Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back)?

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Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back)?

Postby john_dominic » 11 Jun 2005, 15:01

Ok,

I believe most of the topics here apply to people trying to find where their family originally came from in Italy.

Not to downplay that, but let's suppose that some of us have done it complete, recieved the birth certificates, etc, etc.

It's completely verified and that is done.

So, how do we go about finding family, for generations upon generations back in Italy, especially without actually living there?

I know that civil records cover part of the 1800s, but that isn't completely useful considering that birth certificates do not show when people's parents were born, let alone where they were born and where they got married.

And, before that, you really only have church records, which are probably even tougher to sort through and figure out (and that's not considering rumors i've heard that there is severely limited access to those records, and that is IF you are living in Italy).

So, for any of you - what's the best method to go about doing this (without getting some pro researcher costing $4000 to do it)?

Or, will I have to fork out the money? (I hope not).

Thanks

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby VaDeb » 11 Jun 2005, 18:25

I don't understand exactly what you want answered. If you have done the research and ordered the birth certificates, etc back to the early 1800's you have established you linegae many generations back. When civil records end church records are the only option left.

If you are lucky the records of your town have been micrfilmed by the LDS church and you can do all the research here. This is a well written post by Trish on how to use these records.

http://italiangenealogy.tardio.com/inde ... pic&t=2581

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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby JamesBianco » 11 Jun 2005, 19:20

Sadly it is very difficult in most cases to get at the church records. Unless you have sicilian ancestry and the LDS church has filmed. If you are curious about what the church records look like (or can look like) check out my resources page for Carini, Sicily..I have the records complete 1527-1905 almost 400 years.

http://www.cariniexchange.org/

In case any of you have not seen a 1653 Riveli or the church enumeration called Stati di Anime you should have a look. The Riveli are especially wonderful as they start in the late 1590's and continue into the early 19th century giving the entire family unit with (in most cases) ages of everyone and the father of the head of household if male.

Jim
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby john_dominic » 12 Jun 2005, 04:07

VaDeb wrote:I don't understand exactly what you want answered. If you have done the research and ordered the birth certificates, etc back to the early 1800's you have established you linegae many generations back. When civil records end church records are the only option left.

If you are lucky the records of your town have been micrfilmed by the LDS church and you can do all the research here. This is a well written post by Trish on how to use these records.

http://italiangenealogy.tardio.com/inde ... pic&t=2581

Debbie


Ok, this is what i'm looking for. Unfortunately, the LDS are absolutely terrible in Chicago (they are open like 3 hours a week, and an alternative resource is open 9-6 every day, where I actually carry our research), so this is going to be a radically tedius process.

Thanks

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby sazzlynn » 12 Jun 2005, 04:53

Here is an alternative FHC:
Hyde Park Illinois
5200 S University Avenue
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
Phone: 773-493-1830
Hours: M 9:30am-12:30pm; W 7pm-9pm; F 6pm-9pm; Sat 9am-12pm;
Closed: Holidays, and the 1st weekends of April and October
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby john_dominic » 12 Jun 2005, 05:25

JamesBianco wrote:Sadly it is very difficult in most cases to get at the church records. Unless you have sicilian ancestry and the LDS church has filmed. If you are curious about what the church records look like (or can look like) check out my resources page for Carini, Sicily..I have the records complete 1527-1905 almost 400 years.

http://www.cariniexchange.org/

In case any of you have not seen a 1653 Riveli or the church enumeration called Stati di Anime you should have a look. The Riveli are especially wonderful as they start in the late 1590's and continue into the early 19th century giving the entire family unit with (in most cases) ages of everyone and the father of the head of household if male.

Jim


Jim,

Elaborate on the Riveli. My family (the Italian Side) is 100% Sicilian, so this should apply to me.

And, how do you read those books? I get that i'd get it from the LDS, but are they chronological? alphabetical? by family? I need to be clearer on this.

Guys, the root of this is pretty simple:

I have documents like this (names and seals blocked out for privacy):

Image

with names, but no date of birth or city of origin (as they all don't have date of birth or city of origin of the parents).

Where do I go from there?

Thanks,

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby brujaojos » 12 Jun 2005, 05:46

john_dominic wrote:Elaborate on the Riveli. My family (the Italian Side) is 100% Sicilian, so this should apply to me.

And, how do you read those books? I get that i'd get it from the LDS, but are they chronological? alphabetical? by family? I need to be clearer on this.

Guys, the root of this is pretty simple:

I have documents like this:

<center><img src="http://realone.dynds.org/images/1883-07-17-Pietro-DiMaggio.jpg"></img></center>
with names, but no date of birth or city of origin.

Where do I go from there?
Thanks,

J


Hi J,

I'm sorry that your Family History Center near you isn't always open, nor can they order film. However, maybe the other one that is mentioned by Sazzlynn is close to you and you can order microfilm there.

My suggestions to you are as follows:

1. Find all that you can about your ancestors from here in the USA.
a. Get Census Records, they can give you approximate year of birth, and when a person came to USA.
b. Death Certificates, Marriage Application if married in USA, all can give you clues, parents names, etc.
c. Get Naturalization records. That could list the town your ancestor is from.
d. Did you check Ellis Island to see if any town is listed on the manifest.


Once you get any type of documentation, find out there is microfilm for the town from the Family History Center.

Also, talk to the Director of the FHC that you go to, they may be able to open the center for you, but appointment only or suggest that they open more days.

Can you at least give us the name of your ancestor and where they settled in the USA? There are wonderful people on here that are willing to supply census information, etc. Least we can start to get you onto the right direction.

If you have questions just ask.
Trish
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby john_dominic » 12 Jun 2005, 16:29

sazzlynn wrote:Here is an alternative FHC:
Hyde Park Illinois
5200 S University Avenue
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
Phone: 773-493-1830
Hours: M 9:30am-12:30pm; W 7pm-9pm; F 6pm-9pm; Sat 9am-12pm;
Closed: Holidays, and the 1st weekends of April and October


As I said, the hours are terrible. I have an actual job, which is like 9-6pm (or later) and only three hours a week are even applicable (Wendesdays possible, but rare), and that's not considering the fact that all of it is a leat an hour commute each way.

Don't worry, I can get them imported through the Newberry Library (they have better hours than the LDS center), but i'm still basically screwed on all days except Saturday.

And, researching one day a week (of which that day is extraordinarily often busy) is very slow.

Anyway, felt like clearing up the fact that all LDS records in Chicago are absolutely a nightmare to have any reasonable access to.

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby john_dominic » 12 Jun 2005, 16:34

brujaojos wrote:
john_dominic wrote:Elaborate on the Riveli. My family (the Italian Side) is 100% Sicilian, so this should apply to me.

And, how do you read those books? I get that i'd get it from the LDS, but are they chronological? alphabetical? by family? I need to be clearer on this.

Guys, the root of this is pretty simple:

I have documents like this:

<center><img src="http://realone.dynds.org/images/1883-07-17-Pietro-DiMaggio.jpg"></img></center>
with names, but no date of birth or city of origin.

Where do I go from there?
Thanks,

J


Hi J,

I'm sorry that your Family History Center near you isn't always open, nor can they order film. However, maybe the other one that is mentioned by Sazzlynn is close to you and you can order microfilm there.

My suggestions to you are as follows:

1. Find all that you can about your ancestors from here in the USA.
a. Get Census Records, they can give you approximate year of birth, and when a person came to USA.
b. Death Certificates, Marriage Application if married in USA, all can give you clues, parents names, etc.
c. Get Naturalization records. That could list the town your ancestor is from.
d. Did you check Ellis Island to see if any town is listed on the manifest.


Once you get any type of documentation, find out there is microfilm for the town from the Family History Center.

Also, talk to the Director of the FHC that you go to, they may be able to open the center for you, but appointment only or suggest that they open more days.

Can you at least give us the name of your ancestor and where they settled in the USA? There are wonderful people on here that are willing to supply census information, etc. Least we can start to get you onto the right direction.

If you have questions just ask.
Trish


Sorry, if I wasn't clear on this:

I HAVE 100% of my ancestors determined, down to the city of origin and year of birth, with all ship records found, and only two birth certificates out of 10 or so not yet acquired from Italy, and they are on the way.

It's all sorted out and I want to understand the proper route in deriving ancestors based on Civil and Church records, especially when parents listed on all Civil Records have neither city of orign nor date of birth (i'm talking one generation back from the first ancestor to come from America, in Italy).

It seems incredibly crude and difficult, but that's just me.

Thanks

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby JamesBianco » 12 Jun 2005, 17:27

john_dominic wrote:
I have documents like this:


with names, but no date of birth or city of origin.

Where do I go from there?

Thanks,

J



Actually that is an extracted record. The original entry would not only give you the ages of both parents, but their birthplaces as well. The Stato Civile office did not send you all of the information. It comes down to this, you have 2 options.

1)order the civil records from the your local LDS church. You would be looking at images of exactlty what the registrar would see as he opened the book to extract a document such as you have linked. All information would naturally be in front of you, including what you refer to (birthplace, age etc) I am sure you aware of these catalong numbers. As your time is limited, as are their hours, perhaps you must wait until you have vacation time or whenever you might have a free day or two to research. The Allegati are especially valuable. They are marriage "files" or "Packets" centering around a marriage record. They can contain up to 30 pages or so. One of the documents most useful and unique to Italy. They include the marriage record, naming each spouse, their age, birthplace, parents names, the ages of their fathers. Then also would be included the birth or baptism of the groom and bride, from the church usually. If any of the 4 parents are deceased, their death/burial record as well. Many times the paternal grandfather's death is included, and I have seen where the great-grandfather's death has been included. It will not be a breeze to decifer everything at first, but there are books which can help you understand the traditional format (such as the commonly cited Trafford Cole Book) and the LDS church has several great outlines at a minimal cost to aid in Italian research. All of us started research not knowing what to expect and how to read these records, it is a learning experience the more you work with them the easier it is to understand the format. I can only speak for myself but when I started years ago I knew nothing, and am certainly not fluent in Italian. Italian Civil records are amazing in their content, some of the best that Europe has to offer. BUT the only way you will access them from this country is through the LDS church, and with some determination.

OPTION 2)
Hire a researcher (something I personally would only do as a last resort as there is nothing quite as exiting as finding these documents yourself and a report from a genealogist will never have the same value as one you have compiled yourself through methodical research).
There are a ton of them out there, and they range from a few hundred dollars for some pretty impressive work to outrageous people taking advantage of the inexperienced (like 2000 for a 4 generations).

Those are your options. To start I would recommend purchasing a book such as this to understand a little more clearly the general outline of things record-wise.

Best of luck to you!

Jim
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby JamesBianco » 12 Jun 2005, 17:39

Also..as a side note (before the information on the record was blacked out) it mentions that this birth was ALSO recorded in Piana degli Albanesi (Plane de Greci). This was usually the case in situations where the father or possibly both parents were natives of that other town. Here are the catalog numbers for Piana Piana degli Albanesi

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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby john_dominic » 22 Jun 2005, 12:23

JamesBianco wrote:
john_dominic wrote:
I have documents like this:


with names, but no date of birth or city of origin.

Where do I go from there?

Thanks,

J



Actually that is an extracted record. The original entry would not only give you the ages of both parents, but their birthplaces as well. The Stato Civile office did not send you all of the information. It comes down to this, you have 2 options.

1)order the civil records from the your local LDS church. You would be looking at images of exactlty what the registrar would see as he opened the book to extract a document such as you have linked. All information would naturally be in front of you, including what you refer to (birthplace, age etc) I am sure you aware of these catalong numbers. As your time is limited, as are their hours, perhaps you must wait until you have vacation time or whenever you might have a free day or two to research. The Allegati are especially valuable. They are marriage "files" or "Packets" centering around a marriage record. They can contain up to 30 pages or so. One of the documents most useful and unique to Italy. They include the marriage record, naming each spouse, their age, birthplace, parents names, the ages of their fathers. Then also would be included the birth or baptism of the groom and bride, from the church usually. If any of the 4 parents are deceased, their death/burial record as well. Many times the paternal grandfather's death is included, and I have seen where the great-grandfather's death has been included. It will not be a breeze to decifer everything at first, but there are books which can help you understand the traditional format (such as the commonly cited Trafford Cole Book) and the LDS church has several great outlines at a minimal cost to aid in Italian research. All of us started research not knowing what to expect and how to read these records, it is a learning experience the more you work with them the easier it is to understand the format. I can only speak for myself but when I started years ago I knew nothing, and am certainly not fluent in Italian. Italian Civil records are amazing in their content, some of the best that Europe has to offer. BUT the only way you will access them from this country is through the LDS church, and with some determination.

OPTION 2)
Hire a researcher (something I personally would only do as a last resort as there is nothing quite as exiting as finding these documents yourself and a report from a genealogist will never have the same value as one you have compiled yourself through methodical research).
There are a ton of them out there, and they range from a few hundred dollars for some pretty impressive work to outrageous people taking advantage of the inexperienced (like 2000 for a 4 generations).

Those are your options. To start I would recommend purchasing a book such as this to understand a little more clearly the general outline of things record-wise.

Best of luck to you!

Jim


Ok, i've been busy, but i'm back.

A few things:

1) The civil records you are referring are going to be a bit limited. Don't they stop at around 1800? I'm hoping to go much further back than that.

2) But, I do appreciate the explanation of further details they'll have. I'll import them from my LDS Center, but...

What is "Diversi" and "Memorandum?" I obviously know what the words mean, but I don't want to overlook anything.

3) I still have no answer on what the Riveli and Stati di Anime is, and how I can have access to it. I can see you did get your hands on some of it, so there has to be a way.

I do think the Riveli and Stati di Anime are exactly what i'm looking for, so any tips on them I can really use.

Thanks,

J
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby JamesBianco » 22 Jun 2005, 18:33

john_dominic wrote:
Ok, i've been busy, but i'm back.

A few things:

1) The civil records you are referring are going to be a bit limited. Don't they stop at around 1800? I'm hoping to go much further back than that.

2) But, I do appreciate the explanation of further details they'll have. I'll import them from my LDS Center, but...

What is "Diversi" and "Memorandum?" I obviously know what the words mean, but I don't want to overlook anything.

3) I still have no answer on what the Riveli and Stati di Anime is, and how I can have access to it. I can see you did get your hands on some of it, so there has to be a way.

I do think the Riveli and Stati di Anime are exactly what i'm looking for, so any tips on them I can really use.

Thanks,

J


Yes the Civil Records do begin roughly in 1808/1809 for Central & Southern Italy, 1865 for the north and 1820 for Sicily. These marriage
"Packets" (Atti Diversi) I refer to can take you back to the early 1700's (I say can, but this is not always the case). The Riveli is a sort of Land and Property Census, and in Sicily at least most have been filmed from the late 1500's to about the year 1815. Part of the Riveli is a sort of Family Enumeration, containing Head of household, age, fathers given name, wife, and children listed in descending order with age notation. I have the 1653 Riveli for Carini, Sicily online Here. The later records would of course be an easier read. Stati di Anime has dissapointed me in content. This is a church enumeration of families, but very vague, not even ages are listed. You can look at the 1755,1757,1777, and 1786 Stati di Anime for Carini on my site here. To get back farther than the Stato (and you know this of course) you would need to consult the church records. With determination and effort you can easily decifer the format and extract the vital information. For example, my own grandmother (Born in 1922) is traced back in 80% of her lines to the early/mid 1500's. Her ancestrial charts number 700 Pages. If you would like to see what to expect, here they are (once again for Carini) from 1568-1896. The Carini Exchange Vital Records Page.

Hopefully I answered your questions...if not, please let me know.

Best of luck
Jim :)
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby vineviz » 23 Jun 2005, 02:56

I just wanted to add, at the risk of inferring something you didn't mean to imply, the time-consuming and (sometimes) tedious slogging through the microfilms is critical to fully building out the tree.

For one thing, you will often find unexpected things when you see the actual record on microfilm that are vitally important. Perhaps an uncle acted as a witness, or the registrar went back and noted a marriage on a BIRTH certificate in the margin. This has happened to me many times, and is often the only clue for following up an important branch. Often, a man from village A would marry a woman from a nearby village B and lived there ever-after. A note in the margin is the only way you will find this marriage. Or the original record will list the street of the house in which the birth occurred, or a nearby landmark. Sometimes they WILL note the town of residence for a grandparent, for instance if a grandmother presented the baby to the sindaco.

Second, going through the records yourself will enable you to find siblings of your direct ancestors and those siblings might give you the clues you need. For instance, say I am looking in Village A for the birth record of Luca Nardone. In doing so, I happen to also find the birth record for his sister, Maria Nardone. On Luca's record, it just says this father is Orazio and his mother is Antonia. But on Maria's record, it says her father is Orazio fu Alessandro and her mother is Antonia fu Saverio. Bingo, more clues to track down and another generation.

Third, because there is much surname repetition in these towns you must be ABSOLUTELY sure you have the right Maria Nardone before going back another generation. What if there were two Maria Nardone's born in the same year? You are going to have to figure out a way to tell them apart. You will need more than the extract to do this.

Fourth, as JamesBianco pointed out, the civil Allegati or Processeti from the early 1800s can easily get you back the early 1700s or late 1600s. They are a lot easier to read than the church records, so it would be a waste of energy to not explore them first.

I feel your pain: I am an hour from my Family History Center, and having only four hours a week (at best) to work on this is a real bummer.

The best approach to research, in my opinion, is to put in the hours upon hours with the LDS films until there is absolutely nothing left for them to offer you. Do so knowing that you will probably do a better job than any professional researcher could at any price. Unless, of course, you just don't have the time or the patience in which case a pro is your only bet.
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Re: Researching ancestors beyond the city in Italy (far back

Postby vineviz » 23 Jun 2005, 03:03

john_dominic wrote:What is "Diversi" and "Memorandum?" I obviously know what the words mean, but I don't want to overlook anything.


In the towns I am researching, the "Diversi" records include records of lawsuits, still births, foreign deaths, military deaths, etc.

Still births are not recorded in the normal birth records. The death records usually only record deaths that OCCURRED in the comune. The Diversi for San Germano that I was recently viewing included a letter from the sindaco in Firenze to the sindaco in Cassino alerting him the death in Firenze of a resident of San Germano. It wasn't my ancestor, but what a great find if it had been . . . .
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