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 genealogy@italianside.com