Genealogy Research in Italy
What is Genealogy?
A Starting Guide
- STEP 1: Find the place of birth
- STEP 2: Find dates of birth, marriage, death
- STEP 3: Find the names of an ancestor's parents
- STEP 4: Check if civil records are available
- STEP 5: Research in the Catasto Onciario
- STEP 6: Research in parish books
Things to Know...
Secondly, you'll have to work hard on it! No matter how much you ultimately pay if you entrust a researcher with the archive work, you'll have to work on it to collect information, assemble, reconstruct and connect.
Thirdly, be ready to say it's enough - You must realize that sooner or later research will stop, because no more records will be available, or expected results very scanty.
Last, but not least... Do not expect to find a Baron waiting for you in the mist of the Middle Ages: the "aristocracy" was statistically a very small percentage of the population and often a very bad beast, exploiting the blood and sweat of the poor, religious, courageous and illiterate peasants that were the ancestors of most of us. It was them that kept the traditions, wrote the songs, passed on the recipes and for whom the frescoes in the churches were made.
Most European aristocracy is extinct, because of genetic faults of marriages, while the great-grandchildren of the "bracciali" and "cafoni" are studying in the colleges, obtaining awards, writing poems, raising beautiful kids that will reach the stars and who knows what else.
Italian state archives
Origin of Surnames
Surnames in Italy
Further Resources & Links
- Articles on genealogy, featuring family heraldry and specialised research fields.
- Fees and Estimates: a brief sketch of possible expenses
- Lists of the over Italian Communes, with link to the webpages if available, or to the province and region where the commune presently belongs. The commune is the ultimate repository of all civil records since 1809 for the former Kingdom of Naples, and since the unity of Italy (1861) for all places, and the authority that releases citizenship documents.
- Lists of the over 35,000 Italian frazioni and smaller localities, with link to the commune, province and region where the frazione currently belongs.
- Centro Studi Araldici, Italian institute for heraldry and heraldic research; among its sections Araldica On Line, the widest heraldry directory in Italy,and the creation of coat-of-arms.
- Stemmario Italiano, a collection of coat of arms of Italian families which also includes free registration of newly established emblems.
- Province Forums, Over 100,000 messages collected since 1998, categorized by region and province, where you might find messages of other visitors researching, or post your own message.
- Various Genealogy links