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Cavaliere Anthonly Lascio

Cav. Anthony Lascio Chapter - PIP 1
December 2006

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PIP 1  Meeting Report
December 2006

Our final 2006 PIP1 quarterly meeting was held 6 December at Suparossa Ristorante in Woodridge, IL. Including three newcomers — Nancy Fako, Carole Marino Betz, and Joseph Strezelecki — ten participants exchanged some exciting findings about genealogy and pleasant recollections of recent visits to Italy.

Dominic Candeloro has kindly advised PIP1 of the availability of meeting, cultural, and library facilities at the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, a Chicago suburb. Consequently, we are planning to have our next (March 21, 2007) PIP1 meeting there. If the meeting draws a larger attendance than we normally have in the western suburb of Woodridge, we might have some or many of our future quarterly meetings at the Center. Stone Park is demographically located much closer to a larger population of Italian-Americans. Their library and cultural collections is of considerable interest and value for genealogical research. The topics for the March meeting will be arranged in consultation with Dominic.

Some of the activities taking place at the Center, in connection with organizations such as Casa Italia, include social activities by Pugliesi and Siciliani communities, as well as cultural activities involving vocal training, education, Italian-language lessons, and yoga.

A love-story movie, “Red Gold,” is being filmed about Italian prisoners working outside their prisoner-of- war camp as farm laborers in Indiana during World War II. The web site contains contact information, an extensive history, photos of the camps and the POWs, and some documents. According to the its web site,,

In 1943, thousands of Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa were held in internment camps in the United States. Due to the severe manpower shortage all the American men and boys were off fighting - the Italians were employed as laborers on farms, in factories and on the roads. Despite prohibition of personal contact between the prisoners and locals in a time of prejudice and fear, many prisoners met and fell in love with local American Girls.

Three of our chapter members, Patti Tolone, Elizabeth Esterly, and Gracia Bittner. attended the Los Angeles national POINT meeting in Los Angeles at their own expense (except for the registration fee of $165 reimbursed by our Chapter and by the PIP North Chapter in Schaumburg). The idea floated at the POINT meeting of shifting to regional meetings seemed to be well received.

Here are some highlights reported by Elizabeth Esterly:

  • One of the speakers, Paula Packwood, is a health care professional with 35 years of experience in the field. Her book, Your Family Health History, assists families in gathering and documenting their family health history by generation. She believes that families need to know their health histories in order to understand their own health tendencies and preventative health needs.
  • Paola Manfredi, an accredited genealogist, specializes in Italian research. She spoke about Italian Military records and passport records. Of interest to me are passport records. My maternal grandparents had traveled to France where my mother was born in 1904. My grandfather immigrated to the US in 1906 and my grandmother, mother and uncle in 1909 from Lucca, Italy. My father immigrated in 1913 after serving in the Italian Army-Bersaglieri from 1911 to 1913.
  • Elaine Alexander, is a specialist in materials and techniques in research of Passenger Lists and Naturalization Records. Her talk was of interest to me as I learned that the U.S. was in a period of depression from 1907 thru 1908. With my grandfather immigrating in 1906 and my grandmother, mother and uncle in 1909, this might have been the reason that they didn’t join my grandfather sooner.
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, author of Forensic Genealogy, and an avid genealogist, spoke about old photos. Her handout, “You Will Never Look at Old Photos the Same Way Again,” explains what to look for in a photo: Check for the photographer, clothing, what kind of camera took the picture and the type and style of the photograph.
  • Suzanne Adams, specializes in Italian research. She stated that an alien who married a U.S. citizen before January 1921 automatically became a U.S. citizen. My father became a citizen by enlisting in the U.S. Army in WW-I. My mother, as far as I know, never applied for citizenship.

--Alex DeVolpi


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