Italian ancestry is extremely common in the English-speaking world. Around five million Italians migrated to the US in the 19th and 20th centuries. Even in the UK, there are large numbers of families with Italian origins, as the size of the Anglo-Italian Family History Society attests.
This article takes a look at what sites are out there to assist you in Italian genealogy research. English-language resources are inevitably fairly scarce in this area, but these sites should get you off to a good start.
Italian Ancestry styles itself as a ‘jump site’ for the field, and offers links to research resources, Italian search engines, and a ‘toolbox’ of links for areas such as Italian medical terminology and professional titles. There are also some more general links on Italian culture, as well as information divided by region and province. It’s a good place to begin your research, since the body of knowledge it connects you to is extremely large.
A relatively new site, Geneal Italia is hosted by Daniela Massolo, a resident of Argentina from Italian heritage. The site offers a useful blog on Italian research, as well as permanent pages with excellent information on Italian surnames, parish records, immigration statistics, and more.
Italian Genealogical Group
This site is notable, first of all, for being one of only a few sites in the 2010s to still feature embedded midi music. But beyond this, it offers some fantastic information for the researcher. Perhaps its most useful resource is its range of databases. These include data on naturalizations, death and marriage indexes, ship lists, and Italian communes. They’re all volunteer-created, and free to search. In addition, the site hosts a number of useful articles on Italian genealogy, more of which can be obtained by signing up to the group’s regular newsletter. If you’re interested in Italian family history, joining the group could be a good move.
Italiangenealogy.com offers something a little different, in that it’s a message forum rather than a straightforward website. It is, all the same, a very useful resource. Most questions receive several responses, and, since the site has been running for some time, there are thousands of posts available to search. You may find that some problems you’re encountering have been discussed and solved already.