Using Microfilm at a Family History Center
"Researching the Bertagnolli Family"
by: Stan and Jalyn Bertagnolli
My Grandfather was Adolpho Francesco Bertagnolli. He was born in
Tret, Trentino, Italy in 1886, the son of Francisco and Barbara Maninfior.
He was raised in Italy and received his education there. He learned the
shoemakeing trade, while his father was a Mason. He came to the
United States at the age of 23.
We do not know much of his life in Italy. We knew the names of his
grandparnets but had no other leads to the rest of the family. We tried
for ten years to figure out how to get more Italian information, but had very
little luck. We contacted many other Bertagnolli families that had also
Then, just this last summer, August 1998, we meet with a distant
Bertagnolli cousin. She told us about a film at a Family History Center.
She knew the film was there, but had a very hard time reading it because of
poor eye-sight. We went to the Center in our hometown and they ordered the
film for us. It was a real treasure of a find.
They had photograghed the
records of Tret, the little town our family came from. We found our
Grandfather and his parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and
cousins. We were so happy! After all these years, there they were. Our
goal now is to share it with any and all that may be looking for Bertagnolli
I highly recommend that you look up the nearest Family
History Center and see what they have to offer. They are very helpful and
charge very little to borrow a film. While prices may vary, we payed only $3.25
for the film and .50 for a "handy dandy" little genealogical word list in Italian.
It was a great help in translating the records.
Here are some helpful hints (we learned by trail and error) in reading the
- First browse a few records on the roll and become familiar with the writing
style. We found that the "s" can look a lot like a "p" in many cases. By
searching around and becoming familiar with what you are looking at
you will have much more success.
- Dates are almost always writen 2-4-1882, which will be day-month-year.
Be careful because sometimes there will be a roman numeral for the month
and a II may look like an eleven. (II being
Feb. and 11 being Nov.) Also, they
will sometimes use an abberviation for the last four months of the year.
7bre or VIIbre = September
8bre or VIIIbre = October
9bre or IXbre = November
10bre or Xbre = December
- Request a
"Genealogical Word List" for Italian when you order
the film and they should arrive together. You may also see that
not all the words fit just right, but close
enough. We think it is because there may be a different dialect in the
North of Italy.
- Refer to the FHC film # and item numbers. An "item" is a
section of the film, as it is divided by areas and time periods. Most "items"
sections also have page numbers, but if none are given you can locate the
person by date. Most of the time they appear in order of the date of the
events being recorded.
We hope you have much success!!
Visit the Bertagnolli's Home Page and
be sure look at the "Bertagnolli Families" link for
the names they have to share.