Poggioreale is a small farming community of about 1800 people located
in the inland portion of far western Sicily, in the Italian province of
Trapani. Located near the tip of the boot of Italy, Sicily is the largest
island in the Mediterranean Sea. Because of its strategic location and
fertile soil, world powers have fought to possess Sicily for centuries.
The name Poggioreale comes from the two
Italian words 'poggio', meaning hill and 'reale', meaning royal.
The town is located on the southern exposure of Mount Castellazzo, popularly known as Castellaccio, which
has been long rumored as the site of an ancient town founded by the
Trojans who were fleeing the destruction of their city by the
Athenians. Unfortunately this myth has not been substantiated by the
several archaeological digs over the years. Nevertheless, the site has
a commanding view of the Belice River Valley that the founders from
nearby Gibellina considered to be fit for royalty. This photo is a view
of the Mother Church, or Matrice, as seen from Piazza Elimo.
The name Poggioreale comes from the two Italian words 'poggio', meaning hill and 'reale', meaning royal. The town is located on the southern exposure of Mount Castellazzo, popularly known as Castellaccio, which has been long rumored as the site of an ancient town founded by the Trojans who were fleeing the destruction of their city by the Athenians. Unfortunately this myth has not been substantiated by the several archaeological digs over the years. Nevertheless, the site has a commanding view of the Belice River Valley that the founders from nearby Gibellina considered to be fit for royalty. This photo is a view of the Mother Church, or Matrice, as seen from Piazza Elimo.
Poggioreale was founded in 1642 and suffered extensive damage in the 1968 earthquake which also destroyed the neighboring towns of Salaparuta and Gibellina. The new town of Poggioreale was constructed a few miles to the southeast. Although nothing remains of the old towns of Salaparuta and Gibellina, many buildings still stand in the abandoned Old Poggioreale, making it a popular site for pilgrimages by Poggiorealesi and their descendants around the world.
This website is dedicated to my parents, Judge Robert Lee Lowry and Kitty Higginbotham Lowry, and to the friendly and generous people of the present day town of Poggioreale, to whom I am forever in debt. It is currently (and continuously) under construction by Robert Lowry Jr. of Houston, Texas, USA. My paternal grandparents were Antonino Loria and Anna DeNina, both born in Poggioreale. They raised a family of twelve children in the Brazos River Valley in central Texas, not far from Bryan. This website is part of my attempt to contact, and to create a permanent record of the many families that trace their origins to Poggioreale - families that are now represented in countries throughout the world.
I am also very grateful to the many, many people who have helped this website take shape over the years, most of them also descendants of the brave souls who reluctantly left Poggioreale with the hope of finding a better life.
Many families left Poggioreale around 1800 to settle the new towns of Roccamena and Camporeale, both just a few miles north of Poggioreale. If you are descended from one of these families and would like to exchange family information, please contact me at the address at the bottom of this page.
Reunion 2013 !
The Fourth reunion of Poggioreale families was held on
Sunday, August 4th in Houston, Texas
As with previous reunions, it was a great success and everyone
had a wonderful time visiting with friends and family
We were happy to welcome 400 descendants of Poggioreale immigrants
to Houston from all over the United States, along with
a special guest from Poggioreale
Robbie Morrison, Robert Lowry and the members of the Reunion Committee
would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the
wonderful volunteers who made the event possible
Highbank, Texas and its Catholic Cemetery
Let's Take a Census
I hear from lots of people from all over the world who are researching their Poggioreale ancestries. We are trying something new in an effort to allow these people to contact each other. This link is to a list of Poggioreale surnames along with the names of people researching each family. Please let me know if you'd like to be added to the list. If you'd like to contact someone listed, send me their name and I'll send you their contact information. This procedure is a security measure to keep your contact information from being freely distributed on the internet and subjecting you to unwanted solicitation.
Click Here for the Family Contact page
Some of the more common surnames in Poggioreale (past and present) are Abbate, Accardo, Accurso, Agosta, Alesi, Allegro, Aloisio, Ancona, Anselmo, Apicella, Arcuri, Augello, Bella, Blanda, Bufalo, Burgano', Cacioppo, Calamia, Camardo, Campisi, Cangelosi, Cangemi, Cannatella, Cannella, Cannizzaro, Cantavespri, Caronna, Cascio, Catalano, Ceneri, Ciaccio, Chiappetta, Ciancetta, Clesi, Coltello, Console, Corte, Cuccia, Cunzulo, Cutelli, de Paula, de Petra, DeNina, Dibenedetto, Failla, Falco, Falsone, Fasullo, Fazzino, Fontana, Furmuso, Gagliano, Garacci, Giacone, Gracciano, Guarisco, Ienna, Impastato, Ippolito, La Rocca, Labruzzo, La Vite, Leggio, Leto, Lombardo, Loria, Mangogna, Maniscalco, Margiotta, Martorana, Messina, Milazzo, Milici, Monticciolo, Mule', Palasota, Palazzotto, Palermo, Pizzolato, Ricca, Roppolo, Sacco, Salsiccia, Salvaggio, Salvato, Sancetta, Scamardo, Scardino, Scarpinato, Sparacino, Stagno, Stillone, Strada, Stranci, Termine, Todaro, Tritico, Tusa, Valvo, Varisco, Vella, Venezia, Viola, Zinnanti, and Zummo