A brick wall in Santa Maria Oliveto

Sometimes a brick wall just doesn’t come down easily, even for the professionals! Michele was born in Santa Maria Oliveto (Isernia) according to the family.  When I eventually found the birth record, he was actually registered in Conca Casale but they had declared themselves residents of Santa Maria Oliveto.  Michele was baptized in the Parrocchia … Continue reading

DNA test results explained

Mike expected to be 50% Italian on his DNA test and was surprised to find it came in at 38%.  So he got an Aunt to do the same test knowing that research had showed her to be from Italian parents on both sides for at least a century!  Whoops!  She came back as 25% … Continue reading

On-Site research Tips & Tricks

You are planning a trip to Italy and you want to do some family history research.  Here’s how to prepare. First make your plans. Are State Archives on your list?  Check with https://www.familysearch.org/ to find out what civil records the State Archives have.  If Family Search has filmed at that archive then what they have … Continue reading

Sharon’s search for an explanation?

When Sharon started researching her ancestral line in a small town in Abruzzo she was a little shocked at the apparent comportment of her ancestors.  She remarked ‘the women in my family certainly got around!’ After studying the records she found I saw a potentially different story.  It all began with Maria Proietta who gave … Continue reading

A Foundling or a Love Child?

In researching our genealogy it’s hard to accept that our ancestor was a foundling.  A ‘throw away’, a child whose mother abandoned him.  We grasp at straws to discover that he was loved and cherished.  We don’t really want to believe he was truly alone. Wendy was sure her Grandfather was the secret love child … Continue reading

Local newspapers, obituaries and local history books

Rick asked me to check local newspapers as part of my search for his family history, for stories about the family and obituaries.  If only…… Even today, in the small towns in Italy you will not find a local newspaper.  Maybe a page in the regional edition of the national newspaper but nothing that comes … Continue reading

Family Search and the Antenati site digitization program

Susan asked if we might know when and which records might be posted on the above sites.  No one can know for sure but here is my assessment of the situation. Family Search typically do their digitizing at the State Archives and the Tribunal not in the towns themselves. This means they are restricted to … Continue reading

Search of the week – Brick wall in Arpino

Vincenzo is approaching 90 and ready to put the finishing touches on his family history project.  He had completed all he could do on all lines except his OWN surname.  He visits relatives in Italy regularly and over the last few years has often dropped by to discuss his latest findings and ask for guidance.  … Continue reading

An interesting document from 1811

  On 13 December 1811 in a town named Schiavi (now known as Fontechiari) a list was created of all male inhabitants of the town over the age of 15 years in 1811, including vagabonds, temporary residents or travelers.  This is a comprehensive list which includes the person’s title, name and surname, date of birth … Continue reading

Search of the week- the GEDCOM file

This past few weeks saw us working in Arpino, Alvito, Sora and San Donato.  We were able to take family trees back into the parish records, providing digital images of the records and adding the detail on the sources we used so you can record the images correctly in your family tree program, and providing … Continue reading