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Step 5 - Research in the 18th century

You have exausted the civil records archive. You have, through acts of deaths, marriages, etc, reached approximate birth dates for ancestors in the early - mid 18th century.
If you want to proceed further backwards in time, there are still three great resources, but for the great majority without indexes: catasto onciario (in archives, mostly in Naples and municipalities), parish books of deaths, baptisms and weddings (mostly in parish churches, some in central church archives) and notary acts (in state archives).

Notary acts are usually the last step, since searching through them is very slow. For most of these the keepers of the resources (archives, municipalities, parishes) must be contacted to check the existence of records and obtain permission to make research. This means patience is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Find the Catasto Onciario

See the list of Catasti Onciari to check whether the years you need are available for your municipality and province. If the Onciario for your municipality is not available in municipalities or province archives you should try the central archive of "Regia Camera della Sommaria" in Naples.
  • You can research in the books in Naples - You'll have to go yourself or hire someone to do that for you.
  • You can order the microfilm/copies. This procedure is long, however you can buy the microfilm or a printed copy or hire a photographer. This is advisable only if the place is not too big. Send an email to the archive of Naples for an estimate.

Research in the Catasto Onciario (1742 - 1755)

The Onciario is a great resource, since a kind of "census" was requested, listing all the possessions to be taxed but also, what is most interesting for the genealogist, the composition of all the families, with names and ages of all the members.

If the catasto is available to you, list all the families with the surname you are researching (they might be connected) and request photocopies from the archive for your families. The cost will depend on the numbers of inhabitants inthe place, and on the number of families bearing the researched surnames. Archives in Italy may apply different rules.

STEP 4 ««    »» STEP 6