Where / How to obtain Italian birth and marriage (Jus Sanguinis)
September 12, 2013 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Trying to obtain Italian citizenship via Jus Sanguinis. Found all relatives born or married in the US and now moving back toward Italy, but running into a wall with Italian records. Does anyone know how to obtain birth and marriage licenses from Italy either online or in person? Family would be from the 1880s-1920s and primarily be from Sicily, Puglia, Calabria, Campania, and possibly Basilicata. Gov't records would obviously be ideal, but Catholic Church records would also be an option. Thank you!

Records would be from the 1880s-1920s and primarily from Sicily, Puglia, Calabria, Campania, and possibly Basilicata. Gov't records would obviously be ideal, but Catholic Church records would also be an option.

Thank you!
posted by NYC-BB to Education (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Epic copy / paste fail.

I'm looking for birth and marriage DOCUMENTS.
posted by NYC-BB at 6:52 PM on September 12, 2013

So, Italy is divided into regions (e.g. Sicily); the regions are divided into provinces (Palermo); the provinces are divided into communes/cities (e.g. Montelepre).

If you know your ancestor's commune/city of origin, it would be best to start your inquiry there. Much of the time, the local government has a web presence. Write to the office of vital statistics (births, marriages, deaths) to request the birth certificate.

You will need to include your full name, date and location of birth, address, relationship to your relative, your relative's full name and birthdate.

If you have no success there, then try at the province level.
posted by cairdeas at 6:56 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and sometimes, it's best if you can get an Italian friend to just call the office for you.

If you email, specify that you are willing to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope if necessary ("Mail what to America?? And how are we to pay for that??") and specify that it is fine to reply to you in Italian.
posted by cairdeas at 6:58 PM on September 12, 2013

(It should go without saying that you need to send your email in Italian!!!)
posted by cairdeas at 6:58 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I applied I only needed the Italian birth certificate for the one ancestor I was claiming citizenship through. He was from Palermo so I wrote the Comune and requested the certificate. I knew his birth date from records here and a copy of his baptismal record from his naturalization, so I was able to give them specific dates, which helped.
You'll have a much better time if you can narrow down the ancestors and locations. Do you have naturalization or entry records from your relevant ancestor? Right now you've basically got everything south of Rome, which is an insane amount of territory to cover. Let me know if you'd like some help -- genealogy is my idea of fun, and none of my cousins are yet taking me up on my offer to help them with their citizenship.
As far as payment goes, I've never had them accept payment or postal reply coupons -- they always return it. That may vary on an office-by-office basis, but I came to feel like I was causing them more trouble than I saved by sending checks or PRCs.
posted by katemonster at 7:10 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Looking back, I just so happen to have the email address for the Palermo vital records office. Memail me for it if your Sicilian ancestor was from Palermo.
posted by cairdeas at 7:19 PM on September 12, 2013

Previously here, here, here and here.

And this forum is still very much active.

nthing that you really need to narrow things down to the commune level as best you can before making the requests.
posted by holgate at 5:59 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

As stated above, you'll need to find the comune from which your relatives came.

Family Search, Ancestry, Ellis Island and Castle Garden can help (though not all Italians came through NY).

I found my family comune by searching Ancestry census records to see about when my Great Grandfather arrived. After I found him I searched Ellis Island for that time frame and found his boat which indicated the comune from which he left. From there it was a complete dead end online so I turned to the Mormons and requested microfiche records for the comune five years before and after his stated birth be sent to a local chapter (stake?).

My Italian is basic at best but I ended up finding the recording of his birth after a couple hours of scanning the records. I recorded the date and emailed the comune asking for his birth certificate and marriage record.

Both arrived in the mail about two weeks later.

As holgate mentioned, the italian citizenship board is quite active and its members are very helpful. Italian Genealogy was big help to me when I went through the application process a few years ago but it doesn't seem as active anymore.
posted by alamedarchy at 12:16 PM on September 13, 2013

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