FAQ

Before starting to trace your family tree in the civil registry you need to know the year and place of birth of your ancestor. In the absence of other personal information it is advisable to take a look at the names of the civil registry databases that can be consulted in the section “Find the Names” of this site:

Only after having identified the towns in which the first and last name we are looking for appear you will be able to use the database of our site or contact the State Archives or the civil registries of those towns.

For further information on how to carry out a family research, please click on Ancestry research (link)

The civil registry was introduced in Italy in 1806, after the annexation of many Italian regions to the French Empire and the implementation of the new Civil Code, which was in force until 1815.

In the old Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which corresponds to the Southern continental Italy, and in the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, the civil registry was established in 1809. In Sicily the civil registry was introduced only in 1820.

In the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, a mix system was introduced after the Restoration: the Decree of June 18, 1817 introduced the Civil Registry, a government agency attached to the Royal Secretary of Law responsible for the coordination and surveillance of priest and chancellors in matters of civil registry and document management. The same thing happened in the Kingdom of Sardinia since 1837, when the “Rulebook for the preservation of Civil Registry documents was introduced as an annex of the “Letters Patent” of 20 June, 1837.

Only since 1866 the Civil Registry works uninterruptedly in all Italian regions and provinces. Obviously, there are some exceptions: Lazio and Rome were incorporated to Italy in 1870, Veneto and Friuli in 1871 – except Southern Tirol and Alto Adige, incorporated in 1918, after World War I.

The Antenati portal, presented by the General Directorate of Archives and edited by the Central Institute for Archives, was created with the aim of making the enormous patrimony of civil status funds available on the web, and not preserved, preserved in our State archives.

The digitized state funds, thanks to an agreement signed in 2011 with FamilySearch, and non-civil online publications in general to the historical archives of the Municipalities but are, for the most part, the second copy of the registers sent by the Municipalities themselves to the territorially competent Court.

After the period provided for by the law, the Courts pay more or less regularly to the respective State archives, together with their own documentation, also the civil status registers. Since 2001, the surveillance of the marital status has been devolved to the Prefectures, and since then the second originals of the registers have been destined to converge.

In the Find the Archives section it is possible to check the documentary consistency of the civil status funds kept in the various State archives.

In this case you will have to click on Find the Archives and check the availability of the civil registry files held in the local State Archive.

If the Archive holds the files of those years but those files are not available for consultation in the section Search registries, the digitalization and publishing of those records may be still in progress.

If the State Archive doesn’t hold the records of those years you will need to contact the municipal historical archive.

In this case you will have to click on Find the Archives and search the files by town to check the availability of those files in the town’s State Archive.

If the Archive holds the files of those years but those files are not available in the section Search registries, the digitalization and publishing of those records may be still in progress.

If the State Archive doesn’t hold the records of those years you will need to contact the municipal historical archive.

In this case you may send us an email. Our editor will process your important request and change the data accordingly.

Not all the files held in the State Archives have been placed together in complete series and there could be gaps within the series. Most of these gaps have been detected and included in the archive inventories.

In this case, if the gaps have not been noted during the digitalization, you will have to contact the State Archive that holds those files, so they can verify them (you will find the contact list in the section Find the Archives).

To join our project you just need a computer and an internet connection, some free time and, naturally, your desire to work with the documents of the past.

You can also choose among the many Italian projects you will find in the site Family Search Progetti italiani, which have been promoted by the State Archives.

To start entering data you need to sign up and open Free Account.

You need to check at Family Search Progetti italiani if there are active indexing projects in the nearest Registry.

In this case, you may start to help us by clicking in Start indexing.

You can help us any time, working online and whenever you want to.

In order to start indexing you need to sign up and open a Free Account.

In order to receive an authenticated copy of a document present in this site you need to contact the local State Archive that holds that file: you may find the contact information in the section Find the Archives.

The authenticated copies, also called certified copies, are copies of the certificates issued by a Public Authority, which ensures its authenticity in accordance with the terms stipulated by Art. 18 DPR 445/2000.

Please remember that in order to receive an authenticated copy of a certificate you will have to pay an administrative fee, unless the purpose of your request (which you have to declare in order to obtain the copy) is exempt from payment. You may verify if your purpose is exempt from payment or not at the “Annex B” of DPR no. 642 of October 26, 1972.

In order to post an image from the database of the Ancestry Site you need to notify the State Archive that holds that file(s): you may find the contact information in the section Find the Archives.

On the official sites of the respective State Archives you will find specific information on how to obtain authorization and how to communicate.

If the Antenati site has been useful to your ancestry research and has helped you find information of your ancestors, please write your family history and your personal experience and send us a family photo, and you will see your story posted in the “Family stories” subsection of this site, so you can share it with other users.