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.