We had a stroke of inspiration over the weekend. Teresa was unsatisfied with several documents in our collection. First of all (and seemingly, her most serious worry) were the two illegible documents (the death certificates for Louis and Domenico). Next, she wanted an actual birth or baptism certificate from his parish, not just the certified photocopy we had obtained of the actual birth record from the two-hundred-year-old book. Finally, she wanted actual certificates from the L.D.S. Church Archives of Domenico’s marriage and Louis’ birth, rather than just the official letters we had received.
We went back over our records and realized that the birth record for Henriette from the Waldensian Church in San Germano Chisone was probably the closest we could get to an actual certificate from the parish in Lagnasco. It has Church letterhead, states the factual information contained in the birth/baptism entry (name, parents’ names, date of birth, and date of baptism), and finishes with the official stamp of the Church and signature from the archivist.
Lo and behold, that is essentially the same letter we received from the L.D.S. Church Archives for our birth and marriage records.
So we decided to get a letter from the Lagnasco Parish that looks basically like the L.D.S. letter, give it to Teresa to satisfy her requirement for a birth certificate from the parish, and then show her that the letters we received from the L.D.S. Archives are essentially the same, and that if the one from Lagnasco works, the others ought to work too. Ironically enough, when she rejected our Italian birth record, she gave us just the tools we needed to help her to accept the American ones.
We think it’s a good plan. Tony’s going to practice his explanations in Italian, and we’ll see how it goes.