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Cavaliere Anthonly Lascio

Cav. Anthony Lascio Chapter - PIP 1
June 2007

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PIP1 June 2007 Meeting Report

The regular quarterly PIP1 meeting was held on Wednesday, 20 June 2007, at the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, a suburb of Chicago. There were 17 sign-ins, including quite a few newcomers to Italian genealogy. As a result, substantial time was spent in introductions, overviews of genealogical research, exchanges of family-search results, and giving specific advice to those just beginning to find their roots.

Various accumulated genealogical resources were made available. The single-page flyer "Italian Genealogy Resources" prepared by Jenny Floro-Khalaf, host of, was passed out to newcomers which is especially useful because it contains specifics about internet sites, suggested books, organizations, newspapers, and magazines.

The primary organized topic for the evening was "Enhanced Genealogical Record-keeping and Research Tools." Keeping track of family information -- not only data, but also photos, documents, and other media -- has become increasingly important and necessary in genealogical research. Immense resources are becoming available because of the increased availability of public records and the large reach of the Internet.

So now a big problem has become not so much just where to look, but also how to store and keep track of the growing collection of information. Before the Internet, the biggest problem was how to uncover important family records; now the glut of information is also a chore.

This PIP meeting was focused on examples of how the software greatly expands the scope of family data collection. Therefore, we had presentations on the latest version of FamilyTreeMaker (FTM), which is integrated seamlessly with Internet resources, including Ancestry.Com and we also had an illustrated presentation by Arleen Gould about TMG -- The Master Genealogist (TMG) and the supporting program, Clooz.

The latest version (#16) of the well-established FTM included a free 3-day trial of, with which FTM is seamlessly integrated. is valuable in accessing new census, draft registration, and immigration records; the version for international data costs about $300/year. Get Smarts is an ancillary program that helps find locations, clean up data, set up to-do lists, and collect factual information. Some family trees produced with FTM illustrated one member’s (Volpi) family history tracked back to before 1400 in Como, with other branches in Bari and Trento.

TMG is a genealogy program that lets you customize the way you work in pursuing family history. It is a program that does more then give relationships. People can be flagged to show medical importance, i.e., diabetes and how you can track it thru your family lines. Reports can be refined to locate exact people in your database, i.e., if you need to find all males living in the US born between 1878 and 1900. With this list you are able to locate WWII draft registrations. The look of TMG can be modified by the user.

Clooz is a program that lets you compress stacks of paper you have piled up and really have no need for any longer. You can enter death certificates, census pages, passenger manifests, etc., into pre-designed templates. This way you have saved all the information electronically, and the paper can be filed away.

After the presentations, Dominic Candeloro conducted a short tour of the Italian Cultural Center, and then pizza and drinks were served. Dominic also provided equipment for the presentations. During the informal meal we talked about the use of various archives, such as NARA and IRAD. Brief mention was made about the Chicago Herald American of July 25, 1943, that included photos of scores of Chicago Italian Americans in the Military during World War II.

Earlier in June, the Italian Cultural Center was represented at the annual Chicago Book Fair with a table displaying books written by local Italian-Americans.

Our next PIP1 meeting is scheduled to be at the Italian Cultural Center on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. (I have finally attended to inserting routine reminders for our Yahoo Groups mailing list.)

–Alex DeVolpi


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