Nardi family reunion set for 2022

I did some research for Shayna almost ten years ago which created more questions than answers but I was never able to accomplish her most sought-after goal – to reconnect with family in Italy. However, Shayna never gave up hope and this year her dream finally came true.  Here is her version of the chain … Continue reading

Oldest business in the world-Agnone

The Marinelli Pontifical Bell Foundry in Agnone, near Isernia, in the Province of Molise is the oldest bell foundry in the world and the second oldest family business in the world, and is still run by descendants of the original Marinelli Family. In Agnone the tradition of smelting and moulding metals is 2,500 years old, … Continue reading

Surnames of Italy

Italians are finally catching up with the rest of the world in the realm of surnames.  350,000 surnames can be found in Italy, the highest number of different surnames in one country in the world.  In Italy up to 2016 it was not legally possible to have more than one surname. I can hear the … Continue reading

13 May 1814 Freed from Napoleon’s tyranny

In both Civil and Parish records there is often a lack of registers between 1809 and 1820. When Napoleon conquered Italy he not only established the keeping of civil records across the nation but he also confiscated parish records in order to know how many baby boys were being baptized in the parish. He didn’t … Continue reading

Catasto Onciario – How and why it was created

In 1740 the Catasto Onciario was proposed by King Charles III (who reigned from 15 May 1734 – 6 October 1759) and and by 1742 regulations had been sent out to all the towns in the Regno delle Due Sicilie with instructions to complete the work by the end of January 1743. Ten years later, … Continue reading

Indexes – how accurate are they and what to do if the name isnt there?

Let’s discuss first the indexing currently underway by Family Search and Antenati.  This indexing is being done by volunteers who may, or may not be familiar with the elaborate handwriting of our Italian ancestors.  You should try your search on both sites and on Ancestry.com.  I have a feeling Antenati is not sharing this project … Continue reading

Violence against women and the law.

It’s a hot topic today but check out this Italian law. To repress the disordered (uncontrolled) vice of the flesh the death penalty is imposed for incest up to the third degree of consanguinity and to the first and second degree of kinship, after which, in both cases, is imposed the penalty of jail, which … Continue reading

Was your ancestor a hunted man?

  One of the reasons your ancestor may have left Italy in a hurry is that he was an Anarchist or a socialist, or at least suspected to be one. On June 15th 1904 the Sotto-Prefetto of Sora sent a list of suspected anarchists and others suspected of belonging to subversive parties, to all the … Continue reading

Italian Passports – a good source of information? Not always.

Anyone who is lucky enough to have their Grandfather’s Italian passport would expect that the name, parents’ names, date and place of birth would be as accurate as it could get.  And yet, in the past couple of years I have found this not to be the case. From 1869, passports were required to leave … Continue reading

Sins of the father….the story of Anna

Stories about women are rare so I would like to take a few minutes of your time to focus on a kind of heroine.  One who went against the culture and traditions of the time.  A young woman whose true story we will never know, but one that we can imagine, based on various documents … Continue reading