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The story of Francesco Santino lost in America

The story of Francesco Santino lost in America

Sometimes stories are told and sometimes they tell. This is one of those cases where you really want to change a story, especially its ending. This is the story of Francesco Santino, 1903, son of Luciano and Francesca Santino, departed from Gratteri at 18 and lost in America.

Let’s start from the beginning. Enjoy your reading.
Of the Santino family in Gratteri, as can be seen from the archive documents, we have information at least since sec. XVIII with the name Santini (son of Santino):

Domenico Santini possiede 500 viti di vigna e un piede di zorbo nel feudo di Rapputi contrata Chitana vicino le vigne di Don Pietro Gallo” (Archivio di Stato di Palermo, Riveli, anno 1748).

Following the genealogical line, thanks to the consultation of birth and marriage documents, we also know that, in 1760, Francesco Santino, son of Rosario who married Sebastiana Cirincione, was born in Gratteri. From their union will be born: Santino Rosario (1802-1848), Giuseppe (1788-1848), Giovanna (1794-1852) and Antonino (1795).

Antonio married, in 1826, Giuseppa Culotta (1797) who had 3 children: Santino Maria (1828), Francesco (1833), Vincenzo (1834). Santino Francesco, who married Rosa Castiglia (1838), daughter of a shepherd from Pollina, who had 4 children : Santino Giacomo (1875), Antonino (1866), Sebastiana (1860), Luciano (1872).

Luciano married his first cousin Francesca (1877), daughter of Antonino Santino who lived in via Ciuffarello, emigrated to America in the early 1900s, then returned to Gratteri. From their union will be born 5 children: Santino Rosa, Rosaria, Francesco, Gioacchina and Rosario. This is the story of one of their kids, Francesco.

Francesco was born in America in 1903 but grew up in Gratteri until the age of 18 when he decided to embark in Naples to come back and see the Statue of Liberty. A common dream among many young Italians of that period, who left to find luck in a far country.

Since their farewell, his parents, Luciuzzu and Ciccina, never heard from him, spending the rest of their days hoping to see him again for at least one last time. Unfortunately, there was no news of Ciccio until Raffaele, the last of his 8 kids, from his wife Severina (of Sicilian origin), military in Germany, decided to visit Gratteri.

At the end of 1960 Frank managed to return to Gratteri to hug his brother Rosario e le sorelle and his sisters but not his parents. However, after his return to America contacts will be lost again until his brother Saro, thanks to the help of the Italian embassy, managed to find his address and get in touch with him. That was the last time the two managed to talk.

Before he died, Frank told his children not to forget Gratteri, and their Sicilian relatives and cousins. Unfortunately, this will not happen because of the Santino family in America, still today, we do not have news.

(Reconstruction of the genealogical lineage by M.Fragale)
In the photo Francesco Santino, his wife Severina and his sons Luciano, Francesca, Maria, Anna, Teresa, Jackeline, Giuseppe, Raffaele (photo A.Cirincione)
In the photo Rosario Santino, his wife and sons: Luciano, Pietro, Francesco and Francesca (photo R.Cillufo) #iltempodelritorno

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