Good Day, it is great to have a place like this to get info and advice. If I can ask for some more help, I am a little confused on how I will get the reords I need once I arrive in Basilcata area.
I have picked three places to begin my records search I need to look into the records in Potenza, Ruoti and Avigliano this trip. I gleened from the information yesterday from this site, that we have to write to the Mayor of the towns first, but what about the churches? Can we just go into the church and ask about the records?
I will be looking for Angelo Vito Telesca, Catarina Capodanna, Rocco Cutinella and Carmella Troiano's records, any and all I can find, birth, death, brothers, sisters, etc.
I am not sure they are all from these towns, after years of family research in US, I am thinking these are the towns to start.
My goal is to get any information from around 1863 back.
I have the letters ready for the Mayors from the site yesterday, what else may I do to be prepared for this adventure.
There are wonderful microfilm records available for your towns. I would advise you to look through the records here and not waste many hours doing preliminary research in Italy. It can take many, many hours to go through all records throughly, especially until you learn to read them.
I have no personal experience with obtaining the records in person from the priest. From what I have read it depends on the priest and his experience with previous researches and schedules. But the records are on microfilm, so you do not need the priest's permission. Do your preliminary research here and use your time in Italy to follow up on what you find. TAke pictures of ancestral homes. Meet the people. Eat and have fun!
While you are waiting for the microfilm and preparing for your visit, I strongly recommend reading a book or two on researching Italian records. There are several available. Your public library may even carry one. The one that I use is called Italian Genealogical Records by Trafford Cole. Other similar books were written by Philip Colletta (spelling?) and Lynn Nelson. If you've never read through Italian records before, these books will get you off to a great start.
Have a great trip and good luck with your research!