I have collected several Italian genealogical reference books that continue to prove invaluable resources in my quest to learn about my Calabrian-Sicilian ancestry. Please note that I purchased the plate introducing this blog on my second research trip to Calabria, a region in southern Italy where my paternal grandparents were born. After immigrating to Canada in 1910-1913 as young adults, they settled in Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Ontario. My late father was one of nine children in their family. I hope the following books assist your endeavours, too.

A basic reference on Italian genealogical records, this book is part of a series that explores Canadian, Irish, Swedish, African American, German and Mexican roots. It is an excellent introduction to the research process. “Chapter One: Getting Started” outlines various tips including: Asking Family Members for Information, Finding the Records, Organizing Your Research and Suggestions for Italian Research. “Appendix B: Timeline of Italian History” establishes context. There is an extensive bibliography and detailed index, as well. 

Another highly recommended book, “Appendix A: Italian Words Lists (General genealogical terms, common occupations, etc.) is helpful in deciphering documents. I relied on “Appendix B: Italian Letter-Writing Guide” when I wrote to churches and archives for vital records.

Comprehensive in content with an outstanding range of sample documents provided, “Part 11: The Records” is particularly valuable. Chapters include: “Civil Vital Records,” “Napoleonic Civil Records,” “Parish Records,” “Alternative Ecclesiastical Records,” and “Alternative Record Sources.”  There are also historical maps of Italy.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors by Lynn Nelson

Finding Your Italian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide by Suzanne Russo Adams

Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical, & Other Records in Family History Research by Trafford R. Cole