Italy, Catania, Arcidiocesi di Catania, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Italy, Catania, Arcidiocesi di Catania, Catholic Church Records, 1515-1941 .
Title in the Language of the Record
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The collection consists of images of baptisms, marriages, and deaths from the Archdiocese of Catania (Arcidiocesi di Catania), Catania, Italy. Also includes confirmations (cresime); church censuses (status animarum, stato delle anime); marriage banns (pubblicazioni); marriage contracts (contratti di matrimonio); marriage supplemental documents (allegati di matrimonio); and priesthood ordinations (ordinazioni sacerdotali). Availability of records is largely dependent on time period and locality. Additional images will be added as they become available.
After the death of Pope Clemente VII, leaders of the Catholic Church realized there was a need to reform and standardize certain doctrines and practices. All church leaders, including bishops from all the dioceses in Europe, were called to a council in the city of Trent on December 13, 1545. After many stops and starts, protests, and suspensions, the reforms of the Council of Trent were adopted. One of the mandates was that every parish priest would keep a record of each parishioner’s baptism, marriage, and death. This mandate was passed in January 1564, but not every parish complied immediately, even though every diocese had to ratify and comply with the council’s reforms. In fact, the reforms were not universally accepted before 1595, when a papal proclamation was declared. Most Catholic parishes in Italy will have records dating from this time if the register books have survived. Copies of these records were not regularly sent to the diocese until about 1900, so most parishes will have their records stored at the parish church. Occasionally the original register was deposited in the diocesan archive.
Most parish records in Italy began anywhere from 1563 to 1595, and continue to the present. During that time, 99 percent of the population belonged to the Catholic Church; the percentage is still around 95 percent, so almost the entire population has been covered in the parish registers. In larger cities there were some Jewish and Protestant residents who were not covered by the Catholic Church registers. For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Parish registers such as baptisms and marriages were created to keep a record of the vital events in the lives of each parishioner.
The Catholic Church parish registers are the most reliable and accurate source for family history information in Catania until civil registration was enforced in 1820. It is recommended to search both parish and civil registers and verify them against each other.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Catholic Parishes in Catania. Church records. Arcidiocesi di Catania, Sicily, Italy.
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The key genealogical facts found in most baptism registers include:
- Name given to the child
- Name of the father and mother (maiden name is listed occasionally for the mother)
- Date and place of baptism (birth date listed occasionally)
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage registers include:
- First and last name of bride and groom
- Bride and groom’s parents’ names (maiden name is listed occasionally for the mother)
- Date and place of marriage
How to Use the Record
Parish registers are the best source of information for ancestors who lived in Catania before civil registration began. The information included on birth and marriage records about a person’s parents can help extend that lineage. Use the place information included in all the entries to begin researching other records that may be needed.
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Examples of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
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- “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
- “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.
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