“Italian Genealogy Hands-On”: Civil Status Records

Italy – The Extraordinary Commonplace
January 23, 2015
“Biggia-dutz” !
March 5, 2015

Among the many sets of source documents a genealogist may look through during a research project, civil status records are above anyone else in terms of how frequentely they’re looked for. This crucial kind of records in fact includes birth, marriage, death, citizenship registries, together with some other “diverse” records. registers
1846: Birth Record
Most Italian civil records started on Jan 1st 1809 (except those taken in Sicily, which started off only in 1820), at a time when town administrations were asked (as by law enacted) to register births, adopotions, marriages and deaths.
Their records though were reflecting the same structure the parish records had been following since mid-1500s, as a result of the Trento Council reforms (period: 1545-1563).
Civil status registries, after a prior validation by the Civil Court, had to be filed in double copies: one would be stored at the town archives, while the other was sent to the Chancellor’s office at the local court.
70 years after, the Chancellor would hence send the records’ books to the closest State Archives (the one in the province which the towns belong to).

In general, civil records portray most of the genealogical information you may get in a research, i.e. one’s name and family name, birth date and place, family relationships info, job, marriage date and place (and spouse’s name too), and also death date and place. Mostly in the case of birth records, it is quite often likely to find some useful annotations at the side of the record itself, which would tell more complementary information on the individual the document is about.

In the course of time, though, as well as for many other kinds of documents, civil records taking didn’t follow homogeneous and common rules throughout the whole country.
For instance, civil records were established even in 1806 in Venice and used thru the whole Napoleon era. However, they were made to be ceased when the Austrian Empire took over back on the “Serenissima” – an epithet Venice is known for. Namely, marriage records taking was stopped on Jun 30, 1815, and birth and death ones on Dec 31, 1815.
Parish priest were then considered again the sole officials entitled to record those documents, and they took back this competence on Jul 1, 1816 (for what concerns marriage records), while they started earlier having such a competence on birth and death records, i.e. Jan 1, 1816.
1851: Marriage Record

Civil status reintroduction took definitively place on Sep 1, 1871, when the Mantova province (and the whole Veneto region) were unified by law to the rest of the Italian Kingdom.


  1. Marie says:

    What is the address in Castellemare del Golfo where I can search my ancestors: Guiseppa Navara, Vito Scudera, Maria Soccorsa Scudera, Vito Fodera. From 1878 t0 1902? Please help me locate the address of the office of records there or in Trapani. Are there any living relatives in Sicily, Castellemare del golfo?

  2. Deb says:

    My grandfather was Salvatore Cacciatore, b. 1856-1945m m. Maria M. Cannella Mortellaro. His son, Joseph Mortellaro Cacciatore was my grandfather, b. 1900-1967, I am seeking the brick wall on Salvatore. All were born in Santo Stefano, Quisquina, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy except Joe who was born in Tampa. They all immigrated to Tampa. I have photos from L’Unione Cemetery in Ybor City in Tampa, Fl. Please let me know if you have any information. Maria Mortellaro’s father was Angelo 1823-1861 1823-1861. B in Santo Stefano, d. Bivona, Agrigento, Italy. He was married to Filippa Cannella of Santo Stefano b. c 1815. Any help with this brick wall greatly appreciated. God Bless Deb

  3. SUNSERI says:


    je fais des recherches sur l’histoire de ma famille dont les racines sont de TRABIA en Sicile ,et je suis bloqué sur mon AAAGP son fils est né le 5 fevrier 1844 à TRABIA
    je n’ai aucun renseignement sur ces parents SUNZERI PIROTTA Salvatore et sa mère TOMASELLO Francesca de TRABIA .
    Merci de m’aide

  4. Scimeca says:

    Looking for help with Scimeca research in Sicily grandparent died and never spoke Englaish so need to find info from things that I have date of birth 1983. Please any assistance much appreciated.

  5. Barbara says:

    We are looking for information on my husband’s maternal grandfather, Francesco Sabatino. We know he was born on December 10, 1870 in Montefredane. His father’s name was Michele. His mother Teresa.

    Thank you.

  6. Lisa says:

    Before visiting Polla next month, I was hoping to find out if there were any family around. My Great Grandparents were born and raised their family in Polla, Graziano Stabile and Teresa Parente. My Great Grandparents, Rosario and Maria Stabile, came to the US in 1920 and finished raising their family. My Grandpa was Raymond Stabile. Does anyone have any siggestions on how I go about finding information? I found 11 Stabiles still in Polla.

  7. Frances Mc says:

    Hello, My great grandfather Walter SMITH was born in Trieste Austria in about 1838 his father was Nicholas SMITH and his mother Frances SMITH nee SESTANVICH I can not find a record of my great grandfather being born nor of his parent would love to know more I also have on various records of him (daughters birth and marriage papers etc) of g grandfather putting down Golubinza and Dalmatia as his birth place any help would be greatfully appreciated

  8. Nicholas says:

    I am looking for information about my Grandfather, Domenic Fillipone, born in Campobasso 1884 and my Grandmother, Carmella Colluci, born 1894 in Naples(so I am told). Both immigrated to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Thank You.

  9. Rosy says:

    I’m looking for information on Agostino Aresca from Mombercelli – any whether there are any living relatives. He was born in 1878 and died in 1914.

  10. Terri says:

    Hello I am in search of my GGrandfather who was born 4th July 1818 in Leghorn (Livorno) His name was Carlo Leopold Diamanti. His father was Luigi Diamanti born 1789 in Bologna. Luigis parents were Luisa Gotti and Vincenzo Diamanti from Bologna.
    I have searched the civil registrations in Italy but have found nothing. Carlo also had a sister Amedea born 1820. Mother unknown. Luigi remarried in 1821 to Claudina Colombini and they had a further 8 children in Livorno.
    The family were Roman Catholics.

  11. Kathie says:


    I am searching for information about Ferdinando Antonio Ferrari, born July 16, 1873 in Solignano, Italy. He married Maria Carilda Paoletti on March 13, 1898 in Medesano, Parma, Italy.
    Ferdinando came to America in 1902. He was a stone mason.

    Children: Marie Agelina Ferrari, baptism St. Maria Assunta, Fornovo, Italy on 6/18/1900. Pietro Ferrari, 11/27/1901, Medesano, Parma, Italy. William Mario Ferrari, 6/28/1902.

    Any help is appreciated, or if you could put me in contact with a Genealogist that would be helpful.

    Ferdinando came to America in 1902.
    Thank You

  12. Mike says:

    I am trying to find information/relatives of my paternal great grandfather. His name was Emilio Giordano. He was born in 1885 in Saint Nicolas, Italy. He arrived in the United States in 1900. He married Robina Scandone (born 1885) in 1907. His father was Michele Felice Antonio Giordano born 1/12/1846 in San Severo, Foggia, Italy. His mother was Raffaela Ciampolillo born 1853. He had 11 brothers and sisters. They were from San Nicola Baronia, Italy.
    Thank you for your help.

  13. Tom says:

    Need information for grandfather Tommaso DeMartino who returned to Italy between 1919-1921 on family business……his wife was told he died there ……need to know if he is buried in Altavilla irpina or in that area……he was born Feb 2 1883 …….
    Can anyone give me some information…….please

  14. Cynthia says:

    My great grand father was Giuseppi S. Merlino Ramasco. He is in a tomba in Tollegno. His wife was Seconda Vignazia. My mother wrote that Giuseppi had two brothers. My question is – who are they?

  15. Carol says:

    Looking for any information on Felice (Filici) Carino, Seragusa from the Carolei Cosenza area.
    Grazie for your time & help

  16. Michelle says:

    My Great Grandfather and Grandmother came over from the Altopascio, Lucca, Toscana area in the early 1900’s. His name was Mariano Francesco Carmignani (Born 1873) and hers was Domenica DiQuirico (Born 1875 Firenze).

    I am looking for any information on my family and hoping to trace my ancestry prior to visiting the region.

  17. DR VERA IACENDA says:

    My paternal grandmother GUISSEPPA ELVIRA FERRARI GRANDINETTI was born in Carpanzaro Cosenza on 20 March 1893. How can I obtain her birth records ?
    Thank you.

  18. Janet says:

    I need help finding my ancestors in Ponte Buggianese. I have the name of my grandfather’s brother from the cemetery in town but I don’t know if there are any younger ancestors in the town.

  19. Laurie says:

    Are the books published? Are they available for sale? Would I be able to purchase one for the records of Forno Rivara/Canavese circa 1750-1850?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter