“Italian Genealogy Hands-On”: Civil Status Records

Filed under Genealogy

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.


7 Comments to ““Italian Genealogy Hands-On”: Civil Status Records”
  1. 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

  2. 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?

  3. Carol says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

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