So, you’ve decided that life is too short to deal with requesting records from Italy the DIY way? Just the thought of it makes you want to scream and pull your hair out? Maybe you are just too darn busy to deal with all of this. Well, this article will discuss how to go about hiring someone to request Italian records for you.
What You Need
To successfully hire someone else to request documents from Italy, you will need the following:
City (Citta), Comune, and Provence(Provincia) where the life event occurred
Names, dates of birth, and places of birth of the involved parties
Date that the life event occurred (at least the year)
You will need the following materials for processing:
Who to Hire
1. A Genealogist
Many genealogists who specialize in Italian heritage can also aid you in requesting certified documents from Italy. If you hired a genealogist to help you clarify your family history, you can ask them if they are willing to request documents on your behalf. These genealogists may be able to help you directly or point you to a person who can.
2. Someone on fiverr.com
Interestingly, in the past few years a blossoming consultancy of people who can inexpensively and efficiently find Italian documents for you has grown on fiverr.com.
This guy, for instance, is totally ace: https://www.fiverr.com/avepally
Have a search around on this site to see who has good ratings, and give them a try!
3. A reputable web-based service
Additionally, there are innumerable web services that claim to gather Italian documents on your behalf. I cannot speak for the whole of them, but I can recommend the following services, either because I have used them personally or because I know others who have successfully used these services:
MyItalianFamily.com This site provides services for requesting birth, death, and marriage certificates – and various other documents – from Italy. The cost for requesting vital records is very reasonable at only $45 per request (the more uncommon documents, like Military Records or State of the Family Records, do cost more). Bianca Ottone, the founder of the company, is very responsive and helpful, and their follow-up policy for document requests is effective. The company notifies you when they have submitted your request to the Comune, follows up with the Comune after four weeks of no response, and then calls them over the phone. Of course, the document service is not guaranteed, but the company does act as an efficient and effective intermediary between you and the Comune.
Italiamerica.org I have not personally used this service, but I do know people who successfully have. This is a more expensive company, costing €125.00 per document request, but you will likely receive your documents much quicker than through other channels. There are many fantastic aspects of this service: the requests for Italian records are being submitted by Italian-based staff members, follow-ups with the Comuni are frequent (to the point of nagging), and your certificate or letter of “no records found” are sent back to you via priority mail.
What to expect…
…when you are expecting documents.
Well, hiring someone else to do your dirty work isn’t completely work-free. To submit your request, you will need the information I mentioned above. You will need to be able to communicate this information clearly and effectively to the person or company who is requesting your document. Sometimes, you will even need to (sigh!) sign papers and fork over a copy of your drivers license.
Once your request is submitted, you can expect periodic updates from the individual or agency that submitted the request. If you are not receiving periodic updates, feel free to get in contact with the requester.
Then… you wait. Sometimes documents can take up to two months to arrive from Italy once requested. Even if you have hired someone else to request your records, the record request is likely to take a while to process.