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Illiana ancestors: Genealogy series adds Italian research guide

Another new guide in the “Genealogy at a Glance” series has been created for anyone researching ancestors who emigrated from Italy. “Italian Genealogy Research” includes some quick facts and important dates, as well as information on Italian immigration and social history, starting your search in America, finding the Italian town of origin, online sources, and writing to Italy.

For example, did you know that 1806 was the year that civil record keeping in Italy began? This guide also reveals the value of clues found in naming patterns and marriage customs. Because knowing the town in Italy where an ancestor lived before coming to America is essential, this guide includes many clues for determining that Italian location. Once the town is determined, the town archives is the place where the most important birth, marriage and death records are kept. Such town records often include two or three generations of family information — just what researchers are looking for.

The format of this series is unique. Its four pages (8½-by-11 inches) have been laminated for heavy use so they can be easily and frequently checked for information pertaining to Italian resources. It is truly amazing that so much essential data is included in this short reference. The author of this guide, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, previously published “Italian-American Family History” (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1997) and is a well-known professional genealogist.

“Genealogy at a Glance: Italian Genealogy Research,” ISBN 978-0-8063-1899-8, can be ordered as Item No. 1899-8 at $8.95 plus shipping (first item $4.50; each additional item, $2.50) from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. VISA and MasterCard orders also can be placed toll-free at (800) 296-6687 or online at

The publisher’s website also has information on additional guides in this “Genealogy at a Glance” series. Each guide includes the key points to consider, online resources, and a list of books for further research.

The guides available so far: Virginia Genealogy Research (by Carol McGinnis), French Genealogy Research (by Claire Bettag), English Genealogy Research (by Paul Milner), Immigration Research (by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack), Michigan Genealogy Research (by Carol McGinnis), Revolutionary War Genealogy Research (by Craig R. Scott), German Genealogy Research (by Ernest Thode), Ellis Island Research (by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack), African American Genealogy Research (by Michael Hait), Scottish Genealogy Research (by David Dobson), French-Canadian Genealogy Research (by Denise Larson), and Irish Genealogy Research (by Brian Mitchell). Each of these products costs $8.85 plus shipping.

Gregorian vs. Julian

Anyone who has had a problem understanding the changes that were made when countries stopped using the Julian calendar and started using the Gregorian calendar can find an excellent explanation by Mike Spathaky at Dating ambiguities can be misleading and need to be thoroughly understood by researchers.

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing

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