This week’s featured search was for the noble family Carrara of Sora.  After following the direct line using the Register of the Population and civil records we moved to the parish records of Santa Restituta where we were lucky to find a series of Stato d’Anime dated 1745-1788.

Before searching the Catasto Onciaro it is important to identify the Head of the Household for the year of the Catasto which was 1740.  You will almost always have to resort to parish records to achieve this as civil records that began in 1809 are unlikely to provide you with the name of someone born in the early 1700’s.  At least by 1720.

The Stato d’anime for 1760 gave us exactly what we needed. Ferdinando Carrara age 74  with his wife and children. 1760 SdA 29-03-2009 16-28-41 2560x1920

The Catasto begins with several pages that are of no real interest to us at this point.  We keep scrolling until we reach the beginning of the families to be taxed.  They are arranged in alphabetical order by first name.  That is, all the names beginning with ‘A’ are together but in no particular order!

Ferdinando is almost at the end of the ‘F’s’ and his name so smudged with the bleeding ink I almost missed it.  However his wife’s surname is also Carrara and her name is clearly written.  The first page details the entire family with the ages of the members and their relationship to the Head of the Household.  Son Carlo is listed as studying in Roma. He is 19 and not yet married.   Several siblings of Ferdinando are listed and note at the bottom the servant Bartolomeo Recchia, Vincenzo the ‘garzone’ two female servants and a child servant age 12.  At the very bottom of the page is their residence.

Catasto Onciaro 1740 19-04-2017 09-04-49 2400x1698

The following 10 pages detail who Ferdinando is collecting money from , land that he owns, and rents collected. This is going to take some studying!

If your research is lacking those one or two parish records to take you to this amazing document for your family why not contact me for a quote?



    • Hi Eugene,
      Your email is set at ‘contacts only’ so my reply was not delivered. 1908 was the year of the tsunami in Sicilia and many children were orphaned. I am not that familiar with Sicily so cannot answer your question specifically. If your ancestor was born that year the child was probably fostered to a family after being sent briefly to the holding centre (Brefotrofio). Children who were orphaned later in life were often sent to a ‘collegio’ which was a kind of boarding school/convent.


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