might someone have handy an example image of a typical Sicilian or Italian Riveli page they could upload? i am planning on ordering microfilms of Riveli records for Santa Ninfa, Trapani, Sicily and would like to have an idea of what i might see, so i can prepare.
~ Santa Ninfa, Trapani, Sicily ~
~ San Nicola da Crissa, Catanzaro, Italy ~
Peter, it is a land & property enumeration taken primarily in Sicily. They differ in content, but can present family structures in detail with ages of each male listed. I assume the poster would just like to see what one of these pages would look like. They differ in appearance depending upon the period, on some occasions one family record can stretch over 20 pages and reference past record transactions (for that particular family) dating into the 1400's.
It sure can be, maybe not as much with the later (1811) Riveli, but the earier records can be horrible to decifer. If you can find your family/families it's a wealth of information. There is an 1815 sample on Laura's Termini Imerese website here:
"Sicilian Riveli Records By Robert Ralph Porcaro Columbus Day 12
During part of the years 2002 and 2003 I had the privilege to serve as a
volunteer at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah. My
assignment was to scan and catalog over 1,100 Riveli microfilms. During
that time I reviewed microfilm records for many of the 389 villages in
Sicily. What a wonderful way to become acquainted with the homeland of
my grandfather. As I scanned the microfilms I would locate the community
on a map of Sicily then look up information on the atlas and gazetteer.
Later I was able to search the internet for pictures and historical
information on several communities. The following article is an attempt
to summarize a few things I discovered about Riveli records from Sicily.
Riveli in Italian means to reveal. The Riveli record served as a census
to record inhabitants (anime) and possessions (beni). The Riveli
pages were bound together in a volume with a string threaded through a
hole near the top of the page and another string through a hole near the
bottom of the page. Most volumes held the records of up to 1,000 pages.
A few Riveli records exceeded 1,000 pages.
Purpose of the Riveli
A Riveli was a census to determine population and taxation for revenue.
The Riveli served the king of the country as a monitor to determine how
many males there were in the kingdom that were of age to serve in the
military or to work on road projects and also how many animals and
producing farm land was available to produce food for the kingdom.
Years Available on Microfilm
The Family History Library has microfilms of Riveli records for many of
the years that Riveli records were recorded. I have personally reviewed
the following years from varied communities in Sicily.
1548, 1569, 1583, 1584, 1589, 1593, 1597, 1607, 1612, 1614, 1616, 1621,
1623, 1624, 1636, 1637, 1639, 1651, 1652, 1664, 1674, 1681, 1682, 1714,
1747, 1748, 1750, 1752, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1765, 1811, 1812, 1815
About the Indice (index)
Older indexes such as 1674 listed family names using the given name,
(first name) first, in alphabetical order followed by the surname.
Following the name in the index is a page (folio) number and with some
luck you can find the actual Riveli record either following the index or
on another microfilm. Some indexes precede the record some follow the
record, and some records have no index. I have experienced reading an
index where there is no Riveli record available. Also, I have seen names
listed on the index but that personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Riveli page is not
included with others. Finally, I have found a family Riveli page with
others but that persons name was not in the index. Some indexes include
the head of the household with other members of their family listed with
Information on Riveli Records
There are many words used in a Riveli record that are common to most
records. Following is a list of a few words to be familiar with.
Tassa=tax, terra=land, anime=souls/inhabitants, beni=goods/possessions,
lordo=gross amount to be taxed, netto=net amount to be taxed (usually
5-10%), mascoli=male, fimmini=female, capo di casa=head of household,
moglie=wife, figlio=son, figlia=daughter.
The name of the head of the household is listed on the top of the page
(usually on the right side), and again in the text of the Riveli
(usually after the word anime), and at the end of the Riveli on the left
side of the final page.
Sometimes the name of the father of the head of the household is listed
on the first entry at the top of the page and once in a while the
motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name is
Within the text of the Riveli is first the name of the head of the
household followed with the name of the wife (sometimes with her maiden
name) then the children. Sometimes the children are listed with
sonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s names first then daughters next.
Ages are listed for males only. But I did find a few records where the
females had their ages listed. Be aware that ages were estimates and
then rounded off to the nearest ten years, so in most cases are not
In many Riveli records the head of the household has his nearest
neighbors listed also. Look for family groups. It is interesting to note
that the Riveli record for the common person was often scribbled and
brief whereas a Riveli record for the aristocracy was printed in formal
calligraphy with detailed pages. Sometimes the pages were adorned with
fancy borders and large calligraphy
I have even found pages with ink line drawings of the person taxed. The
conclusion of each Riveli had the name of the tax assessor and at times
the signature of witnesses and occasionally the priest of the community.
Taxation was placed on people and possessions including real estate,
buildings, and animals. The animals were divided as caprai=goats,
giumenta=mares, cavalla=horses, bovi=cattle, vacche=cows, pecore=sheep,
asini=donkeys and muli=mules. I saw pigs mentioned in the Riveli but
never on a tax summary. The animals that pulled carts were inventoried
separately (animale ad uso di carrozza).
Note that the taxation was ten percent of the value. (2197=219, 1049=104
Land was taxed according to use such as irrigatablili=able to irrigate,
frumentale=for growing grain, boschigne=wooded or orchards,
rampanti=sloped or hillside, and non pagano=not profitable. Houses were
taxed by the amount of rooms on each floor. Included in the assessment
were vineyards, orchards, groves, water wells, farm tools, sheds, silos,
and household furnishings. Land was sized in hectares. One hectare=2.47
It is apparent that the Riveli records were focused on the peasant farm
workers. Very few Riveli records were found listing nobility. However,
when they were found they listed the personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s title such as Don
or Donna for honorable people and Duca, Duchessa, Barone,
Conte,Contessa, and Principe, for nobility.
Items of Interest
A few records listed a ten year back tax for persons that lived and
worked in a community but had not been taxed for the past ten years. See
the 1811 Riveli for taxation for individuals living in a community
between 1800 and 1809.
Monetary Values on Riveli Taxation
Many of the Riveli records assessed the taxes in a system that is
recorded in history. The following are from Monete Siciliane Antiche on
the internet at it.wikipedia.org/misure Also from the introduction to
the book Lo svilupo Di Villafrati 1596-1960 by Giuseppe Oddo.
Monete Sicilane Antiche: In 1862 the Cambio Rate was: 6 Denare =1 Grano
1 Grano = .0215 Lire 20 Grani =1 Tari 1 Tari = .425 Lire 12 Tari
=1 Scudo 1 Scudo = 5.10 Lire 30 Tari =1 Oncia o Onza 1 Oncia
(Tariffe: Bestia di Carico) Tariff on animals information is from Lo
Sviluppo di Villafrati 1596-1960 by Giuseppe Oddo (page 16). Bestia di
Carico (loaden or burden) = Grana 2 Carro a 2 Ruote (cart with two
wheels) = Grana 4 Bestia di Lettiga (litter or pulled) = Grana 6
Carrozza a 4 Ruote (cart with four wheels) = Grana 8 E 2 Cavalli
(cart with two oxen) = Tari 1 A 4 Buoi (with four oxen) = Tari 2
The Three Valleys of Sicily
The Riveli records are stored in repositories by community in
alphabetical order according to one of the three valleys of Sicily. Val
Di Mazara is the western half of Sicily with its border starting between
Termini Immerse and Cefalu on the north and Licata on the south. Val
Demone is the northeastern portion of Sicily with its border starting at
Enna and going to Catania on the east.
Val Di Noto is the southeast portion of Sicily with its border starting
at Enna going to Licata on the south.
Writing on Riveli Records
Most ink was home made and much of the writing has faded over the years.
Common damage to the pages came from poor storage procedures in damp
rooms. Damage occurred from dampness, mold, and worms.
Community Name Changes
Watch for name changes of a community over the years. Also, watch for
spelling including dialect, Greek, and Latin. Corleone =
Cariglione, Coneglione, Coniglione, Cuniglione, Canigliumi, Cunigghiuni
Bisacquino = Busachino, Busschino, Busaguino, Busaechini
Monreale = Montisreaalis
Mezzojusso = Mensojusso, Meliguisi, Mioijusto, Mezzoiusso Busacchino =
Bisaquini, Bisaquino, Bisagrum, Bosachino, Bascchino Sciacca = Ciacca,
Sacca, Sacce, Xacca, Xiaca, Xiacca Agrigento = Gergenti,
Capri = Crapi
Aderno = Aderna, Adrano, Adranus, Adranu, Adranum, Adirmo
Geraci = Jachi, Dijaci, Jaci, Girachi, Di Jaci, Iaci, Jacis, Jachi,
Comune Vari is a variety of community records mixed, scattered,
incomplete, and at best random. They may or may not be indexed. There
may only be one report from a given community mixed in with many from
another community Some commune vari records have a great deal of Riveli
records for one community followed by many from another community. If
youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re lucky the microfilm you are reading will have each of
several communities in alphabetical order. Most commune vari records
are, however from one geographical area from one of the three valleys of
Sicily. It appears as though the Riveli recorders missed a few people
and went through the countryside gathering information and taxes for
those missed previously.
Bridges from The Past
Riveli records could be your means to bridge from your civil records
back in time. Note that many of the available records are a generation
apart, so a person listed as a child on one record will appear as the
married head of a family in the next record.
SReif1956 at comcast.net wrote:
> Nancy, I have the 1811 census records microfilm on permanent loan at the Naperville FHC. Come on over and have a look. Sharon
> -------------- Original message ----------------------
> From: "Colby, Nancy" <NCOLBY at allstate.com>
>> Has anyone looked at the FHC census records from 1583 - 1815? There's
>> an index in 1811, I thought I would try and see what information it has,
>> maybe I could get a little more information on the family.
>> Also, has anyone done any research at the archives in Palermo?
>> Have a good day....Nancy
>> TerminiImerese mailing list
>> TerminiImerese at comunesofitaly.org
>> http://comunesofitaly.org/mailman/listi ... fitaly.org >>
> TerminiImerese mailing list
> TerminiImerese at comunesofitaly.org
> http://comunesofitaly.org/mailman/listi ... fitaly.org
Great Source of information about Riveli. Thank you.
The Mormons have been freshly labeling those films marked
Most have been done, they tell me.
So to see the re-labeling, check your city of choice again, more Riveli might have shown up.
What I am trying to find again, is that site that lists all the towns and the Riveli that exist for them. Not an LDS site.
I saw it some time ago and forget where it was. I have my hopes on there being earlier Riveli for Messina than 1715 which is as far back as the Mormons go.
Course they had catastrophes in Catania, that might have lost them.
By the way.
The HOT news, at least I think so, is the new site, free to use, that has buckets of documents from before 1500. That's right, before 1500.
Apparently, about 5 years in the making and about $10 million, $10,000,000 spent. It is now on the web.
http://www.archividelmediterraneo.org/ Don't give up on it, it's a little clunky getting started.
For example, I found about 10 documents with my family name on them, all before 1500. With summaries of the documents (otherwise hyroglyphics) provided.
I found an extensive rivelo of my ancestor, from 1607 in the comune of Alcamo, and have deciphered most of it, but I have one or two questions that some of you may be able to help me with.
In the section on "bene stabili" (what we would call real estate), there was a phrase "in ttona" that was used repeatedly. The "ona" was written in superscript and it is obviously an abbreviation. I never figured out what it means. Here is an example of its use in context:
"un loco consiste in ttona dieci di terri con migliare cinco di vigna existente nello territorio di questa terra di Alcamo cofego dello Bosco di Alcamo..."
A description of a different property used the phrase "in termina" instead of "in ttona," so the two phrases probably mean different things.
Thank you, I appreciate your willingness to help. I have attached the relevant document, and apologize for any bleedthrough that might make it more difficult to read the script. I also had to reduce the size significantly so that I could attach it to the forum.