Church Records?

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Church Records?

Post by sandyman720 » 30 Oct 2015, 21:42

Hi All-

Most of my research has been through civil records. What are the church records like? I assume the only way to get them is to visit the parish but I am just wondering. Are they anything like the German Church Books which list the entire family on one page with dates for birth, baptism, marriage, death? That would be great!



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Re: Church Records?

Post by PippoM » 02 Nov 2015, 09:54

No, I've never seen anything like that. The most similar are the so-called "Stati delle Anime" (not always available), a sort of censuses listing the members of families, usually with their ages. Italian churches usually keep records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

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Re: Church Records?

Post by sertolicell » 02 Nov 2015, 17:44

you should be able to order some of the church acts using the Family History Library online service. The parish coverage filmed by the FLS may vary substantially from region to region in Italy. But it is definately worth doing some research before contacting the local parish priest or travelling to Italy. To give an example, FHL has a vast collection of microfilms of many pre-1820 records from parishes in Palermo, Sicily, some even dating to the 15th Century.

Regarding layout, you won't find pre-stamped pages with standard frases printed in Latin letters but frequently Gothic handwriting of Latin words and abbreviations (although still with many standard sentences). In my opinion, it is substantially more tedious to decode church records than civil records. I highly recommend that you get "Italian Genealogical Records - How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical, & Other Records in Family History Research" by Trafford R. Cole. This is by far the best reference text describing both civil and church records in pre- and post-unification Italy, including many examples of church records describing vital events.

Good luck

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