Santo Enea, the historical memory of Isola delle Femmine and Capaci’s families
He has returned to Isola delle Femmine to visit his home country and to continue his research work. He is Santo Enea, better known as Geraci, from the surname of his mother Rosa, who left Isola delle Femmine for California in 1950. Her mother was the first foreign, after the Second World War, to have permission to emigrate to America and become a US citizen, by an act of Congress.
Santo is born in Pittsburgh, in the community of Isolani who had to leave their country to seek work and a better life. Now he works at a supermarket chain, but his real passion is collecting! Santo collects everything from pinball to ancient coins. He also has a collection of Marilyn Monroe. But his most important collection is that of family trees, all the family trees of Isola delle Femmine and Capaci’s families ranging up to 1500. “I started this research more than 50 years ago,” explained Santo Enea “and I began reconstructing the history of my family. I did not know my grandparents, so I asked other relatives and no one knew their name”. After gathering information in Pittsburgh, Santo continued his work by consulting the archives of the churches and the municipalities of Isola delle Femmine and Capaci. “This research arrives until 1500 and managed to rebuild even if these people were rich or poor, what was their job, when they were baptized and so on,” says Enea. Just enter a name into his computer and immediately appears a family tree dense of names and informations. From this work it will be born a book, with the story of Isola delle Femmine and Capaci’s families emigrated to America. But it is a work that shows no sign of ending: his trip to Sicily is also motivated by the desire to see the Torretta archives, to complete his research on Davì and Di Maggio families, which originate in Torretta.
In his journey Santo has been accompanied by grandchildren Thomas McDonald and Jimmy Sanchez. “It’s the first time they come to Isola delle Femmine,” says Santo Enea, “I want to give a sense of continuity to the new generations, so that they do not lose the roots and traditions of Grandma Rosa”. Thomas will celebrate his twenty-first birthday next Wednesday, just in Isola delle Femmine. Santo, in fact, will remain at Isola until 23 August. Tuesday visited the town library, accompanied by Antonio Scala, president of Pittsburgh-Isola Committee, and showed us his immense work. The meeting was also attended by mayor Stefano Bologna, who has made a gift to Santo Enea of publications on the territory of western Sicily and has announced that next year will be held events to commemorate the 25th anniversary from establishment the twinning between Isola and Pittsburgh.
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