Hello All, I am trying to apply for Italian citizenship and need to locate Italian birth records and marriage records for my Great Grandfather, Crescenzo DeMonaco; his full name might be Crescenzo Monaco DeMonaco. So far it seems he did not apply for naturalization so I am told that proof of birth is required. Here is a little background info: He supposedly was born April 11, 1885 in Cassino or San Angelo (although this is not confirmed). His Father's name was Anthony DeMonaco and his Mother's first name was Palma. I do not know if DeMonaco is the correct last name or if it was changed once he arrived in the United States. He also married Concetta Fiondo in Italy approximately 1908. They had two children together: Carmen C. DeMonaco and Ernest L. DeMonaco.
He departed Naples on April 30, 1912 and arrived at Ellis Island, New York on May 14, 1912 on the passenger ship "Canada".
I've heard that it is difficult to retrieve documents from the Cassino area (assuming that is where Crescenzo is from). If anyone has any insight as to how i can move forward, I would greatly appreciate it.
You are correct that Cassino records are hard to obtain, because the war destroyed the city hall, the court and the churches were all the records were kept. When the war was over, all the living residents went to the court in Cassino and took an oath to swear that they were born on such and such date. These became the new "Atti Riconstituti" which became part of the new civil register.
I was lucky in a sense that my GGF actually went down to the court to reconstruct his birth certificate. The problem that I can see with your GGF, is that he left Italy BEFORE the war happened, so as he wasn't in Cassino when the war occurred he couldn't go down and reconstruct his birth certificate at the court. You could get lucky though, so i would try to send the comune a letter to see if they have, potentially his birth certificate. It is worth a chance to see if, under the slightest chances he was able to reconstruct his birth cert and thus allowing you to obtain a copy for your Italian citizenship request. The same principle applies to the marriage cert as well.The LDS records of births for the comune of Cassino does not contain his birth cert for the year of 1885. I also looked at marriages of Cassino in 1908 and there are no marriages as well. Was Concetta Fionda born in Cassino? If she wasn't maybe she got married to your GGF in her town of birth and she can get her marriage cert from there. I still highly recommend you write to Cassino and see what they say. Maybe they have his birth cert and maybe not? If not, maybe you can ask the comune to write a letter saying the records were destroyed during war or if they can provide any other places to access the records (if possible). Hope this helps.
P.S. I find that the comune is really slow to respond to certificate requests due to low staff numbers
The State Archives should have additional copies of the records. I believe the LDS records were photocopied in the State Archives and I've heard that this was around the time of WWII. As Nic reported that they are not listed there, it suggests that they do not have them. However if the comune cannot provide them, it's worth a chance to also write to the Province. At the least you will end up with another letter stating that the original records were destroyed.
Thank you so much Nic for checking the LDS records for me and thank you to Karen for your input! I believe Crescenzo's parents remained in Italy. Is it possible that they could have reconstructed Crescenzo's birth records on his behalf? I'm also having difficulty figuring out Crescenzo's parent's names. On his marriage registry (2nd marriage in the USA) he listed his father as Anthony DeMonaco and his mother as Palma (no maiden name). When I received a copy of his death certificate (in USA) his father is listed as Domenico DeMonaco with no name listed for his mother. Would either of you know how I might search for his parents under the circumstances?
I will do my best to contact the commune and the Province. Do either of you know what my chances are for receiving citizenship if there is no birth record?
Marriage records tend to be more accurate (since they use information from the couple themselves). Death records are filled out by other family members (who apparently didn't even know his mother's name). So I would try using the marriage record info first. But you can always mention both names. See what other U.S. documents you can find that might give you more information.
Since he appears to have been in Italy as a young man, you should also ask the State Archives for his military records. These include his date of birth, parents' names and whether he served in the military. Ask for a photocopy of the original record.
If there is no birth record in Italy, you can look into baptism records. These, too might have been destroyed, but you never know until you check it out. The consulate likes to see every link in the chain and I imagine that the one from Italy is the most important. But if all the rest of your documents are good, the comune says the records were destroyed and you find other documents for him in Italy I'd hope they'd consider it.
Perhaps someone with more specific experience will chime in.