Uneven lives: Female Economy, Migration Patterns and Citizenship in Early Modern Italy

Research project
Early Modern History

Uneven lives: Female Economy, Migration Patterns and Citizenship in Early Modern Italy (FemEcoMig)

The FemEcoMig project investigates the migration patterns of women (and their families) in the Piedmont-Savoy State during the early modern and modern period. By focusing on female work, property and social networks, the project brings into the history of migration historiographical problems that are often confined to women/gender history, with the results to improve our understanding of migration.

The first objective of the project is to understand female migration patterns (whether chain network, family migration or temporary migration). Especially it analyses the role of women's paid and unpaid work as well as their property. In addition the research investigates the nature and the extent of female social networks (kinship and family ties, community ties, peers etc..). Special attention is paid to the interconnection with marital status, class, age, life-cycle, property rights and education/training. Incorporating these female migrants, and their contribution in terms of work, property and social network, into the narrative of migration expands and challenges the way in which we understand the economic role of migrant women.

            The second objectives of the project is to analyse the connections between female migration and the achievement of naturalisation and citizenship. This section of the project studies who were the women and men applying for naturalisation and the reasons for their application. The contents of the grant is examined, as well as the practices and the concrete conditions in which citizenship was enacted by foreigners.


FemEcoMig exploits a set of quantitative and qualitative sources available for the city of Turin and other Piedmontese medium and small size towns over a span of one hundred and fifty years (1705-1858). For the city of Turin, these include three population censuses (1705, 1802 and 1858), a collection of processicoli matrimoniali (1760-1791) and a collection of marriage acts written during Napoleonic rule (1803-1813). In addition, it exploits the notarial deeds and the civil trials of three different Piedmontese courts (Giudicatura, Prefettura and Senato).

FemEcoMig exploits also the series of the patents of naturalization granted by the duke/king since the end of the seventeenth century.


Presentation of first results of the project



Marie Slodowska-Curie Action, Horizon 2020 


Contact : Dr. Beatrice Zucca Micheletto


Page credits & information

Image: detail from Kapelle (Illustrations of the Rhine) British Museum Collection