FamilySearch International announced free access to over 150 million Italian historical genealogical records—the largest online collection of its kind. The unprecedented initiative is the result of collaboration between FamilySearch, the Italian government, the Italian State Archives (Direzione Generale per gli Archivi or DGA), and many other archives. The free collections include over 200 years of digitized images of birth, marriage, death, and other significant family history records from all regions of Italy and many other repositories. Search the free Italy collections online at FamilySearch.org.If you have Italian ancestors, you need to read the entire news release linked here.
I seem to go through phases in helping people find their ancestors. A while ago at the Brigham Young University Family History Library, I went through a series of people asking about Italian ancestral research. For quite a long time, I had one after another requests for help with Italian research. This new announcement indicates that in the future, I should be able to help almost anyone with Italian research. Here is another amazing quote from the news release:
The Italy civil registration records are the most complete of FamilySearch’s collections. FamilySearch also has Church records in Italy dating back to the 1500s. Starting a little later, Italy's court (tribunali) records can be found. Civil records became available after 1806. After annexing large sections of Italy during his reign, Napoleon Bonaparte introduced civil registration and the mandatory creation of duplicate records. Copies of birth, citizenship or residency, marriage, and death documents were kept in the community, and a second set were sent to the court having jurisdiction for the area. Today, these are a gold mine for Italian family history researchers—as they continue to become accessible online.
Through agreements with Italian governments and other repositories, FamilySearch is preserving not only the civil records online, but also millions more from archives throughout Italy—essentially helping to open Italian archives to patrons all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The digital images are also a safety net against natural calamities and loss to human handling.Obviously, as the new release explains, if these records were indexed it would greatly facilitate the ability of researchers to search the records but having researched records from countries speaking Romance languages for years, I know that the key to finding families is identifying the location where the family originated. The records are arranged chronilogically and geographically and researchers are able to trace families back generations. We do not have to wait to do extensive research.
Please read the entire article for further information and if you can read Italian, please help index the records. Indexes make starting your research a lot easier. Go to FamilySearch.org to find the records. Here is the link to the Italian records: