Military and conscription records contain very precious genealogical information. They provide not only vital information on your ancestor but also physical information.
Conscription records also called Registri di Leva or Liste di Estrazione di Leva list all Italian male-born from approximately 1855 (the imposition of the draft – conscription of all 18-years old males – dates back 1865), by year of birth, for each military district. The introduction of these records varies from geographical areas, but mostly they started around 1873, thus including all males born in 1855.
Military records were issued in dual copy; one is held in the military archive of each military district, the other is initially held by the Procura della Repubblica (Country Court at province level) and after 75 years, it is sent to the State Archive of the main province. Researching conscription records in the main provinces of the region of origin can be a unique way to start your research that otherwise would have been impossible (as far as town halls and parishes are concerned, you MUST know the comune of origin of your ancestor).
These records contain personal data that cannot be found in any other source, such as:
• Size of the chest
• Color and shape of hair, face, nose, and chin
• Eye color
• Skin color
• Condition of the teeth,
• Birthmarks, if any
In addition, you will be able to find the following vital information:
• Draftee’s full name
• His parents’ names
• His place of birth
• His profession
• His education (whether he was able to read and write or not)
• Ability to perform military services
• Date the service began
The most valuable Military Record is the Ruolo Matricolare which records all the developments in the military career, from promotions to changes in status.