Italian Dual Citizenship Finding Genealogical Documents

Last Edited: 2019-08-25 22:12:53

Ciao a tutti! I found out late 2018 that I am eligible to have my Italian Citizenship by decent (Jure Sanguinis) recognized by the Country of Italy! I was very excited about the entire process and after learning that the wait for an appointment is "years", I set the appointment right away. The process has really opened my eyes to how exciting I find looking back into my genealogy! I'll be posting more about my own story as I traverse the process, and show some tips that I've encountered along the way. I was planning on posting more about my own story before this post, but I feel this information is worth sharing right away for anyone else in the same position as me.

I have come across 2 sources accidentally in my process of looking for documents. For some reason, as I stated in an earlier blog post, my Great Grandfather went by the name "Charles George" and that name got onto my Grandfather's birth certificate as well. I had not run across any legal documents that tied "Charles George" and "Arsenio Giordano" together until I sent into this one place which may have saved the day:

Lawrence County Prothonotary

I knew that New Castle, PA was in Lawrence County and it was a very popular place for Italian ancestors to settle in, like my family. I figured $12 isn't much and so I sent in the request with a SASE. I sent the request and in 6 days I received a letter with my Great Grandfather's Petition for Naturalization AND Oath of Allegiance.

Both of these documents have a lot of information on them that I'm sure will help shore up any issues with the “Charles George” name. Especially since Pennsylvania will not allow any of the birth certificates to be changed because all of the people and their “reporters” are deceased.

Noteworthy: I was not able to obtain certified copies of these documents. I was able to call them and talk to a human (what!?) and was told that I could simply send $9 to them and they would resend the documents with what they called a “triple-seal” to assure authenticity. This was a letter with a seal on it that shows the names of the people involved, the courthouse information, and it comes stapled to the copies.

From what I've read, if you can get the Certificate of Naturalization from USCIS, you may not need those other documents, however I'm very excited to have stumbled upon them.

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to find the Catholic Church my family attended. I heard on
Coffee Break Italian that every town in Italy has a church, or a Duomo. I found the address where my ancestors lived in New Castle and took a guess that their New Castle Duomo was St. Vitas which is about 2 blocks away. I was able to verify this by my Great Grandparent's marriage license which had the pastor's name from St. Vitas right on there. I also found that my Great Grandfather is buried in St. Vitas cemetery also in New Castle.

In no way do I have the funds to just go to Pennsylvania and research papers - so I planned on calling them to see what I could do. The church sent me to

On that page, there is a link along the left side that reads “Research Request Form”. Download that PDF, fill it out and send it in with the first hour's fees and SASEs. They had told me that the wait for service is 4 to 8 weeks. When I hear back from them, I'll come back and post what they sent me. I'm excited to see what they'll have.

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