Marriage Records of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

In Sicily, two types of records can be found:

Civil records were instituted in the peninsular (mainland) provinces of the Kingdom of Sicily in the early 1800's.  In 1816, the former Kingdom of Sicily, including the mainland and insular provinces, became known as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and starting in 1820, uniform civil records of birth, marriage and death were kept throughout the Kingdom, on pre-printed forms.  In 1861, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was absorbed by the previously non-existent kingdom of Italy.  The civil record format was maintained in the new nation until 1865, and the records are now called 'Stato Civile della Restaurazione' (Restored Civil Status Records).

Canonical, or church records
were kept from the earliest years, and some still exist dating back to the 1400's.  These document the sacraments: baptism, confirmation, marriage and extreme unction (death) and are still recorded to this day, separate and distinct from civil records.

The format below was used for civil marriage contracts
in the period 1820 through 1865.

      The 1830 civil record of the marriage promise reproduced below, for my paternal great-grandparents Raimondo Coniglio and Maria Messina, covers four pages.  To the right is a translation.  The form is in two columns, on the left showing the Record of the Solemn Promise to celebrate matrimony, while the right-hand column is entitled 'Indication of the subsequent canonical [church] celebration of marriage'.  Only the left column of the record, recorded on 16 October 1830, is translated below.  Essentially, the left column gives the details of the civil promise made at the Town Hall, while the right column (not translated here)simply confirms that the couple was married in church on 17 October 1830 in the presence of witnesses Don Rocco Candela and Giuseppe Vaccari, and that the civil and church records were cross-referenced. Although this record states that Raimondo was born in Canicatti, all other evidence is that he was actually born in Serradifalco. 
        This record is only the promise, or contract, to marry.  However it contains much more information than the actual marriage record made by the church.  Click on the images at left to see the original documents. 

to celebrate matrimony

[p. 1] Number twenty-four
Year eighteen hundred thirty, day sixteen of the month of October at hour
eighteen, before Us, Giuseppe Sferrazza Mayor and official of civil records of the town of Serradifalco, district of Caltanissetta, val [region] of Caltanissetta, have appeared in the town hall: Raimondo Coniglio age twenty-five, born in Canicatti, occupation shepherd, living in this town at Vicolo Pardi, son of Gaetano, age fifty-six, occupation sharecropper living here with his son, and of the late Giuseppa Montalto; and Maria Messina, age twenty-three, born in Serradifalco, living here at Vicolo Pardi, daughter of the late Luciano who resided here when living, and daughter of Maria Butera, age fifty-five, who lives here with her daughter.
The couple,
in the presence of witnesses who will be mentioned below, and produced by them, have requested to receive their solemn promise to celebrate prior to the Church ceremony, according to the
prescribed by the Sacred
[p. 2]
Council of
Trent for the
marriage which they plan between them with the support of their respective parents, who came together for the present record in order to lend their express and formal consent, which they have accordingly declared.
   The notice of this promise was affixed to the door of the town hall of Serradifalco on Sunday the twelfth of the current month
 We, in accordance with their request, after having read them all the consistent documents:
1. the birth records of the spouses
2. the banns as noted above at the town hall, regarding which there have been no objections
3 the death records of the

[p. 3]
parents of the groom and those of the parents and paternal grandfather of the bride
and having also read chapter six under the title of marriage of the civil laws regarding the respective rights and obligations of the spouses, we have received from each of the parties, one after the other, the declaration, that they solemnly promise to celebrate the marriage before the Church according to the format prescribed by the Holy Council of Trent.
  We made the record of all this in the presence of four witnesses attending the solemn promise of marriage:
Vito Guarneri, forty, Master Shoemaker, Strada San Giuseppe;
Michele Giambra, twenty-two, Undertaker

[p. 4] Strada Angilella;
Leonardo Giarratano, thirty-six, Trumpeter, Strada delle Concezione;
Calogero Arcadipane, seventy-four, Civil servant, Cortile Spezio

We have read this record, which is inscribed on the two registers, to the witnesses
and the bride and groom, to whom we have also given two consistent copies signed by Us, to be presented to the parish priest, to whom the celebration of the marriage pertains, and then it is signed by us alone, the groom and the bride and the respective parents and witnesses having said they don't know how to write.

The Mayor

Giuseppe Sferrazza

From Serradifalco Registri Stato Civile Film 1466475,         
1830 Marriages, No. 24, Raimondo Coniglio and Maria Messina         

This translation is factually correct.      
To conserve space, it is not a strict literal translation.  


The format below was used for church marriage records
from about 1400, including the period 1820 through 1865.

        This is the church marriage record of my paternal great grandparents Raimondo Coniglio and Maria Messina.  Note the date of the marriage was 17 October 1830, one day after the recoding of the marriage promise, consistent with the statement on the right of the civil contract.  In many cases, the actual marriage may have taken place days, weeks or even months after the promise.  In cases where the right side of the form was not completed, it's likely that the marriage never occurred.

Coniglio / Anno Domini 1830: Die 17: Octobris No 24:
Ego Rm
Archipresbiter D Horatius Sferazza, tribus pre-
misis denunciationibus diebus festivis in Missa Paro-
chiali sub die 12: 19: et 20: Septembris 1880 nulloque
detecto Legitimo aut canonico impedimento Raimon-
dum Coniglio, filium innuptum Legitimum ac na-
turalem Caietani et Josephae Montalto olim
jugalibum Comunis Serrafalci et Mariam Messina fi-
liam innuptam, Legitimam, ac naturalam quondam
Luciani et viventi Mariae Butera olim jugalibum in
sudetti Comunis et coram prtbus habito mutuo
consensa coram Testibus D Rocco Candela et Magister
Josephi Vaccari
matrimonio in faciem Ecclesiae conjunxi
benedixi solemniter in Sacrificio Messae per Rm
d Euphemium Acquisto
From Serradifalco Registri Ecclesiastici 2013010,  1830 Marriages, No. 24, Raimondum Coniglio and Maria Messina
Coniglio / Year of our Lord 1830: Day 17 of October  No 24:
I, Rev Archpriest Don Orazio Sferazza  after three pre-
mass banns posted on feast days  at the Mass of the Par-
ish on day 12, 19, and 20 of September 1880 without
detection of objections legal or canonical Raimon-
do Coniglio, unmarried Legitimate and natural
son of Gaetano, and of Giuseppa Montalto, once
a married couple of the Town of Serradifalco, and Maria Messina
single, Legitimate and natural daughter of the late
Luciano, and of the living Maria Butera, once married, of
the above-named Town and before their parents, with their mutual
consent before Witnesses Don Rocco Candela and Master
Giuseppe Vaccari
I joined them in marriage,in the eyes of the Church
then they were blessed at the solemn Sacrifice of the Mass by Rev
Don Eufemio Acquisto


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  ~ The Lady of the Wheel (La Ruotaia), my first book, inspired by my genealogical research of Sicilian families.  It's a historical novella about foundlings and sulfur mine workers in 1860s Racalmuto, a town in central Sicily.



















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