I have determined pretty surely the name of my ancestor and that he was born in S. Fronto, Piemonte,Italy in Sep 1755. Also that he was later "naturalized" in England and served in a military capacity for the East India Trading Company in India 1781. At that point he had his anglicized name, Joseph Jeffery Finch.
His given Italian name was Giuseppe Goffredi de Finis.
Is there much hope of finding records from Piemonte region that far back?
Ciao and welcome! Was the village of origin of you ancestor Sanfront in the Cuneo Province, Piemonte region? The earliest online records for Sanfront begin in 1802 http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it. For the years before that you can write to the Parish and see if they have his baptismal record. Address Parrocchia di San Martino Piazza Ferrero 3 12030 Sanfront CN
Thanks for the reference. I knew I would run into trouble going back to the mid 1700's. I will try to parish records, hopefully someone there can read English, as I don't know if I can muster very good Italian for the inquiry. Thanks again!