Military records

This guide was last updated in August 2014

Since 1865 until the present day every Italian male has been required to register for military service at the age of 18.

These registro do leva records for a particular area date from the time it became part of the unified country. They are usually indexed and easy to consult. After 75 years they are passed to the state archive where they are available for consultation.

Military records are very important for anyone starting research in Italy if the (male) ancestor's place of origin is not known precisely, since they are organised on a provincial basis while all other records are based on the comune.

The records will give place of origin and names of parents, the conscript’s occupation and physical description, their ability to read and write and whether or not they were accepted for military service.

For anyone who was accepted the registro dei fogli matricolari has details of his service, place of service, promotions and discharge record. These will have been compiled for every Italian male, even if he had emigrated and, possibly for some, without their knowledge!

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