I know it begins in Contessa Entellina, Sicily circa 1912. I
have names and dates going back farther than 1912, but as of
yet, don't have personal information on those ancestors other
than their names and birth/death dates. You may view that information
by clicking on the "Family Tree" button to the left.
Contessa Entellina was founded in 1450 on the site of an ancient
hamlet, the existence of which was recorded in the 14th C by Greek-Albanian
immigrants coming from Bisiri, near Mazara. The inhabitants have
maintained their Albanian dialect and traditional costumes.
(Be sure to read more about our Albanian heritage
by clicking here or the "Articles"
link to the left). The village's is located 78 km from Palermo,
altitude 571 M., on the N face of Monte Genuardo, in the upper basin
of the Left Belice River.
Originally the town was known as 'Contessa', possibly referring
to the feudatory Caterina Cadorna, Countess of Chiusa in the 14th
C; in 1875 the name 'Entellina' was added to recall the ancient
Elymian city of Entellina, which stood nearby until it was destroyed
by Frederick II in 1224.
Excerpted from: Sicily and Its Islands
view. Door and balcony
on the right is our Romano home
Tripolino and Romano
ancestors left all they knew in Contessa behind in hopes that
they would find a better way of life for themselves and their
families in America. They began their emigration circa 1898.
immigrant ancestor, Pietro Tripolino, left
Contessa sometime around 1890 and entered the US thru New Orleans.
I have yet to find the exact record of his passage, but am still
hopeful that I'll find that record. He was married to a Maria
(last name unknown) - possibly Restivo.
Either she died, or they separated because he shows up in Ybor
City, Tampa, FL in 1900 on a marriage record to his second
wife, Francesca Rotolo. He had one
son from his first marriage to Maria - our
for the Siciliano in New Orleans was a struggle. Most of the immigrants
found work in the fields of Louisiana. Our ancestors were made
of strong stock, however, and quickly flourished in New Orleans.
At one time, there were more Contessa natives in New Orleans than
in Contessa! The Contessa natives banded together and on September
8, 1886, formed the Soc. Italiana di Ben. Contessa Entellina (Contessa
Entellina Society). I have included more about the Contessa natives
in this website. You can read more by clicking the "Articles"
link in the navigation bar.
have included in this site, records I have found for Tripolinos
I have yet to connect to our line. I'm positive that they do connect,
since our Pietro Tripolino was in New Orleans, and these Tripolinos
I found were all living in or around the New Orleans area. Seems
that they stayed and didn't make the move to Tampa as our Pietro
did. Click here to read about these
Romano family patriarch is Filippo Romano. He was born in Contessa
Entellina, Sicily. He married Antonina Marino in Contessa. (Click
"Family Tree" link for dates). Together they had 8 children.
Giovanni was the oldest son, and the first to immigrate to the US.
He and his wife, Anna Giovingo sailed into Ellis Island on the ship
San Guglielmo on Sept. 16, 1912. On the manifest, Giovanni states
that he was coming to visit his uncle, Paolo Pirillo on 779 Main
St., Tampa. I did find Paolo's immigration record also, and he stated
he was coming to live with his brother inlaw in Driftwood, PA. Could'nt
make out the brother inlaw's name, however, it looked like Domenic
Leto. Anna stated that she was from Bisaquino.
next record I have is for Filippo and his eldest daughter, Andenzia
(my g-Nana). Filippo must have come to the US at an earlier time,
and gone back to Sicily to get Andenzia, because on his manifest
record it states that he had been to the US before; however, I can't
seem to find the record of his earlier travels. Filippo and Andenzia
came over on the ship The Canada on Dec. 28, 1912; only 3 months
after Giovanni. They stated their relative in the US as "son
Giovanni, Main St., Tampa."
to immigrate from the Romano family was Filippo's son Domenico.
Domenico arrived in 1913 on the ship Venezia from Palermo.
Filippo sent for his wife and the remaining children in Contessa.
Antonina, along with children, Salvatore, Francesco, Rosa, Carmella
and Vincenzo sailed from Palermo Feb. 14, 1914 on the ship America.
This was nearly 2 years after Filippo came over with Andenzia. Also
making the voyage on the ship with the family was Domenico's wife,
Rosaria Cuggino and her 1-yr old son Filippo.
their entry into the US through Ellis Island, our Romano family
made it's way to Tampa, FL, where they got jobs in the cigar factories
in Ybor City. Most of them lived on 12th Avenue in Ybor. Ybor is
now a historical section of Tampa, and has been extensively renovated.
The Ship "Canada"
Ship photos courtesy
The Ellis Island Records