The Civil Records
The Unification of Italy
The Books of Civil Records
- Nati (=births).
- Nati, battesimi (baptism certificates).
- Nati, esposti (=births of foundlings).
- Nati, battesimi esposti (=baptism certificates of foundlings).
- Morti (deaths).
- Matrimoni (marriages).
- Matrimoni, processetti (marriages, all documents of births, death and other certificates produced by the spouses).
- Matrimoni, memorandum notificazioni ed opposizioni (marriages, summary of notifications and oppositions).
- Matrimoni, notificazioni (marriages, notifications).
- Matrimoni, pubblicazioni (marriages banns).
- Diversi (Miscellaneous), deed of various kinds, such as notary deeds which make up for missing birth and death records; birth occurring during sea crossings, reconnaissance deeds, adoption deeds, acts of death outside the place, acts of stillborn children, acts of legitimacy, acts of foundlings and rectifications.
The Birth Records
The Promise of Marriage
The Giuramento requires the presence of all the parents, in case of a parent's death, the bride's or bridegroom's grandfather was to assist the spouses. The birth certificates of the spouses and any death certificates of the parents and grandfathers had to be produced, which together with the Pubblicazioni, the certificates of non-opposition and the declaration of the parish priest of the celebration, came to form the so-called Processetto. In early-19th century marriages, in case one of the spouses was an orphan and also grandparents had died, a Consiglio di Famiglia would be summoned, where a number of immediate relations (uncles, cousins) would declare about the pedigree of the orphan.
This quite complicated procedure involved in the Promise of Marriage was actually intended to take the place of the religious licenza di matrimonio, where the priest allowed marriage only if the spouses were not related. Up to the third degree, it was necessary to obtain a licence from the central bishopric. The reason for this came from the millennial genetic awareness that marriages between relations would more likely than in other marriages produce offspring that might carry diseases or impairments.
The Stato di Popolazione
The 1881 book was a manuscript that was usually left in the comune, and some of these books are still extant, though not freely available for research. An example can be seen in the online archive of the city of Ascoli Piceno. The Stato di Popolazione in the townhall was usually updated with information on marriages, death, change of family (after marriage) or change of residence (often with the new destination).
Any information from these family pages might be communicated from the Ufficiale di Anagrafe only to direct descendants, and no copies are usually allowed, though some municipalities have established libraries and archives where the 1881 book is preserved and can be examined.
As regards the more recent 1930 census, it was in the form of individual alphabetic cards, a kind of paper database, where all details of a person were added. These cards are called in some places the cancellati, if regarding individuals that deceased or left the place. Of course, there is no legal right to research in these recent records; an official request might be produced to the mayor of the place, stating the reason for the information required, but the office is not obliged to release anything.
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