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Italian: Introduction to Research Outside of Italy
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NOTE: This course requires compulsory materials to be ordered. Please click on the Supplies tab for details.

So you want to research your Italian ancestors! Welcome to a fascinating type of genealogical research. Italians have contributed to all aspects of life in the countries they immigrated to. Our Italian ancestors often came poor and destitute, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Hard work and placing great value on family helped them to excel within their new countries, providing not only a better life for themselves but also for their descendants.

This course will provide you with a solid foundation on which to begin your research. We will discuss, amongst other things: what resources, mainly U.S. and Canadian, can help you begin your research; what Italian records are available and the historical considerations in their creation; where and how these records can be accessed; record collections available on microfilm or digitally and how to use them; language resources; tips that will help you as your research progresses; ordering documents from Italy.

NOTE: This course is a prerequisite to all other Italian courses except for the Research: Italian Ancestors course.

Course Content

Module 1
• Note about Web Addresses
• Websites
• Required Reading
Getting Started
• Reference Materials for Italian Research
• Why Do I Want to Do This?
• Desire to Learn More about Your Family History
• Desire to Obtain Dual Citizenship with Italy
• Summarize It! Begin With What You Know
• Why Knowing the Town of Origin is Important
Join an Italian Genealogical Society, Group and/or Heritage Organization
• Italian Genealogical Societies, Groups, or Online Forums
• Italian Heritage Organizations
• Italian Genealogical Mailing Lists
Understanding Naming Customs

Module 2
Accessing The Records
Family History Library & FamilySearch
• FamilySearch Catalog
• FamilySearch Digital Records
• Ordering Microfilmed Records from FamilySearch
• Manuscript Collections
• Maps and Gazetteers
Use the Internet!
Digital Record Collections Elsewhere on the Internet
• Italian Provincial Archives
Archivio Centrale dello Stato (Italy’s Central Archive)
Use of Indexes
• Civil Records
• Ecclesiastical Records
• Other Indexes

Module 3
United States & Canadian Resources
U.S. Resources on Italian Immigrants
• Italian Records Brought by the Immigrant
• Identification Cards
• Identification Papers
• Military Discharge Papers
• Passports
Canadian Resources on Italian Immigrants
• Naming Customs
• Immigration Records
• Passenger Manifests
• Immigration after 1935
• Border Entry Records 1908-1935
• Citizenship and Naturalization Records
• Census Records
• Where Can I Find Them?
• Vital (Civil) Records
• Church (Parish) Records
Did Your Italian Ancestors Immigrate to a Different Country?

Module 4
Historical Considerations and Political Jurisdictions
Historical Considerations
Italian Political Jurisdictions
• Town (Comune) or City (Cittá)
• Province (Provincia)
• Region (Regione)
• Parish (Parrocchia)
• Diocese
Additional Italian Archives Useful for Genealogical Research
• Local Library (Biblioteca Comunale)
Italian Record Types
• Civil Registration
• How Many Sets Were Created and Where Can They Be Found?
Stato Civile Napoleonico (Napoleonic Civil Records) 1804-1815
Stato Civile Restaurazione (Restoration Civil Records) 1816-1865
Stato Civile Italiano (Italian Civil Records) 1865 onward
• Most Useful Civil Record Types
Italian Privacy Restrictions
Conflict between Church and State

Module 5
Parish or Diocesan Records
• Websites
• When Did They Begin and Why?
• Can I Find my Ancestors Back to the Beginning of Ecclesiastical Records?
Baptismal or Ecclesiastical Birth Records
Confirmation Records
Marriage Records
• Ecclesiastical Marriage Attachments Notice of Birth in a Different Parish
Marriage Dispensations
What Can Be Found in the Parish and What Can Be Found in the Diocese

Module 6
Additional Record Types
• Language Guides/Word Lists
Military Records (Registri Militari)
• Military Conscription Records
• Military Service Records (Ruoli Matricolari or Registri dei Foglio Matricolari)
• Discharge Papers (Foglio di Congedo Illimitato)
Notarial Records (Registri di Notai)
University Records
Will the Records be in Italian?
Other Languages 100
Common Abbreviations
• Abbreviations for Words or Titles
• Abbreviations for Given Names
Additional Language Resources
Citing the Records
Form Letters to Request Records from Italy
• Should I Send Money?
• What if They Do Not Answer my Request?
Final Summary
• Articles
• Books

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