The Minervino Project


Over the past ten years, I have been researching the Minervino surname in Gimigliano, Calabria, Italy.


If you have a Minervino or Minervini ancestor, I hope you find this site of interest.


My paternal grandfather – Francesco Minervino – emigrated from Gimigliano to the US in the late 1890’s.


I have traced Francesco’s line, as well as the line of all Minervino’s in Gimigliano, back to the mid-1700’s using Italian Civil Records for the town of Gimigliano.


In the mid-1700’s there were between five and seven male Minervino’s of parenting age living in Gimigliano.



Open Questions


There are four major open questions I am pursuing:




While I am doing further research on these questions using various written sources, recent advances in DNA analysis hold the greatest promise to answer the most difficult of these questions. 

You can read more detail about this exciting work and its applicability to genealogical research at: and the FAQ at



What  I Learned From My DNA-Y Test


In short, I was shocked ! 


Growing up in a Catholic, Italian family, I never question how long we had been Catholic or how long we had been Italian – not that anyone could answer the question ! 


But it did raise an interesting question. 


Did my ancient African ancestors pick up stakes one day, move to southern Italy, and become Italian Catholics? 


It sounds ridiculous because it is, however what exactly did happen between out-of-Africa and landing in southern Italy? 


My DNA-Y test labeled my ancestors in group “J1.” 


Rather than explaining haplogroups and the more technical jargon of DNA-Y testing, read the J1 section in the following entry from Wikipedia:


Most people in J1 are of Middle Eastern or North African background.  


As most of the people who have paid for a Y-DNA test are more well-off than average world citizens (e.g., Americans, Europeans…), a large number of those typed as J1 in the FTDNA database are Jews and Arabs living in the US or Europe.




Call To Action


Worldwide, over 100,000 people have taken the Family Tree Y-DNA Test.  However, I am the only Minervino or Minervini to have done so.

I want to encourage other members of the extended Minervino/Minervini families to pursue their family history and, together, answer the questions I note above.  To further that effort I am doing the following:




(Please note, I am not affiliated in any way with Family Tree DNA nor do I earn any referral fee or other remuneration from Family Tree DNA.  I do believe they have the best DNA testing service for genealogical purposes, I used them for my test, and I believe their results database provides the best source of comparison DNA available).



I hope you find this site helpful and I encourage you to get involved in The Minervino Project !


Jim Minervino

Seattle, WA USA