Case for Italian ancestor from Istria/Slovenia

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2020, 04:05

Case for Italian ancestor from Istria/Slovenia

Post by nono »

Hi all,

I'm coming to this forum in order to present my case which may be bit different than most of the cases, so hopefully someone will be able to advise me accordingly.
Why case is different? Because my ancestors/parents didn't emigrate anywhere and got subsequently naturalised, instead they lived in area which is not Italy anymore.

In essence, nowadays I'm Croatian citizen and my father is as well. My father was born in Yugoslavia(now Croatia) in 1966. His father was born in Elsane(Jelšane) in 1937. what is today Slovenia. At the time of my grandfather being born there, this was Italy, hence I have his birth certificate which is all in italian language. Elsane became Yugoslavia after 1945. when my grandfather was about 8 years old, and although he must've had italian citizenship by this time(I assume, because he couldn't have any other citizenship) I don't think I qualify for citizenship through him since he was minor. At least that is how I understood instructions from the consulate. So I got advice to try to prove that my great-grandfather was italian. Problem with this is that I have no documents on him. His name, and name of his wife is mentioned in my grandfather's birth certificate, as well as how old he was. And according to this, he must've been born somewhere around 1894 or 1895. We don't know where though, but highly probably somewhere around Elsane. Back then when he was born there, this was I believe Austro-hungarian empire so I assume he must've been Austro-Hungarian citizen in beginning. This area became Italy in 1918. so I also assume he must've been Italian from 1918. onwards(I don't think he could've been anything else).
So essentially, I don't know where and when he was born, and where and when he was married. I don't have high hopes that there will be book with brith records from back in 1894.

Bear in mind there are special laws for people in these areas which Italy lost, so if someone with specialist knowledge of this would be keen to share advice I would very much appreciate that.

Assuming someone had similar case, can you advise where to start? Is it correct that if I prove my grand-grand father was italian citizen, I do qualify for citizenship myself?

Thanks to all of you.

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Re: Case for Italian ancestor from Istria/Slovenia

Post by arturo.c »


From what I know, Elsane was an Italian "Comune" in the province of Fiume until 1947. Therefore your grandfather was born as an Italian Citizen.

On 2006 the Italian parliament enacted the so-called "redress law" which grants to former refugees from Istria, Dalmazia and Venezia-Giulia and their descendants the right to obtain Italian citizenship.

However, those provisions apply only to former Italian citizens residing before June 10th 1940 in the territories transferred from Italy to the Federative Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia after Sep. 15th 1947, when the Peace Treaty came into force, who choose to remain Italian citizens (and therefore either left voluntarily or were forced into exile) and their descendants.

If your grandfather opted to remain an Italian Citizen between 1947 and 1948 and left Yugoslavia with his family (including your father who was 10 at the time), then he could have kept his Italian citizenship and passed it on to his children.

You can however try to contact the City Administration of Bisterza (Občina Ilirska Bistrica) to which the territory of Elsane now belongs to, and see whether your grandfather's Birth record is stored there. At least you could obtain information on where the oldest records are kept (State Archives, etc.).

Kind regards and good luck,

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