Calendar Months in Trentino Records

A large portion of Italian genealogical records write dates numerically rather than spelling out the calendar months. For example, we will see a date written ” 4-8-1826″. Interpreting this to our way of thinking in the US, we happily enter April 8, 1826 as the date of the birth, death, marriage, etc. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Most European records are written day-month-year rather than month-day-year. Thus, “4-8-1826” is actually 4 August 1826.

Many of us have come across the Italian and (in older records) Latin names for the months of the year (April = aprile = aprilus).  Civil records in Trentino during the early 1800s and prior generally use the Latin version of months and events.  One thing that can cause confusion in reading dates is the use of a combination of numbers and letters to record months.  Not very common, but still often found.  I will not go into why or how the use came to be, but you may see months written as “7bre”, “8bre”, “Xbre”.  Notations such as these are for the months of September through December.  Following are what you may find —

     7bre or VIIbre = September

     8bre or VIIIbre = October

     9bre or IXbre = November

     10bre or Xbre = December

If you do see these references for dates, then congratulations — you have found records that are likely a few hundred years old.  Hopefully they are of your family heritage.

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One Response to Calendar Months in Trentino Records

  1. allenrizzi says:

    An interesting side note: In the village of Cloz, there exists the surname “Gembrini” which was once written “Zembrin.” The name means “born in December.”

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