Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Resource for Researching Abandoned Children in Sicily and Hospital Records

FamilySearch has an exciting set of microfilmed records titled "Riveli di beni e anime di Sicilia (comuni vari), 1730-1823." From the title, one might think that the resource contains records of the parish census (some call these "manorial records") that were called Riveli in Sicily.

However, the description in FamilySearch's catalog dispels this notion and reveals what could be an awesome resource for those researching abandoned children in the late 18th and early 19th century. Additionally, some hospital records are also included.

"Miscellaneous and administrative hospital records and records of orphans born in Sicily. Volumes include a variety of cities from throughout Sicily. Some records are administrative only and do not contain names. Hospital records often will include names of residents and their illnesses. Orphan records may include the names of the mothers, if known, or may name adoptive parents." 
--- FamilySearch catalog

There are 52 microfilms of these records. Some microfilms are noted to contain the records of certain towns and others are noted to contain the records of various towns.

Watch for future posts that will show examples of these records and what genealogical information can be gleaned from them!

Italian-American and Irish-American Dual Citizenship Course

If you are thinking about applying for Italian-American or Irish-American dual citizenship, you may want to consider taking the course I will be teaching with Melissa A. Johnson, CG through the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research!


Melanie D. Holtz, CG, & Melissa A. Johnson, CG, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship: Italian-American and Irish-American”

“Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship: Italian-American and Irish-American”
Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Melissa A. Johnson, CG
2 May–9 May 2015
Standard $69.99
Plus $99.99
Attaining dual citizenship can be a life-changing experience, and is sought for a variety of reasons. This course will focus on the benefits of dual citizenship by descent; eligibility requirements for Italian-American and Irish-American dual citizenship; and the differences in how to apply for dual citizenship by descent, choice, or marriage. Attendees will also learn about the laws surrounding dual citizenship, where these laws can be found, and how the Hague Convention affected the legalization of documents around the world.
If you are of Italian-American or Irish-American descent and have ever considered applying for dual citizenship, then this course is for you. You will learn everything you need to know in order to prepare a successful application. Let’s learn how to regain the citizenship of your ancestors!
Professional genealogists wishing to learn how to help people prepare for dual citizenship can also benefit greatly from this course. The focus on dual citizenship with both Italy and Ireland will give you a solid overview of this specialty within professional genealogy.
Melanie headshotMelanie D. Holtz, CG, is a board-certified genealogist, writer, and lecturer. She operates an international business that specializes in Italian genealogical research, Italian-American dual citizenship, and Italian-American heirship cases. She maintains offices in both the U.S. and Italy. She’s authored courses on Italian genealogy for the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and FamilyTree University and will coordinate a course on Italian research in 2016 at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.
Melanie is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and the current Chair of APG’s Professional Development Committee, where she’s advocated for mentorship and expanded educational offerings within the organization. She writes about Italian genealogy, resources, and genealogical standards on her blog, Finding Our Italian Roots ( To learn more about Melanie please visit her website at
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMelissa A. Johnson, CG, is a board-certified genealogist, writer, and editor. She specializes in Italian-American and Irish-American dual citizenship, with a focus on New Jersey and New York City ancestral families. In addition to dual citizenship services, Melissa’s research specialties include New Jersey and New York City from the colonial period to the present, British families in the U.S. and abroad, and genealogical writing, editing, and publishing.
Melissa is the Reviews Editor for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly(APGQ). She is a Trustee of both the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. She lectures on Irish and Italian dual citizenship throughout the New York and New Jersey area, and is the course coordinator for Elements of Genealogical Writing, Editing, and Publishing, to be held at the 2015 British Institute. For more information about Melissa, visit her website at
Course Schedule (all times U. S. Eastern)
2 May 2015
  • 11:00am “Understanding Dual Citizenship by Descent: Benefits, Eligibility, and the Law”
  • 1:00pm “Preparing Applications for Irish-American Dual Citizenship”
9 May 2015
  • 11:00am “Preparing Applications for Italian-American Dual Citizenship”
  • 1:00pm “Case Studies in Dual Citizenship: Italian-American and Irish-American”