Registrazioni di matrimonio

A few days before Christmas, a gentleman in Calitri gave me a wonderful Christmas gift. He sent me a spreadsheet document listing matrimoni (marriages) that occurred in Calitri from 1765 to 1801. He spent every Saturday morning the past year in the Canonica of Chiesa di San Canio (Church of St. Canio) pouring over the ancient church registers, deciphering old Italian script and transcribing each marriage.

In the span of 36 years, 1,548 marriages took place. I’ve spent the last two weeks entering information from this spreadsheet into my family tree program, which in itself is a painstaking task. Thanks to this information, I was able to break down a couple of brick walls in my family tree. For example, my great-great-great-great grandmother, Caterina Grasso, was born sometime in 1774 in Bisaccia, a neighboring town of Calitri. She married Canio Vincenzo Maria Gervasi around 1793, presumably in Bisaccia, and lived the rest of her life in Calitri. I knew her parents were Nicola Grasso and Rosa Ricciardi from Caterina’s death record, which I discovered about a decade ago. I wanted to go back further on that line but my letters to Bisaccia went unanswered. While scanning the spreadsheet, I was thrilled to discover that Caterina’s parents married in Calitri in 1772 and that her mother, Rosa, was from Calitri. I also learned that Nicola’s father was Angelo and that Rosa was the daughter of Giuseppe Ricciardi and Giovanna Di Muro. It appears that Nicola took his wife back to his hometown of Bisaccia after they married and raised their family there. When their daughters, Caterina and Camilla, were old enough, Rosa made arrangements to marry them off to Calitrani men – Caterina to Canio Gervasi and Camilla to Giuseppe Cicoira.

This is what the spreadsheet looks like. Spreadsheet The ones that are highlighted have already been entered in my database, so as you can see, I’m not done yet. I’m hoping to finish by this weekend!

If any of you who have ancestors from Calitri would like information on your ancestors, let me know. Out of respect for the person who sent this, I cannot share the spreadsheet document with anyone as he asked me not to, but I can send you your family tree. He has to get permission from the local Bishop first to publish this information and so far, the Bishop has blatantly ignored his request.


Filed under Calitri, Genealogy

10 responses to “Registrazioni di matrimonio

  1. unabellasarda

    Wow, that is unbelievable! I cannot believe the patience that man had to do all this research, and the luck you had to figure out so much information about your family. My mother keeps telling me that family informations are easily found in churches, which is what we’re going to try to attempt when we go to Sardegna. Hopefully I’ll be as lucky as you to find all of this 🙂

  2. Gervase

    Actually, you can easily do the research right here in the States. Back in the 80s or 90s, missionaries from the Mormon church went to Italy and microfilmed all vital records between 1809 and 1910. You can order these films at a local Mormon genealogy center (they’re everywhere!) at a nominal fee, no more than $8 each. If you want, I can help you out. 🙂

  3. Eleanor

    Please…some of us Calitrani here in the USA need to settle a dispute regarding the statue of the Madonna that is venerated every September 8th in Calitri. Some say the statue is the representation of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady…..some say the statue is the representation of Our Lady of the Assumption. Is there any documentation of when and why that particular statue came to be selected?

  4. Gervase

    Hi Eleanor! I’ll inquire and get back to you with hopefully some answers.

  5. Brittany

    Wow that’s so amazing how far you can look!

  6. valentinoswife

    Just found your blog today – and of course, I am saving a link! What a wonderful find for you! All of my husband’s family are from Italy – most are still there (he is only sibling here stateside now) so we research long distance.
    I suspect the bishop is ignoring your friend because of a decision made by the Church in Italy and the government to not neccessarily cooperate with the Morman Church. Many folks were ignoring the rules set forth by the LDS to not submit unrelated names for post-humus baptisms and this understandably bupset many non-Morman Italians. Therefore the Church now is trying to restrict research to those working on their own families and not broader research.
    BTW – I am researching our families primarily from Itri, Italy (midway between Roma and Napoli) if anyone is also working their family lines from there. I do have many many names spanning about 100-125 years worth so feel free to contact me!

  7. Gervase

    Hello there! Thanks so much for your comment and for enlightening me regarding the issue between non-Mormon Italians and the Mormon church. It all makes sense now… That kind of Old World thinking irritates me to no end.

    I just added your link to my Google Reader. I look forward to reading your posts!


  8. Rudy Cestone

    Dear Jason,
    In one of your articles you said anyone wanting info on their family in Calitri to let you know. My name is Rudolph Cestone Born 1930 in Ameica. My parents were born in Calitri and came here around 1913.
    My father was Antonio Cestone (Ciannill). His father was Raffaele Cestone, his mother was Guiseppa Cestone (nee Cestone). I can only trace back to my great grandparents Michelarcangelo Cestone and Angelamaria Taquinto. I can’t find anything past those two. Any info you might have will be greatly appreciated. E-mail Thanks, Rudy

  9. JoAnne Cestone Sammak

    Rudy , how pleased to find you. I was just playing around and came to this. How are you all?
    I am alone now. Doug,Jeff and Nancy are married now I have 6 grandchildren, 5 boys,1 girl.
    Things are going well.How about you?

  10. JoAnne Cestone Sammak

    Hope you get this.

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