On Saturday, May 24, 1997 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, Sal Lagattuta wrote: > Hi, all: > > My name is Salvatore Lagattuta, and I am a member of a small group of > persons on the Internet, who have ancestry from, or are interested in, the > comune of Mezzojuso, in the province of Palermo in Sicily. > > Mezzojuso has a historical record as a continuously inhabited entity for > well over a millennium, and its name derives from the Saracen Arab "Manzil > Jusuf," meaning "the village of Joseph," purportedly named after its native > leader Yusuf Ibd Abd Allah, who became a reigning Emir of Sicily. After > the Normans completely conquered the Arabs of Sicily in 1090, the town was > given by the Norman king Roger II, in 1132, to the Monastery of Saint John > of the Hermits in Palermo. > > In 1490, 48 Albanian soldiers and their families (under the command of > Giorgio and Basilio Reres, sons of the governor of Calabria, Demitrios > Reres, a relative of the Albanian king Giorgio Castriota "Skanderbeg") were > granted permission by the Monastery to settle in Mezzojuso, which had > become increasingly depopulated by the late 1400's. Then, in 1527, the > Monastery handed over the village as a fief to the noble lord Giovanni > Corvino of Pisa, and thereafter Mezzojuso was held as a feudal land by > various nobles until 1832, upon the death of the last lord, Francesco Paolo > Corvino Filingeri. > > So, the rulers of Mezzojuso were: Saracen Arabs, prior to 1090; > Normans, 1090-1132; Monastery of Saint John of the Hermits, 1132-1527; > various nobles (Giovanni Corvino to Francesco Paolo Corvino Filingeri), > 1527-1832; local political leaders (prior to Italian nationhood), > 1832-1860; politically elected officials (since Italian nationhood), > 1860-present. > > Mezzojuso is one of about a dozen towns/villages in Sicily that thus has a > quite pronounced Italo-Albanian/Arberesh heritage. In the main piazza of > Mezzojuso are: on the western perimeter of the piazza, the Castello Vecchio > of the former nobles; on the northern perimeter of the piazza, the Latin > rite matriarchal church of Maria Santissima Annunziata (between the > Castello Vecchio and the Italo-Albanian/Arberesh matriarchal church), and > the Byzantine rite matriarchal church of San Nicola di Mira (of the > Italo-Albanians/Arberesh). Both matriarchal churches are of the same > Catholic faith, although of different rites. > > By long-standing Mezzojuso tradition, if the husband and the wife are of > different rites, then the wife (and any children) will take on the rite of > the husband. Some surnames in Mezzojuso, therefore, are more closely > aligned with either the Latin rite or the Byzantine rite. This is > important, genealogically, because family ancestry can be traced according > to the parish records of the two matriarchal churches, with paternal lines > nearly always following directly back in either the Latin or Byzantine > rite/matriarchal church, but the maternal lines (and maiden surnames) may > "cross over" from the opposite rite (if the wife's rite and sometimes > surname ancestry is different than that of the husband). > > I would really like to hear from anyone who has ancestry from Mezzojuso, or > is interested in similar Italo-Albanian/Arberesh concerns. > > Thank you, Sal Lagattuta at <[email protected]> Hi !! My name is Rita and my paternal grandmother and her ancestors were from Mezzojuso. Thier names were Sprofero,Carnesi, Schiro and Bonomo. I have been doing research on line for a couple of years and getting very little info. I am traveling there in May and hope I have more success. I'm not sure if they lived in Piana degli Albanesi ai 1700's-early 1800's. very disappointing to not have records.The name Schiro(my great great GM) is Alberesh .