LODICO ORAL HISTORY
The story of the LoDico ancestry begins in
Malpasso and is tied to one of the most ancient roads in Sicily.. By the
end of the 17th century there was still one road that went from the coastal
town of Catania, inland through the Madonie mountains to the north coastal
town of Palermo. This roadway was one of the very first roads in Sicily
and was used by the first of the island's inhabitants: the Sicans, Sicels,
and Elymians. In its earliest times the towns of Centuripe and Agyrium
brought an exchange of goods arriving by sea with ceramics and obsidian
brought out from inland. This road was later improved by the Romans and
it passed through Blufi in a region called Malpasso [ bad pass ]. This
was a dangerous stretch of road known for its steep ravines and high bluffs
where criminals and others would attack and rob the travelers. The priests,
pilgrims, and merchants complained to the Sicilian nobility and asked for
protection. The Marchese Pottino who owned many large estates of land and
farms around Resuttano and Blufi, including the ancestral Castello Irosa,
entered into an agreement with three Sicilian campiere families: the LaTonas,
the di Geracis, and the LoDicos. In return for protecting the travelers
on the road, the LoDico family was given the land known as Malpasso.
1670 - The very first record, found in the church records of Petralia Soprana, is of Cristofaro LoDico, born around 1670 and living in Malpasso, a 'quartiere' of Blufi, which is a frazione [fraction] of the town of Petralia Soprana. He was married to Giovanna.
1700 - Charles III (1665-1700) dies, ending the direct Habsburg line in Sicily and three centuries of Spanish rule. Phillip V, a Bourbon, becomes King of Spain.
1702 - The War of the Spanish Succession pits the Habsburgs (Austria, Holland, and Germany) against the Bourbons (France and Spain).
1707 - Cristofaro's son, Calogero LoDico was born in Malpasso, Blufi.
1713 - The Treaty of Utrecht confiscates Sicily and gives it to Victor Amadeus, the Duke of Savoy-Piedmont.
1719 - Charles VI of Austria conquers Sicily and restores the Habsburg line.
1725 - Cristofaro's second son, Illuminato LoDico was born in Malpasso, Blufi.
1727 - Calogero LoDico marries Vincenza di Geraci. Seven sons are born to Calogero & Vincenza.
1728 - Domenico LoDico, the eldest son of Calogero & Vincenza is born in Malpasso. He marries Barbara Solano around 1748 and his descendants eventually settle in Santa Caterina LoDico, a 'frazione' of Petralia Soprana.
1730 - Calogero LoDico, another son of Calogero & Vincenza is born. He marries Santa La Tona and moves to Marianopoli where his children are born, settle and marry. He is one of the first LoDico's to settle in Marianopoli.
1734 - Spain seizes Sicily and Naples, restoring the old kingdom and Charles III, a Spanish Bourbon, becomes King of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
1743 - Plague strikes Messina. Close to half the population dies.
1745 - Mauro LoDico, my great, great, great, great grandfather is born in Malpasso, the quartiere [quarter] of Blufi which is a frazione [fraction] of the town of Petralia Soprana. He is the sixth of the seven sons of Calogero & Vincenza LoDico.
1755 - Illuminato LoDico marries Giuseppa Librizzi.
1759 - When Charles III is promoted to the Spanish throne, he presents the Kingdom of Two Sicilies to his son Ferdinand III.
1765 - Mauro LoDico married Maria Guarnuto in October, Blufi / Petralia Soprana. They have 4 children.
1768 - Mauro and Maria give birth to their first son, Francesco Paolo LoDico in Blufi / Petralia Soprana.
1770 - Arcangela Vaccarella is born on Petralia Soprana.
1773 - The Sicilian wheat harvest fails. Revolt breaks out in Palermo.
1783 - An earthquake strikes Messina. A huge fire burns the city for over a week.
1785 - In Marianopoli, Calogero and Santa's oldest son Vincenzo LoDico married Antonina di Forte in Marianopoli.
1788 - Charles IV becomes King of Spain.
1789 - Napoleon invades Naples, Ferdinand flees to Sicily aboard the British fleet. Sicilians welcome the king in hopes of freedom from rule from Naples.
1792 - In Marianopoli, Calogero and Santa's son Leonardo LoDico marries Maria Vullo on August 27th. Their LoDico descendants eventually own the town's pharmacy and become town clerks and teachers.
1796 - Napoleon conquers Italy and Sicily. A puppet king is appointed by Napoleon to rule over Sicily.
1799 - Francesco Paolo LoDico, my great, great, great grandfather, marries Arcangela Vaccarella in Blufi / Petralia Soprana. They have 10 children.
1800 - Roads are built and improved in Sicily. While the French bring progress to the feudal system in Sicily, the landowners become wealthy while the peasants live in poverty. Petralia Soprana, first settled by Romans and later fortified by Normans, is the center of the feudal system in the southern province of Palermo.
1805 - A treaty with Napoleon allows Ferdinand to return to Naples and again establishing his Neapolitan reign over Sicily.
1806 - Ignazio LoDico, my great, great grandfather and the eldest son of Francesco Paolo and Arcangela, is born in Blufi /Petralia Soprana. He becomes a barbiere (barber) by trade, by the age of 18, living in Malpasso.
1806 - Again war with Napoleon compels Ferdinand to flee to Sicily. This time with less of a welcome by Sicilians.
1807 - Joseph Boneparte, brother to Napoleon, declares himself King of Sicily and prepares to invade Sicily.
1810 - Maria Albanese, daughter to Agostino Albanese and Rosaria Gennaro, is born in Petralia Soprana.
1812 - With Britain's protection and over 17,000 troops in Sicily, Ferdinand is saved but a Constitution is established, modeled after the English parliament. Ferdinand has little choice to unwillingly accept this.
1813 - In Marianopoli, Calogero LoDico, the eldest son of Leonardo LoDico and Maria Vullo weds Calogera Gruttadauria on Feb. 28th. They have 10 children.
1814 - Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo.
1815 - Napoleon is banished to Elba Island. Sicily is returned to the Bourbon family and King Ferdinand, previously titled Ferdinand IV of Naples and Ferdinand III of Sicily decrees himself Ferdinand I, the King of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
1821 - Austria invades Naples. 10,000 Austrian troops occupy Sicily. Ferdinand is restored as King ending the Constitution of 1812.
1825 - Ferdinand I dies, ending 66 years of reign. Francis I (1825-1830) becomes King of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
1829 - In Marianopoli, Giuseppe Lodico is born on january 28th. he is the seventh child of Leonardo LoDico & Maria Vullo.
1830 - Ignazio LoDico, my great great grandfather, marries Maria Albanese on January 23rd. Both reside in Blufi / Petralia Soprana. They have 5 children.
1830 - Ferdinand II becomes King.
1831 - Wealthy landowners begin to migrate to Palermo and Messina to take up residence close to the courts and wealth of the Spanish royalty. The landowners enter into the Gabella contract with the 'Gabellotto' (renters of the landowner's property). The Gabellotto become Sicily's first middle class and become rich by defrauding the owners and squeezing the peasants who work the land.
1832- The Gabellotto, in an effort to keep peasants under control and settle disputes, hire their 'friends' the campiere. The campiere are young men, good with guns and horses, who oversee the peasants, and eventually settle disputes with brute force and extract a sense of fear and 'respect' from all who come within their sphere of influence.
1832 - Ignazio LoDico and Maria Albanese give birth to Francesco Paolo LoDico, my great grandfather and their first son, in Petralia Soprana, on December 14th.
1835 - Ignazio LoDico and Maria Albanese give birth to their second son Luciano LoDico in Petralia Soprana, on October 12th.
1836 - Carmelo Restivo, my paternal grandmothers father, is born in Villalba. The son of Francesco Paolo Restivo, Carmelo becomes a 'muratore' [stone mason] like his father.
1836 - Salvatora Miserendino, daughter of Alberto Miserendino and Anna Vizzini is born in Bompietro.
1838 - Arcangela Ristagno, daughter of Lorenzo Ristagno is born in Villalba.
1841 - Francesco Paolo LoDico, my great great great grandfather, dies on January 5th.
1842 - The railroad comes to Sicily. A line from Palermo to Caltinessetta goes through a small village, Marianopoli, which begins to grow. Emigration out of Petralia Soprana and Petralia Sottana continues.
1844 - Ignazio LoDico, my great great grandfather dies on August 22nd.
1848- In January, Sicilians, under the harsh rule of Ferdinand II, revolt. Peasant unrest and hatred for Naples are the key reasons. Rebellion spreads across Sicily. The first feelings of independence and nationalism take root in Sicily.
1848 - Lucia Bellavia, daughter of Michele Bellavia and Stefana Abbate is born in Marianopoli on October 16th.
1848 - By September, Bourbon troops land and attack Messina. By 1849 the revolt is crushed. General Filagieri becomes Governor of Sicily.
1850 - Italian patriots form the 'Risorgimento' (Re-Awakening). The resistance to foreign rule launches Mazinnis' Young Italy Society and the roots of the Carbonari Society are formed.
1858 - Francesco Paolo LoDico, my great grandfather (26) becomes a barbiere, like his father. His brother Luciano LoDico (23) is a campiere. Francesco marries Salvatora Miserendino, in Petralia Soprana, on July 18th, and moves to the village Bompietro, about 12 km south of Petralia Soprana.
1859 - France and Sardinia defeat the Austrians in Italy. Francis II succeeds Ferdinand II in Sicily. Francis II's rule is marked with brutal oppression.
1859 - Maria Grazia Giuseppa LoDico, daughter to Francesco Paolo LoDico and Salvatora Miserendino is born in Bompietro on June 30th.
1860 - In April revolt breaks out again in Palermo.
1860 - Garibaldi, with 1000 men, sets out from Genoa to Sicily. He arrives on May 11th. The campiere join him and Sicily is soon freed from Spanish rule.
1861 - Garibaldi goes on to defeat foreign rule in Italy. Sicily is annexed into the new Italian nation under King Victor Emanuel. Parliament is convened. The Kingdom of Italy is declared. Many Sicilians still have anti-government feelings after centuries of foreign rule.
1862 - Francesco Paolo LoDico and Salvatora Miserendino give birth to Ignazio LoDico, my grandfather, in the village of Bompietro, on August 22nd. Luciano LoDico moves to the town of Marianopoli.
1862 - In Marianopoli, Giuseppe LoDico, son of Leonardo & Maria weds Angela Vincenza Ferrara on October 11th. They eventually have six children: five girls and one son Giuseppe, born on February 10th, 1867.
1866 - Venice is added to the Kingdom of Italy.
1866 - Damiano LoDico, son of Francesco Paolo LoDico and Salvatora Miserendino is born in Bompietro on June 11th.
1866 - Revolt breaks out again in Palermo. The Italian Navy shells Palermo into submission. 40,000 troops restore order to Sicily.
1869 - Luciano LoDico marries Lucia Bellavia, from Marianopoli, on June 4th, in Marianopoli.
1869 - Francesca Paola Restivo, my grandmother and daughter of Carmelo Restivo and Arcangela Ristagno is born in Villalba. By 1878 the Restivo family has moved to Marianopoli.
1870 - Rome is added to the Kingdom of Italy.
1870 - Luciano LoDico and Lucia Bellavia give birth to eleven children from 1870 to 1892 in Marianopoli. Salvatora Miserendino dies in Bompietro.
1871 - Francesco Paolo LoDico, my great grandfather, marries Maria Saguto, his 2nd wife, from Bompietro, and moves to Marianopoli. Ignazio is 10 years old when he moves to Marianopoli.
1871 - Church lands are nationalized. Almost 10% of Sicily, previously in the hands of the Church, are auctioned off, mainly to rich landowners.
1872 - Calogera LoDico, daughter to Francesco Paolo LoDico and Maria Saguto is born in Marianopoli. She marries Pasquale Pastorello on November 4th 1889. My grandfather Ignazio's half-sister.
1872 - On September 1st Maria Saguto gives birth to twins: Gaetana and Giuseppa LoDico. My grandfather's half sisters.
1875 - Carlo Pietro LoDico, son of Francesco Paolo and Maria Saguto is born in Marianopoli on June 29th. My grandfather's half brother.
1878 - Victor Emanuel II dies. His son Humbert I becomes king.
1886 - Ignazio LoDico (24), son of Francesco Paolo, lives in Marianopoli and has his barber shop in the LoDico pharmacy. He is living with Francesca Paola Restivo (17), from Villalba. Their first son, Francesco Ignazio LoDico, my uncle, is born on June 2nd. He is named after his grandfather, Francesco Paolo.
1890 - Ignazio LoDico and Francesca Paola give birth to their first daughter Salvatrice, my aunt, on January 14th. She is named after her grandmother, Salvatora Miserendino.
1890 - Sicilian villages, made up of peasants and day workers begin to form groups or 'fasci', the beginnings of trade unions or guilds. The fasci become the vocal champion of lower-class unrest.
1892 - Ignazio LoDico and Francesca Paola give birth to their second daughter Angela (Angelina), my aunt, on August 25th. She is named after her grandmother, Angela Ristagno.
1895 - Ignazio LoDico and Francesca Paola have their second son Carmelo LoDico, my uncle, on March 18th. He is named after his grandfather, Carmelo Restivo.
1895 - A direct railroad line from Palermo to Messina is opened.
1896 - On September 12th, Ignazio LoDico weds Francesca Paola Restivo in Marianopoli.
1896 - The first discussions of Sicilian autonomy reach the Italian parliament but are not successful. Poverty, the Mafia, and economic failures further divide Sicily from the Italian nation.
1898 - In Marianopoli, Giuseppe LoDico, son of Giuseppe LoDico and Angela Ferrara, weds Angelina Immordino from Villalba.
1899 - Ignazio LoDico and Francesca Paola give birth to Prospero Giuseppe Moaria, my uncle, their 3rd son, on August 19th.
1900 - Humbert I is assassinated. Victor Emanuel III becomes King of Italy.
1900 - Giuseppe LoDico (37) and his wife Angelina Immordino give birth to their daughter Angela (Angelina) Maria Lucia LoDico in Marianopoli on April 8th. In 1921, Angelina (21), travels to Tinchi in the province of Matera to teach school. Her dedication to God, and her missionary spirit inspires the townspeople. She works tirelessly to bring Sunday Mass to Tinchi and begins collecting supplies to construct the town's first chapel. In 1930 she becomes sick with tuberculosis, returns home and dies in 1932. The townspeople name the chapel in Tinchi - Cappella LoDico in her name.
1901 - Ignazio and Francesca Paola give birth to Maria Margherita Elena Adelaide Elvira, my aunt, on October 25th.
1903 - Ignazio and Francesca Paola give birth to their 4th daughter, Giovanna, my aunt, on November 8th.
1906 - On New Years Day, Vincenzo LoDico, my uncle, is born to Ignazio and Francesca Paola LoDico. All eight children reside at 10 Via Roma in Marianopoli where Ignazio works as a barbiere. Later they move to a larger residence at 28 Via Margherita.
1906 - The Sicilian sulfur mines cease operating. Half of Sicily's economy ends, forcing financial ruin and large segments of the population to starve or emigrate.
1907 - Francesco Ignazio LoDico (21), eldest son of Ignazio and Francesca Paola LoDico has his life threatened over a girl. Francesca, fearing the worst for her son, sends him to the United States. He boards the S.S. Sannio, out of Palermo and arrives at Ellis Island on September 26, 1907. Francesco travels to Pennsylvania, then Syracuse / Buffalo, NY to live with the Restivo or Ristagno family.
1907 - A detailed socio-economic report by Professor Lorenzoni for parliament describes Sicily as still a feudal world. Old aristocracy still owns most large estates. Sicily contributes over 10% to the Italian economy yet only 2.5% of moneys allocated by the government is spent on Sicily.
1907 - After not hearing from their son Francesco Ignazio LoDico, Ignazio LoDico (47) travels to America to find him. He boards the S.S. Roma and arrives at Ellis Island on October 28, 1907.
1908 - An earthquake rocks Messina. Close to 100,000 die as a tidal wave sweeps inland. Fires burn for a fortnight. Some of the ruins go unrepaired through 1943.
1910 - Italy declares war on Turkey over African colonies and Tripoli. Cholera comes to Sicily.
1910 - Salvatrice (20), Angelina (17), and Prospero (10), board the S.S. Madonna out of Palermo and arrive at Ellis Island on February 28, 1910. Records indicate they refer to Ignazio LoDico at Box 232, 34 Chauncy Street, Mansfield, Mass.
1910 - Carmelo, age 15, sails alone aboard the S.S. Luisiana and arrives at Ellis Island on March 21st. He travels to Mansfield to join his father Ignazio.
1910 - My grandfather Ignazio sells his house on Via Margherita in Marianopoli to Giuseppe and Angela Immordino. Soon after my grandmother emigrates to America in 1911, they move in and open their pharmacy.
1911 - On January 7th, Francesca Paola (41), Maria (9), Giovanna (7) and Vincenzo (3) sail from Palermo on the S.S. Regina d'Italia, where the ship's manifest indicates Maria and Vincenzo are under quarantine and hospitalized for eye infections, common to immigrants at this time. Ignazio travels to NY and finally secures their release from hospitalization and Immigration.
1911 - In the summer of 1910, cholera came to Marianopoli. The town counsel (la Giunta) had to figure out a way to isolate infected people coming into town. So in July of 1911, they charged Giuseppe LoDico (48), descendant of Leonardo LoDico, with the task of checking people coming in by train from infected areas like Palermo. Twice a day he disinfected people and baggage in a special room near the train station constructed for this purpose. His vigilance kept the contagion small enough that when the town called in Doctor Vincenzo Ferrara, he was able to control the outbreak before it became widespread.
1912 - War ends. Italy receives Tripoli.
1914 - On December 31st, Ignazio and Francesca
Paola LoDico give birth to Alfred Guido LoDico (my father) at 15 Newton
Street, Mansfield, Mass. Alfred is their last child and the only one born