Italian genealogy tips

Ready to contact your ancestors town ?
Here there are some useful hints you need to know.

– It’s not an easy work.
In many towns there is not an electronic database for old records.
It means that the officer has to search on old heavy handwritten registry books: it’s not an easy work.

– Ask easy questions
Italian registrars are not required by law to assist in genealogical research expecially for requests from abroad.
So, it’s better to not expect a in-depth genealogy research for you. It’s a good goal to receive a single certificate.

– Try to be as precise as possible
Offices need information as accurate as possible, in order to correctly answer to your requests.
The office of the registrar cannot undertake extensive research of its files to locate a record which is not properly identified.
Try to give the exact names of your ancestors and the exact dates of the events. In many cases, lack of precision is the best reason to receive …no answer.

– Write in Italian!
We strongly suggest you to send your request in Italian.
Please try to avoid automatic translations (like common online translator) because, the resulting translations are not correct very often, and it’s almost impossible to understand the exact meaning og the request for an Italian reader.
You can find the sample letters for the most common requests in our community

– Be sure to have the right address.
Very often people try to contact municipalities without any idea of the right office where to send their request.
You have to be sure to talk with the right officer.
Sending the email to the wrong office means that it’s up to the receiver to forward the message to the right office.
If you can’t find the right address by yourself, you could ask our Community.

– It takes time!
Often Registry offices give less priority to genealogy requests and even less to requests from abroad: in many cases, a quick answer depends on the goodwill of the officer.

– Be concise.
Your best friend could be very interested in all your family history: the civil servant who will read your request needs only you go straight to the point to understand quickly what is your question.

For any question regarding genealogy requests in Italy, feel free to ask to


12 Messages to “Italian genealogy tips”
  1. Patricia says:

    Seeking proof of birth of my Grandfather. Pietro L’Altrella born June 29 1891 in Poggio Imperiale.
    Surname may also be spelled Laltrella.
    Thank you, Patricia

  2. Donald says:

    Looking for information on Aniceto D’Antuono , my grandfather. Born March 1, 1893 in Pignataro Maggiore. I would like his mother’s maiden name as well as his father’s name.

    Thank you.


  3. Louisa says:

    Hi, has anyone researched the Puglisi family from Lipari?
    My grandfather Michele Puglisi born 1875 Lipari – died 1949 Ulladulla Australia
    My Grandmother Guiseppina Musemecci born 1879 La Scala Messina – died 1966 Ulladulla Australia.
    The family lived La marina Corta. Trying to find any relatives still there.
    Thank you

  4. nilco minuzzo says:

    Qualcuno ha notizie dei miei lontani parenti emigrati in Brasile (Matias Barbosa Minas) partendo dalla provincia di Treviso ITALIA (Meduna di Livenza? Motta di Livenza?) fine anni 1800/primi 1900. Il marito si chiamava Cigana A. la moglie Antonini Anna con figli, che non sono a conoscenza dei loro nomi.Avevo notizie di loro fino gli anni 1950/60. Poi più nulla. Ringrazio chi mi può dare notizie. Cordiali saluti.
    Nilco Minuzzo.

  5. Nikki Rasmussen says:

    I’m looking for information regarding Benedetto Giannelli from Caiazzo Caserta his son is Andrea Giannelli born about 1820. I’m also looking for information regarding Stefana Matarrazzo born about 1835 who is married to Andrea Giannelli. Stefana’s father is Luigi Matarazzo. I’m looking for their date of birth, date of marriage and their mother’s names if possible. Thank you, Nikki

  6. Kira Ciccarone Rafter says:

    I am looking for information on my Great Grandfather and his family. Raffaele Ciccarone was born in Santeramo in Colle, Italy on July 26, 1886 to Andrea Ciccarone and Maria Ripa Ciccarone. I am looking for any information on any of them or any other children born to Andrea and Maria Ripa Ciccarone. I appreciate any help.

  7. David says:

    Here are the names I have Leonardantonio zullo born 04/20/1887 Orsara Di Puglia
    (Mothers maiden name Maria Donata Cappetta fathers name Leonardo zullo)
    Married 04/06/1908 in Orsara Di Puglia to Maria Michela Pignatiello (born 06/09/1880) Orsara Di Puglia to mother Antonia Turomaglio father Domenico Pignatiello. I would like to search for their parents also and I am going to be in Orsara Aug. 31st and Sept 1st 2014 any help on where to look would be appreciated.

  8. Carol Iaconis Rappold says:

    I am trying to find the names of my maternal great-great grandparents. My grandmother’s parents were Pietro Scalise and Maria Giuseppa Lamanna both born around 1850 in Castelsilano. I have not been able to find the names of Maria Giuseppa’s parents. I know that Maria Giuseppa’s sister, Rosina Lamanna, married Pietro Scalise’s brother Francesco. Maria Giuseppa and Rosina had a sister Maria Isabella who married Ferdinando Piperio and a sister Domenica who also married a Piperio. I would be so grateful for any help.
    Thank you,

  9. Gustavo says:

    I am looking for records of my grandfather, Silverio D”Amico, who was born in Atessa on
    April 4, 1884, and of his mother and father, Giuseppe Antonio D’Amico and Filomena D’Amico.
    I believe Giuseppe Antonio D’Amico died in Rome, on December 18, 1903.


    Juan Gustavo

  10. hazel catania says:

    I am trying to locate my husband’s grandmother who was born in Castlevetrano Italy in June 29 1906 last name is Ponzo. I can find no records for her parents. I know she come over in 1913 to NY. Any info would be greatly appreciated Thank you.

  11. Giuseppe Serafini says:

    Seeking marriage certificate for Francsco Serafini and Tomasa Pellecchia,married in Cittaa di Schiavi, Sora Year about 1850. Grazie

  12. Renata Petronio Nuzzi says:

    Is it possible to locate my father’s side of the family? His name was Nicolo Petronio born to the parents of Pietro Petronio and Renata Vernier in Trieste, Italy on 22 August 1907. Any help would be appreciated. There is a Dr. Nicolo Petronio and Renata Petronio in the Trieste phone book, which I am hoping are my relatives. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Renata Petronio Nuzzi