Italian Ancestors Records and Research

FamilySearch is working with the National Archives of Italy to digitally preserve more than 115 million images of historic records currently located in state archives and make them searchable online. These historic records contain more than 500 million names. As digital images are published, they can be viewed for free at the Italy National Archives site.

Once Italian Ancestors online volunteers index a set of digital records, the index will be linked to the digital images and searchable for free at FamilySearch.org and the Italy National Archives. FamilySearch also has millions of additional indexed Italian records, browsable images, research assistance tools, and instructional videos available at FamilySearch.org to help you find your ancestors.

From The Blog

  1. Casa Italia Chicago Joins the Italian Ancestors Project

    Casa Italia - logoThe Italian Ancestors Project is pleased to announce that Casa Italia, the Italian Cultural Center located in Stone Park, IL, has become a project sponsor. ...Read more

    Friday, February 15, 2013—Rob Goates

  2. Calling All Italians! Italian Records Bring Family History to Life

    Leonardo da Vinci, once said, “There are three classes of people; those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.” ...Read more

    Thursday, January 24, 2013—Rob Goates

Italian Populations In The World

Map showing italian populations in the world

Interesting Dates Influencing Italian Record Keeping

1300s-1600s

Italian Renaissance. This cultural movement began in Italy and spread to England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It was characterized by a revival in ancient Greek and Roman art and philosophy, the development of humanism, and the beginning of modern science.

1543

The Council of Trent required parishes to begin keeping records.

1559-1713

Spain ruled most of Italy.

1713

Treaty of Utrecht ended Spanish rule and established the Austrian Hapsburgs as Italy’s dominant power.

1796

Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, drove the Austrian rulers from northern Italy.

1804-1815

Napoleon ruled most of Italy. In 1806 he began requiring that civil registration records be kept.

1814

Napoleon was defeated. Most of Italy is returned to its former sovereigns. Civil registration ended in 1815.

1821-31

A series of revolts, known as the Risorgimento, occurred against local rulers. The rebels sought political unity for Italy. These rebellions were eventually crushed.

1848-1849

Revolts began in every major Italian city opposing Austrian rule. New governments were established. Austria put down the revolts and regained control of the Italian cities. The pope, backed by the French army, won back Roma.

1858-1859

Count Cavour, prime minister of the Kingdom of Sardegna, and Napoleon III of France signed a defense agreement. To maintain its Italian holdings, Austria declared war on the Kingdom of Sardegna. French and Italian troops defeated the Austrians. Much of northern Italy was united under the Kingdom of Sardegna.

1860

Giuseppe Garibaldi freed Sicilia, southern Italy, and the city of Napoli from the French.

1861

After a nationwide vote, the Kingdom of Italy was formed with Vittorio Emmanuele II as king. The kingdom united all of Italy except the city of Roma, the region of Venezia, and the country of San Marino.

1866

In exchange for Venezia, Italy supported Prussia in its war against Austria. A month later, Prussia defeated Austria, and Venezia became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Civil registration became law.

1870-1871

The Franco-Prussian War forced France to withdraw its troops from Roma. Italian troops conquered all of Roma except for the Vatican. The capital of Italy moves from Torino to Roma.

1911

After a war with Turkey, Italy gained Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, and Tripoli.

1915-1918

Italy sided with the Allies in World War I and gained Trentino and Trieste from Austria-Hungary.

1922

King Victor Emmanuel III made Benito Mussolini the premier of Italy. By 1925 Mussolini reigned as dictator.

1939-1946

Italy conquered Ethiopia. Italy and Germany agreed to be allies if war were to break out. Italy conquered Albania. Italy entered World War II on Germany’s side. Italians voted to establish a Republican form of government.

1947

Italy signed a peace treaty at the end of World War II. As part of the treaty, Italy gave up its African empire (Libya, Italian Somaliland, and Eritrea), gave the Dodecanese Islands to Greece, and gave Albania its independence. Trieste was made a free territory that was divided into two zones under Anglo-American and Yugoslav control. Minor changes were made to the French-Italian border.

1954

Trieste was given to Italy in a treaty with Yugoslavia.

1300s

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1900s

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Antenati Records FamilySearch Records
  1. Viviana Massidda Rogai
    Viviana Massidda Rogai

    493896528......si accettano suggerimenti su 04-02 cognome della madre grazie

    May 22 4:07pm

  2. Nuccia Romano Cabrini
    Nuccia Romano Cabrini

    Per cortesia cosa leggete voi come cognome della madre? Grazie

    Photo

    May 14 12:35am

  3. Maria Arcidiacono
    Maria Arcidiacono

    Carissimi indicizzatori Ho trovato dei batches di Caltanissetta in cui non viene scritto il nome del paese, e nei vari records c'è solo scritto nato/a in questa. Cosa potrei fare? Posso scrivere Caltanissetta oppure lasciare vuoto? Help!!! e Grazie

    May 20 4:45pm

  4. Luca Sarzi Amadè
    Luca Sarzi Amadè

    Cari amici, che condividete la passione per le ricerche genealogiche, Vi informo che finalmente, dopo oltre quarant'anni trascorsi sulla breccia, ho potuto sfornare (e son state lacrime e sangue, e Vi assicuro non soltanto per me e per la casa editrice!) le 350 pagine (con glossari, tabelle, bibliografie e qualunque sussidio sia utile al ricercatore) de "L'antenato nel cassetto. Manuale di scienza genealogica" (Mimesis Edizioni). La precedente edizione (Mursia, 1995, con altro titolo) infatti era ormai superata. Spero possa esserVi utile nelle Vostre ricerche. Dimenticavo: la pagina Facebook all'indirizzo https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lantenato-nel-cassetto/1549578935315316?fref=ts

    May 21 12:36pm

  5. Nuccia Romano Cabrini
    Nuccia Romano Cabrini

    Scusate una curiosità in quanti stiamo indicizzando Enna?

    May 18 11:05am

  6. Silvia Zanetti
    Silvia ZanettiPhoto

    May 20 3:21pm

  7. Abel Stecconi
    Abel Stecconi

    ¿Potrebbe indicarmi se essiste digitalisazzione dil cognome STECCONI, tra' l'anno 1770/1790??? Mio trisnonno si quiamava Alessandro Stecconinato tra' 1820/ 1835, padre di mio bisnonno Giovanni Stecconi, nato a Busseto, Parma, tra'1853/1854. Sua moglie si quiamava EVA, Annunziata, nata a Busseto.

    May 19 11:48pm

  8. Lidia Di Dio Calabria
    Lidia Di Dio Calabria

    quando incontro il cognome/di/nome, come deve essere indicizzato? di ,,,,,,,,,,, + nome ?

    May 17 2:10pm

Famous Italians

Dante Alighieri, detail from Luca Signorelli's fresco, Chapel of San Brizio, Orvieto Cathedral.
Dante Alighieri, detail from Luca Signorelli's fresco, Chapel of San Brizio, Orvieto Cathedral.
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.
Self-portrait in red chalk, circa 1512 to 1515.
Portrait of Michelangelo by Jacopino del Conte (after 1535) at the age of 60.
Giovanni Caselli.
Francesco Cirio.
Giacomo Puccini.
Jacuzzi Family
Andrea Bocelli
Michael Bublé
Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Manu Ginóbili
Lionel Messi

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