Hey there :) My name is James Bianco, and I reside in Western Massachusetts. My grandmother Antonina Leone Lewman Tessier (1922-1995) could trace her ancestry on both sides to the late 1400's in Carini (and certainly before this period, but given the lack of documents available previous to 1527 it is quite difficult to prove with complete certainty) Essentially 75% of her ancestors were in 1527 firmly planted on land which was formerly known as Hyccara in Ancient Greek times (current day Carini). This is in fact why I decided many years ago at the age of 19 to begin my research into my Carini heritage.
A year out of high school I hired a researcher in Palermo (A Priest in fact) to trace my grandmother's ancestors as far as he could, at a cost of $600 over two sessions. I was working at the time at a local amusement park, and managed to save enough to commission his work over a period of two years. He worked mainly on my Leone, Marciano, Buzzetta and Passalacqua lines. He took me back into the mid 1600's using church records.
The LDS Church (Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints aka The Mormon Church) released on Microfilm the complete Church Records of Carini from 1737-1910. I was in awe, and immediately began photocopying all I could and at a pretty hefty cost, even at .10 a copy. By the spring of 2004 they had released everything 1527-1910. I continued copying at that point, my mission was no longer to simply work on my own ancestry, but to help others who could not get to a Family History Center and reunite all of us with a Carini Heritage.
In December of 2003 I purchased a domain entitled "www.cariniexchange.com". I chose the term "exchange" because at that point I desperately wanted to find others with a genealogical interest in Carini who, through an "exchange" of information/research could help others connect and gain from their research and experience. I created at that time a rather rough website incorporating the complete Carini Church Marriage extractions 1737-1808 I had worked on for months while assigned to the third shift. In December of that year (2004) I created a Yahoo group which focused on The Genealogical study of Carini's earliest families. Within a month of this group's creation, I began tweaking The Carini Exchange Website, and with the newly released records, began my mission to get as much of the church records as I could copy scanned/cropped/uploaded and linked.
We have grown in leaps and bounds in the past 4 years. By mid 2005 the complete Church marriages were up and available. By the beginning of 2006 the Church Baptisms began to appear on site as well as The Riveli (Civil Land Census) of 1593 and 1653. Soon after The Church Census (Stati di Anime) for four complete years went online (1755,1757,1777,1786). We are still growing in size and conent, thanks to so many amazing people such as Michel, Angelina, Joanne, Suzanne, Amie and Cathy. Check back often, there is always something new!
A picture of me from December 2005, The Villa Igea, Palermo