The Family Tree Guide to Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree In Italy

The Family Tree Guide to Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree In Italy

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The Family Tree Guide to Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree In Italy; by Melanie D. Holtz; 2017; Soft Cover; 7x9; Perfect Bound; ISBN: 978-1-4403-4905-8; Item #: IG06

Learn how to discover your Italian ancestors with this comprehensive guide to using Italian records and genealogy websites. This guide teaches you how to find your ancestors in Italian census and birth, marriage and death records, plus how to use Italian maps and understand Italian-language records.

Say “ciao” to your Italian ancestors! This in-depth guide will walk you through the exciting journey of researching your Italian famiglia both here and in Italy. Inside, you’ll find tips for every phase of Italian genealogy research, from identifying your immigrant ancestor and pinpointing his hometown to uncovering records of him in Italian archives.

Whether your ancestors hail from the island of Sicily or the hills of Piedmont, The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide will give you the tools you need to track your family in Italy.

The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide features:

  • Basic information on starting your family history research, including how to trace your immigrant ancestor back to Italy
  • Strategies for uncovering genealogy records (including passenger lists, draft cards, and birth, marriage, and death records) from both the United States and Italy, with annotated sample records
  • Crash-course guides to Italian history, geography and names
  • Helpful Italian genealogical word lists
  • Sample letters for requesting records from Italian archives

You’ll love The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide if…

  • You just discovered Italian heritage in your family tree and want to know how to learn more about your ancestors
  • You’ve hit a brick wall in your Italian research and need some new leads and techniques
  • You’re fascinated by Italian culture and history want to know more

Here are some tips you’ll find in The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide:

  • Ask the living. If you have family members living in Italy, don’t hesitate to ask them about mystery documents. They can often provide great insight into why these records were created.
  • Control your borders. As you research, be careful with Italian towns near current provincial or regional borders. You may find they belonged to a different province or region at one time. Tracking the movements of the documents in these situations can sometimes be difficult. However, the provincial archives for the areas in question should give you some guidance.
  • Consider the geography.The physical features of your ancestors’ homeland can often tell you more about them and why they made the decisions they did. For example, one of my ancestors came from a small town in Sicily called Isnello. After finding the birthplace address for this ancestor and viewing a topographical map of the cliffside neighborhood, I could better understand why she felt right at home against the mountainside in Pittsburgh.

About The Author: Melanie D. Holtz

Melanie D. Holtz, CG is a full-time professional genealogist and owner of Lo Schiavo Genealogica, an international business that maintains offices in both the United States and Italy. She travels frequently to Italy, expanding her skills in genealogy, history, and language. In 2010, Melanie became a board-certified genealogist and has worked as a professional genealogist for fourteen years. Her love of travel and the Italian language played a large part in the vocation she chose.


Melanie lectures and writes on Italian genealogy, dual citizenship, professional development, and genealogical standards. She’s written courses for the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, Family Tree University, and the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Melanie lectures around the country to various Italian organizations, historical societies, or at genealogical conferences.

As a former board member for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and chair of APG’s Professional Development Committee, she was an advocate for professionalism within the field of genealogy, mentorship, and expanded educational offerings within the organization. Melanie is also a co-administrator of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, a business that offers Institute quality genealogical education using a virtual platform.

Contents of the The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide:



Part 1: Linking Your Family Tree to Italy

  • Chapter 1: Discovering Your Italian Heritage
  • Chapter 2: Jump-Starting Your Italian Research
  • Chapter 3: Identifying Your Immigrant Ancestors

Part 2: Getting to Know the Old Country

  • Chapter 4: Understanding Italian History
  • Chapter 5: Understanding Italian Geography
  • Chapter 6: Deciphering Italian: Language, Names, and Surnames

Part 3: Tracing Your Family in Italy

  • Chapter 7: Civil Records
  • Chapter 8: Church Records
  • Chapter 9: Census and Taxation Records
  • Chapter 10: Notarial Records
  • Chapter 11: Military Records
  • Chapter 12: Other Records

Part 4: Advanced Sources and Strategies

  • Chapter 13: Putting It All Together: Case Studies
  • Chapter 14: What to Do When You Get Stuck
  • Appendix A: Publications and Websites
  • Appendix B: Italian Provinces and Archives
  • Appendix C: Sample Letters to Request Records
  • Appendix D: Italian Genealogical Word Lists