Benvenuto! From language guides to websites to research tips, everything you need for your Italian genealogy journey.
This Genealogy Cheat Sheet will provide you with the resources you need to research your Italian heritage. Included are a detailed map of Italy and key Italian regions and capitals, Italian language guides, information concerning church, civil, and military records and many other valuable tools.
The Council of Trent adjourned; Italian parishes begin keeping records
Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, gains control of most of what’s now Italyy
Civil registration ends in most of northern Italy, but continues south of Roma
Sicilia begins civil registration
Most of northern Italy becomes part of the Kingdom of Sardinia
Southern Italy and Sicilia are freed from French rule
Italian Unification unites all areas of Italy, except for Roma and the Venezia region 1865
Military conscription of men age 18 and older begins
Region of Venezia becomes part of Italy; civil registration in Italy is required again
Italian capital moves from Torino to Roma; Roma begins keeping civil registrations
The first government census to name all family members is taken
Italian government recognizes church marriage records
Italians vote to establish a Republican constitution
Divorce becomes legal
-Civil registers of vital records (Birth, Marriage, Death) began in most of Italy in 1809; however, Sicily is unique in that it began keeping vital records in 1920.
-In terms of church records, baptism records began in approximately 1500. Marriage and death records began in around 1520.
Napoleonic civil records (1804-1815. Note: For Northern Italy, civil registration ceased in 1815 and resumed in 1866)
Restoration Civil Records (1809-1865; began in 1820 for Sicily)
Italian civil records (after 1866)
Baptismal records (1815-1865)
Largest Wave: 1876-1930
Civil records are essential to tracing Italian roots. Learn how to locate and use records throughout different eras to find your Italian ancestors.
Looking for Italian records for your ancestors? Our experts answer your toughest questions to get you past your research brick walls and back on track.