Genealogy Reference Books

These books have been chosen because they give specific help for those researching Italian genealogy or they give insight to the lives of these people.

Books - General Reference

Italian Genealogical Records
How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Other Records in Family History Research
Trafford R. Cole, Psy.D.
ISN 0-916489-58-2
Ancestry Incorporated, Salt Lake City, UT

Should be the Italian Genealogy Family Bible. Covers almost every aspect of Italian Genealogy from the meaning of various surnames to the history of record keeping in Italy. In depth descriptions of civil and church records how and where to find them and what they mean.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc,.
1001 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Gives the usual research help. But also tells how to write a story of your family tree. Even those not usually interested will find their Ancestors come alive.

Discovering Your Italian Ancecstor
Lynn Nelson Lynn Nelson's webpage
ISBN 1-55870-426-4
Published by Better Way Books, Cincinnati, OH
Very useful for transcription of the civil records Italian to English, also shows examples and where to find them. Many useful tips and a good section on Italian letter writing with word lists.

A Student's Guide to Italian American Genealogy
Oryx American Family Tree Series
Terra Castiglia Brockman
ISBN: 0897749731
Hardcover - 168 pages (May 1996)
Oryx Press

ITALIAN ROOTS- Finding. The Complete Guide for Americans
John Philip Colletta
128 pp., paper. Revised edition. (1995)
repr. Balto., 1997
Whether you choose to conduct your family research by travelling to Italy or by writing to town archives and other repositories of family information, this is the complete guide for you. Finding Italian Roots briefly discloses the resources available here in the United States for climbing your family tree back to your immigrant ancestor, then how you can tap into the wealth of information available in the town halls, archives, churches, and libraries of Italy. The glossary of key Italian terms and the extensive annotated bibliography ensure that any Italian American can rediscover his Italian heritage!

Joseph G. Fucilla.
299 pp., indexed. (1949)
repr. Balto., 1996.
Our Italian Surnames covers every fact of Italian names and naming practices. It is here we discover, for example, that Bussolari is Italian for compass, Orsini means bear, and Passalacqua stands for butterfly. Besides given names and the evolution of Italian surnames, the book contains chapters devoted to pet names, botanical names, geographical names, bird names, insect names, occupational names, and more. Written for a popular audience, each chapter of the book is a separate and informative unit in itself. Complete with a list of sources and an index of more than 7,500 names, Our Italian Surnames is a monument to the late Professor Fucilla's lifelong interest in the language and names of Italia.

Dizionario Storico Blasonico delle famiglie nobili e notabili italiane (1886-1890)
reprinted by Arnaldo Forni Editore
(3 vol.),
An ancient book on surnames and naming practices.

I Verbi Italiani and Their English Equivalents
Leonard G. Sbrocchi
198 pages

TCI Guides
The first four issues to be published in English are:
TCI: Italy
TCI: Rome and the Vatican
TCI: Florence
TCI: Venice
publisher, Monacelli Press, 10 East 92nd St., New York, NY 10128.
These guidebooks were done by Touring Club Italiano and are their first editions done in English. They give in depth information into Historical, Cultural sites along with good maps. Great for those hard to find comunes.

Edited by Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filby
series ISBN 0-8420-2465-4
Volume 1- Jan. 1880-Dec. 1884 ISBN 0-8420-2451-4
Volume 2- Jan. 1885-June 1887 ISBN 0-8420-2452-2
Volume 3- July 1887-June 1889 ISBN 0-8420-2453-0
Volume 4- July 1889-Oct. 1890 ISBN 0-8420-2454-9
Volume 5- Nov. 1890-Dec. 1891 ISBN 0-8420-2455-7
Volume 6- Jan. 1892-Dec. 1892 ISBN 0-8420-2456-5
Volume 7- Jan. 1893-Sep. 1893 ISBN 0-8420-2456-3
Volume 8- Oct. 1893-May 1895 ISBN 0-8420-2458-1
Volume 9- June 1895-June 1896 ISBN 0-8420-2459-x
An index of passenger list information to America. this study includes Italian departures from home and foreign ports. It presents the passenger lists in chronological order, including information on each person's age, sex, occupation, village of origin, and destination Each volume will also contain an introduction on the history of Italian immigration with a full name index. The vast majority of Italians immigrated to New York City, so that the first eight (est.) volumes of the series will deal with arrivals in New York. Later volumes will cover other U.S. ports.

Scholarly Resources, Inc.  800-772-8937 or (302) 654-7713
104 Greenhill Avenue  FAX (302) 654-3871
Wilmington, DE 19805-1897

Ships of Our Ancestors
Michael J. Anuta.
A pictorial collection of almost 900 photos of ships that brought immigrants to America. (some of the ships from the mid-1800's are rendered in painting or sketches.Under each picture, it gives source of the photo the year the ship was built, and the ship's shipping line.

Italian-American History Vol I
Giovanni Ermangildo Schiavo
New York, 1947
a compendium of biographical information of Italian Americans. Volume I contains Italian Music and Musicians in America, Dictionary of Musical Biography, and profiles of Italian-American politicians. Unfortunately there is no index of names. Some sections are alphabetically, others are compiled from lists of professional organizations.

The Kindness of Strangers
The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
John Boswell
Delves deeply into the problems of children abandoned from Roman times on. Tells why each society choose to close it's eyes to this practice. And proceeds to give the effects on these children and society. A must read if you have an orphan ancestry or illegitimate birth in your lineage.

Bread From Underground and Land of the Black Diamond
Fr. Bonifacio Bolognani
Both these books cover Italian immigrants from Trentino to the Colorado and Pennsylvania mines. They give information on surnames and living conditions. Written in Italian and English side by side translations.

A Courageous People From the Land of the Dolomites
Fr. Bonifcacio Bolognani
500 page "bible" of Trentino emigration. this book that has led many to sources and information.
International Tyrolean and Trentino Organization of North America
11020 Nelson Street
Westchester, IL 60154

Images, a Pictorial History of Italian Americans
Helen Barolini
ISBN: 093473304X
Hardcover 2nd edition (July 1986)
Center Migration Studies

The American Franciscan missions in Central America
Three decades of Christian service
Leonard Bacigalupo

The Franciscans and Italian immigration in America
Leonard Bacigalupo
Fr. Leonard Bacigalupo spent time between the US and Italy and has written several informative books on the life of the Italian immigrant.

Italian American Material Culture
A Directory of Collections, Sites, and Festivals in the United States and Canada
Margaret Hobbie
ISBN: 031327200X
Hardcover - 173 pages (September 1992)
Greenwood Publishing Group
Provides information about Italian cultural collections, sites of Italian culture, and feasts and festivals. The first part lists and describes 97 collections, which include books, photographic materials, journals, public records, news stories, and documents. These collections are in museums, local history societies, and libraries. The second section lists sites, primarily of churches, but also of Italian neighborhoods with characteristic ornamentation and landscaping. Although mostly located in the Northeast, they can be found throughout North America. Part 3 lists feasts and festivals. The author carefully describes the festivals and the date and the location. Each festival is different and the spirit of these events is skillfully conveyed to the reader. There is a good bibliography, a name index, and a subject index. The preface and introduction provide the reader with information about the development of Italian archival collections. The book can be used as a companion to Francesco Cordasco's Italian Americans: A Guide to Information Sources (CH, Nov '78). Students of sociology, history, and ethnic studies will find the book valuable. Recommended for public, graduate, and undergraduate libraries as well as for special library collections