Abbreviations and Symbols

by no later than
c. circa = about
n.a. not available
" " direct quotation from a record, or other source
( ) addition or clarification from a record, or other source
[ ] addition or clarification by the editor

Affinity and Consanguinity

Both the church (e.g. Roman Catholic Canon Law) and the state (Civil Law) identify relationships between individuals which prevent their being able to marry each other.

Individuals having the same blood line are related by consanguinity and, hence, marriage is forbidden between, for example, father and daughter, mother and son, sister and brother.

Individuals who are part of the same family, but are not connected by a common blood line, are related by affinity, and so marriage is forbidden between, for example, a niece and an uncle who married her mother or father's sister.

Both the church and the state use a numbering system (each slightly different from the other) to calculate how close the individuals are in consanguinity or affinity. By recognizing varying degrees of consanguinity and affinity, the church and the state are able to define absolute prohibitions, and, also, to grant dispensations (from the church), or exceptions (from the state). Such dispensations, or exceptions, will permit the recipients to marry.

Footnotes to Parish Registers

The primary source of evidence is the record ("acte") in the parish register.
The acte de baptême usually records the date of birth, as well the details about the baptism, including the names of the godparents.
The acte de marriage states whether the bride and groom have reached the age of majority (21 years) and records the names of their parents and the witnesses.
The acte de sépulture usually records the date of death, as well as the date of burial and of any subsequent ceremony ("beni la fosse") and the names of the witnesses.

Before its own church was built, a town was served by missionary priests.
That is why the early records for many communities are to be found in the registers of the parishes which provided the missionary priests.

Last Updated: 2014-07-10
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