outline contains information on the areas listed
on this web site to further assist you in your
own research. When possible, I've included the
Family History Library Film # and urge you to
visit your local Family History Center where you
can view their countless records on microfilm or
fiche. Researchers of all faiths are welcome and
their volunteers can get you started or offer
suggestions with your research. If you don't know
if there is a Family History Library near you, go
to their web site at: http://familysearch.org
into twenty regions and one hundred and three
provinces, Italy has been under many different
rulers throughout its history. Between 1559 and
1713, it was ruled mostly by Spain until the
Treaty of Utrecht brought this to an end and the
Austrian Hapsburgs began to rule.
Napoleon Bonaparte drove the Austrians out in
1796, he ruled most of Italy and in 1806 required
that civil registrations records be kept. He was
then defeated in 1814 and most of Italy was
returned to its former sovereigns. From 1821-1831
a series of revolts (known as the Risorgimento)
took place when the rebels fought against the
local rulers in hopes of seeking politcal unity -
but these revolts were squelched.
1848-49 more revolts occurred in the major
Italian cities against the Austria rule, but
except for Roma (which was won back by the French
army and supported by the pope), the other cities
remained under Austria which established new
governments. Ten years later the French and
Italian troops defeated the Austrians and most of
northen Italy became united under the Kingdom of
Sardegna. The following year, in 1860, Southern
Italy, Sicilia, and the city of Napoli was freed
from the French by Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Kingdom of Italy (excluding Roma, the region of
Venezia, and the country of San Marino), was then
formed in 1861 with Vittorio Emmanuele II; and
after Prussia defeated Austria, Venezia was also
included, with Roma added in 1870 which had been
lost to the French in the Franco-Prussian War by
the Italian troops, save for the Vatiacan. One
year later the capital of Italy was moved from
Torino to Roma.
World War I, Italy sided with the Allies and in
1922 King Victor Emmanuel III made Benito
Mussolini the premier of Italy. Within three
years he became dictator. - It was between the
two World War periods that the Laratta and
Rossomanno families began to emigrate to the
|Birth, death, and
marriage records are kept by the local civil
offices or Commune and some older church records
were duplicated and kept at a diocesan archive.
7 Grayon Drive, Dix Hills, NY 11746 U.S.A.
Via Torta 14
150122 Firenze, Italia
|Italian Census records
were first taken in 1871 and then every ten years
thereafter. Those up to 1901 had no uniform
format and in most regions included only the head
of household, his occupation and the number of
persons in his home. Census records from 1911 and
later included names, ages, occupations,
birthplaces, and the relationship to the head of
household. These records are kept in the state
archive or each province and may also be housed
in the register's office known as the comune's
anagrafe, though the availability will differ
from comune to comune.
Vital Records such as births, marriages
and death records were kept by priests and
recorded in their parish registers. Their records
often times included confirmations, first
communions, and church census records.
Most of the parishes have
kept registers from about 1595, but some such as
Palermo go back as far as 1350. The registers
included the name of the principle person or
persons and were written in Latin into the
twentieth century, although there were some also
written in local Italian dialects.
Marriage Banns were announcements that
appeared for three consecutive Sunday masses
prior to the wedding, thus giving ample
opportunity for anyone to come forward who knew
of any reason the couple should not be married.
Marriages took place typically at the
parish of the bride whose average age at the time
of marriage would be between 18 and 25 while the
men typically married in their twenties. The
marriage registers include the names of bride and
groom, whether single or widowed, their ages,
place of residences, occupations, parents' names
and places of birth. If the marriage was not the
first for either party, the record often provided
the previous spouse's name and date of death.
Baptisms usually took place within a
few days after birth and included the names of
the infant and parent, names of witnesses or
godparents, the date of baptism and the status of
legitmacy. Some records will also include the
date of birth, father's occupation, or the family
residence. The earlier records often do not
include the mother's name.
Naming Pattern of Children in most Italian
- First male
child - named after father's father such
as Pietro Rossomanno (1890-1955) named
after his paternal grandfather Pietro; or
Armando Laratta named after his father
Anthony's father, Armando Laratta
- Second son -
named after the mother's father.
- First female
- named after the father's mother such as
Eleanora named after Dionora (Agluzzi).
- Second female
- named after the mother's mother.
Generally, if a
child died, the name was given again to the next
child of the same gender to continue the naming
pattern. This appears to have been the case with
my grandmother Theresa who was said to have been
the third daughter of that name and oldest
daughter, indicating that her father's mother's
name was most probably Theresa.
were given based on father's name, occupation,
description or nickname or based on geography. In
some instances, a second surname or alisas was
taken and may be listed in records preceded by
the word detto, vulgo, or dit. This practice was
used to distingquish different branches of the
same family when the family had remained in the
same region for many generations.
It should be noted
that womens' maiden names were used in most
records. This is apparently true for the
passenger lists as well - as noted in those I've
|Military Records in some regions began in
about 1792 and were kept by the military
districts which are within the geogrpahical
boundaries of a province, and is held at the
tribunale or court. After 75 years it is moved to
the provincial archives and made available to the
public. These records contain information such as
age, birhplace, residence, occupation, physical
description and family members.
Since 1865 all males are
required at the age of eighteen to report to the
draft board for a physical exam, therefore lising
every native Italian male born after 1850 so long
as they did not leave Italy at an early age.
The registro di
leva or Conscription Records list all males by
year of birth and provide name, name of parents,
residence, date and place of birth, vocation,
literacy, and physcial description. If the male
emigrated, the date and destination are noted.
are also available and include similar
information as well as the date and place of
draft, length of service, transfers, campaigns,
and whether wounded or awarded a medal.
|Knowing the name
of the town and determining the parish in which
the ancestor lived, might possibly be found by
checking the Family History Library Catalog by
searching under Locality.
If you write to Italy for
information you should include a check or money
order for the search fee in local currency as
well as an international reply coupon which you
can get at your local post office. In your
correspondence provide the full name and sex,
name of parents, date or approximate date of the
event, your relationship and reason for the
request whether medical or family history, and be
sure to request the complete copy of the original
record if possible.
For a guide to
form letters, word lists and other helpful
references, you can go to http://www.homepage.interaccess.com/~arduinif/tool/roots01.htm
| Research Index
18 Jun 2008
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