We are in Utah. Our plane to Italy departs in three days. Last week we went to the LDS Church Archives on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. I called a traveling notary (who only charged me $20 for all three documents, travel included. Yay for Utah and great deals on everything) and she met us there. After we got our official badges and went through security, we spoke with the person at the desk to see if we could talk to the person who had sent the letters. It turns out he is now retired, and only comes in some Fridays. They wanted us to just come back when he was in, but we just asked to see his replacement. The dubious person at the desk passed us off to another dubious person, who finally took the document back and asked his replacement what to tell us. After scanning our documents dubiously, he agreed to sign them before the notary. We held our breath as he did it, because at every moment he seemed ready to change his mind. Finally, after signing the document, he said, “I think I’m going to go make a copy of this, just in case it comes back to bite me.” He picked up the letters and left the room. Tony went pale, afraid that he had suddenly thought better of signing, and was taking them away to tear them up. But he returned the documents to us, and we left immediately, before he could change his mind.
Next we took those documents in to the Lieutenant Governor’s office for their Apostilles. I also discovered that of the eight documents that were supposed to be waiting for me there, one had never arrived, and another was so light it was totally illegible. Further, my own birth certificate was in “short form,” and thus unacceptable to the Italian government. So it was back to Vital Records to sort things out. Note to self and whomever else might read this: do NOT do anything by mail that you can possibly do in person. It only magnifies the possibility of problems and the length of time required for resolution. As it is, four months is quite a respectably short time to spend in amassing these documents. It takes many people years for fewer generations.
I’ve put the documents we have in a binder to organize them. All I am missing now are the ones being Apostilled. Josie got Elva’s death certificate in the mail on Friday, so she’s overnighting it to us.