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Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Sassano Project

Do you have ancestors from Sassano?  Then I have a website for you.

Sassano is a small hillside village in the middle of Italy's Mezzogiorno.  It is in the province of Salerno, in the Campagna region.

Sassano, Salerno, Campagna, Italy

My great grandfather was born in Sassano and he was my immigrant ancestor.  He is the reason that I obtained the birth, death, and marriage records for the commune of Sassano from the Latter Day Saints Library.  I have them in microfilm form and I have been through most of them searching for the Barbella cognome.

As I was searching, a funny thing happened.  I began to feel a connection to the names I was looking at.  I began to feel as though I was a part of this community.  First you might find the record of a person's birth.  Then you discover their marriage record.  Finally you see their children being born.  It made me feel like I was a part of the community.  That is why I am now indexing these records and making them available on-line in The Sassano Project.

This is, at least, a small part of the reason that I made the voyage to Sassano in the spring of 2014.  I can't begin to tell you how much I felt like I was "coming home".  


I met in the village's mother church with the local priest.  I had the privilege to observe some of the vast holdings of church records on the shelves there.

Don Otello Russo in the office at San Giovanni Evangelista

I went to the town office and found the originals of the civil records I have on microfilm.
Officials at the Ufficio Di Anagrafe - Sassano, Italy

My father and my grandfather were both born in Brooklyn.  Yet, somehow, inexplicably, I have been drawn into a relationship with Sassano that I simply cannot describe.

Original Stato Civile

My project to index the records of Sassano can be seen at this link.  It is, by no means, complete.  The project includes birth records from 1866 to 1873.  I have been working primarily with the birth records but there are also a few years of death records available.

My work has been simplified with the addition of a computer controlled microfilm reader.  I can easily scroll through the microfilm tapes and magnify sections.  I can even obtain digital images of individual records without the need of a camera.  Please let me know if you would like me to find a particular record for you.  Just leave a comment below and when I next find myself at the library I will try to help you.

Cimetero di Sassano


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