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Nazi WW II Defense Pillbox at Mazara del Vallo

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Spring 2020

2020 Fall Trip Plans Starting !!


I'm looking forward to returning to work in Italy in October 2020 (see www.gentracer.com/nextrip.html).


Short, but sweet Spring 2020 trip!


The monthly presenations at the Cultural Event Center in Salt Lake City start in January and continue throughout the year. See schedule for details.

In February, I did research at the former Jewish Concentration Camps in Campagna (Salerno province) and Ferramonti (Cosenza province). I will be working that information into my presentations, as well as working on articles and perhaps a book on the Jewish Concentration Camps of Italy During WW II. Most folks simply don't know and most of the available information is in Italian.

Spent a few days in Acri and San Marco Argentano seeking very old church records. Finally found them in a Diocese Archive only open one day a week. Further work there will involve some scheduling skills. Then down to Mazara del Vallo in Sicily for more very old church records. Those still haven't been moved from the Cathedral to the Diocese Archive, making access a problem until that move is made, so I made up the difference in the notarial records kept at the provincial archives (Archivio di Stato) in Trapani. A challenging trip, but still wonderful to spend time in Italy. More details at (see www.gentracer.com/lastrip.html)

In October, I'm planning to research in the Vatican Secret Archives, more Jewish WWII Concentration Camps. Then to work in the church and provincial and town records at a few towns and cities yet to be determined. Also planning to visit the archaelogical dig at the 200 C.E. synagogue in Bova Marina (Reggio Calabria province). Then down to Sicily for work before flying back to London in time for RootsTech London where I hope to speak.

I'm looking forward to meeting with both American and European friends (old and new), as well as returning to favorite places and visiting towns I haven't seen before!

On July 9, I'll be in Dubois, Wyoming at their Museum for a book signing for my latest book (American Prisoner of War Camps in Montana and Wyoming). It's a charming town with an excellent local museum.

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies meets in San Diego on August 9-14, where I've been invited to speak on "20 Century Jewish Military Burials Across Europe and the US" and on "The Italian Concentration Camps of World War II". Videos of previous presentations are located at www.gentracer.com/videos.html.

From Adrian Burke, "I wanted to let you know that my Sicilian article incorporating a good portion of your research will be published this spring in The Genealogist in three parts spread out over the next year and a half. See their website here: https://fasg.org/the-genealogist/". Many congratulations to him for achieving this level of scholarship. That journal is the most exacting in the genealogical community.

Here is a Book Review of Memorie di personaggi e famiglie storiche di Burgio by Raimondo Lentini and Antonino Sala by Adrian Benjamin Burke.

Memorie di personaggi e famiglie storiche di Burgio by Raimondo Lentini and Antonino Sala (Bisacquino, Palermo, Italy: Fondazione Thule Cultura, Jan., 2018), softcover, 241 pp., table of contents, but no index, photos and armorial illustrations. Written in Italian. $40.00 + shipping. Order from Antonino Sala at . See also . The authors blog at and , respectively. The village of Burgio is located on the southwestern coast of Sicily in the Province of Agrigento. With origins dating back to ancient Rome, Burgio has been home to many skilled artists and artisans. The village is also the ancestral home of many Italian-Americans descended from immigrants who came to this country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is for this reason that Italian-Americans interested in genealogy and family history will find Lentini and Sala’s new book Memoirs of historical figures and families of Burgio a vital resource for contemporary evidence of prominent builders, clerics, painters, sculptors, writers, and noblemen, some of whom—thanks to a small and relatively isolated population—are almost certain to be found in the family trees of anyone with ancestors from Burgio or neighboring villages. Lentini and Sala write, “The history of a place, of a city or community can be told through the lives of the people and families who lived and worked in it” (La storia di un luogo, di una città o di una comunità la si può senz’altro raccontare attraverso la vita degli uomini e delle famiglie che in essa hanno vissuto e operato). To that end they have scoured printed materials and most importantly unpublished and difficult-to-access notarial and parochial manuscripts in order to assemble a near dictionary-like collection of biographical and genealogical sketches of members of Burgio’s diverse communities. Saints, martyrs, clerics, priests, and other church officeholders are also examined in great detail, and subsequent sections of the book contain lists of jurors giurati, i.e., village administrators, from 1555 to 1812; mayors from 1820 to 2017; notaries from 1553 to 1887, soldiers who died in the first and second world wars; and living knights and dames of various state, Catholic, and noble orders of merit or chivalry. The remainder of the book focuses on noble and distinguished families. Biographies of the feudal lords of Burgio begin with the Saracen Achmet, Emir of Agrigento and Enna, who, upon defeat by the Norman Count Ruggero (Roger) of Sicily, was baptized into the Christian faith in 1088—Count Roger serving as his Godfather. The fallen Muslim ruler honored his conqueror by adopting the name Ruggero Burgio, and received title to the castle and land of Burgio. The thirty-fourth lord of Burgio was Girolamo Giuseppe Rospigliosi Gioeni, Prince of Castiglione, born in Rome in 1907. The authors conclude their study of Burgio and its people with accounts of noble residents and families along with their coats-of-arms and in some cases, pictures of portraits or funerary inscriptions. In addition to citing parish rolls and notary books, the authors include a bibliography of consulted published books. Upon thorough study of this substantial contribution to the history and genealogy of Sicily, the reader will no doubt agree with Lentini and Sala’s observation that a village is the sum of the lives and contributions of its residents. Reviewed by Adrian Benjamin Burke, Esq. New York City


My book on CD titled
Sicily, Part 1 and Part 2 is now available on 2 CDs or .rar files. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.



My latest book is titled
American Prisoner of War Camps in Montana and Wyoming and is available at Amazon in paperback format.



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