Italy has had many ethnic and religious minorities including Jews, Albanians, Gypsies, and Waldensians; consequently, it is important to learn the history of the ethnic, racial, and religious groups your ancestors belonged to. For example, you might study a history of the Jews in Italy, Germans in Italy, or Waldensians in Piemonte. This historical background can help you identify where your ancestors lived and when they lived there, where they migrated, the types of records they might be listed in, and other information to help you understand your family’s history.
For some Italian minorities there are unique records and resources available, including histories, gazetteers, biographical sources, settlement patterns, and handbooks.
The Family History Library collects records of minorities, especially their published histories. You can find these histories by looking in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
ITALY, [PROVINCE]- MINORITIES
ITALY- JEWISH HISTORY
You can find other sources in the Subject Search of the catalog under the name of the minority, such as JEWS, GERMANS, or WALDENSIANS. Some sources are listed under ALBANIANS- ITALY.
Examples of books on minorities are:
- Nasse, George Nicholas. The Italo-Albanian Villages of Southern Italy. Washington DC, USA: National Academy of Sciences—National Research Council, 1964. (FHL book EUROPE 945 H6n.)
- Pons, Teafilo G. Cento anni fa alle valli, il problema dell’emigrazione (One hundred years ago in the valleys; Waldensian emigration in 1856). Torre Pelice: Società di studi valdesi, 1956. (FHL book EUROPE 945 K2po.)
- Roth, Cecil. The History of the Jews in Italy. Farnborough, England: Gregg International, 1969. (FHL book EUROPE 945 F2r.)