Italy - Birth - 1520-1808Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Contents

Baptism: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep christening (or baptism) records. The records give the names of the parents and the child and include birth dates. Information found in a christening depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Before civil registers began, church baptism records were the best source for determining when a person was born.

Why go to the next record
Not all of the Italian baptism records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Confirmation Record: Church records

The confirmation record gives the name of each child in a parish who participated in the confirmation. Usually just the names of the children are provided. In early church records, the children could be anywhere from 8 to 12, since the priest only performed confirmations every few years. In more recent records, confirmations are done each year for 13- and 14-year-olds.

What you are looking for
Children were confirmed members of their church between the ages of 8 and 14. If the baptism records do not exist, confirmation records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Confirmation records may not give a birth or christening date, but sometimes they will give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all confirmation records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Marriage Record: Church records

The Italian Renaissance flourished during the first half of this period, and churches began keeping birth, marriage, and death records. Spain ruled most of Italy from 1559 until 1713, when the Treaty of Utrecht established the Austrian Hapsburgs as Italy's dominant power. Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, drove the Austrian rulers from northern Italy in 1796, and by 1804, he ruled most of Italy, with one of the exceptions being Sicily. Parish records were not affected by this political turmoil, although the language of the records sometimes was. In 1806, Napoleon required that all communities and provinces under his rule to keep civil registration.

What you are looking for
Most couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Marriage records may not give a birth or baptism date, but they give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.

Why go to the next record
Not all parish marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Marriage Banns: Church records

Beginning in about 1520, churches required their clergy to keep marriage records. Records of marriage banns were also kept. These records usually give the ages of the bride and groom. Use these records when birth and baptism records are not available.

What you are looking for
When marriage records do not exist, marriage banns are the best source for determining when a person was born. Marriage banns may not give a birth or baptism date, but they give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.

Why go to the next record
Not all parish marriage banns have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Burial Record: Church records

Beginning about 1520, churches required their clergy to keep death and burial records. The date of death and place of burial are included. The age of the deceased may be given and can be used when birth and christening records are not available.

What you are looking for
When marriage banns do not exist, parish burial records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Burial records may not give a birth or baptism date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all burial records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Census: Census

The parish priest was often required to collect taxes for the state from his parishioners. He recorded information about his parishioners and the tax in a set of volumes called "stato delle anime," meaning "state of the souls." Not all priests regularly kept the church censuses. Where they exist, the registers list all family members living in a household and their ages or birth dates. Where an age is given, use the record to estimate a person's birth date. They can also help identify all the members of a family and help determine where a family originated.

What you are looking for
When burial records do not exist, census records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Census records may not give a birth or baptism date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all census records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.


 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 9 September 2008, at 04:52.
  • This page has been accessed 2,546 times.