With the Vienna Treaty in 1815, Trentino was annexed to the Tyrol County. From that year up until after the Great War – until December 31st, 1923, to be precise – the birth registers were maintained by the parishes, which also acted as registry offices.
Many of these books of souls have been lost, but those that remain have been included in this index (now searchable online), which is available for use by academics and by anyone seeking to find their roots in the past.
The index contains the details of approximately 1.28 million individuals born in Trentino between 1815 and 1923.
For reasons of privacy, the Data Protection Supervisor has set the following restrictions (see Terms of usage) for the use of the index:
- the Index has been created exclusively for historical purposes and is accessible solely for research conducted in observance of the Code of ethics and good conduct for the processing of personal data for historical purposes,
- the data contained in the Index may solely be used for personal purposes and not for commercial purposes,
- any use other than for historical purposes is illegal and prosecutable by Italian law,
- the data contained in the Index is purely informative and may only be verified upon presentation of a legally valid document. As a result, the service provider cannot be held responsible for its accuracy,
in particular, please note that:
- the details "name of father" and "name of mother" may only be published 103 years after the year of birth (on January 1st) of the individual cited in the Index.
For reasons of privacy, no sensitive information contained in the aforementioned “Books of souls” will be published. This includes information pertaining to separations, divorce, whether or not a marriage was in community of property, disqualifications and bans.
You must be registered in order to consult the index:
- fill in the fields as requested
- the system will send an email to your address with your username and password for accessing the database
- registration must be renewed after six months, whereas the password must be changed after three months
- see Personal data protection
Using the search function
- Enter the surname you are looking for (mandatory)
- Select gender (M/F)(mandatory)
- If you know the exact year of birth, enter the same value in both fields "Year of birth" (from – to) as an interval and the search will be conducted for that year only (mandatory)
- If you do not know the exact year of birth, set a search period (no more than 10 years, e.g.: 1890 - 1899) (mandatory)
- If you know the first name, initials or a part of the name, you may also try to include them in the search (see guidelines and tips)
- Select according to the place of registration in the "Parish" field
- While the search is not case sensitive, it does take accents into account: do not use accented letters from the keyboard, use the apostrophe symbol (') instead.
- The system memorises your search: press the "back to your search" button
- Spelling the surname correctly is vital for the success of the search
- If there are no matches in any records for the surname entered in the search period set, the system will propose a number of similarly spelt surnames. Try these instead.
- If the surname entered is found, the system will propose a number of similarly spelt surnames. If the results are not what you are looking for, try entering different variants and spellings of the surname
- The word "Neonato" (Infant) is given in the Name field in the results form if the child died at birth.
- The same person may have been registered in two different parishes. In this case, two files are listed in succession which are identical in every detail except for the field ‘Parish’ (such as the case of Baselga del Bondone and Vigolo Baselga)
if your search returns no results:
- try entering different variants of the surname, with and without accents
- search different time periods in the index
- try not entering any first names and then reading carefully through the list generated by your search – you may have remembered the name incorrectly
- try not entering the parish/town – even if you are sure that you remember it correctly, the person may have been registered elsewhere
Also remember that:
for a variety of inevitable causes, such as emigration, fire, war etc. the Index is incomplete. If you do not find what you are looking for here, you will have to explore different ways.
The "Books of souls" are viewable in their original form at the individual parishes themselves, or in microfilm format at the Trentino Diocesan Archive (Archivio diocesano trentino) at Trento
You may also contribute to improve this index.
Please let us know if you find any missing or incorrect information.