Dayton Ohio East Family History Center/Class Schedule

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Italian Genealogy

Presenter: Michael W. Garrambone is a retired Army Officer and Military Operations Research Analyst for InfoSciTex Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Engineering Science and has master’s degrees in operations research, business administration, and education. He is a volunteer staff member at the Fairborn Family History Center where his interests are in Italian genealogy, historical research, computer applications, and all aspects of graphics and teaching. He has been doing family history research since 1988 where he has been tracking immigrants from Sicily and Central Italy, and early African and Native Americans from the Virginias. He is a web, database, and map user and keeper of correspondence. He has used the Family Tree Maker program since 1990 and is familiar with scanning, computer graphics, and most research sources at the national, state, and local archives. He likes to share interesting stories and unusual turn of events that have occurred in his own family searches.

Details: Saturday, 10 March, 9:00 am – 12 noon in the Church Building beside the Family History Center.

Follow the signs once you arrive at the building.


Italian Genealogy I. If you listened to the first generation Italian-Americans, they told stories about their families coming to America and earning a living in a land of opportunity. These folks were often in a hurry to become Americans and yet they retained their Old World customs and culture. What they did not always do, was pass their history onto the next generation. They spoke and lived their heritage, but they wrote little and rarely kept significant documentation. The onus is on us to search out this heritage but the trail is often cold and somewhat disjointed. Fear not for there is a way to put together the branches of the Italian family tree. Come to the Italian Research presentation to see how to find those Italian family members. The presentation will show you what to search, and how to go about it. We will talk about Italy, Italians, and Italian records, but mostly about how to use what is readily available to track down those “paesanos.”

Italian Genealogy II. If you liked “Italian Genealogy” than grab your lasagna and come to this savory second portion for more interesting aspects of searching about in the Big Boot. In this session we cover more about the land and the cities and towns where your families come from. We talk about the do’s of record hunting, and show more examples of various records and how to identify your family information contained in them. We explore Italian ship records, citizenship papers, photographs, and those significant church documents. There are discussions on history and culture, references and websites. It is great if you attended “Italian Genealogy” first, but either way be prepared for a few of those unbelievable but true unique Italian stories about the Italian “albero genealogico” hunt.

Italian Genealogy III. In this third installment we are now deep down in the pasta. We are concentrating our efforts on understanding, obtaining, and interpreting the Italian and Latin forms of the documents you can expect to see as a result of the hunt. We talk a little history and how it pertains to the records and work on the stylized versions of documents that you would expect to find by reading the portions that contain your family data. Expect to learn some key vocabulary words to classify documents, occupations, and the relationships of family members. This presentation reviews some of the items of interest from presentations I and II and goes further in extracting information you need to making informative charts and to improve you’re your guessing abilities. After all is done, expect to think like Da Vinci, talk like De Niro, and search and perform your “Italian detective work” like “Columbus or Columbo.“