7 generations found in one afternoon–Thank you FamilySearch!

On Saturday, both my husband and daughter were away from home, on a trip to Florida to visit my in-laws. I had the whole house to myself and what did I do? I spent the day with a bunch of dead people on FamilySearch!

I was researching for a client whose ancestors came from Chiusa Sclafani, Palermo Province, Sicily. I discovered that FamilySearch has church records for this town digitized onto their website. They are not indexed yet, so you have to search record by record, which can be a bit tedious. But when it’s Saturday and you don’t have the microfilm at hand, you deal with it. 

I started with the client’s great-grandfather, Emmanuele Burgarino, and found his baptism in 1884. I then found the marriage record of his parents in 1883, and the marriage record for each set of paternal grandparents going back for six generations, to the client’s seventh great-grandparents, Giuseppe Burgarino and Anna Cascio, who were married on October 6, 1697! In just a couple of weeks it will be the 316th anniversary of their marriage. Along the way, I found that the name went back and forth between Burgarino and Bulgarino. Always keep your eyes open for variations!

I have the names of Giuseppe Burgarino’s parents, but I couldn’t find their marriage record. It turns out that all of their children were baptized in a different church in Chiusa Sclafani and that church only has baptisms available on microfilm and online so I can’t find their marriage record. But that may not be the end of the line for this family….I still have death records to search and the rest of the baptisms and who knows what else will turn up on FamilySearch!

If you haven’t used this incredibly valuable FREE resource, I highly recommend you check out www.familysearch.org to see if there are online records or microfilms available for your ancestral town. Happy searching!

FamilySearch Search Tips

FamilySearch now has 126 databases for Italy! Many are at least partially indexed but most are only digitized–the images are there but they need to be searched record by record. For a list of the towns covered, use this link: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927178

Tip 1: When using that list of databases available on FamilySearch, look for your province of interest first and then be sure to check all the entries for that province for your town. For instance, if you click Browse Images next to Italy, Palermo, Termini Imerese Civil Registration (Tribunale) 1862-1910, you’ll find that there are actually records for 40 different towns in Palermo province included in that section. But you wouldn’t know it from the title.

Tip 2:  Have you ever used FamilySearch to search for records on your family members and you find all sorts of stuff but you can’t tell if you are finding EVERYTHING there is to find on your family? Or maybe you are finding big gaps between birth records of children in a family or you know a couple got married in a certain time frame but their marriage record is just not showing up?

It may be that not all of the films from the town have been indexed yet, which means you need to determine which have been indexed and which have not. To do this, go to the Family History Library catalog and print a list of all the films available for your town of interest. Then go back to the FamilySearch search engine and Restrict Records by Film Number (it currently defaults to restrict records by country). Enter a film number in the search box and leave all other search parameters empty. If you get results, you know that film has been indexed. But if you get NO RECORDS found for that film number, you know it has not. 

A good example: I was recently searching FamilySearch records for Santa Margherita di Belice, Agrigento Province. I was finding a lot of information, but certain things were not coming up that I knew should be there. I tried that “restrict records by film number” and determined that only records from 1820-1840 have been indexed so far.

Tip 3: There are lots of misspellings and errors in the transcription of the films, not to mention errors on the original records themselves. In order to find what you are looking for, you might have to get creative!  It’s more likely that misspellings are in the surnames instead of the given names, so if you don’t find what you are seeking easily, try searching with only given names and a range of years; or maybe by a child’s first name and the first names of parents (with no surnames filled in); or by film number and a first name (if you know a particular record should be there).

Have fun, be creative and don’t give up! Leave no stone unturned!!!!

Post-1866 Marriages

If your ancestors married in Italy/Sicily after 1866 and you can’t find their marriage record in the civil vital records in your ancestral town, make sure you have church records searched! Before 1866, civil birth and marriage records include not only the civil birth/marriage information, but also the church baptism and marriage information. After 1866, civil records do not include church information and some people were married in the church but NOT at the civil vital records office (and vice versa). So you have to check both places! With the help of Giovanni Montanti, just found the church marriage of Liborio di Giovanna and Calogera Drago of Santa Margherita di Belice. Yippee!


Recommended Books-Dual Citizenship

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from people interested in obtaining Dual Citizenship based on their Italian heritage. I have some helpful links on my Ships and Naturalization page, but I’m also recommending The Italian-American Guide to Seeking Dual Citizenship as Blood Right and Italian Dual Citizenship: by the Right of Blood: Comprehensive Step-by-Step Instructions to Guide You Through the Entire Process. Both of these look like fabulous resources to get you through this rewarding, yet somewhat challenging experience.Watch Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

How and Where to Begin?

I get many emails from people who are just starting their quest for their Italian or Sicilian family heritage. For those of you just starting out, I suggest you visit the Research Links page. There you will find loads of information about how and where to start. One item I consider a MUST-HAVE for anyone who is researching their Italian or Sicilian heritage is the book called Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage, by Lynn Nelson. It’s only about $15 from Amazon.com and it is well worth every cent. Good luck!Roblox Hack Free Robux