State of the Family Record

Many genealogical bloggers and writers suggest that you write to the town for this record.  They will tell you that you may not get it, but if you do, it will be full of wonderful information.

The Stato Civile office handles legal, civil, records.  Birth, marriage and death registration, citizenship applications and the electoral rolls.

The ‘Anagrafe’ office handles the ‘state’ of the families in town.  Address changes, and identity cards among other things.  They use their records to keep track of the population and they handle the census when performed.  The old, out-dated or eliminated records are often stored out of reach and out of sight.  Getting them to give you a copy won’t be easy.   

When you write to ask for records your letter is directed to the ‘Stato Civile’ office which may, or may not, be part of the same office as the ‘anagrafe’.

Do you really want a ‘State of the Family’ record? 

This document was produced by the town clerk on request for a family who needed to show the composition of their family at any given moment in time.  They were usually applying for some kind of monetary assistance.  Maybe welfare or perhaps compensation after a natural disaster like an earthquake.  You would declare your family make-up and they would check your facts and create the document.  If you were looking after an abandoned child that child wouldn’t be included.  They were not part of your family.  They were a family unit by themselves.    If they were eligible for the same payment they would need their own State of the Family document.  Stillborn or deceased children aren’t included or family members not living with you at the time, such as children in a ‘collegio’ (state or church run boarding school/orphanage).

Please note that this document was obtained in 2015.  The Comune of Rome informed me last year that they are no longer responding to requests for a Stato di Famiglia.

What most bloggers and writers are suggesting you request has other names depending on the town or part of Italy you are researching.


A sheet or folder created in a specific year following the form of a census.  Head of the household, relationship to the Head etc.  Listing all family members and often updated with births, marriages and deaths.  The Foglio di Family was often used in conjunction with the personal record cards which came into use between 1905 and 1936.  It did not survive in all towns.



I have seen this register in several towns in the Province of Frosinone but not all.  Where it exists it was usually created between 1860-1866 and in many cases updated until around 1900.

It’s condition can vary from excellent to pitiful. (see above)

The books are large and too heavy to be photocopied or scanned (if the town has this option).  If you request a copy of this document you are asking the clerk to copy by hand all the information and as you can see it can be significant.  A local researcher can usually obtain a photograph. Even where the civil records are on line you can see how much time this would save in researching when records are not indexed.

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