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IL CIRCOLO CALABRESE - The world's oldest and largest organization devoted to the study and preservation of the genealogy, history, culture and language of the Calabria region of Italy.

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Happy Birthday GENTE!

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far.

Gente di Mare Genealogy Forum

Gente di Mare Genealogy Forum

Today marks a special day for Gente di Mare Genealogy and for many of us. It was on this day in 2007 that Carole and I joined together and Gente was ‘born’ – but only because of the dedication and help we had from our then small Gente family. To them I will forever be grateful. Neither Carole nor myself were very tech savvy. In fact, our online skills were very limited to say the least. But it was because of the Gente family that we learned and we grew and we created a home where we could discuss our love of Italian genealogy and research. Today, in spite of Facebook and Twitter we still have over 1760 registered members and many wonderful friends from all over the world who continually amaze me with their generous support. I don’t think we would still be here without them!

We accomplished quite a bit those first few years. Many of our members found long lost relatives, traced their roots back several hundred years and honored their ancestors in one form or another. Some of us created family websites or sites dedicated to our ancestral towns [which are hosted by Gente] and it’s been such an honor to have shared these accomplishments with you!

Gente di Mare Italy Genealogy 2008

Gente di Mare Italian Genealogy 2008

Unfortunately maintaining so many sites became difficult [not to mention costly] so in 2015 the decision was made to streamline the quantity of domains we had and began consolidating the info into a few quality sites. We are still undergoing those changes today as several updates are required but we hope to have it complete by Spring 2017. Beginning in mid July we will be holding a fundraising drive to help with some of the costs of rebuilding the sites and forum so if you are interested in donating we would certainly appreciate it.

The Italian Surname Database grew so rapidly it was difficult to keep up. Eventually the site grew so large that it kept crashing the server so we moved the site to its current home. I would love for you all to check on the new home and ask forgiveness in the delay of adding names but I am working on it.

Carole Bienati 1941-2010 Co-Founder of Gente

Carole Bienati 1941-2010 Co-Founder of Gente

But along with the highs came the lows. Sadly we said goodbye to Carole almost 6 years ago. Her sudden passing shocked us all as we all knew how much Gente and its members meant to her. We shared, through the magic of the web her final send off and not a day goes by where I don’t think of her. It was a honor to have known her and will forever be blessed that she came into my life. Thank you Carole. You may be gone but you will never be forgotten.

Recently we also lost longtime member Gil. Gil was an active and outspoken man with a gentle heart who I will remember fondly. He was dedicated to Gente and often messaged me to remind me to check in or to report spam. I will miss him dearly as I know many of us here will. R.I.P. my friend.

We’ve gone through several changes over the years and I’m sure there will be several more to come. Social media has made it easier than ever to share info and to communicate with family or friends across the sea. Records are going finally going digital which makes researching so much easier for those willing to undertake the task themselves. In spite of this I still get several requests for help which proves, at least for now, that there is still a demand for a site like Gente and as long as that demand exists I will keep the site up. So thank you for helping us grow and Happy Birthday Gente!

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