Sicily, Italy Genealogy
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Guide to Sicily region ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
History[edit | edit source]
Following this Sicily joined the Napoleonic Wars, and subsequently the British under Lord William Bentinck established a military and diplomatic presence on the island to protect against a French invasion. After the wars were won, Sicily and Naples formally merged as the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons. Major revolutionary movements occurred in 1820 and 1848 against the Bourbon government with Sicily seeking independence; the second of which, the 1848 revolution resulted in a short period of independence for Sicily. However, in 1849 the Bourbons retook the control of the island and dominated it until 1860.
The Expedition of the Thousand led by Giuseppe Garibaldi captured Sicily in 1860, as part of the Risorgimento. The conquest started at Marsala, and native Sicilians joined him in the capture of the southern Italian peninsula. Garibaldi's march was completed with the Siege of Gaeta, where the final Bourbons were expelled and Garibaldi announced his dictatorship in the name of Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia. Sicily became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia after a referendum where more than 75% of Sicily voted in favour of the annexation on 21 October 1860 (but not everyone was allowed to vote). As a result of the Kingdom of Italy proclamation, Sicily became part of the kingdom on 17 March 1861.
During these years, Sicily was hit by large earthquakes. 1693 - 60,000 deaths and in 1908 more than 80,000 were killed. In the 1700’s saw the emerging of the Sicilian Mafia resulting in many battles with the Italian army over the years.