Calabria, Bari- Italy Brickwalls - What have you done?

+6 votes
I have been very successful in tracing back my paternal side of the family roots in Italy. Some of the lines I have been able to go back to the 1500s.

But I do have several brickwalls and I know they are preventing me from finding the connections (common ancestors) in the Italian descendants I have matching dna with.

My family is specifically from Cosenza- Rende and the surrounding towns. Quite a bit of the civil records are online from late 1600s to late 1800s. But nothing from the early 1900s and before 1700s. Most folks I have spoken with run into the same problem.

Aside from hiring a researcher over in Italy, I dont know where else to go. I would love to hear advice from people who have been able to successful tap into resources for their brickwalls and been successful!

All advice or information welcome with open arms!
in Genealogy Help by Michele Misurelli G2G Crew (920 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Hi Michele,

My paternal side comes from Acquaviva, Bari.

The only way I could go through was connecting siblings of my ancestors. All possible branches and lines, because there are small bits of information everywhere, but they are not always mentioned in our ancestors acts.

After that you know you will need the church's archive, that has an incredible amount of information, but to combine it with the whole connections is also a crazy work.

Anyway, I did it and I still need to go back to continue, but it was really an amazing experience.

Good luck!

Régis Giampersa
by Regis Giampersa G2G6 Mach 1 (14.7k points)
+2 votes
There are many Facebook groups that are local to the towns in Calabria. I've joined all of them that were pertinent (Lago, Spezzano della Sila, Cosenza) and posted photos and questions about my ancestors. I was lucky to receive the help of a local historian in Lago. He was able to track down the birth record and baptismal record of my great-great-grandmother. Good luck!
by Linda Pezzi G2G Crew (530 points)
+2 votes
There's no civil records of birth/marriages/deaths in southern Italy prior to about 1809, which is when Murat instituted civil registration after France conquered Naples. Any records before then are church records or notary records, neither of which is generally found online. But you're quite fortunate in that someone has photographed and posted a lot of church and notary records for Rende, which are linked at Italian Parish Records:

But other than hiring someone on the ground to search in churches on your behalf, that's the limit of what you can do online. Post 1910 records have not been filmed; civil birth records less than 100-110 years old are not released to the public except in the case of direct descendants; ditto for marriage and death records less than 75 years old.
by Frank Santoro G2G6 Mach 2 (27.1k points)

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