The Earliest Registered Baptism of a Child without Parents’ Names in Coassolo Torinese, Turin, Piedmont, Italy (1608)

Lolita Nikolova, PhD

The children born out of wedlock are a special genealogical category with several subcategories: none of the parents listed in the birth registration, only one parent listed, or both parents of the child (a result of “a natural union”) are registered. In some cases there is an additional note under the registration number which indicates that the child was legitimized (typically after the wedding of the parents). The legitimization may take a large part of the marriage registration, including one or more children.

However, every village, town or city in Italy has own story of this category children, which were very exceptions, in contrast to nowadays when the children of natural unions may begin in some moment even to prevail in the demographic statistics. In past the marriage was considered as a scared union and a mandatory precondition for beginning of biological reproduction.

Coassolo Torinese is a village in the Alps, in the metropolitan area of Torino. The Catholic church “St. Nikola” is one of the oldest churches in the region, with extremely well preserved church books, which are accessible for research thanks to the priests there.  The community had extremely strong genealogical connections with the USA because of emigration of many residents of Coassolo Torinese in later 19th – early 20 century. Even the Café next to the church in the center of the village is named Colorado.

The Catholic baptism records start in 1604. However, just in 1608 the baptism register included a registration of a child without names of his parents. It was a baby boy born on Wednesday, 20 February 1608, and named Giulio Cesare.

This piece of information could be one of the earliest registrations of a child without naming the parent(s) in Italian genealogy. Who knows? Today, when genealogy bridges science and popular culture and has become important for everybody, Giulio Cesare may become a scientific icon of all children with named parents who began to be registered in the church together with the born in families, at least in Piedmont region.

The St. Nikola Church in Coassolo Torisene, Turin, Piedmont, Italy




What Day of the Week was Your Italian Ancestor Born on?

Lolita Nikolova, PhD

Typically, the genealogical pedigree includes the date of the birth, eventually complimented by the date of baptism of the researched ancestor. In the early Catholic records, the date of the birth usually is also the date of baptism. The civil registration records (started abt 1809-1812 in different parts of Italy) also include the hour of birth, while the early Catholic records (some of them as early as later 16th – early 17th century) may document the day of week when the child was born. Nevertheless, if we do not have documented the day of the week, is it possible to figure out what day of the week the child was born? As everybody today wants to know on what day of week was born, logically, the day of the week is an additional, but essential genealogical information.

One method to find the day of the week is using the calendar

The early baptism register of Coassolo Torinese, Turin, Piedmont, Italy helps to verify the usefulness of the available online Calendar for different years in different parts of the world. For instance, according to the baptism register, Battista Bellino-Roci was born on Saturday, 4 February 1606. The calendar online shows that 4 February 1606 is exactly on Saturday.

In sum, the date of birth, time and the day of the week are the standard genealogical components of the ancestors’ database.  They do not always exist in the available records since the church registers may include only the date of baptism. However, the day of the week of the birth / baptism can be generated using online calendar, in particular.

The same method can be used for generating the day of marriage and death of our ancestors.

Italian Regions Used in Genealogy

Lolita Nikolova, PhD

Italy is divided into 5 historical-administrative regions. This is the category, which precedes the name of the country on the pedigree (see the example below).

North Eastern Italy

  • Emilia-Romagna
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
  • Veneto

North Western Italy

  • Aosta Valley
  • Liguria
  • Lombardy
  • Piedmont

Central Italy

  • Abruzzo
  • Lazio
  • Marche
  • Tuscany
  • Umbria

Southern Italy

  • Apulia
  • Basilicata
  • Calabria
  • Campania
  • Molise

Insular Italy

  • Sardinia
  • Sicily


Example how to include an information about an Italian place of origin on the pedigree:

Coassolo Torinese, Turin, Piedmont, Italy (English version)

Italian version: Coassolo Torinese, Torino, Piemonte, Italia

NOTE: Use always the most recent name of the place of origin and its contemporary administrative affiliation. The old names can be included in notes.

Link: Customized Italian Genealogy Course