The majority of Americans today have little knowledge of the cultural legacy they have inherited through their immigrant forefathers. In generations past, when two Americans of similar ethnicity met, the inevitable question was "Where are your people from?" More often than not, they could name the village or town and perhaps even recite stories told by parents and grandparents of the "Old Country."
Today, the melting pot has diluted our memories of a past that extended for many centuries across the sea. Most Americans are lucky if they know what country their great grandparents came from. Farther back than that, ethnic heritage is more fog than fact.
Immigrants from Sicily tended to congregate in neighborhoods where others from their villages lived. In some ways, entire villages or parts thereof were transplanted in the "Little Italies" that might more properly have been termed "Little Sicilies."
With the passage of time, children and grandchildren moved to the suburbs and even across the country. Marriages crossed ethnic boundaries. The stories grew more difficult to remember. The details of heritage became forgotten.
Today, a renewed interest in genealogy and DNA testing technology have given us the ability to reach beyond the veils of time and rediscover our roots, not merely in terms of broad ethnicity but down to the very specific details of family ancestry.
The Sicilian-American Family Research Foundation helps put Americans of Sicilian ethnicity in touch with expert genealogists who specialize in Sicily and Italy. We sponsor research projects encompassing broad regions of Sicily as well as particular villages. We publish books compiled through those projects. We collect and preserve Sicilian documents going back many centuries.
The Foundation is convinced that the key to preservation of history is to give Sicilian-Americans a sense of belonging and connection with both their pasts and their blood relatives today.