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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › When can the Church Archives be Utilized?

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When can the Church Archives be Utilized?
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lilbees
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

Does anyone know what the Italian Church Archives holds?

If a local church is destroyed does the Archives have any of the records or are they lost forever? giornale

I am in need of Church records and found, even though I obtained some of the records based on a church census, that none are now available now.

I am looking for records for the time period 1750-1810. The Provincial Archives said they only have records after 1806. They had tried to construct a family story for me and most of what I needed were prior to that date and referred me to the local church.

Would the Church Archives have some sort of Church census available?

lilbees

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Italysearcher
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

In most Italian parishes the only copy of records is held in the parish. If it is destroyed it is usually the only copy. Some parishes have started to send old records to the Diocese (Rome for instance) but if the records were destroyed during the war, say, they no longer exist. It is hard to accept, but sometimes, there just is nowhere else to turn.

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

It seems you are always a voice of reason.

Thank you so much. Was just looking for some wiggle room.

lilbees

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charliemis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

I have been trying to obtain Church records for the last three years from my Dad's hometown of Corato (BA).....when I visited the family parish of San Domenico I was told by the Pastor that the Chiesa Matrice (Mother Church) in the town had any records prior to 1900.....I went to the Chiesa Matrice met with someone who worked at the Church who took my name and info request ---- and I never heard from them. Now the old parish priest is at the Chiesa Matrice and I have made my request again (with a donation) and so far, no response ---- I have also written to Diocesan Archivio in Trani (which must have some records as I have seen notation on the Civile records that marriages were records there also --- other than an initial response, I have heard nothing more after a number of requests......Lastly, basically the same no response from my maternal line in San Giorgio Albanese, even though the priest and I share a mutual cousin who is related to both of us. I don't think most parishes will share this info ---- partly because they don't want to share and also because they don't have the staff to do the research....

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Italysearcher
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

I have been doing a search in the parish of San Donato VC. The records there go back to 1606 but there are no indexes. This makes a search VERY time consuming even for me and I am experienced. The priest there will not do any search where there is no full date and I don't blame him. In some small Italian towns where previously there were several parishes and now there is only one, the records will all be kept in one place.
Charlie,
Why not ask the priest if there is a person in the parish you can pay to do this search for you?

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uantiti
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

There were no rules or very few, on how to keep registers in the churches so priest were keeping registers in whatever way they thought was easier for them. For sure nowadays they will not make a search for genealogical reasons and will also make problems if you ask to look at the registers. This is partly due to the fact that if they allow anybody to flip through the registers (some of them are very old) they'll get damaged very easily in a short time. Another reason is that priest (especially old ones) think that those records belong to them and it's then up to their willingness to let you use them or not. And there's none that can change this or oblige them to let you search. Years ago a friend of mine told me that he was trying to convince a priest to permit him to search in his parish registers. He told the priest that the Pope (John Paul II) had agreed that those records had to be open up to everybody. The priest turned to him and said: "The Pope is in Rome and here I'm the one who takes decisions". Then he said he was very busy and didn't have time for him.
I've also heard of other priests who are very helpful but they are usually of a younger generation.

Ada

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

Italysearcher wrote:
I have been doing a search in the parish of San Donato VC. The records there go back to 1606 but there are no indexes. This makes a search VERY time consuming even for me and I am experienced. The priest there will not do any search where there is no full date and I don't blame him. In some small Italian towns where previously there were several parishes and now there is only one, the records will all be kept in one place.
Charlie,
Why not ask the priest if there is a person in the parish you can pay to do this search for you?

Hi Ann,

Not sure if you remember, but my husband's Maternal side is from San Donato. The surnames are Antonellis and Pelligrini (I know, both are common surnames). Please keep me in mind if you are in that area again. I have only JUST started doing research on his side of the family and I know very little up to this point.

Ada,

Yes, I have also heard that the younger priests are a bit more free with the records .. Its so hard once you get back as far as Church records because unless you are there or know someone that can access them for you, you are basically stuck. I have just about his that point with two lines on my paternal side. Sad

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Italysearcher
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

Hi Nuccia,
I didn't remember but I have an inventory of the parish records which include an 1860 parish census that was updated for some years and it includes birth dates of the family members.

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charliemis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

Thanks Ann,

Hopefully I will get a reply ---- if not I will visit him again when I return to Corato, hopefully in the fall....my cousin's son has a PhD in Languages --- Latin, Greek, etc and is unemployed ----- I have been thinking about approaching him, but he is in Foggia which is about 1 1/4 -1 1/2 hours away and has inconvenient train service ---- two different lines (Treni Italia and then Bari-Barletta) which connect in the Citta di Bari......to get to Corato (you must go to Bari first and then backtrack to Corato; I don't think it also connects in Barletta but I will try to find out).....I checked out your website

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Charlie

Researching: Corato, Provincia di Bari in Puglia e San Giorgio Albanese, Provincia di Cosenza in Calabria.
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dragoni
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: When can the Church Archives be Utilized? Reply with quote

i encountered a similar problem. after writing three letters to the local church, all of which included a donation, and receiving no response i found a gentleman who lived near there (benevento province) who did genealogy research. he was able to access the church records which for me went back to the first quarter of the 17th century. amazing how that works but it did so no complaints from me. that researcher also has access to other church records and civil records in that vicinity. i had never even heard about some of the civil records (confirmation records, notary records, etc...) he knew of which provided additional information on my relatives. the church records included a stati anime (church census) from 1649 and 1654.

the suggestion to ask the local priest if there is a trusted individual they will let look through the records sounds like what happened for me. go that route.

tomasso
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