Cav. Anthony Lascio
Questions from 2003
current year comes to a close, it is time to review some of the
questions which were posed during the past twelve months. Some of
them were asked previously but are worth repeating because of their
importance genealogically speaking.
1) One reader has frantically been trying to locate the arrival of
his grandmother at Ellis Island but has been unsuccsessful even when
using variable spellings of grandma's surname. Upon further
exploration, it is determined that the reader is pursuing grandma
under her married name which of course is not the manner in which
she would have arrived. The question is why has she been not
identified? As most genealogists know, Italian women do not acquire
their husband's name after marriage, but retain their maiden name,
therefore when pursuing their arrival at Ellis Island, they should
be sought by their maiden name.
2) The question of adoption has been raised. How do I research the
lineage of my adopted child?
Pursuing adoption cases can be very difficult. There is no easy
answer to this question. However, the best approach is to pursue the
local civil records at the town archives and the church records,
using the exact birth date of the child.
3) Is it true that Italian immigrants leaving Italy departed from
the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples, Palermo?
While the vast majority of Italian immigrants did depart Italy from
the aforementioned ports, there are cases where other European ports
were used such as Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and England. It
is worthwhile researching these ports if not found in the Italian
4) The Italian church records contain the sacramental acts of First
Communion and Confirmation, are these important genealogically?
While it is true that the Italian sacramental acts are contained in
the church ledgers, they have little or no value for genealogy
purposes, but make for interesting information when conducting your
5) How much of Italian civil records have been microfilmed at the
The best estimate is about 90% of all civil records in Italy have
been filmed with the remaining 10% scheduled for completion some
time in the future. Check the LDS catalogue on line to determine
whether the ancestral town of your interest has already been
6) What single document is the most important part of Italian
The naturalization or citizenship document is the most important
because it contains all the required data concerning birth date and
place, marital status, including names of wife and children and
their birth dates, job status, all arrival information including
port, date, ship and other data which is most beneficial.
7) How do
you locate the ancestral town of your grandparents when there are no
documents and no relatives can help?
This task can be very difficult. Try to determine when the
ancestors emigrated. The passenger arrival lists at the National
Archives can help. If the particular year of arrival is unindexed,
the reading through of rolls and rolls of film can be time
consuming. The U.S. census which is conducted every ten years
should answer the question. Also, every ancestor left some kind of a
trail, follow it, step by step to produce a document or record that
will identify the town in Italy.
8) How do I know it is the right time to travel to Italy to do
When and only when all work has been done locally and nationally,
then and only then you will know it is the right time to cross the
ocean to beautiful Italia to conduct your European research.
9) How do I locate the province and region of my ancestral
A good map of Italy will list the provinces and regions for all of
the country. Most Italian genealogical publications will include a
list of every region and province. Many towns in Italy have the
same name and are located in more than one place. To determine
which same named town is yours, you will need a vital document or
certificate to verify the correct town.
10) How much information regarding Italian genealogy can I extract
from the Internet?
There are countless sites on the subject available to the Italian
researcher. To highlight just a few of the more popular sites there
is Cyndi's list, the Ellis Island site, LDS site, POINT.