Sources of information

In order to understand more about the history and way of life of our ancestors in the Gulf of Naples, and to help you with your genealogical research, below is a summary of useful information and interesting documents:

Religious Archives

The first records date from the beginning of the 16th century, with a few exceptions in the North of the Italy. The Council of Trente (1543-1563) ordered every parish to keep a register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, as well as to carry out a regular census of parish inhabitants ("Stato delle Anime"). Parish registers provide reliable records until 1865.

The parish censuses:
  • In PROCIDA priests carried out systematic censuses roughly every 3 years from 1702 to 1899. These records are very useful and interesting because they tell us where our ancestors lived and who they lived with (the district and street are indicated), as well as their age at the time of the census. The most recent records include dates of birth, marriage and death. These records are a great way to progress your research.
  • In ISCHIA, there are only a few similar censuses here and they are unfortunately less comprehensive and less well-preserved than in Procida. They are therefore more difficult to use. They relate principally to the 17th century.

Example: PROCIDA 1835
Click to view

Municipal Archives

Local government underwent a major transformation during Italian Unification between 1866 and 1870 which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. This means that from 1866 local councils have maintained registers of births, deaths and marriages with a copy held by the courts.

Between 1803 and 1816, those Italian towns and villages that were part of the French Empire ("Stato Napoleonico civil") maintained registers of births, deaths and marriages similar to those of metropolitan France at that time. Following the fall of the Empire, each successor state (including the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, of which Ischia and Procida were part) continued to maintain secular state records alongside parish records.

Other interesting sources may be found in town hall records:

  • "Registri di Popolazione" : From 1866 to approximately 1940, local councils undertook periodic household censuses, which recorded the head of family and all the people living in the household, with their dates of birth, marriage, death and additional observations [Only one register of this type has been found at Barano in Ischia]
  • "Registri d'emigrazione" : Some local councils held emigration records with the names, family connections and destination of those who left Italy for other countries. [No records of this type have been found in Procida or Ischia]

The Archives of NAPLES

The register of births, deaths and marriages for the first half of the 19th century for the city of Naples are available online. This was an initiative of the Italian National Archives and can be found on the "Antenati" website:

There are 3 types of archives:

  • Stato civile napoleonico from 1809 to 1815
  • Stato civile della restaurazione from 1816 to 1860
  • Stato civile italiano from 1861 to 1865

The city of Naples is divided into 10 municipalities, each subdivided into districts (30 in total).

At the point of writing this guide in early 2016, the archives of only 18 districts were available. This may increase in due course.

Inventory of the State Archives of Naples:

National Archives

The Italian National Archives, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, is currently trying to identify and bring together the archives of the Italian regions through a single website:

  • Ministero per i Beni e le Attivitą Culturali
    Dipartimento per i Beni Archivistici e Librari
    Amministrazione Archivistica Nazionale

Italian Names

Below you will find a list of traditional family surnames from Procida and Ischia, as well as a list of common Italian fornames. These lists were compiled by Claude LLINARES (volunteer member):

The following document will help you understand the formation and the origin of the names of Procida. It is taken from the book by a former Mayor of Procida, Vittorio PARASCANDOLA, Včfio folk-glossario del dialetto procidano.

For information on Italian names in general, a dictionary of Italian names appeared in 2005:

Dizionario ragionato dei cognomi italiani

Michele Francipane

5000 names, 21000 variants, 2100 compared foreign names - etymology, history and anthropological information.

You can also consult the following website:

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