Italian Birth Certificates before Unification

Despite my limited Italian, I finished writing letters to the parish of St. Germain Chisone (for Harriet’s baptism certificate) and the parish of Lagnasco (for Domenico’s baptism certificate). Since they were both born a good thirty years before Italy was unified, apparently no civil birth records exist. However, church baptismal records are accepted by the comunes in lieu of a birth certificate. I found this out from a story by a Uruguayan who claimed his Italian citizenship some five years ago through his great-grandfather. He had a terrible time getting his comune to accept the baptismal certificate as valid (as well as a host of other problems). However, in the end he was successful. During the process of trying to convince his comune, he found out that such records are commonly and properly accepted throughout Italy. Hopefully, we’ll encounter the same result.

Interestingly, although both Harriet and Domenico are Waldensian, she came from the actual Waldensian valleys, where there are many Waldensian churches. As far as I could ascertain from family records, Domenico’s birth record seems to have been found in the Catholic church in his home town of Lagnasco. I hope that I am correct, as I could not find a Waldensian church close by.