Sicily is a region of Italy with millions of immigrants all over the world. Unfortunately, doing Sicilian genealogy is a difficult task since missionaries of LDS church were not able to access many church records and enrich Family History Library (FHL) with the basic Sicilian church genealogy sources, as well as even today it is just a chance somebody to be allowed to access these records. For this reason, we know mostly the ancestry of 19th and early 20th century because of filmed civil registration records by FHL and the numerous immigration and US civil records.
However, enthusiastic genealogists like Doroty Hill and many other interested in Sicilian genealogy have been developing extremely rich projects online that hopefully will make more friendly the local priests and soon the Sicilian churches will be opened not only for services but also for the descendants and the professional researcher of the rich genealogy heritage of this so exciting and culturally rich region.
There are a few rules that can be followed if one starts searching for Sicilian ancestry:
1. Locate place of birth in the immigration records. Compare the different variations if any until recognize the right name.
2. Check whether records are available in Family History Library
3. Vital statistics and possible some civil registration rcords before 1860 – search/order from the local historical archives (Archivio di Stato)
4. Records from 1860 to nowadays – order/search at the Ufficio di Stato Civile
5. Parish records since 1500s have been available at local parishes although the access is difficult
6. State of the Family certificates – order from the Ufficio di Anagrafe
Some very essential websites may assist researchers of Sicilian genealogy. The selected recent finding include:
List of recognized Italians with contributions to world culture . - Italian genealogy . - The Italian side. - Sicilia (Sicily) Forum, Italian Genealogy Forums . - The Pallante Center for Italian Research (PCIR) (Debora Hill) . - Sicilian family tree . - The Sicily DNA-Genealogy Project- Background. -Vital records (Palermo) . - Parrocchia S. Maria La Cava e S. Alfio, Lentini . - Palermo Library. - Italy Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)