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ITALY
WORLD GEN WEB


 
The Region of
MOLISE


CAPITAL Campobasso
PROVINCES Campobasso
Isernia

map

The region of Molise is located in south-central Italy; south-east of Lazio and Abruzzo, north of Campania, and north-west of Puglia.  Like Abruzzi, Molise was caught in a time warp for many years because of it's mountainous area.  It is known for it's beauty and age old life style.

The Region of Molise was created in 1963.  Between 1864 and 1963 the area of Molise was part of the now-defunct Region of Abruzzi e Molise.  In 1806 a province named Molise was created, with 2 districts: Campobasso and Isernia; which are today the names of the two provinces of the Region of Molise.  Prior to 1861, a vast province named *Terra di Lavoro existed in the area of the present-day provinces of Frosinone in the region of Lazio, and Caserta in the region of Campania.  At some point (c. 1814 - 1862) parts of present-day Molise were also included in Terra di Lavoro.  Keep these facts in mind when searching for a particular village or when looking at old documents.

*The Province of Terra di Lavoro was part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which existed between the Middle Ages and it's inclusion in the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

When searching for ancestors in this area you will sometimes need to take into consideration the terrain.  Because it is such a sparsely populated area the towns tend to be on the smaller side.  When writing always do so in Italian, results will be better.  Also consider the fact that this area has been bombed during War and has suffered numerous earth quakes.  So some records may not exist.  There are always other avenues to explore so if one doesn't work out try another.


Obtaining Genealogical Records from Molise


As with most of Italy, Molise has 4 sources of genealogical records:
1) Civil records in the comune (town);
2) Civil records in the Archivio di Stato (regional government archive);
3) Church records in the comune; and
4) Microfilms of the above records, available on loan from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

Civil Records in the Comune
Photocopies of birth, marriage, death, legal, and miscellaneous records are available by writing to the civil registration office at:

Ufficio di Stato Civile
(name of town )
Provincia di (name of province)
ITALIA
If you only have the village/ hamlet name (borgata/ frazione in Italian), you must find the name of the comune (seat of municipal government) that it falls under.  In my experience, I have found that some records were destroyed during World War 2; but the registry authorities may still be able to reconstruct the records that you are looking for.  They will tell you how much they cost for the photocopies and you can make payment upon receipt of them.  Here is an excellent web page that explains how to write a letter in Italian and gives examples: Research Guidance: Italian - Letter - Writing Guide

Civil Records in the Archivio di Stato
Photocopies of birth, marriage, death, legal, and miscellaneous records are available by writing to the Archivio di Stato of the province where the town is located.  In my experince, I had to write to Caserta to get documents for the Province of Isernia.  You may want to send a copy of your request to Caserta in case they have some of the records that you want (this may also save time if all you end up getting is a response from Campobasso or Isernia saying that you must write to Caserta).  The addresses are listed here on the Italian State Archives page .  A letter to the Archivio di Stato should look somewhat the same as the above letter to the civil registry office in the comune.

Church Records in the Comune
This is the most difficult way to obtain genealogical records, but probably the most rewarding if you succeed, since church records predate civil ones and can go back as far as the 16th century.  To find the name and address of the parish your ancestor was born/ married in, look-up the parish by comune name .  Italian priests seem to be over-worked (?) and under-paid, so enclosing some lire in cash (at your discretion) may increase your chances of getting a response.  My experience with visiting a local priest in Isernia province revealed that the previous priest had taken the older church records with him when he retired!

LDS Microfilms
This source can prove to be invaluable if the LDS has filmed your comune's archives.  To obtain a film(s), you must go to your local LDS Family History Center (FHC).  These exist around the world - look at the LDS Web site for FHC locations worldwide .  Alternately, look in your local phone book under "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (or its equivalent in the local language - e.g., "Eglise de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jour" in French) to find your local FHC.  At the FHC the staff will look up your comune, and print out a list of the available films.  You can then order a film(s) and pay a rental fee (a small amount) for 3 or 6 months.  When the film arrives you must view it at the FHC on one of their viewing machines.  The advantage with these films is that you have all the births (or deaths, depending on the type of film you ordered) in the town over a period of a number of years.  In this way you may be able to construct a significant part of your family tree without having to order lots of photocopied documents from the registries in Italy.


The civil records for births, deaths and marriages generally use a standard form, whether it is hand-written or partly type-written.  The Comunes of Itlay web site has kindly provided transacriptions of these forms: Italian LDS Record Transcriptions .


QUERY PAGES


The following surname message boards include ones for a single province and others for the entire region of Molise.  If you know of any others, please e-mail me with the link(s).  It is somewhat unfortunate that there is this duplication of effort with these various query boards, but given the time and effort that went into setting them up and posting to them, it would be impractical to try and consolidate them now.  I would however, suggest posting messages to multiple boards because it will give your posts more exposure since there are some people who visit one message board but not another.  *Don't forget to include any relevant web site links in your message, and look for those of others when you read their messages. GenConnect: Province of Campobasso
GenConnect: Province of Isernia
Abruzzo Forum - Campobasso


LINKS TO MOLISE


GENERAL MAPS
Map of Molise
Molise
HISTORY
TELEVISION                                                 Il Molise - LA STORIA
Telemolise On Line

ART & CULTURE

TOURISM
In Italy Online - MOLISE, Italy's Most Carefully Hidden Treasure
MOLISE - Italian Tourist Web Guide

ORGANIZATIONS


PERSONAL PAGES

Molisani In Evansville 1863-1918



Italy WGW - main page


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MOLISE'S HOST 
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last updated:  Friday, 06-Oct-2006 00:54:51 MDT
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