The Italian Family History: Archival Documents, Datas and Models in the Past (17th-19th Cc.)

Giovanna Da Molin, CIRPAS- University of Bari
Maria Federighi, CIRPAS- University of Bari

The research aims at analizing the Italian family history throught methodological approaches and topics related to the use of quantitative and qualitative datas coming from historical sources. Most part of datas come from civil and religious archival documents, such as the “Status animarum” and the land registers “Catasti”, rich of several quantitative datas and strictly connected with additional qualitative datas. The research wishes to explain how family structure is influenced by determinant factors: the economy, the territory, the values with its related models. Archival documents provide for an analysis of the topic by regarding several territorial elements: distribution of the population in the city and country; the main cultivation systems, the agricultural population ways of settlement, the land’s management system. From quantitative datas, such as the marriage age, the infant mortality we can consider the implication of other qualitative datas, the marriage strategies and the dowry systems in order to analyze the implication of more other factors. Other elements can contribute to historical research: types of employment and socio-economic conditions of its members and the income levels. Sources that correspond to these criteria are lists of names of the population, such as the status animarum of Catholic Europe, or even economic sources such as the 17th century catastiantichi (real estate registers) and the 18th century catastionciari of southern Italy. Not without some difficulty, detailed study of the sources permits identification of relationships between the families that lived in the same neighbourhood. The study of surnames, together with information on paternity and maternity of all male and female parishioners, proves to be a useful research methodology. The paper aims at pointing out the numerous datas’ facets for the historical interpretation about this issue and also at providing for a detailed framework on Italian family history from 17th to 19th cc.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 257. Using smaller data for historical research