The Value of Notarial Records in Genealogical Research

Notar­i­al records have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion on the ances­tors you are research­ing that can­not be found in any oth­er type of Ital­ian doc­u­ment or his­tor­i­cal resource. I once found an amaz­ing­ly help­ful prop­er­ty trans­fer that detailed three gen­er­a­tions of a fam­i­ly and pro­vid­ed death dates and places for the ini­tial cou­ple on the deed. Since access to parish records was not per­mit­ted in this area of Italy, the pre-civ­il reg­is­tra­tion infor­ma­tion includ­ed was espe­cial­ly valu­able.

Below is a por­tion of a four-page mort­gage trans­fer that revealed a lot of genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion about the fam­i­ly being researched:

Num­ber 16131, 12 August 1868 in Palo del Colle. By enforce­able copy of a judg­ment issued by a Judge in the Dis­trict Court on 7 March 1868…And at the request of Francesco, Vitan­to­nio, Roc­co, Ange­lo, Arcan­ge­lo, and Giuseppe Nuzzi, broth­ers, as well as the spouse of Tere­sa Nuzzi, France­san­to­nio Elia, and the spouse of Porzia Nuzzi, Giuseppe Sac­cente, it is declared that these broth­ers and sis­ters are heirs to their father, Francesco Nuzzi, the named Elia and Sac­cente by autho­riza­tion of their respec­tive mar­riages, all landown­ers and res­i­dents in the above-named town of Palo del Colle, except for the first who resides in Gru­mo Appu­la…[1]

This doc­u­ment revealed sev­er­al sib­lings of Francesco Nuzzi that we did not know about pre­vi­ous­ly, as well as who each one of his sis­ters mar­ried. It also pro­vid­ed a link between the Nuzzi fam­i­ly of the town of Palo del Colle, and the Nuzzi fam­i­ly from the town of Gru­mo Appu­la (both in the Bari province) by not­ing the res­i­dence of one of the sib­lings in Gru­mo Appu­la.

[1] Notar­i­al Dis­trict of Trani, Palo del Colle, Bari province, Italy, “Atti di Notai [Notar­i­al Acts], 1868”: no. 16131, 12 August 1868, trans­fer of mort­gage between the deceased Francesco Nuzzi and the deceased Gio­van­ni Lovero, as exe­cut­ed by their heirs; Con­ser­va­to­ria dei Restri Immo­bil­iari di Trani [Prop­er­ty Reg­istry Office of Trani], Via Bel­trani, 24, Trani (BA), Italy.