ItalianSide Genealogy FAQ

1) What do I need to start a genealogy research with ItalianSide?

Usually the best way to start a research is completing the form or send us an email with the info you have and most important: – Exact full name of your ancestor – Exact birth town – Exact birthdate In our experience we know that in many cases, a starting research can’t meet exactly all these 3 requirements. But this can’t be a problem: our professional local genealogists are used to work even with less accurate info. In many “puzzling cases” they were able to give positive answers even to researches started only with an apporoximate “area of origin” , or only with an italian region as birthplace. With some luck and lot of experience we were able to find the exact village even starting without any clue about the birthtown of the ancestors of our customers! Same for the birthdate (or marriage, or death date) : of course with an exact date, the research will be easier (and cheaper) but we handle usually researches with only an approximate year or even only a possible range of years for a single event (birth, marriage, death).

2) I m not sure of the birth date of my ancestor, how can I proceed?

As maybe you already know, the officers in Municipalities are not required by law to search documents without an exact date.
Usually, if the town is not big and there are not cases of homonyms, even only the exact year could be good to find the record and then issue the certificate.
If the birthdate is wrong, it’s very likely that your request would be “negative” (the town hall will reply that there is NO evidence of the birth in that town and it’s not possible to prepare the certificate

To avoid this, in case you are not sure of the exact birth date, we suggest to ask to our local researcher to conduct a preliminary research in the local archives to find your ancestors’ record.
In this way our expert will search the record in a big range of years so you will avoid to miss the possibility to get your certificate for a wrong birthdate!

3) I m not sure of the birth town of my ancestor, how can I proceed?

In Italy every single town or village has its registers.
This means that to get the certificate you must address your request to the correct town where your ancestor was born otherwise you would get a negative reply from the town hall.

If you are not sure of the birth town our experts could make a preliminary research to find the exact town where to request the certificate.
This is a quite common situation and our genealogists were able to solve many “puzzling cases” to request started with an approximate “area of origin” or only with an Italian region.
With some luck and lot of experience we were able to find the exact village even starting without any clue about the birthtown (with requests only with “Italy” as birthplace!

4) What is the difference between Certificates and Records ?

The main difference is that records are useful for family history instead certificates are valid for dual citizenship requests. Here you can read more about records and certificates

5) I know that in the village where my ancestor was born, civil records are not available, how can I proceed?

Where there are no civil records, for example if your ancestor was born before the establishment of the civil status, that, for historical reasons, differs between the several areas of the Italian territory, or because for some reason the civil records were lost (e.g. for flooding or fire or bombing during WWII) , you must address your request to the specific Parish in which he got the baptism or the marriage, since each municipal territory can have more than one Parish.
If you don’t know the exact parish, our local expert could make a preliminary research to find the exact religious archive where the record is stored.

6) What is the cost of a genealogy research with ItalianSide?

Feel free to ask for our quotes!
As you can imagine every research is different so there is not a standard quote.
The quote comes after a tailored research plan prepared on your needs starting from the info you send us.
As more exact are the starting info you send us as more cheap will be the quote.
So feel free to ask for a research plan and will prepare a cost estimate without any commitment for you.
Quotes depends mainly on:
– accuracy of the info you give us to start (e.g. exact birthtown, exact name)
– availability of documents in local archives of your ancestor’s village
– how big is the town/village
– how far back in time you want to go to research.
In this way you will have a quote that will no change (NO hidden costs at ItalianSide!)

7) What happens if the research is negative?

Please remember you are hiring a professional genealogist,
You are NOT buying documents.
It means that you are paying for the genealogist time.
As you can imagine, before to start nobody knows if the exact records you are looking for were stored in centuries and are available today.
If for any reason your ancestor record was lost (it could happen with documents of more than 100 years!) or if the register of that year is damaged, nobody can know before to search the documents
What we know is that for sure people was registered in towns halls or in churches so, if your starting info are right there is no reason to not find the records.
Remember that we base our research on the info you send us.
The main reason the research can be negative is that the starting info are wrong (read FAQ n. 1)
So nobody can forecast but, in our expeirence we are very confident that if the info you give us to start to search are exact, the research will be positive.

8) How much time it takes?

With the research plan our local expert will give you an estimate of the needed time to complete the activities.
As you can imagine everythings depends on the availability of the local archives. Dealing with Public Administration could be very unpredictable but usually our genealogists are able to respect the time schedule.

In general, time needed is closely linked to:

– red tape and availability of the clerks, Priests or staff of the specific archives;
– Intrinsic degree of difficulty of the research that it’s not possible to predict before starting the activities;
– incorrect or poor starting data about names, dates and places provided by the customer on his Italian ancestor/ancestors to whom the project of research is referred to;
– bad status of conservation of the volumes in the archives (as the missing of specific volumes, indexes or single records).

9) What are the professional skills of the ItalianSide genealogists?

Our local genealogists are experienced researchers. All of them are professionals and they are all graduated in history or in archivistic.
Then they complete their skill with a strong and deep knowledge of local history.
We all know that many people love genealogy, but a strong passion without the right skills and university studies is not enough to be an expert. At ItalianSide we strongly believe that a professional service can’t rely on hobbyism.

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