Genealogy: History of Italian immigration more diverse, complex than stereotype

Sep 08, 2021 741

BY: Tamie Dehler

Italian immigrants in the United States are often thought of as clusters of Catholics who congregate in communities to preserve their culture and religion. In truth, the history of Italian immigration to this country is much more diverse and complex than the stereotype. This week will focus on the primary immigration routes of Italians for the last century and a half.

Prior to 1820, the majority of Italian immigrants to the United States were not Catholics, but Protestants. They were members of a protestant sect called the Waldenses. Most Italian members of this religious faction lived in the Piedmont region of the Alps in northern Italy. This is an area not far from Turin. At several times in its history, this region was under the control of France.

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