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.
Ask for 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: Archives in Italy.
Ask the municipality for a birth extract for a child of your ancestor
You have to give the right date. Since the municipality does not have a form to automatically supply the age of the parents, in the request you'll ask them to please include that too. If you cannot write Italian here is a model form: copy and paste it within your text editor, and make the necessary changes.
Make it easy for 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 your address possibly already with Italian stamps
- include Italian money 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 in the Italian Civil Records in archives, many of them are online. 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.
That place and period is not available in Civil Records
Your search must proceed to the municipality or parish
That place and period is available in Civil Records
In this case you can proceed in a number of ways.
- If you are near a Family Center of the Latter Day Saints' Church and are familiar with Italian language and handwriting, or at least want to give yourself a try: Go to the Latter Day Saints' website and order microfilms for the years you need.
- If 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 search for you from archives in Abruzzo. To obtain a photocopy of an act of birth for which the date is certain, inform you by email, translate into English and ship to you by airmail or digitally, supply an estimate for further research.