Microfilm Basics

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Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 16 Jan 2008, 14:21

So I am about to review microfilm of civil records from Bagheria Siciliy at the Family History Center in a few weeks. How should I prepare for this? How long does it usually take to review a film?
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Jan 2008, 15:47

Take along the companion book Discovering Your Italian Ancestors by Lynn Nelson and a magnifying glass since most of the records are handwritten in that glorious script when handwriting was art. =Peter=
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 16 Jan 2008, 19:07

I got the book, need to get the magnifying glass, thanks!
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby Italysearcher » 16 Jan 2008, 19:38

To speed up your search, study the first record and determine (using the book) where the name of the baby appears on the film (or the name of the father etc) Once you have got the spot, advance the film, record by record, keeping your eyes on the 'spot'. When a name appears that you are looking for, check the other information to make sure you have the right record.
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby Poipuo4 » 16 Jan 2008, 21:13

John, do you know how to read Italian? If not, familiarize yourself with the names of numbers, months, days and years (which are written out in words, not numbers). This will help you decipher that "glorious script." ;) Also, many films have a handwritten index. The index either appears before the year in question or after the year in question. Visually scan that index first for any applicable names in your search.
http://www.celenzaheritage.com

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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 17 Jan 2008, 00:19

Well, I can say before I started this research I did not know any Italian but I am starting to pick up some of it as I go, but no, I do not speak or read Italian, but I can read some Spanish so that helps a little as some things are similar...

Thank you all for your help. Good suggestions.
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby Poipuo4 » 17 Jan 2008, 15:10

This word list of Italian genealogical terms can be helpful:

http://genealogy.about.com/od/italy/p/word_list.htm

and this for the days of the weeks and the months:

http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare188a.htm
and this for numbers:

http://italian.about.com/library/weekly/aa042600a.htm
http://www.celenzaheritage.com

dedicated to the people of Celenza Valfortore, Province of Foggia
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 18 Jan 2008, 04:02

well the films are in...here i go...wish me luck!
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby pink67 » 18 Jan 2008, 08:56

In bocca al lupo John!!!!!

:D :D :D
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 20 Jan 2008, 18:55

Well I spent 4 hours going through 1 and 1/2 films. The center does not have a digital copier so I am having to work with a printer when I see a record of interest. The image is quite clear on the film viewing screen, I may bring my camera next time and see if I can get a good image to the camera then I will have digital.

The Family History Center staff are very helpful and they make it easy for anyone who wants to view microfilms. Anyone out there thinking about doing this should.

I probably spent too much time looking at records that were not specific to my search, for example they have multiple towns on the same film. So you are tempted to see if there are your surnames on those towns just in case. I also recommend to go look at the index of names which is usually at the end of the records for each segment, BUT I found they are not always 100% correct so I did not take a chance and went through the records anyway. Sometimes it hard to tell when an index is directly related to the records in the very old films like the 1869 roll I looked at.

This is a very interesting search and I will have a lot of questions in the future. The reference books are very helpful.
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby misbris » 22 Jan 2008, 01:24

The woman at my center said that sometimes the index is at the beginning, sometimes at the end, and sometimes non-existent. One of our members, Billythekid, I believe warned in another thread that the indices were not at all accurate. She suggested going through one by one. I am just starting the process myself and haven't found an index in my first roll yet. The part that is a little frustrating is how little time I have for each session. :( I wish they were open longer, four and a half hours sounds like a great luxury.

Enjoy your quest,

Mary Jo
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby johnlabarbera » 22 Jan 2008, 22:33

I found Gaetano's birth record today!!! He was actually born in 1874, and he and other La Barbera's are actually listed under the 'B' index not the 'L' index.

I sent a pdf to Laura for translation thank you Laura!!!

I am not able to upload to the site right now but will later for the curious...

John
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Re: Microfilm Basics

Postby Italysearcher » 23 Jan 2008, 13:42

Translations can be found on my website also.
It was not uncommon to drop the first part of a name in the indexes if it was a 'La' 'Di' or L'. This changed over the years so remember to check both versions.
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