Italian Ancestors Records and Research
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Italian Populations In The World
Interesting Dates Influencing Italian Record Keeping
Italian Renaissance. This cultural movement began in Italy and spread to England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It was characterized by a revival in ancient Greek and Roman art and philosophy, the development of humanism, and the beginning of modern science.
The Council of Trent required parishes to begin keeping records.
Spain ruled most of Italy.
Treaty of Utrecht ended Spanish rule and established the Austrian Hapsburgs as Italy’s dominant power.
Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, drove the Austrian rulers from northern Italy.
Napoleon ruled most of Italy. In 1806 he began requiring that civil registration records be kept.
Napoleon was defeated. Most of Italy is returned to its former sovereigns. Civil registration ended in 1815.
A series of revolts, known as the Risorgimento, occurred against local rulers. The rebels sought political unity for Italy. These rebellions were eventually crushed.
Revolts began in every major Italian city opposing Austrian rule. New governments were established. Austria put down the revolts and regained control of the Italian cities. The pope, backed by the French army, won back Roma.
Count Cavour, prime minister of the Kingdom of Sardegna, and Napoleon III of France signed a defense agreement. To maintain its Italian holdings, Austria declared war on the Kingdom of Sardegna. French and Italian troops defeated the Austrians. Much of northern Italy was united under the Kingdom of Sardegna.
Giuseppe Garibaldi freed Sicilia, southern Italy, and the city of Napoli from the French.
After a nationwide vote, the Kingdom of Italy was formed with Vittorio Emmanuele II as king. The kingdom united all of Italy except the city of Roma, the region of Venezia, and the country of San Marino.
In exchange for Venezia, Italy supported Prussia in its war against Austria. A month later, Prussia defeated Austria, and Venezia became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Civil registration became law.
The Franco-Prussian War forced France to withdraw its troops from Roma. Italian troops conquered all of Roma except for the Vatican. The capital of Italy moves from Torino to Roma.
After a war with Turkey, Italy gained Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, and Tripoli.
Italy sided with the Allies in World War I and gained Trentino and Trieste from Austria-Hungary.
King Victor Emmanuel III made Benito Mussolini the premier of Italy. By 1925 Mussolini reigned as dictator.
Italy conquered Ethiopia. Italy and Germany agreed to be allies if war were to break out. Italy conquered Albania. Italy entered World War II on Germany’s side. Italians voted to establish a Republican form of government.
Italy signed a peace treaty at the end of World War II. As part of the treaty, Italy gave up its African empire (Libya, Italian Somaliland, and Eritrea), gave the Dodecanese Islands to Greece, and gave Albania its independence. Trieste was made a free territory that was divided into two zones under Anglo-American and Yugoslav control. Minor changes were made to the French-Italian border.
Trieste was given to Italy in a treaty with Yugoslavia.
Dante Alighieri (Dante) (1265–1321)
Dante degli Alighieri, referred to as Dante, was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy). His Divine Comedy, originally called Commedia and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
In Italy he is known as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") or just il Poeta. Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also known as "the three fountains" or "the three crowns." Dante is often referred to as the "Father of the Italian language."
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements in the island of Hispaniola, initiated the process of Spanish colonization, which led to the general European colonization of the "New World."
Never admitting that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies he had set out for, Columbus called the inhabitants of the lands he visited indios (Spanish for "Indians"). Columbus's strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and dismissal as governor of the settlements in Hispaniola in 1500, and later to protracted litigation over the benefits which Columbus and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown.
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination." He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote" (Gardner, Helen, 1970. Art through the Ages. pp. 450–456.). Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time (Rosci, Marco, 1977. Leonardo. p. 8.).
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. In his lifetime he was also often called Il Divino ("the divine one").
Giovanni Caselli (1815–1891)
Giovanni Caselli was an Italian physicist. He is the inventor of the pantelegraph, also known as the universal telegraph. It was the predecessor of the modern fax machine. The world's first practical operating facsimile machine ("fax") system put into use was by Caselli.
Francesco Cirio (1836–1900)
Francesco Cirio was an Italian businessman and the inventor of canned vegetables and meat.
Cirio was born in Nizza Monferrato, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, to a poor and illiterate family. When he was 14 years old, he came to the capital of the kingdom, Turin. A few years later, he invented the process for canned vegetables and meat because he wanted to export food from the Piedmont.
At the end of the year 1856, he created his own company (later named Cirio) in order to produce these canned vegetables and meat and obtained several awards at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867. The company was transformed in 1885 into Societa Anonima di Esportazione Agricola Francesco Cirio in Turin. This company very soon opened subsidiaries in Milan, Naples, Belgrade, Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, and Vienna. For the rest of his life, Cirio worked at promoting the agricultural development of Southern Italy.
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La bohème, and "Nessun dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular world culture.
For many people, the word “Jacuzzi” is synonymous with “hot tub.” But what a lot of people may not know is that the Jacuzzis were an Italian family from the province of Pordenone, Friuli, Italy. Around the turn of the twentieth century, seven of the Jacuzzi brothers immigrated to the United States, where they eventually settled on the West Coast in Berkeley, California, and became machinists.
With the thrill of entrepreneurship on their minds, they first created an aircraft manufacturing company, with achievements that included the first enclosed cabin monoplane. However, after the death of the brother Giocondo when one of their planes crashed, they turned their mechanical know-how to developing hydraulic aircraft pumps to use in deep agricultural wells. From there, the pumps were brought into home use, as the brother Candido felt it would help alleviate the pain felt by his then-infant son, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. This new design and application became the basis of today’s whirlpool bath, or “Jacuzzi.”
Andrea Bocelli is an Italian tenor with an incredible ability to cross over many genres of music and play a large array of instruments. Growing up on a farm in a small village in Tuscany, he helped his family sell farm machinery and make wine. Young Bocelli showed a great passion for music and started piano lessons at the age of six, then learned to play the drums, guitar, trombone, harp, saxophone, trumpet, and flute.
As a boy, Bocelli experienced great difficulty seeing. Then he was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. When he was 12, he was accidently hit on the head during a soccer game and suffered a brain hemorrhage and lost his sight completely. Despite his trials, he is widely considered the most popular Italian and classical singer in the world and was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006. In 2010 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to live theater.
Michael Bublé (1975-present)
Michael Steven Bublé is an Italian-Canadian singer and actor who is known throughout the world for his smooth crooner voice. Throughout his career, he has won several awards, including three Grammy Awards and multiple Juno Awards.
Bublé’s maternal grandparents are both first-generation Italians who immigrated to the Canadian wilderness to work in the mines in Alberta and make a life for their children. In fact, his grandfather offered his services as a plumber in exchange for stage time at the nightclubs in which a young Michael would begin his career.
“My maternal grandfather was responsible for introducing me to the old American standards, usually sung by Italian immigrants like my own family–crooners like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. I think you could definitely make the link between Italians and this kind of music. With Italian families, there is genuine warmth and a lot of love, tactile, hands-on love. We love our family, our food, and our music.”
Samuel Alito (1950-present)
Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. is currently serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Alito was born in Trenton, New Jersey, to Italian American parents: Italian immigrant Samuel A. Alito Sr. and the former Rose Fradusco.
He went on to graduate in 1972 from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before attending Yale Law School. Interested in international government and his heritage, Alito moved out of New Jersey for the first time to study in Italy during his senior year at Princeton, where he wrote his thesis on the Italian legal system.
In 1985, Alito was married to his fiancée, Martha-Ann Alito (born Martha-Ann Bomgardner). They met while she was working as a law librarian, due to one of the many trips he made to the library as a legal clerk.
Manu Ginóbili (1977-present)
Emanuel David "Manu" Ginóbili is an Argentinean professional basketball player who spent the early part of his career in Argentina and Italy, where he won several team and individual awards, including being named the Italian League MVP in 2000-1 and 2001-2 and making the Italian league All-Star game three times. After several years within the Euroleague, he was drafted to the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1999. Coming from an Italian Argentine family of professional basketball players, Ginóbili has established himself within the league as one of its most valuable players and is known for his up-tempo and aggressive playing style.
Ginóbili has dual citizenship in Argentina and Italy and speaks Spanish, Italian, and English fluently. He is one of only two players to have won a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal. He is also a family man, becoming a father in 2010 to twin boys, Dante and Nicola.
Lionel Messi (1987-present)
Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine soccer player who plays for the La Liga club FC Barcelona and is the captain of the Argentina national team, playing mainly as a forward. Considered by many as the greatest current soccer player in the world, he is Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions, excluding friendlies. Beginning his professional soccer career at the young age of 17 years old, Messi established himself as a player known for his passing ability and his creative combinations when attacking the wings or center of the field. In 2009 he won the Ballon d'Or (meaning he was the European soccer player of the year) and FIFA World Player of the Year.
His paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona, from which his ancestor, Angelo Messi, immigrated to Argentina in 1883.
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