The Waldensian Notary Records
The Waldensian Notary Records permit you to extend your pedigree beyond the time period covered by the surviving Parish Registers, covering the 100-year gap left by the destruction of the Parish Registers before 1709. The Notary Records consist of the everyday “legal” records of the people in the Waldensian Valleys, including wills, marriage settlements, property sales, guardianships for minor children, inheritance matters, and even records of the annual town councils.
As we mentioned in the section about the Parish Registers, a man in Argentina asked if we could help him find his Waldensian ancestors and, using the Parish Registers, we found and sent him information that took 60 pedigree charts to record. But was he satisfied? Of course not! Finding that much more about his family increased his hunger to find even more. Using the Notary Records permits us to extend our pedigree even more.
The notary function dates to the Roman Empire. The records are particularly abundant for Italy and France, areas greatly influenced by the Empire. As with Parish Registers, the earliest records for the Waldensian Valleys were destroyed. The surviving Notary Records begin about 1609, about a century before the surviving Parish Registers start. However, some of the surviving acts refer back, by date, to acts made in the later 1500s.
The notary was among the most influential members of the Waldensian community, after the minister, the mayor, and other elected local officials.
We are pleased to make available to Waldensian descendants, wherever they may be, our archive of more than 11,000 pages of abstracts from the notary records—and we add one or two more volumes each month. We gladly provide these without fee, but for personal use only. Use of these “derived” records for commercial gain of any type is strictly prohibited by international copyright law.
To discover what to look for in the Notary Records, click HERE.
To learn how to search for your ancestors in the Notary Record files, click HERE.
For a suggested strategy for organizing the results of your search, click HERE.
To learn how the Notary Acts were created, click HERE.
Learn how to access the microfilmed original Notary Records, click HERE.
For help in reading the Italian in the Notary Records:
To learn why the PFO is abstracting the Notary Records, click HERE.
To support the on-going project of making abstracts of the notary records, your tax-exempt donations are appreciated. To learn how you can contribute to our research projects, click HERE.
Notary Records by Location
We are grateful to the State Archives, Torino who provided access to these records and to Giovanni Cena for his generous efforts to abstract them.