Back in my Italian Birth Records post, I described the process in which I wrote letters in Italian to procure Italian birth records of Sam and Rose, but I made a big error that needs to be corrected.
I assumed that both Sam and Rose were from Naso, but that is not true. I have received a letter from one of our family-history buffs, and the letter states that “[the Ridolfo’s] were born in Ficarra, Messina, Italy. Ficarra is a little village a couple of hills over from Naso.”
Ohio does it right. Lucky for me, my father was born in Ohio!
You just have to go to their Vital Stats website, put in information and type in your credit card.
Maryland and West Virginia say they offer online service, but they really go through a third party called VitalChek which basically doubles the price you need to pay.
I have 4 more documents to procure from Maryland, so in order to save on postage and hassle, I’m going to combine them all in to one package.
My Maternal Grandfather’s (William’s) Birth Certificate – On the marriage license, it says he was born in Cumberland, Maryland, even though his family is from West Virginia. I keep running in to little situations like that because the small towns across the river in WV rely on hospitals and cemeteries in Maryland. To confirm he was in fact born in Maryland, I have checked the West Virginia Vital Records search page again, and did not find a birth entry for William, even though all of his known brother’s had a record, as well as his parents.
I know from family lore that my grandmother and grandfather were from right across the Potomac from Cumberland in West Virginia. Going through WV public vital records online, I have found the marriage certificate (in some form).
So I am requesting my West Virginia documents today. This will include an application for a birth certificate for my grandmother Joan, and an application for marriage certificate request for Joan and William. Forms for both can be found at the website of the West Virginia Health Statistics Center.
The procedure for Sam’s Death certificate is exactly the same for Rosie’s, since they both died in Allegheny County.
In other news, I just found out the Rosie was nor born in Naso, it was a different city, so I’ll have to do some sleuth work to figure out the details, but I’ll be out of the country for the next week and change. It’d be nice to enter France on my Italian passport, and will happen soon enough!
I have sent a request to obtain copies of Salvatore’s (Sam’s) death certificate. He died in Maryland (even though he technically lived in West Virginia). As far as I know, death records are kept in the state where the deceased was pronounced dead, so if that happens to be in a different state than the residence, check the hospital’s location. This may not always hold true, since Ridgely, WV (Sam’s residence) is such a small town that practically all of it’s commerce and industry occurs in Cumberland, MD (my home town, also Sam’s death place).
Having the original marriage certificate will be helpful in providing accurate and comprehensive data to the records office. A little Googling shows that Allegheny County Marriage Records are maintained by the Allegany County Circuit Court. Their address can be found here, and I’m assuming that equivalent websites exists for all US states. Google is proving invaluable in this process.
Wanted to clarify a few questions, so I wrote this letter to an American Italian Consulate (Sent copies to many consulates, the first one to respond was the Miami consulate, they chose to use all-caps for some unidentifiable reason.)
Words in bold are replies by the Consulate.
I’ve contacted a few of the book keepers in the family, and found that my Aunt Margie has Sam’s (Salvatore’s) Certificate of Naturalization, Sam’s Death certificate, and Sam/Rosie’s Marriage Certificate. There are originals in her hands, and I asked her to send me copies.
…and probably the most difficult: Obtaining Italian Birth Records.
I decided that likely the most efficient way to handle the daunting dual-citizenship task would be to procure the hardest-to-find documents first. If I am going to have a insurmountable barrier, I’d rather hit it early before to much time and money has been invested. So I’m on a mission to get official copies of the birth certificates of both of my great-grandparents: Salvatore Sirna and Rose Marie Ridolfo Sirna.