Family Origins

It Started in......!

Province of Potenza - The Village of  San Martino d'Agri, Italy

The present day Basilicata, (Southern Italy) which includes the provinces of Potenza  and  Matera, is also commonly referred to as Lucania. The name Lucania derives from its prehistoric people, the Lyki. The government has now reconfirmed Basilicata as the region's official name.In early times Greek settlers brought to the region their culture, art and philosophy.

The Lucanians, sought to rebel against  Rome but the Romans reacted with bloody repressions, and the region up until then had known periods of considerable splendor, was depopulated and deserted.

Potenza was destroyed by Frederick II, and was rebuilt by Bishop Oberto in 1250, to be destroyed again by Charles of Anjou. Life here between the 14th and 17th centuries was marked by continual struggles by the lower classes against the feudal barons and the governing authorities for possessions of the land, the only asset sought after in all ranks of society.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the ruling classes remained deaf to the demands of the peasants.  The lower classes of Basilicata were reduced to such misery that many turned to banditry; nor did the often bloody repression of  the outlaws contribute in any way to the solution of the region's problems.  Only since World War II have land reforms begun to break up the large holdings, and Basilicata remains Italy's poorest and most backward region.

On December 21, 1857,  Potenza was greatly damaged by an earthquake. 

Historical overview 

San Martino d'agri, small reality of the province of Potenza in Lucania is a country with approximately 1,000 souls. Took this name between sec. XI-XII d.c. when the cult of the patron saint of the poor it spread widely in Europe. 

You think that the country has more remote sources according to archaeological findings in some local sites, of Roman origin dated II-I centuries b.c. which would result should the exodus of the population of Grumentum following the attack. 

The real urban facility in the country dates back to the IX-X century. a.d. when monks coming from East settled here their Kenobi around which there arose the built-up area. Monks convent centuries founded the still existing binding for the beauty of the frescos of the cloister and for an extraordinary wooden choir of inestimable beauty and value. 

In the following centuries San Martino followed the historical fate of the rest of the South, by the various dominations foreign: Normans, Swabians, and Bourbons; until the creation of the Kingdom of Naples under Spanish domination of sec XVI-XVII, when he became a fief of Sanseverino family property of Bisignano, one of the most powerful families of Neapolitan. These held until the end of XVII cent. When there was a serious crisis of feudal system that forced the Sanseverino to surrender it along with other feuds to cope with the accumulated debt. Thus passed into the hands of Sifola, wealthy family pugliese, there he bullied, from top of baronial Palace that still retains the name until the end of the feudalitÓ. Estranged feared "gentlemen" the country passed into the hands of families more powerful that continued to speculate on the rest of the population already exhausting themselves as the peasant living conditions. 

The discontent of the population had facilitated and promoted the great migration towards the Americas that led to a drastic reduction of the inhabitants, by 4000 1896 to 1300 of 1929. 

In the years that followed San Martino has faced the same problems as the rest of Italy, distinguishing himself again for a sustained immigration flows, this time to the North of Italy, stream, which still is alive and is one of the most serious problems of the country. 


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