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Step 2 - Find the date of birth

You have the place of birth, but are unsure of the date. There are a number of inexpensive ways, before you decide to request professional help.

You have Just Started, Don't Know Much

You can use a number of resources within your reach, such as:
  • Interview all the relatives you have, they might have info you never dreamed of.
  • Find the place where your ancestor is buried. Either an extract of death or a visit to the cemetery may give you the date.
  • Research with your surname through the Internet in the search engines and social networks.
  • Visit localized Messageboards and Guestbooks.

You Know the Place and Date of Marriage

You might ask for a marriage extract with ages of spouses and names of parents.
If in Italy, see this model form: copy and paste it within your text editor, and make the necessary changes. Help Italian municipality officials to fulfil you requests:
  • state your connection to the person requested, so as to comply with the Italian privacy law, and give the reason for the certificate (citizenship, administrative, research)
  • include an envelope with you address possibly already with Italian stamps
  • include Italian money to pay for the certificates. Consider a maximum of 1 euro per certificate.

Your Sources are Exhausted

...or the municipality has not released a certificate or you don't want to wait.
You might try the Civil Records in the Italian State Archive, many also online as of 2020 - Check if the years you need for your research are available for your province and place in the section Online Archives in Italy

The Place and Period are not Available in the Civil Records

Your research has to become localized, and continue in the municipality or parish -
Proceed to Step 4

The Place and Period are Available in the Civil Records

This means you have thousands of pages and indexes at your disposal, with all possible information about parents, ages, siblings, jobs, addresses etc. At this point, you can proceed in many ways:
  • You are familiar with Italian language and handwriting, or at least want to give yourself a try: you can research the Civil Records online.

The Civil Records are not Online

  • If you have no plans to come to Italy in the near future, you might find resources in the Latter Day Saints' Church; they devoted years to microfilm civil records, you might get an appointment at their Family Centers and order microfilms for the years you need.
  • You have planned a trip to Italy, and want to spare some time in the archives: check addresses and opening times for the archive you are interested in, that is the province capital for your municipality. Before going, make a phone call to the archive there to check if your municipality is in that archive or in another, or missing: if the municipality was in the Stato della Chiesa, you won't have any Civil Records to search from until after 1870, or your municipality may have changed province during the 20th century
  • You might want to hire a genealogist to make a localized search for you from archives for an ancestor for whom the place is known but the date is uncertain - The genealogist will have experience in how to proceed, as noting down all the records where you ancestor's surname appears, or checking marriages and deaths.
Step 1 ««  Guide Index  »» Step 3