USING THE RESOURCES
THINGS TO KNOW
Family History Library
The Mormon Church has microfilmed civil and church records from thousands of communities around the world - including the civil records of Valledolmo. Although these records are stored in and around Salt lake City, Utah, these films can be shipped to Family History Centers around the United States and Canada.
To find out more about the Valledolmo films in the Family History Library, click here, then click on "Search" on the top line, and go to "catalog." Here you can type in Valledolmo and you will see that there are 51 reels of civil records for the village.
To locate your nearest Family History Center, click here.
To find out how to order films, click here.
Reading Italian Records
Click here to learn how to read Italian records. Be sure to read Chapter Four: Section A, "Italian Handwriting" before attempting to read the records. It seems almost impossible at first, but perseverance pays off quickly.
Allegati - or the Annexes
Although these collections of documents can have many purposes, the ones containing the documents that had to be filed before a marriage could take place can be very useful to the family historian. Each collection contains the birth records of the couple, and other documents pertaining to their parents and, sometimes, even grandparents. These are very useful, especially in the early years, and are available in microfilm form from the Family History Library. Unfortunately, they are not indexed, but filed chronologically.
Things to Know
Italian Genealogical Records,
by Trafford Cole
This book is essential for the serious, long-term researcher. Available in many libraries and at Amazon. It even has form letters to write to archives and offices in Italy.
La Ruota or the 'foundling wheel" was a fixture in Valledolmo, as it was in almost all Italian towns and cities of this era. Infants born out of wedlock were placed on this wheel and when the wheel was rotated the infant was inside the foundling hospital and no one knew who the parents were. The hospital was often run by the church and the baby was immediately named and baptized. The child's names were chosen by "la routaia" (the woman in charge of the wheel) or possibly the local priest. Although many different last names were used throughout Sicily, in Valledolmo almost all the male infants were given the last name of Esposto, and the girls Esposta (meaning exposed). These children were then given to wet nurses to raise. Most died in infancy or childhood.
A little history
Clicking here will take you to a page with a very brief history of the town and one engaging old story.