John Philip Colletta answered my query in his book: Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans. I quote pages 77-78: Prior to 1869 permits to emigrate were issued by regional heads of state, such as the King of the Two Sicilies in Naples or the Duke of Tuscany, through a governmental agency. Since the unification of Italy, passport applications have been made at the local questura (police station). Registri dell'Emigrazione e Passporti (Registers of Emigration and Passports) from about 1800 through World War I, are preserved in archivi di stato, with those dated 1869 and later being among the records of the Polizia (Police) or Prefettura (Prefect). Passport records since World War I, however, are still in the custody of the questura where the application was made. Emigration and passport records usually state the name of each emigrant, comune of birth, age or birth date, date when applying to emigrate or date when emigration will be permitted, and the port of departure and destination. Unfortunately, however, in many places, emigration and passport records have not been preserved, either in the archivio di stato or at the questura. A seperate set of records dealing with emigration matters has been kept since 1869 by the Ministero dell'Interno (Minsitry of the Interior) in Rome, where they are maintained today--closed to public inspection. However, requests for genealogical information from these records may be granted if the requestor makes clear his or her relationship to the emigrant and gives a reason for the information that the ministry considers satisfactory.
Great book! Best to all !
Searching Surnames: Favara, Lanzarone, Agnello, LaRussa From: Castelvetrano, Santa Margherita de Belice, Milano
I had previously posted this on another thread on this forum, which came from Trafford Cole's book on Italian Genealogical Records.:
from the year 1869, and the unification of Italy, any Italian citizen who wanted to travel outside of Italy had to be issued a passport. They could not leave their country without one, although the country to which they were traveling did not necessarily require them to have a passport to enter that new country. So the U.S. did not require an Italian passport to enter this country in the early 1900s, but Italy required its citizens to have a passport in order to leave there. For one thing, the Italian government wanted to make sure that men who were eligible for their draft did not leave the country before they had served in the military there. Another thing was that the Italian government wanted to insure that any of its citizens guilty of a crime did not leave the country.
Now, in order for an Italian citizen to be issued an Italian passport in their country, they had to go to their closest police headquarters with their birth certificates. There the officials would check the names on the certificates. So it was the Italian police who issued the passports. Some Italian citizens requested a passport but never left Italy. Some made multiple trips abroad using only 1 passport. Some actually made two or three requests for a passport before finally setting sail. The records kept by the questura (in the archives of the headquarters of the internal police in each province) are not available to the public.
Every passport request, however, also had to be approved by the ministero degli interni (minister of internal affairs) in Rome. So a list of passport requests and approvals is kept by this ministero in Rome. The problem is that the passports are indexed by town or province for each year, so you need not only the town name but also the year the passport was issued (which may not be the same year your ancestor arrived in the United States). Also these indices do not even contain the actual date of departure from Italy of your ancestor, as he may have requested his passport months before he actually left there. According to Trafford Cole, in his book about researching Italian records, this index contains very little info of actual worth (p.161).