There are currently 10 persons surnamed Lo Nigro inthe Argentina telephone directory (not everyone has gtelephones at residences ratio is 1:10) but immigration to Argentina of persons surnamed Lo Nigro are 28 over the 1890 to 1927 period. =Peter=
A good portion of Calabria and Sicilia were Jewish before the Inquisition. These areas were Spanish territories and the Edict of Expulsion applied to them. Jews were forced to flee or convert. Their are many descendants of those forced to convert living in Calabria and Sicilia today. It has been my experience that many refuse to admit to their heritage or it has been forgotten. Check out Rabbi Barbara Aiello's site: www.rabbibarbara.com for more information on this important history.
Surnames once contained the prefix Lo or Di, etc. in Jewish families to preserve their Jewishness in the same way they do with names such as Ben Ruben (Son of Ruben), etc. Many of these prefixes were dropped over time. Does this mean that all families with such prefixes were Jewish? Probably not. But when the surname is connected to records of the Inquisition, you have solid evidence.
The Jews in Italy are the oldest of the diaspora. Much has been done to erase the history of our people over the centuries. Fortunately, there is an awakening in some parts of Italy, Spain, Mexico, Central America and the Southwestern United States.
Before the advent of Christianity, Jews settled on the Italian peninsula. It is the oldest living Jewish community in the West. H. Stuart Hughes considers the Jews of Italy "the most ancient of minorities" in Prisoners of Hope: The Silver Age of the Italian Jews.
No I am referring to the minorities that were the original inhabitants of southern Italy prior to the founding of the Greek colonies 2,500 yearsago and that anybody else coming to Italy from abroad were named and/or no name people.
The name of Italy is an ancient name for the country and people of Central Italy and the likely origin for the name maybe from the anicent Oscan "VITALIU" (English=VEAL) as Italy was a land rich uin cattle since ancient times.
There is,however a historian named Pallotino who claims that the name was originally derived from the ITALI who settled in modern Calabria. The Greeks came to use the name for the greater region but it was not until the time of the Roman conqueststhat the terms was expanded to cover the entire peninsula. =Peter=
What I found keenly interesting is that Greek civilization in Magna Grecia began to decline after the 5th century which means that Southern Italians are only 1500 years removed from the glory of ancient Greece and the wonders of Greek democracy, art, literature, medicine, architecture, civics of all kinds etc etc etc. and that it was only up to Mussolini's era that sicilian named towns with translated greek alphabet (XIACCA=Sciacca) were italianized and that a town or two with spoken greek dialect and not Sicilian were identified
My paternal ancestors are from Kundisa/Contessa Entellina, Sicilia. It's an Albanian enclave like Piana Degli Albanese. I have read something to the effect that ancient Entella was an old Greek spot as well.
I just saw this post even though the thread is old, I thought I'd reply as my Great-grandmother's last name is Clesceri. She immigrated from Piana dei Greci. My aunt has been taking a break from the ancestry search but she got quite far.