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Louis Mendola is one of Sicily's foremost medievalists, and one of the very few whose work is known beyond Italian borders. His first scholarly paper (on the Battle of Benevento of 1266) was published in 1985; others consider such topics as the history of the medieval Normans in Sicily. He wrote the first book covering the entire seven-century history of the Kingdom of Sicily, and the first English translations of two chronicles of the thirteenth century. Having researched in Italy, Britain, Spain, Germany, France and the Vatican, he has been consulted by The History Channel, the BBC and The New York Times. Read by millions internationally, his online articles have made him one of the most popular Sicilian historians of the present century.
5.0 out of 5 starsis a great place to begin researching your Sicilian/Italian ancestry
5 May 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is an informative book for those interested in Sicilian history and genealogy. If you're looking for a step by step guide to beginning an on-line genealogy search then this isn't really the book for you, but if you're on your way and are looking for some background to what you're finding, then this book is very helpful and enlightening. If you are lucky enough to have ancestors from the Diocese of Monreale (provincia di Palermo) then you'll be able to get back to the mid to early 16th century, and I am one of those people. Hopefully every diocese in Italy will one day have their parish records digitized. Familysearch.org, the Mormon site, is a great place to begin researching your Sicilian/Italian ancestry. Just remember that the records you'll find are in Latin, not Italian, so if you're not familiar with the Italian form of given names you'll end up with the wrong names of your family, and there are some names which have/had forms popular in Sicilia which you don't find much in other parts of Italia...Geronimo/Geronima for example. Looking at parish censuses will give you the Italian forms of the names, so that's a great place to double check, but they are only available for select years. You can do a lot of work from your computer, so don't get frustrated.
5.0 out of 5 starsMandatory reading for all Sicilian Genealogy matters!
15 February 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Let me start off by saying this book is one of the most valuable tools for researching Sicilian genealogy. I had started my research well over three years ago, and had I had this book, it would have saved me much time!, at least two years! If you are expecting " and they lived happily ever after" or " let me look up my family name and see the history" this is not for you. The author painstakingly lists ever nuance in the field of genealogy, in particular Sicily which has its own set of rules. The books explains the history, human migration, even DNA! As an American doing research on my family tree ( first generation American ) it was very difficult to start, and by pure luck I was able to find someone who helped me along my journey. I had spend countless days asking questions, visiting town halls, getting frustrated, visiting many churches, even having my parents help with no positive results. If I had this book, I would have been able to direct my resources ( time for me ) to right people. As a resident of the United States, I do not have the luxury of time in Sicily. This book is a fantastic reference and guide, and will explain even the confusing subject of heraldry in Sicily. Also interesting is the history of the Knights in Sicily. This book is mandatory if you have family or at least part of your family who originates from Sicily; moreover, this is written by someone who LIVES in Sicily and not someone who visits for a few months and retreats back to UK.
As someone else previously mentioned this book is not a step-by-step guide to researching genealogical records. It is not an introduction for the novice. It is, however, chock full of valuable information for genealogists, both amateur and professional. It will tell you what kind of information you can expect to glean from the various types of records available, whether they be vital civil records, parish records, census records (riveli), notary records, or feudal records.
The author is a native Sicilian, one of Sicily's leading genealogists, and the islands best-selling historian. His knowledge of the subject is unparalleled and his mastery of the English language is without question. If you have a workable understanding of English you will find this work to be an entertaining, informative and enjoyable read.
This book, along with the companion "The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy" is a must-read for anyone with more than just a cursory interest in the history and genealogy of Sicily and it's peoples.