My purpose for creating this web site is to hopefully help the many people who have connections to Polizzi Generosa, Sicily discover more about their Polizzann ancestors. I started researching the Polizzi civil records in 2003, in hopes of learning more about my husband’s family. I myself am not even of Italian descent, but I did live there for 5 years many years ago while my husband went to medical school in Bologna, Italy. My Italian was never great and by the time I started doing this work, I hadn’t really used it in more than 35 years. But now after all of this time reading Polizzi records, it’s all come back and then some. The information on these spreadsheets was taken from the microfilms available through the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Church. For those of you who don’t know, the LDS Church has and still is filming civil, church and pretty much every other type of record all over the world. And luckily for us they have made these records available to the general public, not just their own church members. For many years you could go to a LDS Family History Center Library for help and guidance with your genealogy research. You could also order microfilms & microfiche from the library in Salt Lake City and have them sent to a LDS library of your choice. You essentially rented the films. But times have changed. The church no longer does this. Instead, many of the films are now available on line. Some of them can be viewed from your computer at home, but others have to be viewed at a Family History Center Library. We’re told that within 3-4 years all of the literally millions of LDS films will be digitized and available for viewing on line. I personally think it will take longer than that to finish this work. Even with literally millions of volunteers all over the world helping to transcribe and digitize records, it will all take time. In regards to the records for Polizzi Generosa, the church was only given permission to film the civil records. The Italian government officially started requiring that civil records be kept in 1820. In some cases you will find town records began in 1809, but if so you’re very fortunate. Before 1820, the only records were church records. From what I’ve seen they were all completely handwritten by the priests in what is often very poor penmanship and not always well organized. Although the church records for Polizzi were not filmed, you often find them included in the marriage allegati records that were filmed by the LDS. (more about allegati later). 3/2/2017 NOTE : the date given at the top of a record is the registration date. The actual date of the birth, marriage or death is given farther down in the record. Sometimes the date is the same for both, but usually the 2 dates will be 1-2 days apart. Italian / Sicilian records usually give us a wealth of information..... Birth records gave the father’s name, age and often his occupation. Although the mother’s first and maiden names were given, her age is usually not included. Many times the grandfather’s names are given and whether they were living of deceased at the time of the birth. Sometimes address was given, but early records almost never gave a number for the house and the very early records gave as little as “close to the home of”. Marriage records gave the names of the bride and groom, their ages, occupations, whether they had ever been married before, parent’s names including the mother’s maiden name, and the date of the marriage. The dates of the “publications” (what we would consider banns) were often included. Death records gave the name of the deceased, age, parent’s names sometimes with grandfather’s names, whether or not they had ever been married and if so to whom. Before the separation of the church from the government, when an event like a birth took place, the whole thing was recorded at the registrar’s (comune office) and written on the left side of the official record. Tit washen sent to the parish priest so that he could record the church marriage info on the right side. Even when a record was completely handwritten the 2 events were divided this way. After the church and state separated they were recorded as 2 completely separate events. Marriage Allegati are a packet of records that had to be provided to the registrar before a couple could be married. If filmed by the LDS, they can be found under the date of the marriage. They always included at least 3 things… 1. Birth record of the groom. If he was born someplace other than where the marriage was to take place he still had to provide that record. 2. Birth record of the bride. Same as above 3. Notification… a copy of the record that was posted on the comune office door stating that the couple intended to marry and that if anyone objected, they needed to say so. After that, if one of the 4 parents was deceased and unable to be a witness to the marriage, a death record had to be provided to prove that. And if either the bride or groom had been previously married a death record was required to prove that they were free to marry again. 3/6/2017
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