Many cultural and ethnic groups make up the United States and none is stronger than those with ancestors originally from Italy. Besides the numerous regional, state and local Italian societies and clubs across the country there is an organization called the Italian Genealogical Group whose purpose is to promote the Italian heritage and genealogy.
Their membership is based out of New York City, but their assistance and influence is across the globe. Those belonging to the group (including members outside of New York) receive a newsletter ten times a year filled with articles about conducting Italian genealogy. To reach an even larger audience they have online a website with databases of family history information for all people who lived in the boroughs of New York and some locations in New Jersey. It has been gathered over the years by the membership and continues to be updated.
The first database is titled ‘Naturalization.’ Here are naturalization records from Nassau, Suffolk, Kings, Richmond, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester, Clinton and Northern counties and districts, some dating back to the 1830s. There is an index on naturalizations done in New Jersey also. These naturalization records were compiled with other ethnic groups; such as the German, Jewish and History genealogical societies of New York. For example, the Nassau County database goes from 1899 to 1986 and covers some 65,000 names, all the naturalization information from that county alone.
The second database contains vital records; births, marriages and deaths. Again, not just those of Italian descent, but all individuals in a given area are featured. There are early birth records for Brooklyn and Queens. Using the search box, just a surname can be entered and then an index of all with that name, a birth date, location and certificate number appears. The New City Death Index covers Manhattan from 1891 to 1897, Brooklyn from 1862 to 1897 and all other boroughs from 1898 to 1948. The marriage index consists of Suffolk and Nassau counties from 1908 to 1935 and the other boroughs for additional years. A special supplement for the Suffolk County is a veteran’s discharge database covering 1890 to 2001 with a veteran’s name, year of discharge, the volume and page number, all extremely helpful for obtaining their complete records.
For those needing additional assistance in their Italian lineage, the site D’Addezio-Italian has articles, lists, databases and suggestions to help find your Italian ancestors.