Friday, May 15, 2015

Decretti [Decrees] - Adding "Meat" to Your Family History Through Unusual Resources

When researching in the city of Trieste, I found a notation on a population register page that there was some form of Decree [Decretto] for the ancestor I was researching.

The register where the decree was found contained 5,000 entries but the extra work to find this decree was well worth it. The decree contained information about this ancestor that is rare to find within any other type of Italian genealogical resource.

Decree of Giuseppe Fedele Covi

"Decree number: 3508
Year: 1853

The Illustrious Magistrate

The undersigned, Giuseppe Fedele Covi, who resides in this city, provided the following answers to the [Magistrate’s] humble questions.


1.     He is a native of [the town of] Seio, District of Trento in the Tirolo [Tyrol].
2.     He married here [in Trieste] and is the father of three children.
3.     He has resided here [in Trieste] since 1829.
4.     He is the owner of grocery store number 967, approved by Magistrate Decree Number 12830 on 27 November 1852.
5.     He has never been convicted [of anything criminal].
6.     He earns sufficient money to maintain his family.


In the hope of attaining the grace of all, he signs [his signature below:]

Trieste, 19 March 1853
Signature of Giuseppe Fedele Covi


I hereby declare, to the praise and triumph of the genuine truth, that Giuseppe Fedele Covi, a native of Tirolo and son of the living Nicoló Covi, was employed in my shop in his youth, from the end of 1829 until the last months of 1833. During his service to me, he behaved with great willingness and activity and was well known for his honesty. I hereby place my signature and seal in the presence of two witnesses.

Trieste, 23 April 1836
Signature of Giacomo Antonio Depaul


I, Andrea Rabaux, hereby witness the signature of Mister Giacomo Antonio Depaul, which was made by his own hand [written in the hand of Andrea Rabaux, likely in lieu of a signature].

Signature of Giacomo Augustinish, also a witness to the above [signature of Giacomo Antonio Depaul]'[1] 


[1] Trieste, Trieste Province, Italy, “Decretti [Decrees], 1853”: number 3508, register marked 1230 and 1/9 1, Decree of Giuseppe Fedele Covi; Archivio Generale del Comune di Trieste [Municipal Archives for the Town of Trieste], Via Punta del Forno, n. 2, 34121 Trieste, Italy.