Italy during WWI

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Italy during WWI

Postby Maestranzi » 21 Apr 2006, 06:19

can anyone help me with this. I've always thought my family was from Italy, but just learned that the town that my great grandfather was born in (Giustino, Trento Italy) was actually in Austria until Italy conquered it during WWI. So my great grandfather was born in austria (on his birth certificate) but then lived in Italy for many years after that. So did all of the citizens then become Italian citizens once Italy conquered that part of Austria? Does that make my great grandfather (Giovanni Maestranzi) Italian and able to be passed down to me?

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby mler » 21 Apr 2006, 06:36

I believe they did become Italians. In fact, I believe in 1939 Mussolini gave people the option of staying in Italy as Italians or returning to Germany. Many opted for the latter. Now did he pass this to your grandfather?

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby Maestranzi » 21 Apr 2006, 08:21

im sorry. did he pass what to my grandfather?

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby jcsm400 » 21 Apr 2006, 09:19

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"im sorry. did he pass what to my grandfather?"

Did he pass his Italian citizenship to you?



By staying in Italy, he became a citizen of Italy.
Researching in San Vitaliano, Napoli, Italy & Armento, Potenza, Italy.

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby Maestranzi » 21 Apr 2006, 09:46

thats what i'm hoping. my great grandfather is from italy, but my grandfather was born in the u.s. my great grandfather never was naturalized b/c his father was already a u.s. citizen even though he was living in Italy. Everyone keeps telling me you couldn't have dual citizenship back then, but my great grandfather was born in Italy, lived in and lived in Italy until he was in his 20's, but when he came to the U.s. his father was already a citizen, so he didn't have to be naturalized.therefore he became an automatic u.s. citizen apon arrival (without being naturalized) , but never had to give up his italian citizenship. is this possible?

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby ricbru » 21 Apr 2006, 11:43

If your ancestor, born in territory of Austria, now Italy (Giustino) emigrated from there before july 16th, 1920, you are entitled to request italian citizienship

this is the law (written in italian)

http://www.esteri.it/doc/legge_trentini.pdf

I hope it helps, bye Riccardo

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby suanj » 21 Apr 2006, 15:16

great ricbru! regards, suanj
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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby mler » 21 Apr 2006, 15:52

It's all very confusing isn't it? Yours seems to be an unusual case, but it really is true that you could not hold dual citizenship back then. Also, just being born in Italy does not make you a citizen. Let me give you an example.

My niece was born in Rome and lived there until she was 10 years old. Her father was an Italian, naturalized in the U.S (an American citizen). When they returned to the U.S., of course, she was still an American citizen because her parents were Americans. But was she an Italian, too?

She always thought she was, but she wasn't. Being born in Italy does not make you Italian. Having Italian parents makes you Italian. She discovered quickly that she never was an Italian citizen. The only way she can become an Italian citizen is to live in Italy for three years.

Where your great grandfather was born (as far as Italy is concerned) does not determine his citizenship; the citizenship of his parents determines his citizenship. Thus, your great grandfather was born and lived in Italy, but was an American citizen. BTW, the U.S. is unique in that it confers citizenship to a child simply by virtue of the fact that the child was born within its borders.

Now, how does this affect you? Technically, your great grandfather was not an Italian citizen and could not pass citizenship down to you. However, because he lived in Italy for so long, there may be some confusion of records. If you can document that he was born it Italy, and if there is no record of his naturalization, you may be able to "sneak through the cracks." I would suggest, however, that you do not mention that your great great grandfather was a naturalized American, and instead start your research with your great grandfather. NEVER mention to anyone in the Italian consulate the subject of "dual citizenship." As soon as you say an ancestor was naturalized, to Italy (and its consulates) that ancestor becomes automatically American--and bye bye Italian citizenship.

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby suanj » 21 Apr 2006, 17:27

Maestranzi:
1-if your ggfather was born in italian land under Austrian power (for a time period) and your ggfather never naturalized USA citizen, you can obtain the italian citizenship.

2-if your ggfather was born in italian land under Austrian power (for a time period) and your ggfather NATURALIZED USA citizen you cannot obtain italian citizenship

3-if your ggfather was born in italian land under Austrian power (for a time period) and your ggfather WAS naturalized USA citizen AFTER the birth in Italy of your gfather and your gfather NEVER renounced to italian citizenship, you can obtain the italian citizen

are some other cases, but I don't know what are your family members...
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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby mler » 21 Apr 2006, 18:32

Be careful here, Suanj. Remember that Maestranzi's great great grandfather was a naturalized American. Because of this, all his children, including Maestranzi's great grandfather, were also American--even if the great grandfather was born in Italy. You derive your citizenship based on the citizenship of your parents not on where you were born.

Don't give up, though, Maestranzi, because your great great grandfather's naturalization was at a time when records may not have been too clear. See if you can get a copy of your great grandfather's birth certificate from Italy. You may be able to determine if Italy considered him to be Italian or if he was registered as the child of an American. Once you have this information, you can proceed. Good luck.

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby suanj » 21 Apr 2006, 18:59

Hi mier, in 3° case, I say if "never renounced", but really it is necessary the all precise data of maestranzi ancestors..... suanj
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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby mler » 21 Apr 2006, 23:43

That is true, Suanj. Maestranzi's case is difficult to follow because he goes all the way back to his great great grandfather, who was an American citizen even though he was living in Italy.

Americans are confused by Italian citizenship laws because in this country, anyone who is born here is a citizen. In Italy, it is different. Even if you are born in Italy, you are NOT a citizen if your parents are NOT citizens.

So, based on what Maestranzi tells us, his great grandfather, who was born in Italy, was really not Italian because his father (Maestranzi's great great grandfather was not Italian).

Again, though, Maestranzi, Italy may not have been aware of your great great grandfather's naturalization, and he may have registered your great grandfather as Italian. You really need to check on this. If he registered your great grandfather as Italian, you can probably proceed. If he registered your great grandfather as an American with the American consulate, you've got a problem. (I suspect, though, that he may have done the latter, because you say your great grandfather was accepted as an American when he came to this country.)

An additional problem is that, as you are aware, Trento was not initially part of Italy. Your great grandfather's birth may have been registered as an American birth to avoid the national ambiguities of that region.

But you must believe this: Your great grandfather was an Italian citizen or he was an American citizen. He could not be both at the same time until 1992.

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby suanj » 22 Apr 2006, 00:51

about:
"Americans are confused by Italian citizenship laws because in this country, anyone who is born here is a citizen. In Italy, it is different. Even if you are born in Italy, you are NOT a citizen if your parents are NOT citizens. "

any person ( son/daughter of foreign parents also) that born on Italy territory have italian citizenship.... become italian citizen.. this for sure.. i understand that is difficult, but almost for this part law of my country I can say you with certainty..

About Trento area or Tyrol area etc...was initially italian, and for year of emigration when this lands was under foreign power, the peoples was always italian for names, language, culture etc, and when the foreign power finished, this italians are again as all italians! this case is very frequent in Italy history, so the reign of two sicily when under french and spanish people etc...
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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby mler » 22 Apr 2006, 04:59

Suanj, I just did a web search on this, and I found out that we are both partially incorrect.

You cannot automatically become an Italian citizen simply by being born in Italy although many people believe this to be the case (including my niece who was very surprised to find out that being born in Italy did not make her Italian). Here is the specific criteria:

Italian citizenship can be automatically acquired

By filiation (birth to an Italian parent)--this is consistent with the principle of jus sanguinis.
By birth on Italian territory to stateless parents or to unknown parents or to parents who cannot transmit their nationality--this is partially consistent with the principle of jus soli.
By paternal/maternal acknowledgement or legitimation.


So you see that unlike in the U.S. where simply by virtue of being born in the country, you become a citizen, Italy confers citizenship only to those who are born there and who have no other citizenship.

However, there is an exception of which I was unaware and one that benefits Maestranzi. If you are born in Italy AND reside there until you reach your majority, you are an Italian citizen.

This seems to work for you Maestranzi, because I believe you said that your great grandfather left Italy when he was in his 20s. If Trento was part of Italy at that time, it doesn't seem you have a problem.

My quess is that your biggest problem will be getting all the documentation together. You will probably need your great grandfather's Italian birth certificate, documentation of date of emigration, documentation of non-naturalization, plus all the birth, death and marriage certificates that come after. Wow! It's a lot of work, but at least it should work for you. Hope it all comes together. :)

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Re: Italy during WWI

Postby Maestranzi » 22 Apr 2006, 05:09

thanks for all your help everyone. here's a quick question for mler: I understand that you say my great grandfather was actually born a u.s. citizen even though he was born in italy b/c my great great grandfather had already been naturalized. however, you also mentioned that italian citizenship could be obtained by living in Italy for 3 years. My great grandfather was born and lived in Italy until he was 27 years old. He was born in 1901, and didnt come to american until 1928, even though his father was in america. So is it possible that even though he was actually born a u.s. citizen (probably w/out people knowing it) he became an italian citizen from living there so long. I mean i know he worked there for many years, owned land and property. My grandfather even has documents of the land that my great grandfather owned. Also, my great grandfather was born in italy with his italian mother (obviously) so at least one of his parents was still considered italian. Or did women just not count at all as far as nationality's were concerned back then?


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