The Ancestors Portal has two main purposes:
- allow the user to consult, free of charge, the digital reproductions of civil status registers, conscription lists, matricular rolls and other documents of a genealogical and registry nature, kept at the individual Italian State Archives, and also, where available, the databases of names mentioned in the registers;
- provide extensive information on documentation useful for genealogical, registry, family and personal history research, but also for demographics and social history, preserved in the Italian State Archives (civil status, conscription lists, registers, etc.), as well as on nominative databases, taken from this documentation, which can be consulted online or in the study rooms of individual archives, thanks to the function Explore the Archives .
Reproductions of civil status registers can be found on the basis of the State Archives that keep the original documents; it is also possible to search for the registers of a given municipality, a given series (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) or to search by date or chronological details in the section Search the registers .
In order to protect the confidentiality of personal data, registers of births at least 100 years old and marriage and death registers at least 70 years old are made accessible on the Portal.
In the sections devoted to the individual State Archives, to make research easier, the registers are divided into the three historical periods which, according to the different areas of Italy, saw the emergence of modern civil status registration: Napoleonic civil status (1806-1815); Restoration civil status (1815-1865); Italian civil status(1865 to the present).
This organisation may not correspond to the order in which the original registers are kept in the State Archives. However, the archival data appearing in the search path of the individual image can help to identify the original register in the archive of origin, in case it needs to be consulted or certified copies of documents need to be requested.
Further information on the ordering of the original records or other features of the records is presented at the top of the pages on which the images are published.
The holder of all rights to the images is the General Directorate of Archives of the Ministry of Culture. The use of the images is strictly personal; they may not be published on other sites, portals or publications without the express authorisation of the rights holder. Any use of the images for profit-making purposes is excluded.
High-definition images of the registers can be requested from the State Archives that keep the originals, as indicated in the Legal Notes.
In the Search by name section, you can type the name of the person whose details you are looking for and, if the registers in which they appear have been indexed, you can directly find the civil status certificate in which they are mentioned.
However, it should be noted that only a minority of the registers have been indexed. Alternatively, it is possible to search the originalannual and ten-year indexes compiled by the civil status offices.
To increase the indexation of the registers, it is possible to participate as a volunteer (Join the project).
Further information for users new to genealogical research and the world of archives can be found in the section Family History Research.
In the Family Histories section it is possible to access collections of audiovisual, documentary and iconographic materials that recount the transformations that have characterised the Italian family and society during the 20th century.
These materials allow the recovery of a narrative dimension of anagraphic and genealogical research, and offer the user the possibility of illustrating his or her own research experience by contributing directly to the section Tell your family history.
In this way, the Ancestry Portal contributes not only to genealogical research but also to tracing and writing the history of society, individuals and their relationships.