A museum about last names and family histories

How it began

The Museo del Cognome was born from the idea of Michele Cartusciello, an enthusiast of local traditions and cultures. He started to cultivate an interest in genealogy back in 1984. For the first time, he stepped into the municipal archive of his hometown, Padula, a tiny village located in the south of Salerno province.

The investigations to create his family tree led him to visit municipal, church, and state archives.

The experience he gained over the years turned into the opening of the Museo del Cognome in 2012.

Museum Exhibition

Located in a 1700s old town building, the Museum is one-of-a-kind-place about genealogy in the world. The interior has got specific sections to help visitors learning how to build their family tree.

Section #1
You will take the first step in your family history research: preliminary research, what and where to search for, vital records and church books.

Section #2
You will learn how to put all the pieces and info together: family line, ascendants and descendants charts, extended family tree.

Section #3
You will find military records, notarial deeds, and cadastral documents.

Section #4
Opened in 2014, the section #4 will show you records and family histories of famous people like Pope Francis, Luigi Pirandello, Robert De Niro, and Silvester Stallone, just to mention a few.

Section #5
You will find out documents on Emigration like boarding lists, censuses, passport applications, and much more.

Section #6
You will get the chance to start with your family history research thanks to a work station and Internet access.

What is the museum for?

Family names history
A journey on how the last names evolved over the centuries, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Italian Surnames
Fun facts and anecdotes from the archives we visited.

Hundreds of books are available for free consultation by enthusiasts and professionals.

Genealogy lessons
Specific lessons for those who take the first step in this ambit and aim to learn more about the tricks.

Genealogy and archival tour
A specific didactic tour for schools and organized groups of people who want to visit local municipal and church archives.


Our clients history