Getting Ready to Learn

My class on Researching your Italian Ancestors starts tomorrow at 8:15. I’ve read all about the types of records that are kept in Italy, where to find them and how far back they go (pretty far!). I’ve read about what information one might find in the records and interesting tidbits.

For example – in Italy, the father of both the bride and the groom had to consent to the marriage. If the father was dead (fu in Italian) the paternal grandfather had to give his consent. If he was dead, then the mother could give the required consent. I assume this practice no longer exists, but the benefit of it is that you can sometimes find names of family members going bad two generations when you find someone’s marriage record.

So here’s one of the interesting facts I learned in Assignment #1:

“In 1870, King Victor Emmanuel marched on Rome and unified the Papal State – despite resistance from Papal troops. The pope was allowed to retain authority over the Vatican; however, this began a long and arduous “quarrel” between the newly formed Italian government and the Catholic Church. The government required that all ecclesiastical marriages be followed by a civil marriage. This meant that all couples had to be married twice, once by a priest and once by a civil authority. It was not until 1929 when Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri (Vatican Secretary of State at the time) signed the Latern Pacts that a treaty was set up to allow the separate sovereign state of “Vatican City.” With this pact the Italian government gave more privileges to the Catholic Church.

Therefore in the period between about 1870 and 1929 it is not uncommon in some towns to find a parish marriage record for a couple but not a civil marriage record or to find a civil record for a couple that was filed much later than the actual parish marriage record. If you uncover civil birth records that list several children of a couple as ‘illegitimate’ it is not likely that the couple was never married but more likely that they were married in the parish but not married civilly.”

Adams, Suzanne Russo. Finding Your Italian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide. Provo: UT: Ancestry Publishing. 2009.

So while we’re on the topic of marriages – let’s take a look at another photo from Irene’s basement. There is nothing to identify the couple and they could be related to Irene on her mother’s side of the family and may not be from the George side. Just curious if anyone has any ideas about who they might be?

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