Jewish Genealogy in Sicily

Sicilia (Sicily) Maghen David of Sicily

 

The origin of the Jewish life in Sicily

The expulsion of 1492

About the Sicilian Jews gone away

Surnames of the Jews of Sicily

Resources for Genealogy in Sicily

Bibliography



 
Jewish settlements existed in Sicily since the early Roman times.
After the sack of Jerusalem in 63 the Romans brought about thirty thousand Jewish slaves from Palestine in the island.
During the Middle Ages there were Jewish quarters, or so-called "Giudecche" in about fifty towns of Sicily.
When the Jewish communities of southern Italy suffered persecutions at the close of the thirteenth century, those of Sicily, at that time under a different rule, were unaffected.
The Normans were tolerant with of the Jewish population and in this period Jewish welfare incresed and the culture flourished in many fields (medicine, philosophy, litterature, etc.). The nearness to Africa and the Moslem world gave to the Sicilian Jewry the characteristics of a Moresque community."When the Jewish communities of southern Italy suffered persecutions at the close of the thirteenth century, those of Sicily, at that time under a different rule, were unaffected.
Hence "Sicilian Jewish history had in certain respects closer affinities with Spain than Italy" (C. Roth).


In  1492 the king Ferdinand The Catholic proclaimed the Edict of expulsion.
At those times Palermo, Messina and several other cities had a considerable Jewish population.
At their height, Jewish Sicilians probably constituted around one tenth of the island's population.
After the edict of expulsion the Jews had to choose between to leave the island or to convert. The Jews left or converted.
The date of the expulsion was extended from the 18th of September 1492 to 12th of January 1493 in order increae the looting.
In the fist decades of 1500 acts of baptism and marriage in Sicilian churches list families bearing Jewish surnames and baptismal names such as Isacco, Beniamino, Abramo, and Davide, formerly rare among Sicilian Christians.
The infamous Spanish edict of expulsion brought to an end the Jewish influence in Sicily.
But the conversos kept secret Jewish customs. In 1516 a revolt took place in Palermo as reaction to Catholic zeal.
The Inquisition begun a fight the neophiti (the newly converted) with trials and stakes . This persecution went on for decades
Although the Inquisition succeeded in erasing almost all evidence of the existence of Sicilian Jews, it remains material for the careful researcher on genealogy: lists of baptisms, trials of the Inquisition, etc.
Moreover before their forced departures, Jews often sold or closed out their goods. As a result some notarial (notary) archives store the notary's deeds of these Jewish fugitives, with some of the most detailed found.
Aron_Agira.gif (59483 byte)
A Sicilian Aron Ha-Kodesh of 15th century

Places in Sicily were Jews are attested in the 15th century
Aci, Aderno, Agrigento, Alcamo, Assaro, Bisacquino, Bivona, Bronte, Caccamo, Calatabiano, Calatafimi, Caltabellotta, Caltagirone, Caltanisstta, Caltavutoro, Cammarata, Capizzi, Carini, Castania, Castelbuono, Castiglione, Castronovo , Catania, Chiaramonte, Chiusa, Ciminna, Collesano, Corleone, Ferla, Fiumedinisi, Francavilla, Geraci, Giuliana, Lentini, Licata, Licodia, Marsala, Mazara, Mazzarino, Messina, Milazzo, Militello, Mineo, Modica, Monreale, Monte San Giuliano, Naro, Novara, Palagonia, Palazzolo, Palazzolo Acreide, Palermo, Paterno, Patti, Petralia, Piazza, Polizzi, Ragusa, Randazzo, Regalbuto, Rometta, Salemi, San Filippo de Argiro, San Marco, Santa Lucia, Savoca, Sciacca, Scicli, Siracusa, Spaccaforno, Sutera, Taormina, Termini, Terranova, Trapani, Vicari, Vizzini,

The two destinies for the Jews of Sicily (to go away or to convert) left traces in the archives.

About the Sicilian Jews gone away

 

After the edict of expulsion part of the Jewish population left the island.

The arrival of the fugitive Jews from Sicily left traces in the places of arrival

These newcomers built new synagogues, created their own "chevrot" (brotherhoods).

In the places of arrival there were disputes regarding ritual matter or there were religious polemics.

Mediterraneo.gif (6678 byte)
Places where is attested the arrival and the living of the Sicilian Jews after the expulsion



Surnames of the former Jews of Sicily:
After the edict of expulsion part of the Jewish population converted. These are some surnames adopted by Jews after the conversion.
Abene, Accardo, Accolla, Actuni, Actuni, Acugna, Adario, Aiello, Ajello, Alagona, Alaimo, Alaymo, Albertino, Alessandro, Alessi, Alessio, Aloysi, Amato, Ambrosio, Amore, Andrea, Andriano, Anello, Angrida, Angrida, Anigito, Anquida, Antilla, Arberiz, Arena, Ariola, Ariza, Attuni, Attuni, Atuni, Aurifici, Ausello, Ayello, Balam, Balbenta, Balbentano, Balbo, Ballester, Balsamo, Balventano,
Balvo, Bandira, Barbara, Barbarino, Barbaruso, Barbato, Barbeno, Barbera, Barberi, Barberino, Barbusa, Bardaro, Barisano, Baro, Barone, Barresi, Bastone, Bayna, Bella, Bellavia, Bellissima, Bellocchi, Bellomo, Benjamin, Bentevegna, Bernardo, Bernentano, Biancolilla, Billardita, Bivilacqua, Blancolilla, Blunda, Bochino, Bon, Bonafide, Bonanno, Bonavoglia, Bondelmonte, Bonfiglio, Bongiorno, Bonifazio, Bonina, Bonjorno, Bono, Bonsenor, Bonsignore, Bordonaro, Borrusio, Boxino, Brašavento, Brancato, Branchiforte, Branciforte, Brazavento, Briatico, Brigandi, Briyogna, Bruno, Bucchere, Buchere, Bucheri, Bufalo,
Calandrino, Calanterra,Calcasia, Calcaterra, Calderaro, Calý, Calvi, Calvino, Cameriere, Cammarera, Cammareri, Campagna, Campano, Campanya, Campisi, Campulo, Canador, Candela, candelaio, Candila, Candilaro, Canizzaro, Cannata, Capello, Carbi, Carbon, Cardamoni, Carini, Caro, Caruso, Casachio, Casacho, Casciara, Casciaro, Caserma, Castaeli, Castaneda, Castillo Bono, Caxaro, Certa, Chagegi, Chancho, Chaniteri, Charissimo, Chiarol, Chicala, Chillarano, Chinello, Chinirella, Chirmino, Chirri, Chirullo, Ciccardo, Cimatore, Cocubella, Coggi, Cohino, Coino, Coloca, Compagna, Conciatore, Conso, Contaturi, Conuxenti, Conzatore, Corbiseri, Costa, Costantino, Coyno, Crapi, Cresi, Criscimanno, Crisi, Crispo, Cubaytaro, Cuchino, Culcara, Cundari, Curjali, Cusimano, Cutilli, Cutraro, Cuxino, Cuyno,
Damiano, Dangelo, Daniel, Danieli, Dardo, De Abene, De Accardo, De Accolla, De Acugna, De Adario, De Alagona, De Albertino, De Alessandro, De Alessi, De Alessio, De Alotta, De Alotta, De Aloysi, De Amato, De Ambrosio, De Amico, De Amico, De Amore, De Andrea, De Andriano, De Anello, De Angelo, De Anigito, De Anquida, De Antilla, De Antonino, De Antonino, De Aquino, De Aquino, De Arberiz, De Arena, De Ariola, De Ariza, De Atilia, De Atuni, De Ayello, De Balsamo, De Balsamo, De Barberio, De Barberio, De Baro, De Baso, De Bella, De Bella, De Bellissima, De Bellissima, De Bellocchi, De Bellochi, De Bernardo, De Bernardo, De Blunda, De Blunda, De Bona, De Bonanno, De Bonanno, De Bono, De Bonomo, De Bonomo, De Borrusio, De Borrusio, De Brancato, De Brancato, De Briatico, De Briatico, De Bucheri, De Camastra, De Cardonas, De Carlo, De Caruso, De Certa, De Cervellon, De Cesare, De Cola, De Colacerdo, De Composta, De Cona, De Costa, De Costancio, De Costanzo, De Cotrona, De Diana, De Donato, De Fassati, De Favata, De Ferlito, De Ferrante, De Fide, De Figlia, De Flore, De Fluri, De Francardo, De Furnari, De Garcia, De Gennaro, De Giansardo, De Grande, De Grimaldo, De Gualterio, De Gurreri, De Gurrerio, De Hector, De Heredo, De Iona, De Iurato, De Jaffe, De Jenaro, De Jeronimo, De Jesu, De Jop, De Jordano, De Judeo, De Lauria, De Lazaro, De Leofante, De Levi, De Li Causi, De Lione, De Lione, De Liotta, De Lippo, De Macri, De Mancuso, De Mandato, De Manuel, De Marchisi, De Maria, De Marino, De Marquesi, De Mayo, De Maystro, De Mela, De Melito, De Melzo, De Merion, De Michele, De Migna, De Millisio, De Minardo, De Minutili, De Moncada, De Mufari, De Nardo, De Nava, De Nechito, De Nichito, De Nicolao, De Nonis, De Nuchio, De Oliva, De Oliveri, De Oviedo, De Pagano, De Palma, De Paolino, De Paolo, De Parisi, De Patela, De Peri, De Perino, De Perna, De Perollo, De Perrino, De Pimentorio, De Porreta, De Rafaeli, De Rainaldo, De Rainerio, De Recupero, De Requesens, De Rizo, De Rizzuto, De Rodiglia, De Rogeri, De Rosso, De Russo, De Sagona, De San Martino, De San Michele, De Sancto, De Sangiorgi, De Sansoni, De Santa Fe, De Santa Luchia, De Santapao, De Santelmo, De Santo Padre, De Scalona, De Scavello, De Sena, De Simone, De Soldano, De Speciis, De Spines, De Stabile, De Tirpiano, De Turris, De Villesima, De Vita, De Vitali, De Zacaria, De Zacco, del Pesce, Demma, Despecie, Dexne, di Alvaro, di Anigito, di Bruno, di Cappitello, di Chirico, di Corno, di Fontana, di Franco, di Gavarecto, di Gerardo, di Giorlando, di Greco, di Jeso, di La Turri, di Leo, di Martino, di Milicia, di Monpilleri, di Muchera, di Paulino, di Peralta, di Ricardo, di Romano, di Russo, di Vento, di Vignuzo, di Xurtino, Embarbara, Estabele, Estaiti, Estanataro, Estayte, Estayti,
Falcon, Falcone, Fardella, Farna, Faso, Fava, Felipponi, Ferlisi, Ferlito, Ferrante, Ferranti, FerrantÝ, Ferrario, Ferro, Filippazzo, Filippuni, Finocchi, Firruni, Fois, Formica, Fornaia, Fornazzo, Fragano, Franamonaco, Frantiza, Fratello, Fundacaro, Furnari, Fusaro,
Gagliardo, Galefi, Galeon, Galiano, Galifi, Galifo, Galisi, Galiuni, Gallardo, Gallo, Galluxo, Galluzzo, Galofaro, Gambadauro, Gandarano, Garcia, Gargana, Garrafa, Garraffo, Garsia, Garzýa, Gato, Gatta, Gatto, Gavarreta, Gentil, Gentili, Geremia, Giannotta, Giganti, Gipponaro, Grabynia, Granatino, Grasso, Greco, Grimaldi, Grimaldo, Guaglardo, Guagles, Guagliazzo, Guallardo, Guillermoso,
Imbarbara, Imbo, Impignolo, In Parrino, Inserra, Iob, Iop, Iurato, Jaffe, Joffe, Jofre, Jucondo, Juda, Karissimo, La Biscania De Toledo,
La Bonanno, La Bufala, La Buffa, la Cachara, La Carruba, La Castellana, La Castillana, La Chiana, La Chinia, la Cofinata, La Costa, la Delia, La Fenza, La Gaipa, La Gallola, La Gambina, La Giyusa, La Juppa, La Liota, Maccayuna, La Madiana, la Madiuna, la Manczuna, La Matina, La Mendola, La Muta, La Muta, la Oliva, La Padula, La Parrina, la Requesenza, la Restiva, La Rosa, La Russa, La Sala, La Scaletta, La Sena, La Valle, La Villa, La Yupa, Lagunari, Landolina, Lanza, Lanzafame, Lanzarota, Lanzarotta, Lanzarotto, L'Arricchito, Laudato, Lauria, Laurichito, Laurifichi, Laurifici, Leone, Li Castelli, Li Chiavi, Li Duchi, Li Pira, Li Puzzi, Libertino, Lione, Lixandro, Lixandro, Lo Bianco, Lo Biundo, Lo Buccheri, Lo Campo, Lo Castello, Lo Cheraulo, Lo Conte, Lo Conzo, lo Ferraro, Lo Gallolo, Lo Guzardo, Lo Lippo, Lo Marcho, Lo Mosuto, Lo Nanfrio, Lo Nobile, Lo Palazzo, Lo Porto, Lo Preste, Lo Presti, Lo Puzo, Lo Russo, Lo Surdo, L'Orefice, Lu Battiatu, Lu Janco, Lu Monaco, Lu Perno, Lu Pichulo, Luchiani, Luchiano,
Maccagnuna, Madioni, Madiuni, Magistro, Maimone, Maiolina, Maiolino, Malaherba, Malandrino, Malaventano, Malerba, Maltisi, Malventano, Mamiuni, Mammana, Manegla, Manescalco, Mangananti, Manganaro, Mangiavillano, Manilla, Mansone, Manuel, Manuele, Manuele, Manuello, Manzone, Marchesano, Marinara, Marinaro, Marsello, Maymuni, Mayo, Mazone di Aragona, Mazulo, Mazza, Mazzullo, Melito, Mercheri, Merciero, Mezaparti, Midari, Modioni, Modioni, Monello, Monj, Montalbano, Montaperto, Montemagno, Monterusso, Montinero, Montiviridi, Morello, Morso, Mozzicato, Mucicato, Mufori, MulŔ, Muleto, Mulino, Murales, Murella, Mustaza, Musulione, Musuliuni, Muzarolo,
Napulino, Naso, Nasone, Naynere, Nichifora, Nigrelli, Nuchifora, Occhipinti, Oliveri, Ottone, Ottone, Ottuni, Ottuni,
Pagunj, Palagio, Palazo, Palmerino, Palumba, Palumbo, Pancarj, Papaloro, Paparone, Parquitano, Paschali, Pastorella, Patela, Patella, Patella, Pecoraro, Pegna, Pellegrino, Pelliceri, Pelobianco, Perella, Perna, Pernichi, Perrone, Petrosino, Pettula, Pezzimenti, Pidalu, Pidolo, Pimentel, Pizzimenti, Pizzolu, Pontela, Ponti, Porco, Porreta, Preste, Provenzano,
Rabbi, Rabbiba, Raffa, Rali, Rangulosa, Raynaldo, Recaro, Remissana, Restivo, Ricotta, Riczo, Rigio, Rizo, Rizone, Rizzo, Rocaforte, Romano, Rosela, Rosello, Rossello, Rosso, Rotolo, Rubino, Russo,
Saba, Sabeti, Sabia, Salamon, Salichito, Salicoti, Salinaro, Salvo, Sama, Sami, Samma, Sanso, Sansone, Sansoni, Santa Croce, Santa Lucia, SantafŔ, Santafide, Santangelo, Santanisi, Santantoni, Santiglia, Santilla, Santoro, Sanzapace, Sapia, Sarto, Sartori, Satariano, Savarino, Scamiglia, Scandiano, Scanomontano, Scantiglia, Sciandiano, Sciarrat, Scono, Sellaro, Senia, Senia, Sgrima, Silvestro, Sinacolfi, Sinorello, Sirina, Solana, Soldano, Sonzeri, Sorino, Sosini, Spataro, Speciale, Stagnataro, Stagno, Staiti, Statella, Svaglia,
Tavaglia, Terra, Timpa, Torregrossa, Torturici, Tramontana, Traper, Trubitteri, Truppiano, Turpiano, Turriforti, Turturici,
Valentino, Valisti, Vanarco, Varisano, Ventimilla, Ventuni, Venturino, Vergogna, Vriatico, Vriatico, Xandiano, Xarat, Xernera, Xortino, Yelpo, Yona,
Zabateri, Zacarias, Zacco, Zaffarana, Zafuta, Zafuto, Zafuto, Zapateri, Zarzana, Zavatteri, Zebedeo, Zingarella,


Resources for Genealogy:
Names and places are good starting points to begin your genealogical research.
This database lists the resources sorted by place and period.
Consult the Database of the Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Sicily.



Bibliography:
- Vito La Mantia in Origini e vicende dell'Inquisizione in Sicilia, Palermo, Sellerio editore, 1977.
- Carlo Alberto Garufi, Fatti e personaggi dell'Inquisizione in Sicilia, Palermo, Sellerio editore, 1978.
- C. Di Giovanni, L'ebraismo in Sicilia, Palermo 1748, Sala Bolognese 1976.
- N. Buccaria, Sicilia Judaica. Guida alle antichitÓ giudaiche in Sicilia, Palermo 1996.
- Giovanni Modica Scala, Le comunitÓ ebraiche nella contea di Modica, SETIM, 1978
- F. Renda, La fine  del  Giudaismo Siciliano, Sellerio, Palermo 1993.
- Gaudioso Matteo, La comunitÓ ebraica di Catania nei secoli XIV e XV, Catania, Nicol˛ Giannota, 1974.
- Giovanni Di Giovanni, L'ebraismo della Sicilia ricercato ed esposto, in Palermo, nella Gramignani, MDCCIXVIII.
- Ashtor Eliahl', La fin du juda´sme sicilien, in "Revue des Útudes juives", CXLII, juillet-dÚcembre 1983, nn. 3-4.
- Angela Scandaliato, La Sinagoga e il bagno rituale degli ebrei di Siracusa, Giuntina Firenze 2002.
- Lea Henry Charles, Storia dell'Inquisizione. Origine e organizzazÝone, Milano, Feltrinelli-Bocca, 1974.
- Matteo Gaudioso, La comunitÓ ebraica di Catania nei secoli XIVe XV, Nicol˛ Giannota, Catania 1974
- M. Ben-Sasson, The Jews of Sicily (825-1068). Documents and Sources, Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi Institutre, 1991.
- Viviana MulŔ, La comunitÓ ebraica di Siracusa nel '400: aspetti di vita economica e sociale in "La Rassegna mensile di Israele", vol. LXIX, n. 3 (settembre-dicembre 2003), pp. 59-86.