Asking for vital records to towns which disappeared
There are some comuni which as time went by, were absorbed by a more important town. This happens as a consequence of urban development or the construction of roads which have made the communication and transfer of people easier. There may have been cases of one town being divided into two new ones.
This process was done in two ways: several comuni were unified into a new comune or a small comune was annexed to another neighbouring comune. There were also many separations into frazioni which became part of another comune.
How to ask for these documents?
How to find records of suppressed communes
Since Italian unification and especially during fascism, important territorial reorganizations were done, through which two, three or four comuni or frazioni (fractions, subdivisions of a commune) were joined to form a new commune. For example: Capriate San Gervasio in the province of Bergamo, was founded in 1928 by the union of the communes of Adda, and Capriate San Gervasio d’Adda. Communal offices were abandoned, civil registries were closed and new communal headquarters were open. By merging two communes, both books were deposited in a single file and they began keeping records in unique books belonging to the new commune. The old books from the time when the commune was autonomous and other posterior books, were preserved in the archive of the new commune.
Also it happens that a frazione was detached from a commune and annexed to another one. If the frazione had its own civil registration, then the books can be found in the new commune, but if it did not have its own delegation, all civil acts were recorded in a single book belonging to the commune and its frazioni, that obviously are kept in the old commune headquarters..
From 1939 communes were empowered to create delegations of civil registration and there can be separate books for the communes that were annexed. Therefore, we need to know the historical process of the area in which we seek, and in case we meet these changes, we should directly consult all communes involved, about where to locate the vital records we are looking for.
How to find records of restructured communes
Many communes regained their autonomy after fascism, creating a doubt about where to find books of civil registration corresponding to those years when they were unified (between 10 and 20 years depending on the case).
Generally, books belonging to the previous period, before the unification of these communes, were returned to the respective communal civil registration. Where to find the books of those years in which a commune was either merged or broken apart?
– In the case of a commune that was annexed to another, the books remain in the commune where they were before. In some cases, a copy of the original was sent to the new reconstructed commune.
– In the case of two or more communes that were united in a new commune, these documents may have remained in the archive of one of the former communes, or an additional copy for each commune could have been done.
Because since 1939 communes could create civil registration offices in each of the communes or frazioni that were suppressed, they also might have their own books.
Therefore, the best option is to consult the Ufficio dello Stato Civile about what was the destination of these archives.