Family Search and the Antenati site digitization program

Susan asked if we might know when and which records might be posted on the above sites.  No one can know for sure but here is my assessment of the situation.

Family Search typically do their digitizing at the State Archives and the Tribunal not in the towns themselves. This means they are restricted to the records held there. The Family search records you can view at home are usually the ones prior to 1865 because the agreement was different when these were digitized over 50 years ago.
The State Archives typically have the records prior to 1865 although there are exceptions. Frosinone being one, where they also have the Tribunal records that survived WW2 and which are currently available even though they are incomplete and missing many years.
It is usually the Tribunal records  after 1865 that you must view at the Family History Centre and not on line (unless you are a church member) because of the agreement Family Search have with the Italian Government who are uploading these same records (albeit slowly) to their antenati site.
To know what records might eventually be posted you could search the inventory at the State Archives to see what they have. Tribunal records would include everything after 1870.  To know when this will happen is a lottery at best. The sheer volume of available records and the investment in digitizing them make this impossible to schedule.

It would be wonderful to have a schedule.  For you and for me.  You would know whether to pay a researcher or wait for the records to be uploaded.  I would simply reorganize to concentrate on parish records prior to the start of civil records.

Unfortunately for most of us, waiting is not always the best option!


  1. Thanks, Ann, for explaining all this so clearly. I know all this digitising takes a long time and I must be more patient. I have recently found my Great Grandfather Benedetto Coia’s siblings and also his wife Rosa’s. By putting this on the family tree Corinne Vermot-Gaud contacted me because we turn out to be cousins! She provided me with a diagram showing exactly how we are related.




  2. Thanks Ann for that. The bigger problem is, as you may remember, is finding where that data is held. My bisnonna & bisnonno were most likel married in a home chapel not a local church.
    Then there’s the reality that many churches have been combined with others or are defunct. Another problem is, which church in which city did the ancestor belong to? AGUH.
    Since I contacted you & received more info, I’ve written to & E-mailed the Archives in Napoli & Otranto [Lecce & Brindisi, both of which have some of Otranto’s records], and I’ve written & E-mailed the Cathedrals in Napoli & Otranto – and either get no answer, or “nothing found for . . .”


    • Hi Kathleen,
      Even if the wedding took place in a home chapel the registration would have taken place in the Comune (if after 1870) AND the parish church of which the bride or groom were members. You need to locate the parish the family were members of.


  3. It seems that this has now “flip-flopped” to where you can see the post 1865 records at home, but the pre-1865 records are now only viewable at a Family History Center (or Antenati).


    • It has to do with the Legal agreements Family Search has with the Italian Government. Any records digitized at the State Archives will eventually be published on Antenati therefore they are locked and only available to members or at a Family Search Centre. Records digitized by Family Search in the Tribunal offices or town offices are covered under a separate agreement and are available on line via Family Search. These records will NOT be uploaded to the Antenati site.


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