Parish Records

Parish records for Torricella Peligna are stored with, and maintained by, the parish priest at the local parish: Chiesa di San Giacomo Apostolo. Click here for a list of the priests. The primary records are those of birth and baptism, marriage (including the announcement of banns), and death. Of these, the earliest records go back to the mid-1600s.  Most records were written in Latin.  The earliest records are not indexed.  Later indexes were created, but for some reason they were developed alphabetically according to first name.  Around 1900, the method of indexing was modified to list people alphabetically according to their surname (last name).  We have an indexed sample for Baptisms for the year 1682 (may be 1662, our notes are not clear). To see the transcribed records, click here.

Another special kind of record that exists in many parishes, including Torricella Peligna, is the Stato delle Anime (Status Animarum in latin). This is a unique record in that it identifies all members living in a household at a point in time. A very useful genealogical tool to facilitate family research. For more on this document, see Stato di Popolazione.

Following is a comprehensive list of available church records. These are images from a book authored in Italian by Father Gabriele Teti, “Storia, arte e fede nella chiese di Torricella Peligna” (“History, Art and Faith in the Churches of Torricella Peligna”). It was published by the Vatican on the 30th of June 2000 on the occasion of the Great Jubilee. The pages of the book are presented here with the kind permission of the author. The charts below are in “thumbnail” form and can be enlarged by clicking on the image. An English translation of these pages, compliments of Mirella Palizzi, are seen below each image.


The Council of Trent deserves all the credit for transcribing, during its 24th session, all of the marriage and baptismal records of the parochial books at the time. Such Council of Trent opened its doors on March 15, 1545 and closed them on December 4, 1563 and was one of the longest but above all most important church councils of its kind.

In a Europe distraught by the many wars between Francesco I and Carlo V, Pope Paolo III inducted the council in the hope of corralling the protestants back into the heart of the Catholic church as well as to reaffirm the pillars that were and still are today classic of Catholicism.

In 1614, Paolo V brought to five the number of available parochial books: the book of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths and possibly that of the state of the population.

Thanks to the regulations established by the Council of Trent, and to Roman rituals and numerous synods, the parochial books had great importance not only in the ecclesiastic but also in the civic field where they held great archival value until the end of the 18th century and in some nations, such as Italy and Spain, even after the above period.

In the specific case of Torricella Peligna it is only through these very canonical records that we are able to know with exactness the state of the population, and through the notes hereby written, the most important events lived by the community.

Following is the data related to 17 baptismal, 6 confirmation, 13 marriage and 13 death records. The oldest record is surely the marriage act dating back to 08/01/1625.

BATTESIMI / Baptisms


Record n. 1 from 01/20/1627 to 12/20/1661

(Volume numbered from page 1 to page 255. Page 252-253 are missing)

It did not seem to be found recently.

Record n. 1a from 01/04/1662 to 12/26/1689 (128 numbered pages)

In the year of our Lord 1662 in the month of January with God’s help and the assistance of the Virgin Mary.

In this book all of the baptisms performed under the order of his excellence and reverend

Signor Nicola Radulouci Archbishop and Signore of Chieti, and of the Abbot Paglionis, are recorded.


Record n. 2 from 01/01/1690 to 01/02/1730

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 256, with a mistake in its progression because after page 336, it starts over with page 137)

Record n. 3 from 01/02/1730 to 12/31/1779

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 492)

1. on page 89 one can find visitor’s observations

2. baptisms numbered from previous historical research

3. stamp of the visitor on June 5th

4. signature on the record on May 17th

Record no. 4 from 01/03/1780 to 09/17/1801

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 219)

* continues in record no. 5

Record no. 5 from 09/17/1801 to 02/27/1829

(Volume numbered consisting of several bound records)

* from February 12th the recording of names was done in Italian

* continues in record no. 6

Record no. 6 from 03/01/1829 to 09/04/1834

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 112)

* continues in record no. 7

Record no. 7 from 09/25/1834 to 12/31/1845

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 147)

Record no. 8 from 01/02/1846 to 12/30/1855

(Volume numbered from page 1 to page 170)

Record no. 9 from 01/02/1856 to 12/26/1886

(Volume numbered from page 1 to 152)

1. Starting now baptisms were recorded with last names

2. On July 11th one can find the “Laudavimus” (“Praise”) by Bishop Aloisio De Marinis

3. Through the 1862 census we find that the inhabitants of Torricella are 3,765 while before there were 4,242 inhabitants; of the 144 children born (74 males and 70 females), 63 died a few days after their birth

Record no. 10 from 01/04/1887 to 12/30/1900

(Volume numbered from page 1 to page 100)

Record no. 11 from 01/05/1901 to 12/31/1912

(This marks the beginning of printed volumes. Total baptisms no. 1168)

Following are the dates seen and stamped by the vicar and/or bishop:

12/10/1901; 06/27/1904; 08/30 and 09/26 1905; 11/17/1906; 06/11/1907; 04/21 and 08/22 1909; 04/04/1910; 06/19/1911 (pastoral visit)

Record no. 12 from 01/08/1913 to 11/25/1928

(Total baptized no. 1,459)

1. From 12/22/1926 to 01/09/1927 this church held the “SS. Missioni” preached by RR. PP. (reverend priests) Raffaele Ferri and Francesco Celeste oblati of Maria the Immaculate.

(Oblati (Oblatæ, Oblates) is a word used to describe any persons, not professed monks or friars, who have been offered to God, or have dedicated themselves to His service, in holy religion. Definition provided by the Catholic Encyclopedia of

Thanks to god, abundant results: great affluence to the great sacraments. Abbot Cosmo Di Cicco

* continues in record no. 13

Record no. 13 from 11/27/1928 to 12/23/1931 and from 08/13/1944 to 06/14/1950

  • March 15th to March 26th 1947, this church held the “SS. Missioni” preached by RR.PP. (reverend priests) Ermenegildo D. Egidio and Placido Mancini dei FF. MM. Many spiritual results; almost 3,000 holy communions. AMDG

Record no. 14 from 01/01/1932 to 08/13/1944

(Total baptized no. 1,197)

1. From March 17th to March 26th, this church held the “SS. Missioni” preached by the RR. PP. (reverend priests) cappuchin Lorenzo da Pizzoli and Francesco Saverio da Castiglione. People were fruitfully consoled; almost 4,000 holy communions among which 1,200 were to men only. Memorable were the day of adolescence and that of infancy but especially memorable was the Holy Wake of the 23rd and 24th for men only. A.M.D.G.

* continues in record no. 15

2. Period of overcrowding (of baptisms?). When recording again, it will start from June 6th thereafter. 

Record no. 15 from 01/01/1950 to 11/13/1966

  1. From June 26th 1963, baptisms are conferred in the Church of San Rocco. The main church is closed for repairs. It will reopen 12/05/65.

Record no. 16 from 01/02/1967

1. May 24, 1981: Pastoral visit with notice: “Perform catechism so that the faithful residents will request the baptism to be performed within a month from the birth of the child”.

2. Note 2 page 130: after 11 years from the 1984 earthquake, on 08/07/95 we came back to the parochial church of San Giacomo almost entirely restored thanks to the generous contribution of the faithful residents. The holy mass was performed by the new priest Don Gabriele Teti.

CRESIME / Confirmations

Book of confirmations

30th day of July 1894

by the illustrious and reverend

Monsignor Archbishop

and Count of Chieti

P. Rocco Cocchia (.)

during his saint visit in Torricella

(.)His excellence Monsignor Rocco Cocchia enjoyed coming to Torricella to expressly begin the canonical progress of the hereby book.

July 29, 1894 Abbot Gilberto Porreca

(from Confirmation Record n. 2)


Record no. 1 from June 18, 1745 to August 30, 1841

a) Pastoral visit of June 18, 19, 20 and 21, 1745 – Total confirmed = 552

b) Pastoral visit of June 28, 29 and 30, 1757 – Total confirmed = 390

c) Pastoral visit of June 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, 1762 – Total confirmed = 211

d) Pastoral visit of June 5, 1766 – Total confirmed = 175

e) Pastoral visit of July 27, 28 and 29, 1773 – Total confirmed = 290

f) Pastoral visit of July 10 and 11, 1793 – Total confirmed = 532

g) Pastoral visit of June 12, 1804 – Total confirmed = 722

h) Pastoral visit of August 30, 1841 – Total confirmed = 834

Record no. 2 from July 13, 1858 to July 30, 1894

a) Pastoral visit of July 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, 1858 – Total confirmed = 933

b) Pastoral visit of July 7, 8 and 9, 1879 -Total confirmed = 1728

c) Pastoral visit of July 13 and 14, 1888 – Total confirmed = 869

d) Pastoral visit of July 30, 1894 *- Total confirmed = 614

* We find the following note:

His excellence Monsignor Rocco Cocchia enjoyed his visit to Torricella made expressly to personally input this record into the canonical documents. July 29, 1894

Abbot Gilberto Porreca

Record no. 3 from June 19, 1899 to 09/24/1922

a) Confirmed of June 19 and 29, 1899 no. 419

b) Confirmed of June 20 and 21, 1902 no. 263

c) Confirmed of June 10 and 11, 1907 no. 370

d) Confirmed of June 19, 1910 no. 220

e) Confirmed of September 6 and 8, 1922 no. 420 *

* With footnote:

Torricella Peligna 09/24/1922 Abbot Cosmo Di Cicco.

The new record should be compiled with printing material, where the birth date of the individual being confirmed will be indicated as well. During his saint pastoral visit on May 27, 1928. Conv. Antonio Burdini.

Record no. 4 (printed records begin)

a) Confirmed of May 27, 1928 no. 283

b) Confirmed of May 14, 1933 no. 306

c) Confirmed of April 17, 1939 no. 367

Record no. 5

a) Confirmed of May 29, 1946 no. 392

b) Confirmed of August 28, 1947 in Fallascoso

c) Confirmed of October 16, 1950 no. 148

Record no. 6

A list is started with 16 confirmed on 06/16/1954 in Fallascoso with 159 confirmed on 10/16/1955

confirmed in various churches that are not Torricella

on August 28, 1959 there were no. 104 confirmed

in various churches

confirmed in Torricella

in various churches

8 confirmed in Torricella

in various churches


in various churches

with pastoral visit

in various churches


in various churches

Torricella + various

in various churches

in Vasto


with note: make sure that the confirmation is performed on young people during junior high school.




MATRIMONI / Marriages

Record no. 1 from 8/1/1625 to 10/22/1712

From the Christ year 1625, the 15th day of the month of August by grace and with the protection of God and the Virgin Mary.

In this book all of those who will join in matrimony will be recorded by order of the illustrious and reverend Signor Marsili Archbishop and Count of Chieti, during the period when Pietro di Torricella was abbot.

Translation of the first wedding

I, Pietro Abbot of Torricella, am full of undoubted faith while in these three days of celebration I record the marriage during a solemn holy mass between Cipriano D’Antrilli and Laura Di Marino in this month when we celebrate the holiday of San Pietro in Vincoli, the second Sunday from the eleventh one from the Pentecost, the third Sunday from the twelfth one from the Pentecost and, because there was no obstacle to this union, and with Giovanni Domenico Porreca present, between Giovanni Belardi Ficcaglia, I married them in the church of San Giacomo.

(See page 38)

* 5 marriages are recorded in the baptisms records

* in order or numbered progressively

From 1/4/1766 to 12/2/1807

From page 59 to page 80 we find

marriages from 1793 to 1797 and we find:

N.N. joined in legal matrimony with N.N. in front of the church around the year … as it is witnessed by the elders of this town hall.

In faith, the abbot N. Degregorius.

On page 81 we find an act of promise of marriage.

From page 82 to page 198 it is blank.

The record continues with the year 1837

Record no. 5 from 01/12/1901 to 12/29/1930, printed. 803 marriages

Record no. 6 from 1/28/1931 to 7/15/37 with acts numbered from 1 to 151

Record no. 7 from 8/29/1937 to 6/26/1944 with acts numbered from 1 to 143

Record no.8 from 6/29/1944 to 11/30/1950 numbered from 1 to 154

Record no. 9 from 12/2/1950 to 5/24/1954

Record no. 10 from 6/1/1954 to 1/26/1961

Record no. 11 from 2/8/1961 to 12/27/1969

Record no. 12 from 1/24/1970 to 10/27/1990

Record no. 13 from 4/20/1991 to…..

DEFUNTI / Deaths

Christ Year


Book of the dead, organized in pages, as it appears, under the ordinance of regal laws.

Whoever you may be, read carefully this book:

remember to meditate as to how cruel death keeps everyone and everything subject to itself.


(translation of the latin text)

FEDERICO ASPROMONTE, son of Ottaviano and Maria di Julio, in his age of 42, after having confessed himself, after having received the Holy Communion and the Final Blessing, without lacking of spiritual assistance until the very end, rested in God on August 7 while “everything rested”. When day came (in the current year of 1743), after performing the ceremonies, his body was buried in the church of San Giacomo Maggiore.

In faith.

Abbot Don Celestino

Record no. 1 from 4/4/1656 to 11/30/1704

1. buried in the church of San Antonio Abate

2. starting in San Giacomo, November 1658

Record no. 2 from 1/3/1705 to 7/29//1735

Record no. 3 from 12/23/1742 to 01/2/1762 from page 1 to 103 numbered and, separately, with an index of names.

Record no. 4 from 01/4/1762 to 9/8/1801 numbered from page 1 to page 298

Record no. 5 from 9/8/1801 to 6/27/1831

Record no. 6 from 1/3/1832 to 5/23/1838 numbered from page 1 to page 73

1. Buried in S. Giacomo until 9/11/1837.

As a matter of fact, from death no. 87 on for the whole year of 1838 the burial was done in the rural church of San Antonio of Padua.

Record no. 7 from 05/27/1838 to 12/26/1845

– from November 15 the burial wasonce again done in San Giacomo

Record no. 8 from 1/3/1846 to 12/29/1865

1. From 09/1 to 11/6 … sepulcro statuto

pro cholericis = state of the burial … 72 dead by cholera

2. From 08/20 to 10/8 buried due to cholera

Record no. 9 from 1/10/1866 to 12/25/1900

Record no. 10 from 1/1/1901 to 9/22/1917 (1169 deaths)

Record no. 11 from 9/22/1917 to 11/17/1947 (1692 deaths)

Record no. 12 from 1/7/1948 to 9/26/1979

* 04/1/1954 last funeral of Di Cicco Don Cosma

Record no. 13 from 1980 to present

1985- 09/24 = last funeral of Don Francesco

1996 – 10/21 new priest Don Roberto Miccoli starts