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

Italian/Albanian ancestry? We can help!

Please welcome Giuseppe Baffa to our team. Giuseppe has a degree in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. He has published many papers and books on various issues related to Arbëresh culture and tradition, which he knows very well.  In addition to being interested in Albanian culture, he is an arbëresh living in Santa Sofia d’Epiro, … Continue reading

Finding Achille

Alistair Goold came to me with a desperate plea for help. With the help of an Italian lawyer he had exhausted all known avenues to locate the birth record of his GGFather without which he could not get his Italian citizenship. He sent me a list of the archives they had searched without success. Filomena … Continue reading

How to search the Antenati site

The ‘search’ function on Ancestry, family search and the Antenati site is a place to start but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t produce any results.  The indexing project is far from complete and even though ‘your’ names may appear to come up in the search it doesn’t mean they are the right family. Sometimes … Continue reading