POINT Chapter 15 Meeting - November 5, 2005

POINTers In Person
Chapter 15
Northern New Jersey

P.O. Box 636
Totowa, New Jersey

Pursuing Our Italian Names Together

November 5, 2005

Albert Marotta (#1018)

The Northern New Jersey chapter of POINTers In Person met on November 5, 2005 at the
Elmwood Park Municipal Building.  Seventeen people attended.

Maria Carparelli (#2100) opened the meeting by alerting members to the POINT National Conference 2006, scheduled for October 6-8, 2006 at the Hacienda Hotel in El Segundo, California.  Also, she mentioned that there will be a “Roots in the Boot” Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, featuring Italian-American Family History, Genealogy and Culture.  The Conference will be held July 14-16, 2006.  See rootsintheboot@Yahoo.com for details.  Maria told members about an interesting exhibition presented by the Italian American Museum, located at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute/Queens College, at 28 West 44th Street in Manhattan.  The exhibition, “Freeing the Angel from the Stone” showcases original sculptures, photos and memorabilia of the six Piccirilli brothers.  These brothers were the sons of a famous sculptor from Massa-Carrara, Italy.  Their well-known carvings include the Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial, the Fountain at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., the lions outside the New York Public Library, and the Memorial Arch in Washington Square Park, Manhattan.  See www.italianamericanmuseum.org

The death, in September, of Barbara Lenora Mawhinney, director of the Latter Day Saints, Caldwell Stake Family History Library was brought to the chapter’s attention.  A condolence card will be sent to her family by the chapter.  Barbara had always been most helpful to every researcher who entered that library.

Maryanne Graham (#3654) presented the treasurer’s report.  The chapter has 87 members;
56 of them have kept their dues current.

Members began to narrow down the details for a possible field trip.  It was decided to visit the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side for a tour and then get together for lunch in nearby Little Italy.  The date chosen was the first Saturday of April.  Logistics, cost, transportation, etc. have yet to be determined.  A mailing with the details will be sent to members.  Also, members decided to meet at a restaurant, following our February meeting.  Michele Marotta handed out a sheet of restaurant possibilities which was prepared by Loretta Tito (#4717).  A restaurant has yet to be selected.

Margaret Cenci Frontera (#4839) told members about the Calabria DNA Project.  Its goal is to collect data in order to learn more precisely from which ancient tribes ancestors from Calabria originated, as well as to re-construct the history of Calabria in depth.  See www.calabriadna.com for details.  She also showed members a book about the immigration of Italians to Brazil.

Carolyn McNamara (#4772) reminded members that the National Geographic Society together with IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation has launched the Genographic Project to study migration patterns by collecting DNA from those who order a Genographic Project kit. Sal Lagattuta (#3352) said that another project has been established to study the genetic heritage of Sicily.  Family Tree DNA – Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. is involved with the “Sicily Surname Project”.

Sal asked if anyone knew whether the paperwork for an adoptee’s NY birth certificate, which includes only the adoptive parents’ names, is common for other States.  Kathleen Mazzouccolo said that NJ issues a new birth certificate which shows the adoptive parents’ names, but the original certificate with the birth parents’ names, is sealed.

Sue Berman (#4405) brought to the chapter’s attention a periodical, “Il Ponte Italo-Americano:
Rivista internazionale di cultura, arte e poesia”, which is published in Verona, NJ

Joe Infosino (#4718) informed the chapter that Geri Mola was selected to be the President of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ.  He also said that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced plans to digitize and index more than 2 million rolls of microfilmed birth, death and census records and make them available on the Internet.

Phil Oddo (#774) gave a brief, but enlightening presentation featuring the fruit of his genealogical research – a three volume family history, complete with family trees, photographs, maps, postcards, copies of vital records, etc.  He believes that his descendents are just as important as his ancestors.  Phil made 12 three volume sets in ring-binder format for his children and grandchildren and hopes that they will update it.  The dedication page featured his mother, who started researching only her Irish family branch in the 1970s.

Phil reminded members that the organization of genealogical data is the most important thing a researcher must do.  He began his research in 1989 and by 2002 he began the great task of organizing the material so that it could be presented in book format.  In order for his work to last for generations, Phil used acid-free paper in acid-free jackets.  He gave members insights into how he organized his data.  His work begins with a Family Tree Page, showing five generations. This is followed by a Table of Contents and an Introduction, explaining the purpose of his research.  Included is a Summary of vital data of 49 different related surnames mentioned in the text so that the reader can see in a glance the people within.  Then the background of the “Oddo” name is given together with a description of the family crest.  The first section, which focuses on Phil himself, contains text, a miniature genealogy chart for context, a copy of his birth certificate and other vital records, maps showing his birthplace and related sites, photos and many other items.  This format is used in each section.  The second section focuses on Phil’s father.  This is followed by sections for each ancestor.  Wives, children, siblings, and the current extended family of 22 relatives are included.

His masterful work closes with “Concluding Comments” and “Sources Cited”.

It is interesting to note that Phil annually visits the grave in Massachusetts of his relative (from his mother’s side) who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Future meetings will be held on:
     May 6, 2006
     August 5, 2006
     November 4, 2006
     February 3, 2007

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

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