I only recently discovered that my grandmother's ancestry is not Greek (as originally thought) but Italian. She descends from one or more Giacomelo individuals that migrated to the Venetian held island of Zakynthos/Zante.
Since this is my first foray into Italian genealogy, I was wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction to find more about the Giacomelo family.
adelfio wrote:Welcome to IG website can you tell us a little more info such as names and dates where they settled in the USA? Start from there and work our way back I also think your surname is spelled Giacomello
Hi Marty and thank you for the welcome.
The thing is that they never migrated to the USA. She was born on the island, lived most of her life in Athens Greece and died there. So, I don't have any US records to use.
Normally, I would look up the archives on the island to establish a link (if any) but they were all destroyed in a fire caused by the "Great Earthquake of 1953". Whether they be church records or civil records, they're all gone. Even the various libraries lost most of their collections in that event.
I am not sure about the spelling as I've seen it both ways. However, I will defer to your expertise
Hello! Yes the correct spelling is in fact Giacomello, a surname found mostly in Veneto and nearby Friuli-Venezia Giulia. http://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognom ... GIACOMELLO But people who speak Venetian (a dialect that is considered a near-language) tend to skip the double consonants, so if kimon's ancestors used the Giacomelo spelling, this is one more reason to think they were in fact from Veneto... Ciao Paola
My grandmother was born in Greece, on the island of Zakynthos/Zante and the family is still extant there. According to the bibliography, the family has been on that island since the late 1400s, about the time the Republic of Venice took over.
Like all the other families there and the Ionian islands in general, the surname was hellenized. The Greek spelling is Γιακουμέλος or, transliterated into English, Giakoumelos. The surname is not found anywhere else and it means nothing in Greek (though one can really stretch it Dan Brown style and come up with something).
So, the reason why I'm looking for the Italian sources is because the Greek sources simply do not exist anymore. If I cannot find the answers going backwards (the traditional method), I hope to do so going forwards.