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Medieval Genealogical Research

Medieval Genealogical Research

The typical Italian lineage dates from circa 1600, and for most of us that's reasonably profound. But who wants to be "typical" when you might be able to trace a lineage into the 1500s or even into the Middle Ages? Because success in this field requires practice and perseverance, as well as skills more specialized than those needed to perform resea...

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Rare Given Names in Early Italian Records

Rare Given Names in Early Italian Records

Contrary to popular belief, not all Italian given names have Christian or classical roots. Many names encountered in older records are almost whimsical, and some cannot be translated into Latin or any other language. In order to avoid possible mistranscription of a given name with which the researcher may be unfamiliar, it is helpful to know some o...

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Reading Latin Documents

Reading Latin Documents

​Why is it difficult for most persons to read a Latin document? You may think that it is because they never studied Latin in school. The real answer is that some of the words appear unfamiliar to you. On the positive side, you probably already know enough Latin words to pick out a few of them in a document. These words are familiar because they are...

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Research Conditions in Italy

Research Conditions in Italy

Which conditions may have an effect - positive or negative - on your Italian family history project. The following insights, based on many years of experience in Italy, pertain to factors that have very little to do with Italian genealogy per se, but involve vast cultural differences that influence archival access, documentation and research progre...

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The Journey to America

The Journey to America

During the mass emigration from Italy during the century between 1876 to 1976, the U.S. was the largest single recipient of Italian immigrants in the world. However, their impact was not as great as countries like Argentina and Brazil. That was due to the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrants from nations all over the world were migrating t...

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Tracing Italian Lineages of Adoptees and Ancestors Born Outside Marriage

Tracing Italian Lineages of Adoptees and Ancestors Born Outside Marriage

Investigative and genealogical research pertaining to adopted ancestors or those ancestors born outside marriage presents particular challenges. While each case is unique, certain generalities can be considered based upon the nature of social conditions, as well as available records. For the most part, we shall consider such generalities as related...

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Italian Naming Traditions and their Ramifications

Italian Naming Traditions and their Ramifications

There has been a strong custom in Italy that determines how children are named: The first male is named after his paternal grandfather.The second male is named after his maternal grandfather.The first female is named after her paternal grandmother.The second female is named after her maternal grandmother. The subsequent children could be named afte...

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Onomastico

Yesterday : s. Desiderio Today : s. Vincenzo di Lerins Tomorrow : s. Beda il venerabile