documented proof is the only way to find out where exactly your family came from.

    Sites that may be of interest to you - everyone favourite free site

    You can also check out facebook, they have a site for people tracing their Italian ancestors and there is probably a Leonardi group.

    There's a few Leonardi's here which is a free site

    I traced myown Italian ancestors and am now in contact with family I never knew I had.

    good luck

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    You are American with Italian ancestry and surname otigins are not the way to find where your ancestors came from....not everyone of the last name will come from the same place or be related to each other, so research using a surname in isolation you will end up with a collection of people with the same name who are not necessarily your ancestors.........................

    You start with yourself and work back one genration at at time, looking at the records you already have at home and in the homes of your living relations, these will help you not only prove each generation, but gives you full information you need as it will tell you when, where and who each ancestors is...... and will get you back 3-5 generations

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  • oh
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    For your information, Sicily is in southern Italy.

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