On this page you will find some links to resources specific to Trentino Family History research.
- Rather than including the ‘usual’ genealogy search sites (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.), I have suggested some links to sites and resources specific to the province of Trento (aka Trentino).
- Although some of these resources are inevitably in Italian, I have tried to focus on those that are essential, and would be most easily accessible to those who know little or no Italian.
- I have omitted a few links to free book downloads (such as one for Bolognani’s A Courageous People From the Dolomites), as I suspect they are in violation of copyright.
- I will be adding Facebook groups to this list, but at a later date.
- Like all my work, this list is a continual ‘work in progress’
And, of course, I strongly advise taking full advantage of the many articles I have on this site, as well as my searchable database of Trentino surnames, as you are likely to find something relevant to your research queries.
Genealogy Research Tools
NATI IN TRENTINO DATABASE
The Provincia autonoma di Trento (Autonomous Province of Trento) has JUST launched the newly revamped version of their website ‘Nati in Trentino’.
Nati in Trentino is a free, searchable online database of births in Trentino between 1815 and 1923, created by the Diocesan Archives of Trento. If you have never used it before, I strongly advise becoming acquainted with it, as it is nearly always the starting point for new researchers, as well as for experienced researchers starting new projects.
The link to the NEW database is https://www.natitrentino.mondotrentino.net/
This NEW search engine is MUCH more powerful, and useful to genealogists. The search features are much more flexible, and you can sort and download the data.
VIDEO TUTORIAL – HOW TO USE THE NEW NATI IN TRENTINO WEBSITE
In this 8-minute tutorial, I show you what it can do, and how to use it, even if you don’t understand Italian.
If you are new to using the Nati in Trentino database, or have found difficult to understand, you might also want to read this article I wrote some time back entitled ‘Searching Online for 19th & 20th Century Trentini Ancestors’. It’s packed with useful tips on how to get the most from that site, as well as how to get around some of the limitations of the OLD site (many of which are no longer relevant):
LIST OF PARISHES IN TRENTINO
You can find a complete list of parishes in the Diocese of Trento on Wikipedia. They are grouped into their respective valleys. I don’t know how accurate this list is, as it isn’t an official site for the diocese, but I cannot find a live link on the diocese’s site anymore.
ARCHIVIO DIOCESANO DI TRENTO
(Diocesan Archives of Trento)
Via mons. Endrici, 14 – c/o Polo Vigilianum Trento
There are several different archives in the city of Trento, but by far the one that is of greatest interested to family historians is the Diocesan Archives, where you will by able to access the digital images of ALL surviving registers of every parish in in the diocese, from around 1565 through 1923. These are NOT available online.
Please note that space is limited in their viewing room, so I strongly recommend contacting them several weeks before you plan to visit, so they can reserve you a workstation. The best way to communicate is via email, You can write in English if you need to, but if you can write in Italian (or find someone to write it for you), that would be best. Opening hours and contact information (including email address) can be found at: https://www.cultura.trentino.it/Luoghi/Tutti-i-luoghi-della-cultura/Archivi/Archivio-Diocesano-Tridentino
ARCHIVI STORICI DEL TRENTINO
(Historical Archives of Trentino – online search)
This is a searchable database of the CONTENTS of all the archives in the province. Please note that this is like looking at a card catalogue, i.e. it tells the titles and a brief overview of the item, but it does not give you a complete transcript or index of every piece of information you will find within these items. There ARE also many wonderful digital images of pergamene (old parchments) that are viewable online.
Some might find the information difficult to understand, especially because it isn’t always clear WHERE a particular item is kept, as there are several archives in the city and throughout the province. If you don’t understand something, one of the archivists should be able to help either via email or when you visit on of the archives in person. https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/inventari/online
ARCHIVIO PROVINCIALE DI TRENTO
(Provincial Archives of Trento)
Via Maestri del Lavoro, 24, 38121 Trento
Located in an industrial area on the outskirts of the city of Trento, the provincial archives hold a wealth of documents, from old parchments from the comuni and parishes, to the original registers for the ‘Istituto delle Laste’, which was a maternity home for unwed mothers in the 19th century (something I have consulted many times during my work for clients. Opening hours and contact information can be found at:
ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI TRENTO
(Trento Stato Archives)
Via Maestri del Lavoro, 4, 38121 Trento
Located on the same street as the Provincial Archives, the State Archives hold many military records, as well as many documents issued from the offices of the Prince Bishops of Trento. They say the have over 8 kilometres of shelving, over 9,000 parchments and over 81,000 volumes of archives, including maps and many notary documents. I believe the once told me that the diplomas of nobility that were issued by the Prince Bishop (as opposed to the Emperor) are also housed here. In fairness, I have barely scratched the surface of what ‘lives’ here, and I am sure there are a lot of esoteric treasures. Their official website, which contains a wealth of information (but is all in Italian) can be found at: http://www.archiviodistatotrento.beniculturali.it/
BIBLIOTECA PUBBLICA COMUNALE DI TRENTO
Municipal Public Library of Trento
Via Roma 55, Trento
We don’t often think of a public library as being an important archival repository, but in Trento’s case it does. Here you will find the ‘Sala Trentina’ Archives, which keeps all kinds of odd historical documents that for some reason didn’t get picked up by the Provincial Archives. For example, I found the record of a civil court case involving my ancestors from 1618. It was pretty fascinating. Opening hours and contact information can be found at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/Luoghi/Tutti-i-luoghi-della-cultura/Biblioteche/Biblioteca-pubblica-comunale-di-Trent
SOUTH TYROL (BOLZANO) ARCHIVES
PARISH REGISTERS OF THE DIOCESE OF BOLZANO-BRESSANONE
For the Province of South Tyrol, which is also known as the Province of Bolzano or Alto Adige
Many people with Trentino ancestry also have ancestors who either came from South Tyrol (also known as the Province of Bolzano or the province of Alto Adige), or who lived there for a period of time, usually for work-related reasons (especially in the late 19th century). Also, as South Tyrol is primarily German speaking, many Trentino surnames that are Germanic many have their origins in South Tyrol. If that is the case for you, you will be delighted to know that the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone has recently digitised and UPLOADED all their parish records, making them freely viewable online. They are organised according to parish, type (birth, marriage, death), and volume (with the year span) but they are NOT indexed, which means you have to work through them to find what you are looking for, just as you would if you were using LDS microfilms or the digital archives in Trento.
The link to this wonderful resource is:
TYROLEAN COAT OF ARMS INDEX
Innsbruck Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum.
If one of your ancestors happened to have been granted imperial nobility by one of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire or Austria, he would have been granted a coat-of-arms (stemma, in Italian). All surviving diplomas of imperial nobility are preserved in Innsbruck at the Tiroler Landesmuseum. That museum has an online database of images of many (not all) of the coats-of-arms that were granted over the centuries. You can search for them by surname at:
NOTE: If your family were granted episcopal nobility (i.e., from the Prince-Bishop of Trento), surviving diplomas will be in the Archivio di Stato of TRENTO, not in Austria.
Online Digital Libraries and Journals
STUDI TRENTINI di SCIENZE STORICHE (Journal)
Trentino Studies of Historical Sciences, 1921-1963.
If you can read Italian, this site is a real goldmine of information. Here you will find every issue of the research journal Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche published between 1921 and 1963. Try a surname or place name search, and you might just find an article on your ancestors. You can download the pages you want to keep to a PDF format. http://pressviewpat.immanens.com/it/pv.asp?group=62
ARCHIVIO TRENTINO (Journal)
Journal of Trentino Archives, 1882-1914.
Again, if you can read Italian, this site is a wonderful source of hard-to-find historical information. Unlike the journal Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche mentioned above, the short-lived journal Archivio Trentino, published between 1882 and 1914, focused on publishing transcriptions of many valuable historical archives. One example is an exhaustive collection of documents from the time of the ‘Guerra Rustica’ (Rustic Wars, or Peasant Wars) of 1525, which is spread over many volumes. Another collection is documents from the time of the Council of Trento. Have a browse through the tables of contents, or try a surname or place name search, and you might just find an article on your ancestors. You can download the pages you want to keep to a PDF format. http://pressviewpat.immanens.com/it/pv.asp?group=48
BIBLIOTECA DIGITALE TRENTINA
Digital Library of Trentino
The Biblioteca Digitale Trentina from the municipal library of Trento contains an impressive selection of historical images, including family crests (stemmi), old postcards, maps, and wood engravings, some of which (not the postcards, obviously) go back to the 1500s. They have even digitised entire BOOKS.
Then, if you go to ‘iconografia‘, you will see a search bar open up with a drop-down menu showing you all the different collections. For example, the maps are under ‘carte geographiche del Trentino’. The postcards are ‘cartoline‘. The coats-of-arms are ‘Araldica Trentina’.
RUOLI MATRICOLARI 1867-1911
(Matriculation Registers for (those born) between 1857-1911)
This is a searchable database of all men born between 1867 and 1911 who were served in the Trentino military. This includes many who fought during one or both World Wars. Bear in mind that these are Italian records of men who were born at a time when the province was still part of the Austrian Empire. http://www.archiviodistatotrento.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/222/ruoli-matricolari-1867-1911
If you find your ancestor/family member here, you can later request an image of his record from the Archivio di Stato di Trento (Trento Stato Archives) via email. As of 12 Nov 2020, the current fee per document is 3 Euro, payable via bank transfer (they don’t take PayPal). Alternatively, you can visit the State Archives personally and take a photograph of the record yourself. More about the Archivio di Stato below.
CADUTI IN GUERRA
(The Fallen in War)
This is a searchable database for Trentini soldiers who died or whose official status was ‘missing’ during in World War 1. You can find the search page at this link (you don’t need to register to use it): https://www.cultura.trentino.it/portal/server.pt/community/caduti_in_guerra_-_cerca/309/cerca_nella_banca_data/19671
Bear in mind that, in the case of soldiers from the Giudicarie, they often cite the book Ricordando by Luigi Bailo as their source of the information. While that book is a wealth of information, I have also found MANY mistakes in it, especially regarding birth dates and even parents’ names. So be cautious about using it as a primary resource.
TIROLER EHRENBUCH (TIROLEAN BOOK OF HONOUR) – IN GERMAN.
The names of missing, fallen and deceased war participants from Old Tyrol from 1796 to 1945 are recorded in the Tyrolean honorary books. 120 volumes alone refer to the time of the First World War. The site is in German, but Google does a nice job of translating.
Parish Registers for Austrian Dioceses
In the 19th century, job opportunities (especially in connection with the building of new railway lines and tunnels) became available in the Austrian Tyrol in places like Innsbruck, Bludenz, Arlberg, etc. For this reason, some Trentino families spent time there, even if they didn’t move their permanently. If you know your family spent time in Austria, you might wish to check the records
The parish registers of the Austrian dioceses (except Diocese of Eisenstadt) are available digitally and can be viewed online. For conservation reasons, the originals are no longer present in these dioceses.
Be aware: these sites and records are in GERMAN. They are organised by city/town, and then the parish. Then, you need to choose the correct type of record:
- Taufbuch = baptismal records
- Traubuch = marriage records
- Totenbuch = death records
The MAIN website to find all the records for AUSTRIAN dioceses/ parishes is: https://data.matricula-online.eu/en/oesterreich/
The specific link for TYROL: Registers Tyrol Online (Tyrolean State Archives) is https://data.matricula-online.eu/en/oesterreich/tirol/ . This includes the registers of the Catholic parishes of the federal state of Tyrol, which includes the Diocese of Innsbruck, Tyrolean part of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, as well as the Evangelical parish AB and HB Innsbruck – Christ Church.
The specific link for VORALBERG is https://data.matricula-online.eu/en/oesterreich/vorarlberg/
Trentino History and Family History Blogs
TRENTINO: OUR ANCESTRAL CULTURE AND HERITAGE
By Sal Romano
Well-researched and very nicely presented information about Trentino emigrants from the Val di Non area of Trentino to the US, the villages they came from, and where they went. https://trentinoheritage.wordpress.com/
THE GENETTI FAMILY GENEALOGY PROJECT
The ancestral journey of a Tyrolean family
By Louise Genetti Roach
A family website to share and document the history, culture and ancestry of the Genetti family from Castelfondo, Tyrol utilizing historical documents, genealogical records, family stories, DNA findings and photographs. There is all an extensive database of information of one branch of the Genetti from extending back to the 1600s. All descendants are welcome to participate and contribute to the website. https://genettifamily.com/
VAL DI NON TO USA
Discovering Our Ancestors Who Left Val di Non for a Job or Better Life in America
By Elaine Erspamer Marchant
Impressive site with a search engine where you can search for just about anyone who was born in Val di Non (Castelfondo, Revò, Romallo, Cles, Fondo, Bresimo, etc.) in the 19th century, as well as many who emigrated to the US in the early 20th century.
Excellent website by Father Giuseppe Tabarelli on the histories of the Tabarelli and Tabarelli de Fatis families. In Italian. https://tabarelliblog.org
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY TO THE VILLAGES OF VAL DI NON
By Bob Leonardi
Hundreds of beautiful photos not just from Val di Non, but from many places around the province of Trento.
By Mary Beth Moser
Based on her dissertation, Mary Beth shares her rich research of Trentino with a focus on women and folk wisdom.
CASTELLI DEL TRENTINO (Castles of Trentino)
Very informative website from the Province of Trento, with historical information about all the CASTLES, TOWERS and FORTRESSES of Trentino, including a selection of buildings you might read about in documents, but have since VANISHED, without even any ruins remaining. The site is in Italian.
Main site: http://www.castellideltrentino.it/
Vanished Castles: http://www.castellideltrentino.it/I-castelli/Castelli-scomparsi
SANTA CROCE DEL BLEGGIO PARISH TREE
By Lynn Serafinn
While this isn’t a blog, I would like to bring your attention to my public tree on Ancestry, which is an ongoing project to transcribe all the parish records and connect all the people of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie. There are tens of thousands on the tree already, and many have told me it has been a valuable resource for their own research. Eventually, all my findings will be published in some format.
If you use ANY information from it, please give credit back the Trentino Genealogy website AND also bear in mind that the information is subject to change, if I later discover any errors in it. When in doubt, CONTACT ME to ask about anything on the tree: https://trentinogenealogy.com/my-tree/
NOTE: If you have a Family History Blog about Trentino families, please send me information about it via the Contact form on this site. Be sure to include a link to the site and a brief description about it.
A Notary (notaio) is a legal professional whose title is granted either by a sovereign or by a local authority. Many of you will discover an ancestor was a notary (or entire family of notaries). Here are a few resources to help you identity them, and to understand more about what it meant to be a notary.
NOTAI CHE OPERARONO NEL TRENTINO DALL’ANNO 845
(Notaries who Worked in Trento From the Year 845)
By P. Remo Stenico
This book is widely considered to be the most comprehensive list of Trentino notaries throughout the centuries, although I must confess that I several people I knew to be notaries were not listed in the book. Nonetheless, it is a ‘must have’ resource for research . You can download the PDF version of this book for free at http://www.db.ofmtn.pcn.net/ofmtn/files/biblioteca/Notai.pdf
ARTICLE: WAS ONE OF YOUR TRENTINO ANCESTORS A NOTARY?
By Lynn Serafinn
If you want to find out more about the notaries, along with examples of notary documents back to the 1500s, you might find my article on this subject at this link:
SACERDOTI DELLA DIOCESI DI TRENTO DALL SUA ESISTENZA FINO ALL’ANNO 2000
(Priests of the Diocese of Trento From Its Existence Until the Year 2000)
By P. Remo Stenico
Similar in style to his collation of materials on notaries, here author P. Remo Stenico (himself a priest) has compiled an extensive list of priests who served within the diocese throughout its history. His often gives place of origin, along with birth and death information. While most of us don’t have priests in our pedigrees, we certainly have many uncles and cousins throughout the centuries who were priests. Knowing something about them can often add depth to our family histories. This book can be downloaded for free in PDF form at http://www.db.ofmtn.pcn.net/ofmtn/files/biblioteca/Preti-Indice-Preti.pdf
FILÒ: A JOURNAL FOR TYROLEAN AMERICANS
Editor: Louis Brunelli
If your ancestors came from Trentino-Alto Adige, you really should check out the magazine Filò. Each issue showcases a different part of the region, and is a wealth of historical, cultural and linguistic information. There are many interesting family stories written by readers. I also write a regular column called ‘Genealogy Corner’. You can see a few back issue on this site, where you will also find a link to their main website: https://trentinogenealogy.com/filo-magazine/