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#1: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: Cathy PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:14 pm
Forgive me, I usually do not plug my websites here but I am so excited! Thanks to Francesco Fullone Cosenza Exchange now has church records from 1746 and when finished will end in 1912! The Church records from the section of Montalto called Santa Maria La Castagna will allow the descendants of Montalto, San Fili and San Sisto to go back even further in their pursuit of their ancestry. During the 1700's the comune of San Sisto and Bucita (now a frazinone of San Fili) fell under the jurisdiction of Santa Maria La Castagna and Montalto. This project is ongoing but I should have all the images online in the next 2 weeks. Once the images are online I will begin extracting the names and a friend has offered to extract the dates from Latin to English. I am very excited! The beginning stages of this project can be seen here.

#2: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: tjbrnLocation: North Carolina PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:25 pm
Cathy, I'm speechless. Such great work!!!!

#3: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: Cathy PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:29 pm
Thanks Tom! It is not much yet, but it will be when complete. The images Francesco too are SO beautiful! He did a wonderful job and a great service to the people in this area! Some of these pages are disintegrating and soon this information could have been lost forever!

#4: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:35 pm
Cathy this is wonderful! Thank you for posting this records here and for helping me find my family as well - and thank Francesco for me too!

#5: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: charliemisLocation: Philadelphia PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:46 am
That is great tell me, how did they get permission from the Church? I was treated very rudely by the Parish priests in Corato, Provincia di Bari when I went to visit them (I had sent a letter telling them when I would be visiting) and I have given them donations a few times when there in the past.

In San Giorgio Albanese, Provincia di Cosenza I was told all the Church records were my knowledge the church was NOT DAMAGED in the war and the town is very isolated; the priest in SGA and I even have a mutual cousin and he was at dinner with us when I visited. He even opened the church so we could see it.

#6: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: Cathy PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:22 am
Well I think it helped that these records were obtained by a native speaker. I think it all depends on the parish priest. I have heard many stories that they would not let people see the books. As far as I am concerned this information should belong to the people and is so valuable when charting your ancestry. Which is why I am working hard to put it all online. These digital photographs will last much longer than these books and it is important to preserve the information contained in them before it is lost forever. This parish priest knew that! We were very fortunate!

#7: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: ItalysearcherLocation: Sora, Italy PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:13 am
The big problem is the Mormon Church who, as I am sure you know, want to baptize all their ancestors into their church. The Catholic Church I am sure is concerned about this and restrict access to their records. I have photographed and put on CD many parish records but only with assurance that they are not published and used only for direct ancestors. Maybe the above priest did not realize the intent of the person.

#8: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: Cathy PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:21 pm
At the risk of being controversial I will give my opinion on that. No one can be baptized years after their death! If you were baptized a LDS member or a Protestant and convert to Catholicism you must be baptized in the Catholic Church. Why? Because the Catholic Church does not recognize the baptism of another faith. The same should apply here. They can baptize all the long deceased people they want - it means nothing. The person they baptize died in the faith they practiced while living period. These people in these records have been dead 200 years - most of them died before Joseph Smith was even born. The LDS Church did not even exist yet. Their souls are already where they belong. That is the position the Catholic Church should take. Anything short of that only lends credence to their practices.
If you look at some of these books I have put online you can see there are pages where the recorded baptisms at the tops of the pages are gone due to deterioration and water damage. Soon time will take the whole book and they will turn to dust. All this information will be lost forever. So many have already been lost. I will never be able to trace my family's origins because of that. These books should be photographed everywhere before it is too late and the information should be available to all ancestors free of charge. I feel very strongly about that. If everyone took the stance of the Catholic Church, there would be no point in attempting to trace our ancestry - it would be impossible. I work very hard in what little spare time I have to make this information available to all descendants of the towns my family came from and it has cost me plenty. I do it as a labor of love to make the information available to all descendants of these people. I do not want my ancestors forgotten! Nor should anyone's be forgotten. My ancestors died in the Catholic faith as I will. There is nothing anyone can do to change that.

#9: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: ItalysearcherLocation: Sora, Italy PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:34 pm
I quite agree with your position on baptism but the Catholics in Italy are free to do what they want with the records they have kept for centuries. Many of the records I have photographed are in very poor condition and there are many more around that I have not had permission to photograph. I have been doing this at my own expense and while I would love to 'give' all of this away the expense is just too great. I am recovering the travel, and copying to CD expenses by charging a fee for copies of the records of which I hold a copy. Many have no indexes or are indexed by first name and it can take hours to find a record.
I am concerned that by publishing these parish records on line you will cause the church to close its access to the records completely. A priest in my home town has already done this due to his concern that I will do just that.

#10: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: EmmyLocation: Scotland PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:21 pm
This problem really boils down to what you believe in and if we take a good look at all religions they all have different ways of worship and no religion, including the Catholic religion (and I am a practising catholic) is perfect. All religions and their clergy have made mistakes in the past and will probably do in the future because no one is perfect and all religions have different beliefs but its all the same God they worship. Re baptism after death I believe its only members of the moslem faith that do research to find their own ancestors for this purpose because that is part of their religion. I firmly believe they dont do all that research to baptise every person they have recorded irrespective of the religion they have been. I just cant understand why the Catholic Church are stopping the records being filmed because if the reason is they are afraid of catholics being baptised into the mormon faith after death, then I must ask this question? Does the Catholic church believe in baptism after death or not --they cant have it both ways and as I have been brought up to believe its the latter then what is the Catholic Church afraid of? The Mormons do this for members of their own church and the mormons are not being selfish in keeping these records to themselves all other people of different faiths are allowed use the records they have copied.
Many of us would never have been able to trace our ancestors if the mormons had taken the same stance as the Catholic Church is taking now.
What about these sayings:Love thy neighbour as thyself!
and the words in the hymn that is often sung in our Church- The creed and the colour and the name dont matter-I'll be there!

#11: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: charliemisLocation: Philadelphia PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:23 pm
The Catholic Church has always done what it wants to do and they don't seem to really care about public opinion. It is really a shame that they refuse to make these ancient records available so Genealogists could track their ancestors back a few hundred years or so more. By the time any decision to change this stance is made, it will probably be too late as the documents will probably be too far damaged by then.

As part of my family research I have read extensively on the history of Italy (especially the south), along with Venetian, Byzantine, Norman and Lombard history. The Popes damaged the lives of millions in the South by partnering with Foreign powers to protect their hold on the Papal States and preventing a unified Italy until 1871. The South was continually dominated by Foreign Landlords who extracted anything of value and worked the people to death.

So something like withholding access will not bother them one iota. I was treated so rudely by the priest (I guess he was a Monsignore) at the Chiesa Matrice in Corato that I was very close to telling him off, but I just barely restrained myself and walked out. While the Church is holding the records, the information within them belongs to the people of the various parishes and should be shared with them and their decendents.

I am a Catholic and attended 12 years of Catholic School....I did attend a state university and while in college (after my military service) I was told by the Principal of my former High School that I was doing a terrible thing as I was not attending a Catholic University [from the same priest who called us WOPS and DAGOS in the 60's]. These people just don't get it and as a result they are turning many people off. Maybe when some of these old priests die off, things will be different --- but maybe not!

#12: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: MikeSavoca91 PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:15 pm
I think Cathy is right. I think the church shouldn't pay any attention to post-mortem baptisms. I'm a Catholic, and if someone told me to change I wouldn't, and I'm quite sure my ancestors wouldn't have either. The church in my eyes is doing a dis-service to the world but not properly protecting these treasures. If they don't want to make their records available to the LDS church, that is fine, but they should then take responsibility and photograph these records themselves.

When someone goes out and finds an ancient statue or artifact, it is treated with great care by the proper authorities. The Catholic church holds perhaps one of the greatest treasures in the world, our roots, the very people who's lives gave us our own. These treasures are allowed to be exposed to mold, dampness, heat, and much more, and we are going to lose it all if it isn't protected.

I have met some wonderful priests and some nasty ones, so I think they have a lot to do with it also. My suggestion would be to get a petition going to the Church, asking THEM to protect their own records, for their followers, and for their own good. They hold one of the most beautiful collections on the face of the earth, and they should protect it for everyone. Just my thoughts Smile .

#13: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: Cathy PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:31 pm
Very well said Mike! We have the technology to save these records at no cost to anyone. Digital cameras today take such crisp sharp images that can preserve these records forever. It costs only time to preserve them for future generations and perhaps $15 for a flash drive to save them on. If one person in each church does this think about how much could be saved! As we write this centuries of information is being lost forever! I wish these priests would understand that! I know I would be happy to photograph these records myself and would provide a copy of everything on a flash drive to the parish in the hopes that they would keep it for the people. When the records are dust the images will live on.

#14: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: JamesBiancoLocation: Westfield, MA. PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:34 pm
MikeSavoca91 wrote:

When someone goes out and finds an ancient statue or artifact, it is treated with great care by the proper authorities. The Catholic church holds perhaps one of the greatest treasures in the world, our roots, the very people who's lives gave us our own. These treasures are allowed to be exposed to mold, dampness, heat, and much more, and we are going to lose it all if it isn't protected.

Great comparison Mike!! I couldn't have said it better... these records are deteriorating so quickly. For millions of long since passed ancestors, these registers are the ONLY record that they ever existed on this planet. I keep hoping as the old blood dies out and the younger (and hopefully more progressive) blood comes in perhaps things will change.. but maybe I am just being optimistic. I do have to say tho, that it has been my experience of late that as long as the person approaching the priest speaks fluent Italian and is a native, access to church records has been allowed more often than not. I have hired researchers to go to the churches for all of my towns not filmed by The Mormons and with 100% success (6 towns, 3 researchers)... and I know of at least a dozen churches who allowed access and which are not directly connected to my family.

#15: Re: Church Records Cosenza Province Author: ItalysearcherLocation: Sora, Italy PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:05 pm
My ultimate goal would be to see the records of each parish photographed and a copy placed at the diocese archives. That way it would be one-stop researching. Now I have to go from parish to parish to follow the trail for some clients.
Actually I have found it is the newer priests who insist on my having the Bishop's permission which is not esy to get.

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