POINT Chapter 15 Meeting - November 1, 2008
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POINTers In Person
Lou Costello Chapter 15

Northern New Jersey

Pursuing Our Italian Names Together
November 1, 2008


The Northern New Jersey chapter of POINTers In Person met on November 1, 2008, at the Elmwood Park Municipal Building.  Twenty-eight people attended.

Maria Carparelli (#2100)made the sad announcement that the husbands of two of the chapter’s members, Lucille Kent (#3038) and Margaret Frontera (#4839) had passed from this life.  The chapter expressed its sincere condolences.

Due to the absence of Maryanne Graham (#3654), Maria presented the treasurer’s report.  The chapter has 42 members.

 It was decided to postpone the chapter’s research trips until next year.

Annita Zalenski (#39) brought to the attention of the chapter that the Passaic County Clerk recently made naturalization records available over the Internet.  The records date from 1837.
The site also includes property searches.  See http://records.passaiccountynj.org for details.

Al Marotta (#1018) mentioned that the Italian American Museum has relocated to the site of what was once Banca Stabile, a bank patronized by Italian immigrants in Lower Manhattan from 1882 to 1932.  It is located at 155 Mulberry Street.  The museum first opened in midtown Manhattan in 2001 and is associated with Queens College.  An article about the Italian American Museum can be found in the September 9, 2008 edition of The New York Times, entitled “In Little Italy, A Former Bank will Now Hold Italian Immigrants’ Memories” and also in La Notizia Italiana, the chapter’s newsletter.  Al also alerted members that the Italian Tribune (June 19, 2008) reported that Andrea Barbaria was named the first Italian Consul of Newark (NJ) as of July 1st.  Born in Chieri in the Province of Turin, Mr. Barbaria was previously in the new position of Vice Consul of Italy in Newark.  Northern NJ’s Italian Consulate’s jurisdiction is now established as an autonomous entity and thus is no longer under the jurisdiction of the General Consul of New York.

An in-depth presentation was given by Cynthia Harris, department supervisor librarian for the NJ Room of the Jersey City Public Library.  Her maternal family line is Italian, although family stories had her ancestors portraying themselves as French.  Cynthia’s father lived for 94 years and always believed that he was French.  Her research proved otherwise.

She outlined the wealth of resources available for historians and genealogists at her institution.  This library’s NJ Room emphasizes sources from Jersey City and Hudson County.  It has about 20,000 volumes, including Jersey City/Hoboken city directories from 1849-1925; Indices for the Jersey Journal from 1912-1954 and 1969-Present; a picture collection of over 13,000 images, maps, etc.; and over 150 periodicals.

Ms. Harris reminded the chapter that Jersey City (Hudson County) contains a village once known as Bergen, which is New Jersey’s oldest European settlement. Originally part of the Dutch colony of New York, this village was settled by the Dutch in 1660; it had the State’s first local government and first school and church. By 1873 Jersey City, Bergen and three other villages (Van Vorst, Hudson and Greenville) consolidated to form the present Jersey City.

The oldest Italian Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Newark (comprised of Essex, Bergen, Hudson and Union Counties), Holy Rosary parish (est.1885), is located in Jersey City.  Due to Jersey City’s proximity to the ferries and rail lines of Hoboken and southern Manhattan and since it had three major railroads and numerous piers along its waterfront, immigrants of all nationalities quickly made Jersey City their home.

Numerous databases are available in the NJ Room.  Among them are birth announcements 1920-1968); lists of grammar school graduates of the city’s public schools (1885-1912); lists of graduates from its four high schools, special schools and Catholic high school; marriage announcements (1861-2003); obituaries (1855-1979); and a listing of the staff of the city’s public schools (1871-1887).  Other resources include City Directories (1849-1925), local telephone books (1931-2006) and various indices to the Jersey Journal (including name, topic, obituaries, marriages, etc.).  There is a source which shows the original street names of Jersey City and those of its once independent villages, especially Hudson City and Bergen, and also the new street names after these villages consolidated into one city.  A local photographer index is also available, which may reveal what collection contains their works.  Ms. Harris also gave members examples of the indices, in order to show the chapter how to decipher the codes within.

For details see: www.jclibrary.org/service/njroom.php

Future meetings will be held on:

     February 7, 2009
     May 2, 2009
     August 1, 2009
     November 7, 2009

 For details, see our website: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~njpoint/


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