Step 4 - Research in the 19th century
You have a date of birth and the names of the parents. You need the age of the parents. First of all, collect available information around you.
- Interview your relatives, they might have info.
- Find the cemetery where your ancestor is buried. A visit to the cemetery may give you the date you need.
Request a Birth Extract with Ages of Parents
You need to find the municipality. Some municipalities may not exist any more as such and could be included administratively in nearby ones; others may have changed province in the 20th century; check our list of places if unsure; consider that the provinces of Rieti, Pescara, Isernia, Latina and others were created taking municipalities from other Provinces - check the section Archives in Italy.
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Request a Birth Extract for a Child of your Ancestor
You have to provide a correct date. Since the municipality does not have a form to automatically supply the age of the parents, in the request you need to ask them to please include that too. If you cannot write Italian here is a model form, copy and paste it in your text editor, and make the necessary changes. Also, make it easy for Italian municipality officials to fulfil you requests:
- It might be possible to get the requested documents by email as pdf. Find the current email of the Ufficio Anagrafe or Ufficio Servizi Demografici in the official website of the Comune. If the municipality is equipped and willing to do that, you need to send them an email with copy of an identity document and declare your connection to the individual whose certificates you are requesting, as well as state the reason for your request (i.e. citizenship, family history etc.)
- 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 your address, possibly already with correct Italian stamps, or include an amount for shipment.
- Include Euros to pay for the certificates. Consider an average of 5 euro per certificate.
Your Sources are Exhausted
The municipality has not given a certificate or you don't want to wait. You can search the Italian Civil Records. An original Act of birth will give you the age of the father, before 1865 almost always also the age of the mother. Check if the years you need are available for your province Archives in Italy.
Place and Period are not Available in Civil Records
Your research must proceed to the municipality or parish
Place and Period are Available in Civil Records
In this case you can proceed in a number of ways.
- If you are familiar with Italian language and handwriting, or at least want to try, you can avail yourself of the services of the Family Center of the Latter Day Saints' Church website 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 may want to hire a genealogist to make a research for you; you can also request an estimate from us.