If someone were to ask you what the definition is for "GENEALOGY" what would you say? Some people may say Genealogy is a collection of names that are as yours. But I think of Genealogy as pieces to a great puzzle, or the rough sketch of a portrait. Once you have all the pieces linked together, your puzzle is complete.
In describing Italian Genealogy, I think Trafford Cole, author of Italian Genealogical Records says it best. He defines it as: "the study of relationships of ancestors who are directly related to us. They are our families. They are our role models. To learn about them is to learn about ourselves." All this information will give you the total picture of who your ancestors were, which will become the largest part of who you are.
Also remember that other information such as the history of the town your ancestors came from, the local customs and traditions...all this collected data will help you complete the total picture. I have just a few tips for researching Italian Genealogy and then I will provide for you some excellent links that will greatly aid you in researching your Italian Family Ancestry.
One Very Important area that often missed by people searching for information on their family ancestors is MEDICAL HISTORY. A family's Medical History is important information and can answer many questions regarding many medical conditions. Diabetes is an inherited medical problem. There are also medical conditions prevalent to certain ethnic groups. It is to Your Advantage to obtain as much information as possible, so please remember to include Your Family's MEDICAL History.
1) Start With What You Know - those aunts, uncles, and cousins can provide you with valuable pieces of information. Have a notebook and a tape recorder handy to record all those wonderful stories, that many older people love to tell younger relatives - those stories of what it was like growing up, where they lived...what their jobs were, what they did for fun. etc. You will find valuable pieces of information - your pieces of the puzzle to build upon. Also check out the attics, and the basements, the closets for treasures like birth certificates and old pictures. You may be very surprised what you might find.
(2)There are many books which deal specifically with Italian Genealogy, but there are four I highly recommend:
FINDING YOUR ITALIAN ROOTS - By John Phillip Colletta ISBN 0-8063-1393-5
ITALIAN GENEALOGICAL RECORDS - By Trafford Cole ISBN 0-916489-582
ITALIAN-AMERICAN FAMILY HISTORY - By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack ISBN 0-8063-1527-X
DISCOVERING YOUR ITALIAN ANCESTORS - By Lynn Nelson ISBN 1-55870-426-4
You will find these four publications invaluable references during your research.
(3) My last tip was mentioned earlier and I believe is very important. Find out all you can about the towns and villages your Italian ancestors came from. You will find that their customs and traditions were a part of them and are now a part of you. Information is also available on the Internet and your public library. All you have to do is find it...:-))))
Below are some Great Italian Genealogy Links to check out. They are filled with great information and I know you will want to Bookmark them. (There are also a few Non-Italian sites here also but they contain a wealth of information.)