The Stanfa Family of Caccamo

Stanfa of Caccamo, Palermo, Sicily – The Q-BZ1 I Call My Own

There are two Italian ‘sides’ to my family tree. My mother’s father’s people come from Northern Italy. My father’s mother’s people come from the Palermo province in Sicily.

In the Palermo province of Sicily is the medieval mountain town of Caccamo. Its heart is a Norman castle that is complete with a trap door leading to a deep dungeon without exits. From this town comes the Stanfa family.

The Stanfas

Like many others from Sicily, members of the Stanfa family traveled to the United States beginning around 1900. It was doubtless a descendant of one of the early immigrants who  tested at the now closed SMGF.

The person who found it was first excited. This is the profile of what we then called Q1b and now call Q3-L275.

However, I soon got another message informing me that the Stanfas exemplified what made my correspondent ashamed to be Sicilian. Ashamed? Why? Well, the history of Sicilians in Palermo and the United States has not been untroubled. In this case, the reference was to a more recent immigrant from the Stanfa family. Around 1963 Giovanni ‘John’ Stanfa the youngest son of four left Sicily for Pennsylvania. His move was surely motivated by the Ciaculli massacre that was part of a power struggle between Sicilian Mafia families. John Stanfa was even more involved with the Mafia in Pennsylvania. He is now serving consecutive life sentences.

I refuse to be ashamed. Genealogy is what it is. Our ancestors and family are as they are. It is our task to document them. We are not here to judge them.

For me, the Y-DNA of the Stanfa family was a wonderful discovery –a source of joy.


Over time, people have joined the Q-M242 project who are clearly distantly related though not from the same family. Based on their test results, I believe the Stanfas are actually a member of the Q3-BZ1 branch under Q3-L275.

DYS393= 13
DYS390= 22
DYS19= 13
DYS391= 10
DYS385= 14-15
DYS426= 12
DYS388= 12
DYS439= 11
DYS389I= 14
DYS392= 15
DYS389II= 30
DYS458= 16
DYS459= 9-10
DYS455= 11
DYS454= 11
DYS447= 25
DYS437= 14
DYS448= 19
DYS449= 29
DYS464= 14-15-16-16
DYS460= 10
GATA H4.1= 9
YCAII= 19-19
DYS456= 15
DYS442= 12
DYS438= 11
DYS444= 14
DYS446= 14
DYS461= 12
DYS462= 11
YGATAA10= 12
DYS635= 23
GGAAT1B07= 11
DYS441= 15
DYS445= 12

I would dearly love to have someone else from the family DNA test. I wait. So much of genealogy is the waiting.

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