Monday, February 27, 2012

Stillborn Births in Italy

There was no one way of recording the death of a stillborn child in Italy. Most times you will see only a death record created (and not a birth record) and it will note that the child was born "senza vita" or "without life."

Occasionally, stillborn births will be recorded separately, often amongst the death records of town residents who died elsewhere. Below is a death record created for a stillborn birth whose form was pre-printed for this purpose. I have not come across pre-printed stillborn birth/death records very often. The title reads "Atti di Morti Nati" or "Act of Dead Birth".

Death Record for Stillborn Female Child of Nicolo di Sergio and Rosa Latuno

What I find fascinating is the fact that normal procedure was to present a child at the civil record's office to have it's birth recorded. When someone died the civil record's official often came to the person's home to visually verify that the person was dead. One has to wonder whether they carried the body of their baby to the town hall or if the civil official came to their home as would have been done for any other death.


Ruth said...

I have found hundreds of stillborns in the birth records - 'nato senza vita' - so they actually show up in both birth and death records...depending on the area and how the registrar wanted to include the information.

Melanie D. Holtz, CG said...

Yes, it depends on the town. They could be found in the regular birth records but more often than not I've found them amongst the death registrations.

In a country as diverse as Italy you'll need to check every possible place they might be.

TCasteel said...

Intersting. I have never seen a form specifically for this before.
Theresa (Tangled Trees)