Research 101: Supplemental Death Records

In Italian genealogy, the supplemental death records can be a wonderful source of genealogical information. These records were usually created prior to 1861, when Italy became a country. They are often transcriptions or extracts of the original record and created when an ancestor passed away outside of his Italian town of origin. They are usually found in registers titled allegati or processetti but occasionally are found in the atti diversi [diverse acts] registers.

When an Italian town hall received a transcription of the person’s death record from the place of death, they would then transcribe it again into their town’s allegati death registers. This means there were at least two chances for transcription errors, so you should keep that in mind when evaluating the strength of the evidence within these documents. Occasionally, the original extract will simply be inserted in the register.

Death records can list varied descriptions of the ways people have passed away. Some examples include train accidents, deaths occurring at sea, in battle, or death in a mine explosion, among others. If the transcriptions were sent from outside the country, you may find notations of translation before the document is entered into the register. Below is an example of one of these records that gives priceless information on this ancestor.

Transcription of the Act of Death of Carmelo Burnone

“[Right Column]

Number 15

Carmelo Burnone

[Body of Record]

On 2 May 1888 at 2:20 p.m. in the Town Hall, I, Salvatore Solito, [Town] Secretary delegated by act of the Mayor…as Civil Records Official of the town of Terranova [di] Sicilia, having today received from the Royal Prosecutor at the Civil and Correctional [likely meaning Criminal] Court of Caltanissetta a letter of 23rd April last / or better 30th April last [perhaps meaning it was posted on the 30th] / number 2342, of which I have been asked to transcribe exactly this copy of the act of death of Carmelo Burnone, received by the Director of the Office of the Public Registrar of Valletta, Malta, on the 22nd of March of the current year [22 March 1888], and adhering to this legitimate request, I have entered and exactly transcribed the aforementioned copy that is of the following tenor.

Number 83.

Office of  the Public Registrar of Valletta

I, the undersigned, certify that in the Office of the Public Registrar of Valetta, one finds an act of death of the following tenor.

Act of Death

Date of the Act – Valletta – 22 March 1888

Details of the deceased person

Name and Surname – Carmelo Burnone

If Single, Married, or Widowed – Husband of Angela Tozza

Occupation, Craft or Other Status – Mariner

Age – 60 years [born about 1828]

Place of Birth – Terranova [di Sicilia]

[Place] of Residence – Terranova [di Sicilia]

Names and Surnames of Parents if Living or Deceased – Emanuele [Burnone] and Vittoria Criscasca, [both] deceased

Cause, Place and Time of Death and Place of Burial – Died of hematuria [blood in the urine, likely caused by kidney disease or cancer] in the Ospedale Centrale “2. P. 16.” [likely meaning placed in the second part of the death registers on] 16 March 1888. [Buried] in Cimitero Addolorata [in nearby Paola, Malta]

Details Regarding the Witnesses to the Act of Death – Antonio Carnana, an accountant, age 26 years, born and residing in Birkurcara [perhaps meaning Birkirkara, Malta[1]], [son] of the deceased Samuele [Carnana], and Tommaso Fammit, copyist, age 31 years, born and residing in Floriana, [son] of the deceased Francesco [Fammit].

Date of Receipt of the Act – 22 March 1888

Order Number – 785

Signature of the Registrar…  – Notary Francesco Saverio Camilleri, Director

Signatures of the Witnesses – Antonio Carnana, Tommaso Fammit


  1. R. Carnana, Agent [unclear word] Official in Charge

Valletta, 10 April 1888


Notary Francesco Saverio Camilleri, Director


Reviewed for legalization of the above signature of the Notary Francesco Saverio Camilleri, Director of the Office of the Public Registrar  of Valletta

Valletta, Malta 10 April 1888

The Royal Consul, D. Lambertenghi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Authorization of the authenticity of the signature of Signore Lambertenghi

Roma, 19 April 1888, by order of Minister Villoroni


Following the transcription, I certified them and placed the letter and the above-stated copy in the volume of attachments to this register.

Signature of S. Solito”


Conducting research can be complicated and if I can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I also offer a variety of other research support which can be found on my website here.


Contact information:

Melanie Holtz

Lo Schiavo Genealogica, LLC

[Photo credit: Timothy Eberly via Unsplash)



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