You wrote: "My great-grandfather came to the U.S. from Termini-Imerese, Sicily, Italy. It is family lore that he had half brothers in Africa. Maybe there might be a connection?!?"
My great-grandfather John Stephen Schiavo (Giovanni Stefano) emmigrated with his wife (Teresa) Daughter Mary (Maria) and brother-in-law Carmelo Croce to the US from the Palermo area in Oct 1897.
It is family lore that John's mother had left Sicily to love with her brother in Africa.John was raised by a priest.His siblings include Emanuel who emmigrated to France, Salvatore who emmigrated to South America (we think), and a sister Maria. (Birth order is Maria, Salvatore, John, Emanuel).
John's parents were Emanuel & Maria (Gambino) Schiavo - they were wed in Feb 1859 (my great-grandfather was born in 1870).
Maria's parents were Stefano & Angela Gambino.I do not have their children, and do not know who Maria went to live with.
I know this is lots of information, but if any of the names sound familiar, perhaps we are relatives and I'd like to know your family history.I've setup a web page at geocities.com/the_schiavos.