POINT Chapter 15 Meeting -August 4, 2007

POINTers In Person
Lou Costello Chapter 15

Northern New Jersey


Pursuing Our Italian Names Together
August 4, 2007

The Northern New Jersey chapter of POINTers In Person met on August 4, 2007 at the Elmwood Park Municipal Building.  Twenty-six people attended.

Maria Carparelli (#2100) opened the meeting by welcoming all in attendance .

 Maryanne Graham (#3654) presented the treasurer’s report.  The chapter has 94 members; 69 of them have kept their dues current.  If dues are not paid by August 4, names will be removed from our mailing and membership lists.

Susan Berman (#4405) told members that, at the chapter’s request, she arranged a special resentation with Marylou Romano, the director of Coro d’Italia, an Italian-American inter-generational ensemble from northern NJ.  Coro d’Italia considers itself to be the first ensemble dedicated solely to traditional Italian music, dance and costuming.   This year marks the 75th anniversary of that ensemble’s founding.  This special event is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2007 at the Elmwood Park Municipal Building at 10 a.m. on the occasion of the chapter’s tenth anniversary.  The chapter hopes to advertise this event widely.  This special event will replace our November 3rd meeting.

A member exchange of genealogical findings, questions, etc. followed.

Al Marotta (#1018) mentioned that the 108th Annual Feast of St. Gerard, an authentic Italian feast, will take place October12-16, 2007 at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, NJ. The feast includes various blessings, Masses and processions on three days throughout the streets of the former “Little Italy” section of Newark.  It was also noted that the July 2007 issue of Smithsonian Magazine featured an article, “The Family Tree Pruned”.  It gave a negative view on genealogy, perhaps tongue-in-cheek.  Also, a book, “Italian Americans of Nutley, Newark and Belleville” (Essex County, NJ) is being published with the support of  Seton Hall University’s College of Education and Human Services and the university’s Charles & Joan Alberto Institute of Italian Studies.  If anyone has pertinent photos to contribute for this work, they can contact the author, Dr. Sandra Lee at leesander@shu.edu or call 973-762-3280.

Lillian Pappas (#2717) showed members her huge hourglass family tree which she created with Family Tree Maker.  After it was exported to a CD-ROM for printing at Kinko’s, the family tree’s horizontal boxes became vertical and Lillian wanted to know how to change them back.  Suggestions were made.

Susan recently visited her aunt for a party and after showing her and others the family tree, interest was sparked among the older members of the family.

Loretta Tito (#4717) asked if members knew of the best way to repair a copy of an original family photo.  It was stated that almost any photo could be enhanced to appear new by digital means.  Any small camera shop should be able to help with this.

Nick Vallario has had difficulty locating information about his great-grandfather, including his birthplace.  A member thought that seeking his military record would help.

Debbie Seragusa is unable to find her ancestors in the 1910 Federal Census for Manhattan.

Maria showed the chapter some original family documents.  Tony Desiderioscioli quickly translated one legal document and said that it appeared to be an affidavit stating that Maria’s grandfather would be responsible for his arriving brother.  The other document was a small booklet showing the membership of Maria’s ancestor in the Court Vespers of Sicily Foresters of America, a sort of Italian Masonic Lodge.

Tony Desiderioscioli mentioned that he was able to research his family back to 1750,  especially through the LDS Family History Centers.  He said that the processetti attached to the  marriage records are most valuable for research.

Margaret Cenci Frontera  (#4839) made members aware of the usefulness of the New York Public Library online catalog for finding books, etc.  (old and new) about your community in Italy.  Books on many small Italian towns can be found there.

Maria ended the meeting by reminding the chapter that the revised date for our next  meeting is October 27 and that it will be a special presentation to commemorate our chapter’s  tenth anniversary.

Future meetings will be held on:
     October 27, 2007
     February 2, 2008
     May 3, 2008
     August 2, 2008

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


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