Sometimes we need to write to the civil archives in Italy requesting information about our ancestor. Below you will find a number of basic letters that you are welcome to copy and use. Many of the people that I have helped with their Anglo Italian research have used these free Italian translations with excellent results. I always suggest that you enclose a small amount of money to cover the cost of copies and postage however you are not obliged to do so. If you have any doubts as to where you need to write please visit the Anglo Italian Genealogy page. I also have a concise list of books on Italian Genealogy which covers numerous countries.

Please feel free to link to this page so that others can make use of it.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Requesting copies of Birth Records

Using the simple rules that I have put below you should have no trouble with completing the letter. If you do get stuck please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible. If you have any doubts as to where to write I suggest you read where I explain how and where to research Italian Civil records.

If you know the exact date of birth, where the sentence says "il” (1) put full date of birth". If you only know the approximate year, the sentence should end (2) "circa nell'anno and take out “il” If the parents names are unknown then put “sconosciuto”.

Where there is a word ending in o/a in bold letters use the one ending in “o” if male and “a” for a female.

A request for the costs of them sending you the certificate (3) is mentioned but you can enclose around 10 Euros and use (4) take out the one you don’t wish to use.


Ufficio di Stato Civile if very old or Ufficio di Anagrafe if more recent
Comune di Town
Street address,
Postal code, Town, Province


Egregi Signori,

Mi chiamo ….Your name …… e sono residente …where you live include country.

Vi prego di voler ricercare nei vostri registri di Stato Civile l'Atti di Nascita del mio/mia antenato ……… your ancestors full name (surname first)......... e nato nel ........ town of (1)or(2).full birth date if know or approx year, filglio/filglia di fu Fathers name....... e Name and surname of Mother if known........

Prego che, se possible, mi mandi una copia intergrali della sua certificate di nascita compresi qualunque annotazioni laterali.

Nel caso i documenti non esistessero per il periodo indicato, vi sarei grata se mi potessero essere comunicate altre fonti di informazione

add either of the below
(3) Vi prego di volermi comunicare l'ammontare dovuto per spese e postali nonché specificare il metodo di pagamento da voi


(4) Accludo 10 euros, nel casa questa somma non fosse sufficiente, Vi prego di fami sapere quanto ancora ve devo.

Ringraziandovi anticipatamente per la Vostra attenzione

signed by you


Translation of sample letter

Ufficio di Anagrafe
Comunue (Town)
Postal code


Dear Sirs,

My name is …………….and I reside in ……………………..

Can you please search your vital records registers for the birth record of
my ancestor … name… born ….town….. date of birth or approx year, son/daughter of …. Fathers name and … mothers full name.

Please can you send me a complete copy of the birth certificate including any side notes in the margin.

If a record does not exist for this period I would appreciate it if you could inform me of any other sources of information.

(3)Please let me know how much I owe you for any cost incurred and how you would like me to send the money.
(4)I enclose 10 € for the expenses occurred, if this is insufficient please let me know and I will send the total sum as soon as possible

I thank you very much for your assistance, with my kind regards.


You may also include an email address, they might reply faster than by post, although by experience I don’t suggest that you email them with your request, I have always found better results come from actually sending a letter.
I hope that you receive a response to these free Italian translations, do let me know by leaving a comment.


rosie said...

It does seem that everybody is into this kind of stuff lately. Don’t really understand it though, but thanks for trying to explain it. Appreciate you shedding light into this matter. Keep it up...

Birth Records

rosie said...

i enjoyed the post, you have a nice site.thanks for the information, I’ll be making the necessary changes thanks to your tips....

Public Records

Janetta RIOLI said...

Your letter is very helpful. I have had better results emailing than posting request. Italians work on retardo time, very slow but results do eventually get back to you. Need patience of a saint, no different in Italy itself, so I found out when I went o visit my family there. Also easier to get information if you are an Italian Citizenm so I have found out since i got my citizenship for Italy. Again Thank you.

Jamie said...

Any advice on who to get your US documents translated to Italian from? All the companies I find charge per page which is just ridiculous when I am getting my citizenship through my Great-Grandfather.

Allecia said...

I used your letter requesting an Italian birth record for my grandfather. First I mailed a letter and never heard a response. Months later I emailed the commune and within a week they responded and attached a scanned copy of the birth record, followed by a certified copy in the mail!

Judi Seal said...

I have had great success using your sample letters. I include my e-mail address in my letterhead and send ten euros per document requested. I've always received copies of the requested documents first by e-mail and then in the post. I've even received follow-up e-mails from the various comuni. Thank you.

Debbie Starr said...

I sent a letter, and while I offered to pay the Commune of Lappano for my grandfather's birth certificate, they provided it within a month free of charge. The same happened with my request of Cosenza, Calabria, for my grandmother's birth certificate. It took 4 notarized affidavits and a full year of back and forth effort to get the corrections to my grandfather's death certificate from the State of Illinois, USA, a document I paid for. So in this case, BIG points for the Italians!