Researching ancestors through published books

Part of your search should include discovery of books about your family name and ancestral villages, many of which are available through online vendors, or on inter-library loan through your local public or college library. Some of the books I have found about Trentino and its people, emigrants, ancestry, etc are:

Books for researchBolognani, B., Courageous People From the Dolomites
(The definitive treatise of Trentini peoples and emigration to the U.S. If you have only one book in your Trentino library, this is the one it should be)

Maurizio Scudiero and Lorenzo Concini, Un Saluto dall Val di Non,
An invaluable window to the past. This book contains reproductions of 379 postcards dating from 1895 to 1950 (most are from the early 1900s). The postcards show photos of many of the Val di Non villages and people .

Neri, Mauro, Tales In Stone
(A compilation of epitaphs of Trentini emigrants. The author visited 465 cemeteries in Trentino and recorded gravestone inscriptions of 585 emigrants, 51 of which are included in the book. Most of the gravesites are actually empty, and serve as a memorial to an emigrant actually buried in the US, South America, and elsewhere. Names include Anselmi, Andreis, Bertagnolli, Ferrari, Fellin, Giuliani, Martini, Mattivi, Maturi, Sartori, Zuech, and others.

Bolognani, B., Bread From Underground
(Extensive coverage of Trentini emigrants who came to work in the mines of Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and other areas.)

Amistadi, G., Tridentinita Transoceanica, publ. 1931; revised 1988
(listing of hundreds of Trentini emigrants who came to the United States, and the places they settled – in Italian)

Leonardi, Annuania: Storie della Val di Non
(history of Val di Non – in Italian)

Casetti, A. Guida Storico-Archivistica del Trentino TEMI 1961
(a detailed listing of the holdings in town, village, church, and other archives. Very useful if you plan on-site research).

Notarial and religious archives are also a treasure trove of documents and resources for researching families to the 14th and 15th centuries. Access to some of the archives can be difficult, and even when access is granted, research is very time-consuming.

  • Notarial Archives — Archivio Notarile di Trento, Via S. Francesco d’Assisi 14, 38100 Trento Italia
  • Austrian Archives — since Trentino was under Austrian control for hundreds of years, the Austrian Archives may contain material important to your research (I obtained information dating to 1604). The archives accept inquiries and has a very efficient staff. Contact them at: Osterreichishes Staatsarchiv, Nottendorfer Gasse 2, A-1030 Wien, Austria. The biggest problem will be getting the documents translated (usually in the Old German script and language).

The province of Trentino has helped overcome some of the problems with accessing archival materials by placing copies of documents and photos on line at the TrentinoCultura site they maintain.

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One Response to Researching ancestors through published books

  1. Cristi says:

    Do you know of any books that reference the witch trials of 1610-1615 in Northern Italy? We have an direct ancestor-Martinus Ziller born abt. 1555, of Sanzeno, that took part in the trials directly.

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