Italian unification ws a process that evolved over a long period starting with the Congress of Vienna 1815 and largely completed by the Franco-Prussian War 1871. In 1861 the King of Sardinia assumed the title King of Italy as Victor Emanuel II.

The modern regions of Italy are as depicted in the following map together with their status in 1815.

Region Code Capital Status in 1815 Italian provinces
Abruzzo 65


KIngdom of the Two Sicilies
Aosta Valley 23 Aosta Kingdom of Sardinia
Basilicata 77 Potenza Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Calabria 78 Catanzaro Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Campania 72 Naples KIngdom of the Two Sicilies
Emilia-Romagna 45 Bologna Papal States; Duchy of Parma; Duchy of Modena
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 36 TriesteLazio KIngdom of Lombardy-Venetia
Lazio 62 Rome Papal States
Liguria 42 Genoa KIngdom of Sardinia
Lombardy 25 Milan Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia 
Le Marche 57 Ancona Papal States
Molise 67 Campobasso Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Piedmont 21 Turin Kingdom of Sardinia
Puglia 75 Bari KIngdom of the Two Sicilies
Sardinia 88


KIngdom of Sardinia
Sicily 82 Palermo Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Tuscany 52 Florence Grand Duchy of Tuscany; Duchy of Lucca
Trentino-Alto Adige 32 Trento KIngdom of Lombardy-Venetia
Umbria 55 Perugia Papal States
Veneto 34 Venice Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia

To find records, you must know the town where your ancestor lived. You also need to determine the parish that your ancestorís town was located in so you know which parish registers to search. Larger towns frequently have more than one parish. Church records were kept at the local parish church. Sometimes duplicates can be found at the central archives of the diocese. This was formalised in 1900. Unfortunately some Italian church records were destroyed in the various wars over the centuries. Italy has no single repository for church records. If the baptism, marriage, and burial records have not been filmed by FamilySearch, you will have to contact the local parish or archive in Italy. Parishes will sometimes answer correspondence but do not expect the parish you contact will. Address your letter: Il parroco di [name of parish, town, province] Italy.

Civil registering of births, marriages, and deaths began in 1809 in areas occupied by France (see the page on French research) but it was not until 1866 that civil registration became law across Italy. After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, many areas discontinued civil registration. These records were and are kept at the local registrar’s office in each town. A duplicate record is kept by the district court in the provincial capital. To obtain civil registration records, you can write to the town. Civil officials will usually reply if you observe the following conditions. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to the provincial capital. All requests must be written in Italian. You should note that Italian registrars are not required by law to assist in genealogical research work and unless complete and correct information is provided, no search will be undertaken. You must enclose an International Reply Coupon. Modify the format provided by the US State Department: Birth, Marriage, Death.

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