POINTers IN PERSON REPORT
Chapter #10-Texas, Central Texas/Austin
Marilyn Maniscalco Henley (#1653)
As Italian music serenaded in the background, twenty-seven family researchers gathered at our first (annual?) workshop on Italian Genealogy Saturday, January 25, 1997 from 2-6 PM at the Bank One Bldg., Round Rock, TX.
In addition to the sixteen chapter members, there were 11 visitors from several areas. One came from Houston, one from San Antonio, one from Waco, one from Round Rock, one from Buda, three from Austin. and three from Dallas. Those coming from the Dallas area talked about setting up a PIP chapter there.
Virginia and Jim Gerick greeted each attendee and gave them their nametag and folder, which included a handout for each presentation and surname lists of our members and guests. Eugenia Luken displayed her mothers beautiful Italian linens. Other Sicilian items were also on display.
On another table were an assortment of books on Italian research and POINTer information. Family charts supplied by our members hung on the back wall. Reale's Restaurant of Austin loaned three beautiful Italian posters. Bob Brinkman manned the video camera.
Lin welcomed everyone to the workshop and promised homemade Minestrone Soup and Bread at the end to nourish them for their journey home. She said that her grandmother never let anyone leave hungry (an Italian tradition). There were 5-10 minute breaks between each presentation giving everyone an opportunity to get some fruit, cookies and beverage.
Bill Brinkman began his presentation showing a circle divided into 11 sections representing areas of genealogy research. He spoke in detail about the LDS Family History Center and their vast holding of microfilmed records, how to access them and what types of records are available. His handout included the Soundex coding key and blank census forms for 1900-1920. He showed the typical genealogy steps to follow to identify family members and explained how to locate immigration records at the FHC. Bill also emphasized searching records at the National Archives, libraries, on the Internet, on computer disks, civil records, Italian records, relatives and, of course, in POINT.
Tony Abbittista, who manages our Web page spoke on Using the Computer in Genealogy. He talked about our web page and offered his assistance if anyone wants to start their own page. His handout included the instructions of how to subscribe to PIE and he explained how you do not need to be on the Internet to subscribe to PIE. Tony also supplied a selected list of web sites that are helpful to our Italian research and a list of the various genealogy programs currently available.
Marilyn Maniscalco Henley presented on Domestic (US) Research for Italian Ancestors. She talked about what, where and how to get the various records possibly generated by our Italian immigrants from the ships passenger record to the death certificate. She included getting family information and the benefits of linking up with another family member to work a project together. She demonstrated how to find that terribly misspelled census record and passenger list that won't show up on the "correct" Soundex, showing examples from her own research. Marilyn gave suggestions on how to try to find naturalization records, the many civil and local records available and newspaper resources.
Joe Mastrangelo centered his talk on Italian records and writing to Italy. First, he explained the how Italian records are organized, the regions, provinces and towns, what records are available and where they are located. He showed various records obtained both from LDS film and from the Italian towns and archives and how the quality can differ. He described what information is available on each type of record. He then talked about writing to Italy and showed how he has used Italian Assistant to translate his letters into Italian, with suggestions on how to word the letter. He emphasized the important material in Trafford Cole's book, Italian Genealogical Records.
After Joe's presentation, Lin thanked everyone for coming and participating and offered soup and bread. Members and guests continued to visit for another hour.
Other chapter members attending and helping with the workshop were Frank and Beth Henry (Iannarino), sheila Dugosh, Marie Mastrangelo, Sharen Nichols, Dorothy Mango Onofrio Lippincott and Angie Clark.