Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

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Scarlett227
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Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 28 Apr 2008, 17:47

Hello,

My first microfilms arrived at the not-so-local family history center, and I was excited to finally find out the details for the family members from the area of Ariano. (I have names in Italy back to the early 1800s, but no dates or certificates).

My trip there was a total failure. For some reason, I thought that there would be name indexes at the beginning of the films, or the years, listing the records for that year. There were no indexes that I could find, unless I didn't look in the right place. The films were negatives, and in some cases the handwriting was impossible to read given the microfilm reader. I was prepared to read the old-fashioned handwriting, and to have to translate the Italian at home, but I couldn't even find usable records to copy and take home for that purpose. The records were filmed with no order that I could discern -- birth marriage and death seemed all jumbled together.

Everyone seems to have such luck finding records on microfilm -- did I do something wrong? Is it easier/better to just write to Italy for copies of what I need, or is there a service where someone else can order the films for me at their local center and make the photocopies? If so, what does it cost?

Thank you for any help/advice you can provide.
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby BillieDeKid » 28 Apr 2008, 17:58

Hi Scarlett

What you need to do is look at the description of the film you have and see what it says. The documents are scanned in order......if you're looking at birth acts you will see the number in the upper left or right above the childs name at at the top of the document it will say atti di nascita. Same for atti di morte (death), atti di matrimonio (marriage), pubblicazioni (marriage banns).

Can you tell me the comune (town) you ordered the films for and the film numbers you ordered? Also below my signature you will see "Brognaturo Records", if you click that link you will be able to see actual examples of each type of document for various years which might help you understand what I'm talking about.

Let me know your comune and film numbers

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Essgee » 28 Apr 2008, 18:24

You are the victim of the "first trip to see the films". Believe me, we all faced that. I didn't read word one of Italian and when I saw the first film I gave up for over a year. Went back and tried again, determined this time to get it right. It takes time and persistence. At first it is impossible, by a couple of months in, you will be an expert!

I looked at the available films for your town. Most of the birth records should be just birth records. The earliest ones, are on a microfilm that has records of another town on it. The part 4 and 5, I believe is what is listed as your info. Look at the beginning of each "section" of film and see what town it covers. Often a town in the same area is listed on the same films to conserve on the film.

The earliest records are not indexed. This is just a fact of life. After the mid-1820's they usually are indexed, but this varies from town to town.

No way around it but to go through each record individually. Do you speak Italian? Even if you don't, concentrate on one record for the first year you look at....a good readable copy. Found out where on that record you will find the father, mother, and the name of the child. The date at the beginning of the document is the date the record occurred. Most of the time there is a day or so difference to the date of birth, which will be in the body of the record. Once you get these things located, you can go from record to record looking for the specific individuals you seek.

Most of the Family History librarys have a copy machine that will reverse copy from black to white backgrounds. The computerized ones definately should. Ask at the center for help. Actually, with the way the ink bleeds through the back of some records, the negatives can actually be easier to read. Make sure you "blow" them up as far as possible to read them. Sometimes the print is small and crushed and makes it impossible to read. Films on "narrow" reels need more magnification to read.

The later years of your town on film are a mix of birth, marriage, and other records. But they should be separated and you should be able to find each section by just advancing the films. These should be indexed. Since there are no indexes on the films you have, I assume you are working with the 1809 films first? It is always advisable to work backwards from the closest fact to a more distant one....from 1860 to 1809. Usually the age of the father is given at the birth of a child, sometimes the age of the mother. This tells you that if in 1860 the parent was 22, the parent's birth would be on a film that covers 1835-1840 or so. Easy to go backwards, hard to go forward.

Not sure this helps. A book by Trafford Cole called Italian Genealogical Records will help as well as Lynn Nelson's Discovering Your Italian Ancestors. Both give you records to look at, ways of understanding what they mean, where to find the info on the specific record that you want. In bookstores and libraries and on-line.

The greatest help I can give is to tell you that you CAN do this. Takes time, takes perseverence....and most of us who don't know Italian, have had to battle our way through it. And you'd be surprised at how easy it becomes after a while.

Good Luck

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby misbris » 28 Apr 2008, 19:56

Sometimes the index is at the end of the film and not at the beginning. Of course, sometimes there is no index at all! :cry: Also take a magnifying glass it helps. :wink:

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 28 Apr 2008, 20:27

Hello BilliedeKid,

I ordered films for Ariano Irpino (Avellino). The film numbers are #1801855 and #1801856.

If you keep clicking on Film Notes, you eventually get to a page where it lists all the years and types of records. I should start with my great grandfather, Raffaele D'Auria, who I know was born on 10-31-1889. His parents are Francesco D'Auria (1854) and Rosaria DeVitta (abt 1852). I have their approx. birth years from their graves (they are buried here in the US). I'd love to find their birth records and marriage records if they were born and married in the same village as their children. There are 7 children, and because they all came to the US, I do have birth/death dates for 6 of them from the cemetery.

Please let me know if there is anything else you think I am not doing correctly. I have the Lynn Nelson book, Discovering Your Italian Ancestors, that I took with me to the family history center, so I was prepared for the documents that she gives as sample records. If you could even tell me which film I should start with, that would help too. I had a little trouble deciphering what was on which film.

A million thanks!
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 28 Apr 2008, 20:32

Essgee and misbris,

Thank you for your encouragement. In my reply above I included some additional info, if that helps you to know what I am trying to do. You mentioned a part 4 and 5 -- where is that on the film notes? Sorry for the questions but I do hope I'll get the hang of this sooner or later. Misbris, I didn't even think to take a look at the end of the film! Would an index appear at the end of each film or only the last one that ends around 1910?

I dread going back as the volunteers at the center have not been very helpful. They see the Italian and kind of recoil because the records are not in English -- but I know it is a favor to us so I will try to persevere. It makes no sense because the next town over (New Haven, CT) has a *huge* Italian population and history. I can't be the first person they've encountered. :)
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Poipuo4 » 29 Apr 2008, 02:23

Scarlett, I have used the same Family History Center that you are talking about! The one printer for microfilm is not very good. So if there is a copy you want and it does not come out good, you can order a good copy through photocopy services at www.familysearch.org. go to http://www.familysearch.org/ENG/Search/ ... rofilm.ASP. You will need to tell them the roll number and the exact name and date you are looking for. My first trip there was daunting too as the equipment is not very good.

Just try to give yourself enough time to really search through the roll. I had to dive in and just photcopy anything with a familiar surname. Then I took it home to study. If the equipment were better, it would sure help.
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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Poipuo4 » 29 Apr 2008, 02:24

One more thing, in case you don't know Italian, the most important thing is to either learn or bring with you a list of the numbers and months in Italian. I have been taking Italian lessons, and without that basic knowledge, I don't know how I could have gotten through those films.
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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Essgee » 29 Apr 2008, 04:34

Well, that information on copying from Poipuo is very interesting. I never knew that and it could come in handy for sure!

I looked at your film numbers. You have the wrong films to begin your search.

Both #1801855 and 56 are films that include Allegati matrimoniali, for a time period. Were you looking for a marriage as these are marriage records?

The Marriage records often include all the original documents needed for a person to get married. In Italy, these are called the processitti or allegati which contain all the records a couple provides before a couple can get married.

This would include birth records of the bride and groom, the permission of parents. If parents are dead, the death certificate of parents, the copies of the banns (3 times) of marriage, death records of previous spouses. So you did see some of everything. These are the wrong records.

You want the birth records...NATI. On the list look for NATI...and the years you are interested in.

You asked about my mention of part 4 and 5:

On the one film you ordered for Ariano...1801855. Here is how it is listed:

Allegati mtarimoniali 1909, 1863, 1875 FHL INTL Film
1801855 Item 1

It states that the info dealing with Ariano could be found in ITEM 1 on the film. This means, the first section of the film is the records for the town of Ariano. But the remainder of the film is for (a)different town/s. If you search out the number of the film, this is what that film actually covers:

Item 1 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Ariano Irpino (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile
Items 1-2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Grottaminarda (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Item 1 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Montaguto (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Items 1-2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 San Sossio Baronia (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Items 1-2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Mirabella Eclano (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Item 2 Registri dello stato civile di Savignano di Puglia (Avellino), 1809-1910 Savignano di Puglia (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Item 2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Casalbore (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Item 2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1915 Montecalvo Irpino (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Item 2 Registri dello stato civile, 1809-1910 Flumeri (Avellino). Ufficio dello stato civile

Only Item 1 covers Ariano.

You definately need to work backwards with the date of birth of the first individual that you seek. You can order more then one period of time, but be aware that sometimes the ages vary from what everyone thinks they are...sometimes as much as 10 years for a gg-grandfather of mine.

There are two films that cover 1889 for births:

Nati 1882 (cont.)-1889, 1874 (registro originale) FHL INTL Film
1800960
Nati 1889 (cont.)-1899 FHL INTL Film
1800961

Since you know she was born in October, then you would probably be safe in ordering the second film. If you want other children, order both. Then you can work to the parents.

These are the films that cover those years of birth for the parents:
Nati 1843-1852 FHL INTL Film
1448012
Nati 1852-1861 FHL INTL Film
1448053


This is where you start. Since you have Lynn Nelson's book, read the section over and over on the birth records. Copy them and get used to where the info is located on the document.

The years that you need initially--1889--may be a completely hand written form of the records. The pre-printed forms in Lynn's book are for documents in the mid 1800's. A lot of records after the late 1860's are not PRE-PRINTED with just names, dates, times filled in. Rather many exist where the whole document is hand written. THis can make the document hard to read based upon the handwriting...it will take more time to read these to begin with. But the info is basically the same and if you follow Lynn Nelson's outline, you will be able to do it.

Hope I didn't make things worse by complicating it.

Good Luck

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 05 May 2008, 13:53

Dear Essgee,

Thank you *so much* for your reply. Last week was busy so I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to thank you right away.

I'm sitting down trying to digest all the information and also get the courage to go back to the FHC.

If I understand correctly, the films I ordered only have the marriage information. So I should look for the allegati for my family for these dates only, but if I want birth certificates those are a separate film? Not everything is on the two films that I've ordered?

I really wish the volunteers at the FRC told me that, sigh. I will try to get back there sometime this week.
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby misbris » 05 May 2008, 17:39

Something I learned the hard way!!!!!! 8O

If you think the microfilm is going to be of use in the future, put it on permanent loan now. I missed a deadline by one day and one new very "OCD" staffer sent it back. :roll: I had to reorder and repay. I have found it is just easier (a little more expensive!!!) to pay the money up front and not have to worry about deadlines or changing hours at the FHC. :wink:

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 06 May 2008, 15:58

Misbris,

What do you mean by permanent loan?

From what I understood from Essgee, the films I have at the center are so totally wrong that little to none of the info is even for Ariano. I need birth records first and I guess I ordered the Allegati records.

I'm also thinking of switching FHCs to one a little closer to home, that's hopefully more knowledgeable. So, when I order the Nati -- what should I tell them to keep the films there?

Thank you!
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby misbris » 07 May 2008, 01:45

If you order a film for the first time it is $5.50 for the initial period. (I'm not sure if it is 30 or 60 days. Renewal is another $5.50 for a total of 90 days.
Another $5.50 will put the film on permanent loan at your center. So for about $17 the film will be available to you forever. If you think the film has information you may be going back to again and again, it pays to put it on permanent loan right away.

I have also found that although the staff is very helpful, they are not necessarily knowledgeable about all areas of the world. It is best to do your own research in the catalog.
I transposed one number in a request and got records for Calabria rather than Salerno. :oops: No one double checks the title against the call numbers. I have learned to be very careful when I make requests.

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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Poipuo4 » 07 May 2008, 13:47

Scarlett, keep me up to date on which FHC you use. I found one person in the FHC you are dealing with a little difficult. The rest of the people have been pleasant. I have never been to the one in Southington, but heard that it was smaller than the one you use. James Bianco uses the one in Bloomfield. I have never visited that one, but I am sure he can fill you in on the pros and cons.
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Re: Frustrations with Italian microfilm for Ariano, Avellino

Postby Scarlett227 » 07 May 2008, 20:27

I went last night to the FHC in Groton CT (I live on the shoreline) and there was an elderly gentleman there who was much nicer. He helped me order the NATI for the years 1882-1898 (don't have this in front of me, so I might be off by a year, but you get the idea). :D

He told me that they are having trouble with the computers in Utah, so it may be 2 months before they can send the films. Misbris, once I know what I'm doing, and that this center is going to work out, I may take your advice for permanent loan -- thank you. I saw that on the form last night as an option.

This center seems a little smaller, but a lot neater, and they had handouts right by the door stating up front what their hours are and other helpful information. The people outside the library were very welcoming too, which after my last experience, was just really awesome.

Poipuo4 -- I may yet have to go to your local center and beg your individual help if need be! I have heard that Southington is difficult, but I've never been myself, so it's not fair for me to comment. I started out trying to go to Madison, but so often no one was there to answer the phone that that is how I ended up in Woodbridge.

Let me just say how much I appreciate all of you encouraging me. I don't know if I'd have had the courage to start again after that last visit, with the wrong films and all. And yet knowing the information I need is so close (meaning on microfilm as opposed to in Italy), would have made crazy. So a big thank you for everything!!!
Searching for: Mastronardi (Pietrelcina), D'Auria (Ariano), Ciaccio (Santa Margherita di Belice) and Prizzi (Menfi).


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