Napoleon and his far-reaching effects on our lives

Genealogists owe a great debt of gratitude to Napoleon Bonaparte. As the French Emperor conquered Western Europe, his ideas of civil law spread as well. He placed the civil government officially in charge of recording births, marriages, and deaths in France in 1792. Countries that he conquered were the next to follow suit. 1792 – … Continue reading

Terelle – January 1944

Terelle is a small town on the south east side of Monte Cairo just outside of Cassino. The Gustav Defence Line ran through the nearby town of Cassino and German troops occupying Terelle and the surrounding area forcibly rounded up the local men to labour for them. They were to build a new road connecting … Continue reading

Discussion about Italian Archives

Instagram LIVE today at 12 EST

A discussion with Ellen Craig of UmbriaAbove on ITALIAN ARCHIVES and how what they contain to help expand your family tree. View this post on Instagram A post shared by UmbriaAbove – Italy (@umbriaabove)

Segno di Croce – sign of the cross or signature? Are we going back to this?

Literacy and the ability to read & write was often a privilege of the wealthy despite the fact that schooling was, officially at least, available to all children between 6 and 9 years of age starting in 1877.   Many children of the poor “contadini” were needed in the fields and rarely allowed to attend school.  … Continue reading

Season’s Greetings for 2021

  It’s been a strange year for everyone and I hope you have all been staying safe from the virus in this pandemic year.  Although Italy has been hard hit our team has remained safe thus far, although this new strain is certainly worrying. Despite the frequent lockdowns our team has completed 108 projects in … Continue reading

On-Line Interview on Instagram with Ellen of UmbriaAbove

Saturday 12 noon (Eastern time) I will be the guest of Ellen Craig, of UmbriaAbove on Instagram talking about Italian genealogical research and its challenges. Why not plan to join us. We will be discussing Ellen’s search for her Italian heritage and her living relatives in Sora. We will also be taking your questions. Ellen … 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

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

When records can’t be found.

Morgan was having difficulty locating records for his ancestral town of San Lazzaro in Campania and asked for help. The first thing to do is to check the Family Search catalogue. Nothing there! Next stop is a Google search for Comune di San Lazzaro.  In the list is a item ‘La frazione di San Lazzaro … Continue reading