Posts Tagged ‘Vital Records’
Old Italian record can be difficult to read at first glance – especially if you have no knowledge of the language or are expecting it to be similar to American records. They can be quite detailed and some, like the marriage record posted courtesy of Cosenza Exchange are completely hand written.
But most Italian vital records are similar to the birth act posted on the right where a standard form is used and the remaining information is filled in as the event occurred. Because these forms were so standard, much of the *important* information is easy to pick out once you know where to look.
There are several great sites available to help you decipher the old handwriting and Family Search even offers a three part online course for this on their site. Each course is between 25 and 30 minutes long and covers
The Italian Alphabet, Italian Words and Phrases and Reading Italian Records.
Another excellent site I really enjoyed going through is
Italian Family Search. There are several examples of vital records and Italian Handwriting sheets available for download and which make a great reference guide.
If you’re looking for vital records from Cosenza Province in Calabria then make sure you check out the Cosenza Archive site . The records and image extractions available range from 1800 -1900. They also provide access to actual images of births acts, marriage acts and WW1 Draft Registration Cards. Not only do you have the option to view many records from the site but you can also save copies to your desktop (for personal research as they are watermarked) or you can order an actual hard copy of the image from the archive.
I was able to trace 11 generations of my family using the information on the site. It was very easy to use and offered several search options *but* be careful of transcription errors – there are plenty. The site is updated frequently with new images and information being added weekly – I always find something new when I log on. I love the fact that the sources are also listed on each extracted piece which makes sourcing the data in your files that much easier.
If you haven’t registered to use the site, then you should do so now. Activation can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. I was lucky – I was allowed access within 10 minutes of registering and now find myself a regular visitor there.
Let me know what you think….