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. Their stories and photos are included inside.
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 2013 Reunion of Poggioreale families has been set for
Sunday, August 4th in Houston, Texas.
For ticket information, please see the downloadable flyer at This Link
For more information, please contact Robbie Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here for directions to the hall
Click Here for hotels near the hall
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Highbank, Texas and its Catholic Cemetery
Houston Reunion 2009
Let's Take a Census
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
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