In the Beginning

The Civitano family has its roots grounded in Grumo Appula, Italy. Grumo is in the Province of Bari and the Region of Puglia. In the beginning there was a peasant farmer, working the land, raising his family and like the land the family began to bloom and branch out in many directions. This blog is an attempt to record and honor those families and their families and their family’s families, to try and link and branch out as far as possible connecting the families of our first know ancestor. (All family members were born and died in Grumo Appula at this point in our history unless otherwise stated as I write)

Giuseppe Civitano ~ we have no known birth or death date for Giuseppe however with an early 1700’s birthdate for his known son I approximate his birth about 1690. What we do know is that Giuseppe had a son and he called him


Paolo Civitano was born some time in the early 1700’s and died some time before 1809. On 4 June 1947 he married  Giacoma Giannini.  Giacoma was the daughter of Nicola Francesco Giannini and Pasqua Fazio. With very little in information on the lives of these first Civitano’s we can assume that they were all peasant farmers and shepherds and the like. From our earliest records of documented birth, marriage and death records we know that there was a town government of sorts set in place, the community existed with order and record.

The children of Paolo and Giacoma (Giannini)

Maria b. abt. 1750 d. 9 Nov 1816

From her death certificate we learned her first husband was named Michele Colavito and her second husband was named Domenico DeBenedictis. 

Nicola Francesco was b. 20 Aug 1751 death information unknown. He married a woman named Maria DiSanto.

Angela Clara was born next,  8 July 1757 with her death 17 Dec 1810. She married a man named Tommasco Regina. 

Last known child born to Paolo and Giacomo was Francesco Civitano. It is he who I am most interested in since he is the branch from which my family descends. Francesco’s name will be repeated through the generations to come.

Francesco was born Jan 1763 and died 16 July 1829, he was 66. His occupation was listed as Contadino which means peasant farmer. His first marriage was to Rosa Spano daughter of Giuseppe Spano and Donata Fattizza. Rosa was born Jan 1764 and died 1 May 1824 at the age of 60. Francesco married a second time, his wife was a woman names Rosa Careccia born abt. 1769  daughter of Vito Carcula and Vincenza Mitarotondo. They were married on 28 July 1824. From the dates we have it appears he didn’t waste any time remarrying. What is interesting to me was that he was in his beginning  his 60’s. His children were all grown, perhaps it was out of necessity to help with the farming/herding or simply the housekeeping duties. What ever the reason Francesco died 5 years later leaving Rosa #2 a widow at age 60.

The children of Francesco and Rosa Spano were as follows:

Donata b. abt. 1787 d. 5 Aug 1854, she married (1) Vito Domenico Palummo (2) Lonardo Siciliano 

Giuseppe b. abt. 1792 d. 20 Mar 1864,  jmarried (1) Maria Teresa Rella (2) Maria Savino

Nicola b. abt. 1796  d. 17 July 1882 , married Anna Maria Grisanti in 1818

Giacoma b. Jan 1797 d. 12 Dec 1872 , married Giuseppe Nicola Tetro 

Vito Luigi Civitano b. Jan 1803 d. 24 Apr 1836 (who my line follows)  Vito Luigi married Isabella Elisabetta D’Amico on 30 Nov 1822. Isabella was born Jan 1804. She was the daughter of Pietro D’Amico and Grazia Priore. 

Vito Luigi died at the very young age of 33 and left Isabella a widow at age 32. His profession was listed as a Massaro on his death certificate which means a farm manager.

As our tree begins to branch out there is no end to the possibilities of research and the rich history of our branches to uncover. In my next post I will continue to talk about Francesco and share the documents that have been acquired. I can not continue to begin this blog with out recognizing the hard work of my 3rd cousin 1x removed, Peter Marino. I consider myself his Watson to his Holmes, making note that Peter is an outstanding researcher and genealogist. His contributions to our families history is exceptional. Many years ago before much was known or documented, as I was beginning to explore my Civitano connection I met a man via the net who worked at the Family Search Center in Salt Lake City. He was instrumental in beginning the research and providing us with a framework for which to work.