In Italy, there are three main public sources that are repositories of family information:
- Town Halls (Comuni) started to register the population only after the unification of Italy on 1866.
- State Archives (Archivi di Stato) maintain the so-called Napoleonic records, mostly available in the south of Italy, covering the period from 1809 to 1815. State Archives in the south of Italy maintain also the “Stato civile della restaurazione” records between 1816 and 1865.
- Prior to this, family trees must be built mainly from the sacramental registers of the Catholic Church.
Parish churches (Parrocchie) started to record births/marriages/deaths of their parishioners after the Council of Trento at the end of the 1500s.
Documents may be in Italian or Latin depending on how far back you go!
Italy’s civil archives contain a wealth of military records, Land and Property, Wills records, court proceedings and notarial documents, so once you have built a solid tree using the basic sacramental information – births, marriages, deaths – you can strive to add detail to the data by seeking your ancestors in all these other records.
My expertise covers these regions:
- North Italy