Church Parish Records

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vickig
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Church Parish Records

Postby vickig » 05 Nov 2010, 02:58

Hi,

Does anyone know how to go about trying to locate records or what they may have available from the Church Parish in Italy and the procedure? Thank you.

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maestra36
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Re: Church Parish Records

Postby maestra36 » 06 Nov 2010, 13:03

Unfortunately, I think you are asking too broad a question. There are some microfilmed church records, but you would have to give us the names of the towns in which you are interested in order for us to determine if there are any microfilmed church records for your ancestral towns. Other than that, you pretty much have to write to individual parishes in your individual towns. Records were kept at the church level long before there were state civil records, so technically there should be church records around for even in the mid 1500, but, in reality, that is far from the case, in many instances. Churches housed their records and, when there were natural disasters such as earthquakes, etc, and the churches were destroyed, so were their records. In my one ancestral town, this was the case and only occasionally do you find a church record pre 1800 which appears on the microfilm in between the state civil records. Otherwise there are no pre 1800 records for that town. It is also my understanding that it has only been as recent as 1917 that churches were required to keep copies of their records at the diocese level. So, even though a few churches may have opted to keep copies at their diocese level, most probably did not. The other thing is that, due to a shortage of priests, a lot of individual parishes do not have resident priests. A priest may actually administer to parishes in various towns. So getting records from individual parishes could be difficult for this reason. You can search in the Italian yellow pages for parishes in a particular town-

http://www.paginegialle.it/

where it says cosa type in chiese cattoliche and where it says dove type in the name of your town. You will get a list of current churches in your towns. If there is a phone number with the name and address of the church that should indicate that the parish has a resident priest. Sometimes you have to send letters to more than one parish in a town to determine which one houses your ancestors records. I had to write to all thirteen parishes in the town of Benevento in Benevento province a long time ago to find the right parish. I was very successful and the priest did provide records copies, but a donation had to be sent once he confirmed that the ancestors' records were in his parish before he mailed the record copies.

Hope all the above information helps. I know you are looking for a simple answer, but there isn't one.

Peg

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maestra36
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Re: Church Parish Records

Postby maestra36 » 06 Nov 2010, 13:19

If you find any parishes you think you want to contact, you can refer to the following website to help you write a letter in Italian to the parish priest:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... tters.html

You should also search for the individual parishes online, as some do maintain websites and you may find an email address. I had success finding a website for my husband's cousin who emailed the parish priest and then, when she visited the town some months later, he gave her copies of all the records he had gathered (even from some neighboring parishes) and had a dinner for her and her husband, with some 200 people, all of whom he claimed were in some way related to her.

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vickig
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Re: Church Parish Records

Postby vickig » 06 Nov 2010, 17:41

Thank you.


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