On-Site Italian Research
Jewish Italian Research
The goal of GenTracer is to discover the personal history of our clients and their ancestors in the towns of Italy.
Most Italian genealogical records are not available in published or compiled records on the Internet or elsewhere. Research must be done in the original birth, marriage, and death records of each town. So it is necessary to know the name of the town before research can start.
That can be done by following the trail of US census (1900-1930) which gives the year of immigration and naturalization, to the naturalization record (when available) which states the name of the ship and the date of arrival and the port of entry, to the passenger manifest which (frequently) gives the hometown in Italy. Other approaches are through the marriage record of the immigrant in the US, which MIGHT name the town in Italy, or the church records here in the US. Once we know the town, we can go into the birth, death and marriage records to learn more about your family. So many folks in Italy have the same names that it is necessary to determine the hometown to be sure you have the right family.
While many of the records in America used creative spelling for the name of an immigrant, an experienced genealogist will search all possible spellings. The correct family can usually be determined by the location and the names and approximate ages of the members of the family.
Here at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I have access to the above records, plus the microfilmed birth, marriage, and death records of most Sicilian towns (see www.gentracer.com/towns.html for a complete list and links) from 1820-1910 and most mainland Italian towns from 1809-1910. We can frequently locate the birth of the immigrant in that time frame which will confirm the names and give the ages (usually) of his parents. We can work back from there locating their marriage, births, parents, siblings, etc. back (usually) two or three generations (sometimes more).
The fee for a basic family history research project in the Italian records is $200 - usually yielding 6-9 documents and includes translations, research log, pedigree chart, and copies of documents.
Rates are payable in advance, payment can be made through the PayPal icon below:
Or, payment can be made by sending check or money order for $200.00 (US) to:
PO Box 11955
Salt Lake City, UT 84147
The Catholic church records for some of those towns are available here (Salt Lake City) on microfilm, but usually the bulk of my on-site research trip time is spent reading church records which haven't yet been microfilmed. For more details on my on-site research trips, please see www.gentracer.com/onsite.html. Many towns have church records going back to before 1600 (the Council of Trent instituted record keeping of births, marriages, and deaths in each Catholic church parish in 1543). Landholding families have some civil records back even further, currently held in the provincial archives (not available on microfilm, yet). Another common on-site project is obtaining official copies of those documents necessary for Italian citizenship (birth and marriage extracts). For more about my research trips to Italy, see my pages at www.gentracer.com/lastrip.html and www.gentracer.com/nextrip.html.
There are some links to sites with information on individual towns, as well as general Italian information, listed on my page at www.gentracer.com/italylinks.html. So many of the sites I'm linking to contain such a variety of locations and topics that you may want to search each of them for the information you seek (like travel, hotels, food, history, economy, etc).
My latest book on CD is titled Agrigento, Palermo and Catania Provinces (Italy) - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 600 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.
If you send the specific dates and place(s) of birth of your immigrant Italian ancestors, I can send you a more specific research proposal.
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask through the email link below. I look forward to hearing from you.