04 June 2017

The Italian Genealogy Goldmine: "Wedding Packets"

I've shown you how to dissect Italian birth records, Italian death records (twice, in fact), and Italian marriage records before.

But I promised to explain the treasure trove I call Italian "wedding packets". (Maybe these exist for other countries, too!)

If you're researching your Italian ancestors, and you're lucky enough to find your ancestral hometown's records in the Italian genealogy archives (Antenati), then you have access to the wedding packets.

On the Antenati site, you'll find different kinds of "matrimoni" documents for each year.

  • First comes "Matrimoni, pubblicazioni" which includes the two times a couple had to publicly post their intention to marry. The first record may not tell you anything more than the names of the groom and bride and both sets of parents.
    First notification of intention to marry
    The second record provides ages, occupations, places of birth and/or residence. If the bride or groom is widowed, you may also get the name of the deceased spouse.
    Second notification of intention to marry
  • Second is "Matrimoni" which adds the date on which they were approved for marriage (think of it as a marriage license date), and the date they were married in church. Sometimes you'll also find the names of the priest and witnesses.
  • Third comes "Matrimoni, processetti"—my favorite! This wedding packet can contain many pages. It starts with a birth record for the bride and groom. If either is a widow, you get the deceased spouse's death record. Then there is a death record for any of their parents who have died. This, of course, can tell you the names of the bride or groom's grandparents. If the father of the bride or groom has died, and their grandfather is not alive to give his permission for the marriage, then you'll also see the grandfather's death record.
    Groom's first wife's death record
Groom's father's death record—giving me the names of my 4th great grandparents

The best-case scenario is an older couple, both widowed, and both with no living parents or grandparents. I've had wedding packets provide me with one or both spouse's great grandparents' names!

We're lucky because in the old days, no one stayed single. If their spouse died, they absolutely remarried—sometimes again and again. Life was too hard not to have a partner.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't explored the proscetti yet but definitely will now.