Self Introduction to Italian Roots

+12 votes
I would like to introduce myself to the Italian Roots group.

I have recently returned from a trip to Chiavenna in Sondrio, Lombardy, Italy. Going there, I had only the name and a couple options for a birthdate of my great grandfather, my DNA test results that matched me to this area, and a photograph of a famous photographer that looked similar to my father.

I came away with a wonderful experience finding his baptismal record, his parents marriage records, and other great source items. Finally confirming where he came from, I have now been focusing on this small valley near Switzerland.

I am using a large trove of images that have yet to be transcribed that exist at Family Search. These are all in Italian and of course handwritten documents, that date back to just after my great grandfather's birth.

My plan is to enter the first and  lastname at birth,  year and place of death for the people listed in the  MORTI records.  On my way through this index, I will be posting a link to the page the index resides at the free space connected to this message and listed on the Sondrio category page.

For the names that interest me, I will be doing a more comprehensive translation. If you have any interest in joining me or advice from experience, I would like to hear from you as I am just getting started.
in The Tree House by Lance Martin G2G6 Pilot (113k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
HI Lance, I am working on the same records  for Alia down south in Siciiy. They are very addicting. It helps to know Italian, and I have been studying it. I go back and forth between the Atti (Acts) of Morti, Matrimoni and Nascita (birth), and with the records  indexed for the earlier time period on for the time prior to the reunification of Italy. For Alia, I have found the Atti begin in 1862 and last to about 1910, probably because of a 100 year rule to make sure everyone in the records is deceased.  The prior records are only an index, without a image. I keep track of each record that interests me using MIcrosoft Excel, with a different worksheet for each surname. I am currently tracing at least 53 surnames, but working most closely with the four names of my husband's Italian great grandparents..

Let me know if you need any help with translation. Also, please let me know if you come across the surname CENTANNI, because I understand the family is originally from northern Italy and some left in the 1660s  or 1700 to move to trading ports in the south. Distant cousins might still live up there!


Sharon Troy Centanne

Alia, Sicilia One Pllace Study
by Living Troy G2G6 Pilot (157k points)
I agree, addicting. Luckily this is a small area, however, there is no index yet. I hope that by accessing these records and connecting them to the Family Search trees and records it will spur some real Italian translators onto this group of records.

I too have been studying Italian now for 6 months. I can get along in conversation OK, but evaluating handwriting requires you know how to develop a word with only a few letters, something much more difficult.

I think I am going to take the path of writing letters to my Italian cousins (or at least those in the town with the correct Surnames) and see if I can find a genealogist among them to help me.  I think I may wear thin my request for help from those outside my niche of interest.
0 votes
Lance, Thank you for posting this self-intro to the Italian Roots group!   (Apologies for my delayed response - a busy week!)

Thanks for sharing  the story of your trip, I am glad that it was a productive one.  


If you ever need  a second set of eyes to look at particular documents in your study, don't hesitate to ask.


Lastly - thanks also for listing yourself with brief description of your interests on the Italian Roots project page member section.  I'll put in a request for a badge for you!
by Michael Maranda G2G6 Mach 6 (66.9k points)

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