Help with a 1651 Sicilian Church marriage record

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Help with a 1651 Sicilian Church marriage record

Postby JamesBianco » 24 Feb 2005, 14:27

Hello all, I was wondering if any of you might have an old Italian Atlas or possibly fluent enough in Latin to understand the town listed here on this document in terms of the bride's nativity.

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The literal translation I come up with is:

Mattea Norcia of Terre Plane Grecorum, daughter of Angelo and Catherina Norcia.

This record is from Carini, Provincia Palermo, Sicily The town is foreign to me, and not in the vicinity of Palermo. And what does the Grecorum refer to? Greek? I am quite confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Bianco
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Re: Help with a 1651 Sicilian Church marriage record

Postby JamesBianco » 24 Feb 2005, 15:08

Wow...I found the answer.
"Plain of the Greeks" was a colony of Greek and Albanian refugees outside Palermo in the early 1600's.
Here is the article! I always assumed that the Mixed ancestry of the Sicilians would predate the written church record, but in this case not.
Mattea was Greek, and her parents were refugees.

Region of: Sicily

Province of: Palermo (PA)

Village of: Piana degli Albanesi (Piana dei Greci- prior to 1940)
"Hora e Arbëreshëvet" (in T'Arbëresh) "Home of the Arbëresh"
(English: "Plain of the Albanians", "Plain of the Greeks")



Location: 24 kilometers south of city of Palermo, Palermo Province, Sicily.

Physical Features: The village, 720 meters altitude, was built on the southeastern slope of Mount Pizzuta and overlooks a shallow bowl-shaped plain formed by Mounts Pizzuta (1333m), Kumeta(1233m) and several lesser peaks. A man-made lake, Lago di Piana degli Albanesi, a dam, and hydro-electric plant are all sited directly south of the village.

History: Official founding date: 30 August 1488. (May have been settled earlier: 1482-1485?) Original families, according to folk-legends, left from the area of Albania called Himarë, where they were rebels against Turkish takeover of the area. Part of this group was perhaps also from central Albania, from where they had been displaced earlier, probably some time after 1468.
About 1482-1485 a Turkish attack forced these families to Adriatic coast where they hired ships from Venice and escaped by sailing to northern Sicily. They apparently were housed in temporary camps somewhere near city of Palermo until about 1486 or 1487, when they then applied to Cardinal Giovanni Borgia, Archbishop of Monreale, for the right to make permanent settlement on his fiefs of Merku and Daidingli, known as the "Plain of the Archbishop" in the mountains above the city of Palermo. The official concession of land was granted to the settlers in 1488.
In 1534 another group of families, known as the 'Coroni', settled in the village. They were Greco-Albanians and Greeks from the Venetian fortress of Corone in the Peloponnese region of southwestern Greece.
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