The Napoleonic, Restoration and Italian Civil Registration

Napoleonic civil registration was introduced in Italy in 1806, after the fall of many regions to imperial France, and remained in place until 1815. The keeping of civil registration by the communities of that time has produced a series of records of births, marriages, and deaths, in duplicate, which, depending upon the time and place were collected at the state archives of the respective provinces. Often attached to the records one can find supplementary documentation of the acts that give interesting information that cannot be found elsewhere; for example, paternity and maternity, or the consent for marriage of the parties, allowing one to go back into preceding generations that lived during the second half or the end of the 1700s.

During the Restoration, the recording of demographic movements and other registration—even though it was controlled at the parish level—remained under the direction of the civil authorities in some regions. The Civil State of the Restoration from about 1815-1865, was present especially in the south of Italy (where reigned the Bourbons in the Kingdom of Naples). The records that were produced, similar in type and structure to those of the Napoleonic era, are accompanied by attachments/supplements, which have all made their way into the state archives.

With Italian Civil Registration instituted with the decree of 15 Nov 1865, number 2602, which went into effect 1 Jan 1866, all Italian communities began producing the birth, citizenship/residency, marriage, and death records, always made out in duplicate, one of which stays with the community, while the second is sent to the court (Tribunale) having jurisdiction for the area, and later to the state archives for permanent storage.

The records are accompanied by alphabetical indexes kept on a yearly and ten-year basis, which allow a more rapid search for single documents. They may also contain the civil records acts that are recorded in other communities, or even overseas, regarding Italian citizens who once resided in that community. Even in these cases there are the supplemental attachments, which contain first-hand information such as medical certificates regarding births and deaths, along with a variety of acts relative to the other transactions and notations in the records, such as publications of marriage and citizenship. These attachments are the only originals and are stored only at the local courts, and later transferred to the state archives.

3 thoughts on “The Napoleonic, Restoration and Italian Civil Registration

  1. I need to know where my greatgrandfather Hernani Rutolo was born. I cannot find him anywhere. What I know is that he was born in 1875approx, and that his wife was Margarita Spisti

  2. I am looking for traces of my cousin’s family which is Montaldi from Piemont. To be more precise form his grand grandad Giovanni Bapttista Montaldi born around 1878. The information we have is that they came from Alessandri in Piemont. Thanks

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