I am a genealogist interested in local traditions and culture. I started to cultivate my passion for Genealogy in 1984, when I went for the first time to the Municipal Archive of Padula, my tiny town,  about 100 km away from Salerno, in Campania, Italy.

My father passed away many years before and I had many questions which my mother could not answer. She herself advised me to follow this path. So, my quest to learn more about my family and to create my family tree led me to frequent many kinds of archives, and my passion for Genealogy came true in 2012 with the opening of Museo del Cognome.

Michele Cartusciello


The Museo del Cognome is one-of-a-kind place in the world. It is mainly a didactic museum, where you will follow an itinerary specifically designed to help you to take the first steps in genealogical research.

Last name and family history research
When you enter for the first time into the Museum, you discover an unusual place. It is a place where, with the assistance of an expert, you can dive into a true and accurate journey into the past. The section 1 is dedicated to surname’s history and to how it is used around the world. Thanks to the explanation of an expert guide, you will learn how to take the first steps in genealogical research and, then, how to reconstruct your own family tree. The documents affixed to the walls such as birth, death and marriage records, draw registration cards, census records and notary deeds outline the family history of every one of us. After illustrating the detailed description of the Church and Municipal records, your guide will also demonstrate and explain to you the graphic representation of the family tree in all its variants.

The tour inside the museum proceeds with the second section, dedicated to Emigration. This is the section where you will discover the long road the famous “rich uncle” had to take once he arrived in the USA. Boarding lists from Ellis Island, passports, naturalization documents, census records, passports applications, World War I and II draw registration cards are totally written in English. The census records are the documents which better describe how Italians lived in America in the 1900s. The exposition dedicated to emigration ends with an exhibition of old pictures and documents given by Italian descendants living abroad.

Famous People
The section 3 was inaugurated at the beginning of 2014 and it is dedicated to famous people. In this section are visible the birth records of San Giuseppe Moscati and Benito Mussolini. It is also possible to see the birth record of the famous Italian writer Luigi Pirandello (whose name was wrongly written Pirandelli and corrected to Pirandello only 30 years later), as well as singers and actors family trees like the ones of De Niro and Sinatra, whose origins are really Italian. Of particular interest may be in the name of Silvester Stallone who has the same name, Silvestro, given to an ancestor born in Palo del Colle (Bari), in the first half of 1700.


  • Genealogy Research
  • Reworking and realization of heraldic and bourgeois emblems
  • Handwriting Analysis (Graphology)
  • Ancestors Tour
  • Family Name Festival
  • Genealogy for kids
  • My ancestry comic book
  • Italian citizenship process
  • Digitization of archival materials

Largo Municipio, 8
84034, Padula, Salerno

Phone:+39  0975 778376 – Mobile: +39 3478295374

Email address:

Tuesday – Friday: 10am-1pm/5pm-8pm

Open on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation only
Closed on Holidays