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8 Tips to Help You Research Family Ancestry & Create a Family Tree
Have you ever wondered where you came from? Maybe your child has asked about their Italian ancestry and where their ancestors used to live before immigrating to the United States? Researching your Italian genealogy can be a fun and exciting project for you and your entire family.
As you get ready to start your Italian genealogical research, it is a good idea to utilize several tools to help you keep track of information, dates, names, etc. Some of the Italian genealogy resources you will need include:
1. Try a Family Tree Building App
There are several apps that allow you to build your Italian family tree. Some of these trace your Italian genealogy online, and some allow you to save the file on your computer. Two of the more popular genealogical research apps are found at Ancestry.com and FamilyTreeMaker.com.
2. Start with Naturalization Records
Naturalization papers are a great way to find out where your ancestors immigrated from. These vital records have a lot of useful information for your genealogical research. If they were issued before 1906, naturalization records could provide the country of origin and country of residency for Italian immigrants.
Naturalization indexes could also include their birthplace, port of arrival, date of arrival in the US, and other details not previously recorded. It is important to understand Italian naming patterns and naming traditions, and how these might have been translated. Many Italian immigrants did not give up their Italian citizenship when they came to this country, which may allow you to reclaim your right to Italian citizenship by descent.
3. Use a Tablet with External/Cloud-Based Storage
Tablets are more portable than laptops and can be ideal for gathering your Italian genealogy records. Most also have built-in cameras which can be useful when you find relevant paper records related to your Italian family history, and you can screenshot online pages and relevant Italian records to expand your family tree.
You can use the internet to find death records and military service records, review Italian newspapers, and request the records for your project. Social history research plays a big part in tracking your Italian roots and family history. You will want to back up all your Italian genealogy research onto an external device or the cloud to protect your valuable research and social history records.
4. Interview Family Members of Italian Origin
Your relatives are some of the best Italian genealogy resources available to you. Create a list of interview questions to ask family members and learn more about your family history and Italian heritage. Family members might have birth, death, civil registration, or military service records, clippings of obituaries, or know where you can find death certificates.
When your Italian heritage has been established, you can use resources like the American Journal of Italian Genealogy, the Sons of Italy, or other Italian genealogical groups and established organizations to track down all the branches of your family tree.
5. Visit Public Libraries and Contact Records Centers
Wondering how to find Italian records you may be missing? Expand your search to libraries and public record repositories. Your Italian genealogy research project should include a trip to public libraries. Many have paid subscriptions to online Italian genealogy guides that you can use for free. Libraries can teach you the Italian genealogy terms that will help you communicate with Italian records offices.
6. Find a Service to Translate Italian
For some Italian genealogical records you find, you can use a translation website or online translation tools to help you decipher them. There are even translation memory sites available which keep track of commonly translated phrases in Italian.
While an online translation dictionary can help you piece together some information yourself, a professional translation service can provide translations you can rely on and use to apply for Italian citizenship. Nothing is worse than misunderstanding important information about your Italian ancestry that got ‘lost in translation.’
7. Research Church Directories and Italian Government Records
Once you trace your Italian ancestry back to Italy, important records may be found with local churches and municipalities. Most Italian churches have vital records that can date back to the 15th century. These directories often recorded births, marriages, and deaths. Certified copies of official Italian records must often be requested in writing or online.
8. Work with Experts in Italian Genealogy Resources
There are professional services that will help you with Italian genealogy research; however, most of these charge high fees for building a family tree. The Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program (ITAMCAP) will provide you with a family research report created by a board-certified genealogist free of charge.
When you submit an application for Italian dual citizenship with ITAMCAP, experts will help you establish whether you are eligible for Italian citizenship by descent under Italian law. Many American citizens of Italian ancestry have the opportunity to become dual citizens by completing the process and submitting a complete application to their Italian consulate.
Trace Your Italian Ancestry Today with ITAMCAP
Searching for Italian records can be the most challenging part of researching your Italian genealogy and creating a family tree. ITAMCAP will provide you with a family research report with no strings attached, even if you do not qualify for Italian dual citizenship. Your personal information is only used for the purposes of tracing your Italian ancestry and is never shared with anyone else.
Italian dual citizens have the right to live and work in Italy and travel on an Italian passport. They can receive low-cost education and healthcare, and purchase land in Italy without waiting periods. ITAMCAP also provides certified translations, Apostille services, and assistance with locating naturalization records. When you embark on your genealogical journey, contact us for the help and resources you need.