WORLD GEN WEB
|The Region of
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
Civil Records in the Comune
Photocopies of birth, marriage, death, legal, and miscellaneous records are available by writing to the civil registration office at:
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!
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 .
LINKS TO MOLISE
ART & CULTURE
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