Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

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Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 14:24

I am trying to find out about the Failla family. I know of two such families, but am not sure if the two men are brothers or not.
Onofrio "Norman" Failla was born about 1854 in Castelbuono, Sicily. His wife, Esposita "Eloisa" Piraino, was born about 1863, I think in Castelbuono. She died on October 2, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. Supposedly, she was a contessa from Savoy and may have had royal connections.
Onofrio and Eloisa had four children. Giovanna "Jennie" Failla, who was born on May 9, 1891 in Castelbuono and died on January 20, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Maria Failla was born about 1895 in Castelbuono. Lucia Failla was born about 1898 in Castelbuono. Giuseppa Failla was born about 1901 in Castelbuono. Giovanna's married name was Cicero and I already know about her family, but nothing for the other children.
I already have the Ellis Island documents for the family from their emigration on September 29, 1905. According to that document, Onofrio was going to stay with his brother, Antonino Failla. This family was apparently the first, or one of the first, in Castelbuono to have electricity. They had a town and country house, with electricity in both. There is an oil painting of Onofrio, Eloisa, and Jennie wearing diamonds and emeralds. Onofrio may have died in Sicily. I can't find any records about what happened to him. Eloisa could have come back to the U.S. after he died, but I haven't seen any documents to prove that.
For the second family, Antonio Failla was born about 1872 in Castelbuono. His wife's name was Antonia. I don't have any dates for her, but would really like to find out more about her. Her maiden name may have been Abbate. Antonio emigrated to the US while he was single, apparently married Antonia, had at least one child, Louis Failla, and moved back to Castelbuono. There were two other sons named Joseph and Michele Failla. I don't have any information about them.
Louis Failla was born on July 26, 1905 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in September 1986 in Farmingdale, New York. On February 16, 1924, he emigrated to the U.S. and was a farmer. His last foreign residence was in Castelbuono and he was going to stay with his uncle, Giuseppe Abbate, in Philadelphia, which was where my idea about Antonia's maiden name comes from. I already know a bit about the descendents of Louis Failla.
I have had alot of problems finding out details about the Failla family. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:06

siskojnash wrote:I am trying to find out about the Failla family. I know of two such families, but am not sure if the two men are brothers or not.
Onofrio "Norman" Failla was born about 1854 in Castelbuono, Sicily. His wife, Esposita "Eloisa" Piraino, was born about 1863, I think in Castelbuono. She died on October 2, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. Supposedly, she was a contessa from Savoy and may have had royal connections.
Onofrio and Eloisa had four children. Giovanna "Jennie" Failla, who was born on May 9, 1891 in Castelbuono and died on January 20, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Maria Failla was born about 1895 in Castelbuono. Lucia Failla was born about 1898 in Castelbuono. Giuseppa Failla was born about 1901 in Castelbuono. Giovanna's married name was Cicero and I already know about her family, but nothing for the other children.
I already have the Ellis Island documents for the family from their emigration on September 29, 1905. According to that document, Onofrio was going to stay with his brother, Antonino Failla. This family was apparently the first, or one of the first, in Castelbuono to have electricity. They had a town and country house, with electricity in both. There is an oil painting of Onofrio, Eloisa, and Jennie wearing diamonds and emeralds. Onofrio may have died in Sicily. I can't find any records about what happened to him. Eloisa could have come back to the U.S. after he died, but I haven't seen any documents to prove that.
For the second family, Antonio Failla was born about 1872 in Castelbuono. His wife's name was Antonia. I don't have any dates for her, but would really like to find out more about her. Her maiden name may have been Abbate. Antonio emigrated to the US while he was single, apparently married Antonia, had at least one child, Louis Failla, and moved back to Castelbuono. There were two other sons named Joseph and Michele Failla. I don't have any information about them.
Louis Failla was born on July 26, 1905 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in September 1986 in Farmingdale, New York. On February 16, 1924, he emigrated to the U.S. and was a farmer. His last foreign residence was in Castelbuono and he was going to stay with his uncle, Giuseppe Abbate, in Philadelphia, which was where my idea about Antonia's maiden name comes from. I already know a bit about the descendents of Louis Failla.
I have had alot of problems finding out details about the Failla family. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.



Thanks for providing the above details to assist in the search...BUT

I am confused by some of the information above...
If Eloisa died in Brooklyn, wouldn't that be proof that she returned to US?

If Louis was born in Philadelphia, how did he emigrate to US from Castelbuono? Do you mean that he can be found on a manifest traveling to US from Castelbuono?

Have your tried searching the LDS Family History Center microfilms for Castelbuono. The FHC has films available to rent with Castelbuono civil records (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) from 1820 - 1910.
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library ... astelbuo++

To find your nearest center...
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/


T.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 16:25

I think that Onofrio and the family were in the U.S., but that Onofrio and Eloisa might have gone back to Sicily and that Onofrio might have died there.
With Louis Failla, he was born in Philadelphia and his family went back to Castelbuono when he was little. Once he was an adult, he came back to the U.S. on his own. At that time, at least, Antonio Failla was still alive since he was the closest relative listed in Louis' Ellis Island documents.
Ultimately, I guess I would like to learn any possible details about the two families. The area I seem to be having more trouble with what happened in Sicily more than the U.S. I would like to know what happened to Onofrio Failla, or Antonio Failla for that matter.
I would like to find out if the two could be brothers. I would like to learn any details at all about Antonia, Antonio's wife. I know nothing at all about her, not even her maiden name for certain. I would love it if it was possible to find any siblings or ancestors of the families. I seem to be able to find some documents in the U.S., but nothing for Sicily. If there was any way to find out, I would really like to find out if the families have some sort of royal or noble connections.
I found out that some Faillas helped some Sicilian kings in some way. I wonder if these people could be descendents. So I guess the short answer is that I would like to learn any new details at all about the families.
I've been told that Antonio Failla's family knew people named Cusimano in Italy, but I only have two names to go with: Vincent and Rose Cusimano. They were first cousins. I came across a site listing some Sicilian noble families and Cusimano was listed there. I suppose what I really need is extensive records of Castelbuono.
I would think if Onofrio Failla's family was so prominent in Castelbuono, that someone would have taken note of that. With the Faillas who served Sicilian kings, they were supposed to have come to Castelbuono with a Baron Ventimiglia. That family had originally been called Faia and come from France at some point in the past.
Since Onofrio's family was among the first to have electricity, it makes me think there might be a connection with that story. I don't know how to find out, though.
The only problem with using the FHC is that I don't have the transportation to it. My fiancee and I use one car, and she works all week. So that makes it difficult to be able to spend time at the FHC, especially since I have to work around the schedules of my FHC.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:35

Have your tried searching the LDS Family History Center microfilms for Castelbuono. The FHC has films available to rent with Castelbuono civil records (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) from 1820 - 1910.
www.familysearch.org/e...astelbuo++

To find your nearest center...
www.familysearch.org/eng/


Searching the above records can help you identify relationships between people if you are searching for parents and siblings.

The records often have "addresses" listed in the births and deaths. That may help to identify if your ancestors resided on a nobleman's estate (which would seem likely if they indeed were among the first to get electricity).

The records are in Italian, but you will easily be able to recognize surnames, and you should be able to save the documents you find on a portable hard-drive or thumb-drive to you can look with more detail later.

T.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:39

The only problem with using the FHC is that I don't have the transportation to it. My fiancee and I use one car, and she works all week. So that makes it difficult to be able to spend time at the FHC, especially since I have to work around the schedules of my FHC.


Unfortunately not all records are available online. The FHC is a great option.

Or you may wish to write to the comune and request records. Limit your request to ONE or TWO records at a time...
Write your request in Italian. (I've provided help links below)

Address:
Ufficio dello Stato Civile
Via Sant'Anna, 25
90013 Castelbuono (PA)
ITALY


Help with letters in Italian...
http://www.circolocalabrese.org/resourc ... civile.asp
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... talrecords

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:48

There are 24 persons listed in the Italian Phone Book in Castelbuono.
http://www.paginebianche.it/execute.cgi ... btt=1&om=0

Maybe you would like to write to one or more and inquire about the family name? your possible connection as a relative? :D

Letters in Italian to potential relatives>
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... #relatives
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... etter.html

T.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 16:49

The only problem with the FHC is that I don't have transportation there. There's one 30 minutes away, but I'm not able to go there during their hours since my fiancee usually has the car for work. That's why I was hoping there might be some other way of getting information about the families.
When you write to the communes, do you need to send money? And can they find documents if I don't even know exactly what I'm looking for, or have exact info about the people?

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 16:53

I can try writing to people. Of course, even with family here, most don't know very much about the family. I've been the one learning things, alot of the time.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Romano1970 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:54

Hi, It ha been my experience when writing to the comunes for assistance with documents that with your first letter you should simply ask what the cost is going to be for the documents that they provide you (if they are able to locate them) . if they send you the documents, without a notification of payment, I would then send the roughly twwenty five Euros (Around $35.00 American)

Here is a link for letter writing to your comune. If you do not already have it :wink:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... ello2.html
Michael Romano

Chi va piano va sano e va lontano

Those who go slowly, go safely and go far

Looking for family history in Piazza Armerina, Aidone, and Musomelli Sicily.
Names researching: Romano, Nigrelli, Ristagno, Piazza Maida Triolo.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 16:57

siskojnash wrote:The only problem with the FHC is that I don't have transportation there. There's one 30 minutes away, but I'm not able to go there during their hours since my fiancee usually has the car for work. That's why I was hoping there might be some other way of getting information about the families.
When you write to the communes, do you need to send money? And can they find documents if I don't even know exactly what I'm looking for, or have exact info about the people?


You do not need to send money. These records are often free. However, sometimes a comune (town) will request a payment, but don't send any money unless requested to do so.

They are pretty good at finding documents if you provide at least an approximation of dates (birth, marriage, death)

If someone was born and married and died in the comune, a birth record will often have notations of the marriage and death. Also on the birth record will be the names of parents (and usually their fathers' names) which gives you an additional generation :-)

Start with the person you know more about and hope that the information found in that record will provide the clues/details you need to request additional records. :-) You know the approx . dates of birth of Onofrio and of Esposita, and their surnames, so I would start with them...

Good luck.

T.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 17:37

Thank you. I don't suppose there are any websites that would talk about the Failla family history, or maybe have lists of descendents, since they were serving Sicilian kings. Are there sites around about that? Or ones that talk about noble Sicilian families?

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 30 Mar 2011, 20:28

Website showing the Kings of Sicily until 1816 when the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples merged to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monarchs_of_Sicily

Info on the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of ... o_Sicilies

List of the monarchs of Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mo ... o_Sicilies

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 30 Mar 2011, 22:29

Thank you very much for these links. Whether or not it has much to do with the families I've been researching, it makes for very fascinating reading. At least, I can learn a bit about what was going on at different times. Now, I just need to find out which king or kings the Faillas were involved with, and what they did. I wonder if there's a mention of a Baron Ventimiglia somewhere. The Faillas were supposed to have emigrated with him to Castelbuono. I wonder if they were called Failla or Faia at that time.

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby Tessa78 » 31 Mar 2011, 14:32

From Wikipedia about Castelbuono

Construction of the Castle began in 1316, by order of Count Francesco I of Ventimiglia, over the ruins of the ancient Byzantine town of Ypsigro, high on the San Pietro hill. Hence its original name, Castello del buon aere ("Castle of good air"), from which the name Castelbuono is derived - literally meaning "good castle".

Numerous drastic alterations were made in the 17th century for reasons of accommodation, when a number of Ventimiglia families moved here from Palermo -

House of Ventimiglia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Ventimiglia

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Re: Searching for Information on Onofrio Failla

Postby siskojnash » 25 Apr 2011, 00:19

I wonder whether or not the emigration of a Baron Ventimiglia with the Faia or Failla family would have happened around the 1300s then. A user on the Ancestry website said in the forums there that the Failla family, originally called Faia, came from France with a Baron Ventimiglia.
I wish that user would have given more details. Those Faillas were connected or served some Sicilian kings in some way. I looked at a listing for Sicilian royalty and didn't see any Faillas as spouses. Or any other names I currently have in the tree. I also didn't see the name Failla listed on a site that showed Sicilian noble families. But I did come across the name Cusimano and DiGirolamo there, which are both names in my tree.
The Cusimanos I'm familiar with were supposed to have known the Failla family in Castelbuono. Louis Failla, who I mentioned in an earlier posting, ended up living with the Cusimano family and marrying the youngest daughter later.
The DiGirolamo family is a more distant relation in the tree. What exactly makes a family noble to begin with? Does it really mean much in this day and age? Shouldn't there be more records available somehow for noble families?


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