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Washington, D.C., USA
Catholic University (PhD|Medieval French Literature)



Title: Finding Italian Roots; The Complete Guide for Americans
Author: Colletta, John Philip, PhD
Publishing Information: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1993, 128 pgs
General Statement:
John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. is a long-time genealogist, lecturer, and Library of Congress employee, and taught workshops at the National Archives. He has written many genealogy articles and books which are very well-researched and presented. Not being an Italian Genealogy researcher I, nonetheless, found this book to be very interesting and informative.
Contents: Main Headings
Americans Looking for Italian Records:
Brief introduction
Introduction: Preparation in the United States:
As Dr. Colletta notes in this chapter “ is essential that you prepare thoroughly by using the materials available in the United States before traveling to, or corresponding with Italian repositories.” I think this is the best advice no matter what area of the world you are researching. This chapter is fairly detailed on what records might be located in the United States and where they might be located.
The following chapters will be of help if you research in person or by correspondence
Civil Record Repositories in Italy:
Details on the various archives found in Italy. Includes a map of Contemporary Italy with the various jurisdictions and a map of Pre-Unification Italy (1859) with the various jurisdictions listed. Dr. Colletta states in this chapter that most Italian records of genealogical value are maintained by the town or city (commune). Photocopies of record examples are included which show that understanding the language will be key to deciphering the records.
Religious Record Repositories in Italy:
The religious records may be more useful for the researcher as registration was initiated by the Catholic Church before civil records. This chapter gives much useful information for researchers looking to use these records. Most of the records are Roman Catholic however, the chapter includes details on Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, and Waldenses (Protestant) records.
Libraries and Other Resources in Italy:
Although as a whole Italians do not have much of an interest in genealogy, they are however they are fascinated by heraldry. The following tend to focus on ancient noble and royal lineages. The Biblioteche (national library system), Archivi Genealogici
(published and original materials related to royal, noble, and clergy), Archivi Ecclesiastic
(clergy of the church), Registri Delle Universitá (University Registers if your ancestor
studied or taught).
Postscript: Practical Suggestions for Exploiting Italian Records;
Focused on visiting Italy to undertake research this chapter includes useful
information such as Writing Letters of Introduction, Interpreting Italian Terms. Italian
Cemeteries, Naming Tradition, and Planning Your Transportation and Lodging.
He mentions that as of 1993, “In Italy there is little interest in genealogy”
because, as he says, they are living in their historical area with contact with their
ancestors and cultural heritage. I have no idea if this has changed.
Glossary: Includes all Italian words used in the guide.
I have had lots of luck over the years reading various books listed in
Bibliographies, this one is extensive and sorted by topic. pg 117-128
Manuals for Italian Genealogy, General Histories of Italians in America,
Collective Biographies of Italian Americans, Histories of Italian Communities in
the United States, Dictionaries of Italian Surnames, Italian National Biographies,
Genealogies of Italian Families, Maps and Gazettes of Italy, Italian Local History,
Genealogical Journals, General Histories of Italy, Guides to Italian Records,
Research Aids
MCGS Librarian
… (més)
MCGS_Library | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jan 23, 2024 |
Great resource for researchers. I loved how the author divided the book into sections: Before 1820 and After 1820.
Tess_W | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Jun 22, 2023 |
Good book, obviously dated by now but with enough immigration shipping details to make it still worth while.
jemmatcf | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Jul 14, 2021 |


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