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July 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘Genealogy’

OGS Conference 2010 – Follow Up

Over 700 people attended and participated in this years Ontario Genealogy Conference held last weekend in Toronto. I spoke with several people who attended the Conference (due to expected events I was not able to attend after all) – all who enjoyed the event immensely and were excited about the sessions they attended. I met with a good friend of mine, Henri Malizia on Sunday night who flew in for the Conference from the US and we discussed the series over dinner. Henri has been extracting the records for Settefrati, Frosinone, Italy and has joined with Family Search to host those records on the website where they will be available to researchers everywhere for free.
John Philip Colletta was a big hit with the crowd – one person’s summary about the way she felt was “John Coletta was amazing to listen and watch.. such an icon to Italian American Genealogy”. I’m also told he had a wonderful sense of humour and really inspired the group to pursue their Italian ancestry.
I hope to be posting some of the highlights of the weekend soon.

Next year’s OGS will be held in Hamilton, Ontario, during May 13th to May 15th.

Who Do You Think You Are

WDYTYAWith the final two episodes of WDYTYA under way, I thought I should at least mention it once. I haven’t before because it seems like every time I turn around someone has either written, blogged or mentioned it. Talk about over kill. The series is interesting – it gives me an excuse to watch TV on Friday nights which is a nice break from housework, the computer and watching silly reruns of movies I have already seen at least a hundred times but it’s still not what I expected.
I feel the series, while good, is not geared to the average person. There is too much use of professional genealogists and jet setting all over the world. It also is misleading because so far, EVERYONE has had some famous or glorified ancestor in their family- which is not going to be the case for most people. Using actors as the main subjects is entertaining but allowing them into archives to handle old documents without the use of gloves or a pencil makes me cringe! Tell me you or I could go into that same archive and get away with something like that!
And because the shows are only an hour in length I find they jump over some important steps to how they arrive at discovering that all too important piece of family history. Instead of doing such a long introduction or a boring and pointless recap after each commercial, why not talk more about the sources used or the time frame involved in arriving to the outcome? The only time I have seen mention of any online source used is when someone logs onto Ancestry to look up a ship manifest. That’s great if you have the luxury of a laptop and subscription to ancestry from home, but if not, it is available at most libraries or Family History Centers for free. Or another alternative is the Ellis Island site if your ancestors arrived through New York and prior to 1924.

In spite of this, I do enjoy the show and I am happy that it has been picked up for another season. I only hope that they will eventually realize that there is so much more that they can do with the show to improve it.

Future Episodes:
Friday, April 26 – Susan Sarandon traces her ancestry to Tuscany, Italy
Friday, April 30 – Spike Lee traces his African- American roots.

Italian Surname Database

Italian Surname LogoThe Italian Surname Database lists hundreds of surnames and contacts for those looking to connect with others researching the same names. To submit your surname to the site, use the feedback form. Include your Surname, Town, Province and Region in Italy you are researching, the name you wish to be known as and a valid email address where you can be contacted.

Please, do not send genealogy related questions through the feedback form as they go directly to the database queue to await approval and all other questions will be deleted. If you do have a genealogical related question then consider posting on Gente di Mare Italian Genealogy Forum. Registration and membership are both free and there are many wonderful volunteers willing and ready to help. Happy Researching! :)

OGS Conference 2010

The Ontario Genealogical Conference 2010 will be held on Friday, May 14 through Sunday, May 16, 2010, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This years theme is: “Essentials, Innovations & Delights” and will feature case studies, workshops and guest speakers such as genealogist Dr. John Philip Colletta, author of They Came in Ships and Finding Italian Roots – two must haves for anyone researching their Italian Roots,
Ruth Blair, who is also a professional genealogist based in Oakville, Ontario and author of Planning a Genealogical Trip to Ireland: the Research Trail in Dublin and Linda L. Reid, a retired librarian and volunteer in the Toronto Family History Centre of the LDS Church.

Of special interest to me is the Italian Ancestry Stream they have planned for Saturday, May 15 in which Dr. Colletta will conduct an exclusive two part lecture followed by highlight research techniques and sources in Italy, and how they are used to trace a family’s origins.

The Conference location for this years event will be held at
Doubletree by Hilton—Toronto Airport
655 Dixon Road
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M9W 1J3
Tel: 1-416-244-1711

You can book your accommodation here or visit their website for more information.

I look forward to attending and hope to see you there!

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