Italy Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Records
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The records are generally kept in bound registers consisting of approximately 100-400 pages per volume. Some registers include an index at the end of each volume. Volumes prior to 1815 were handwritten by the parish priest in narrative form with details of the event and after 1815 the records were handwritten in printed forms. The text of the records is in Italian and partially in Latin.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
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.
- Archbishoprics and Dioceses in Italy. Italy, Catholic Church Records. Catholic parishes throughout Italy.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
The key genealogical facts found on most birth or baptism records include:
- Date and time of the event
- Name of the person baptized
- Names of the parents
- Names of the witnesses
- Name of the priest performing the baptism
- In later records, marriage and birth information of the parents
The key genealogical facts found on most marriage records include:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Names of their parents
- Date of the event
- Names of witnesses
- Name of the priest performing the marriage
- In later records, birth information for the bride and groom
The key genealogical facts found on most burial records include:
- Name of the deceased
- Names of the parents (if the deceased is a minor)
- Dates of death and burial
- In later records, profession, age of deceased, and cause of death
How to Use the Record
Some records have indexes at the end of the volume. Frequently, these indexes are arranged by the given name of the individual and sometimes use the Latin form of the name. Those volumes without indexes need to be searched chronologically for the individuals sought.
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about other people listed in the record. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use the baptism date and place to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The parents' origin places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Marriage date and place may help find their children.
- Burial place may also help to know of their migration pattern.
- It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile baptism entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the baptism records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born, married and died in the same place or nearby.
Keep in mind:
- The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
General Information About Catholic Church Records
These records were created by official decree of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church required the keeping of the registration of baptisms, marriages, and burials beginning in 1595. This parish began keeping records in 1597.
Typically, the baptisms, marriages, or burials were recorded at the time of the event. The event information, including the names of the principal individuals, is highly reliable. Other information, such as ages, parents’ names, and other relationships, is generally regarded as reliable but could be subject to error.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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Citation Example for Records Found in FamilySearch Historical Collections
The following are examples of records found in different collections. Please help us by replacing these examples with a citation for a record you have found in this collection.
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet(www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006). Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base adn Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
- Mexico, Districto Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from Familysearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Bapistm of Adolfo Femandex Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apostol, Cauhimalpa.
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