Commune vs. City vs. State

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Commune vs. City vs. State

Post by alicianicole »

American here, used to the city/county/state/country and confused with what the typical organization is in Italy and feeling really stupid asking this question :shock:

I've been researching my Sicilian ancestors and they lived in the commune of Sant'Andrea. However, on some records, the residence is listed as Rometta or sometimes even Bauso. Is this just because they moved from commune (?) to commune or are they all references to the same place?

If I understand correctly, Sant'Andrea is a commune in Messina - but there is also a city named Messina?

Thanks in advance for any help with this silly question. If anyone has any links to historical information of the area or anything interesting, please pass it along as I wholeheartedly will appreciate it!
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Re: Commune vs. City vs. State

Post by bbivona »

Several things going on here. Sicily is one of Italy's 20 regions. Administratively Sicily is divided into 9 provinces. (Technically, since 2015 Catania, Messina, and Palermo are designated as metropolitan cities and are no longer actually provinces, but the geographic area in the metropolitan cities is the same as the old provinces.) Messina is a good sized city on it's own, but also an administrative district with over 100 comunes in it.

Within each province are a good number of comunes. A comune typically had a main town and then a number of smaller communities called frazioni. The comune name would have been the same as that of the main town.
Births, deaths, and marriages for persons who lived in the frazioni were recorded at the comune, the administrative center for the area. Rometta is a comune within Messina. Sant'Andrea is a frazione of Rometta. The frazione of Sant'Andrea was a fief of the counts of Bauso, who had a castle in the area, about 2 miles northeast of Sant'Andrea. I don't know if Bauso is/was ever a frazione, but there is Bauso castle in the area and Bauso may refer to that area. That said, someone that lived in/near Bauso, would likely be a resident in the frazione of Sant'Andrea and also of the comune of Rometta. The designation of Sant'Andrea, Bauso, and Rometta, could theoretically have all been accurate for the exact same place. There is little distance between them, so they could have also just moved a couple of miles away.

I don't think Sant'Andrea was ever a comune of its own. There is a comune of Mazzarà Sant'Andrea in the Province of Messina, but that's 30 or so miles to the west of the frazione of Sant'Andrea, which is in the comune of Rometta. Are you seeing comune records for Sant'Andrea or Mazzarà Sant'Andrea?
Researching Gibellina, Sicily surnames Bivona, Bonafede, Zummo, Ponzio, Bevinetto, Beninati, Fontana, Cipolla, Bruno, Manfrè, Lanfranca, and Navarra
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Re: Commune vs. City vs. State

Post by arturo.c »

Sant'Andrea (or "Borgo Sant'Andrea") is a frazione of the Comune of Rometta.

The Comune of Bauso ceased to exist on June 2nd 1929 when the Fascist regime merged it, together with Calvaruso and Saponara Villafranca, to create the Comune of Villafranca Tirrena.

In 1952 the city of Saponara was un-merged from Villafranca Tirrena and reacquired its own status as Comune.
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