PIP Chapter #1 Chicago Meeting Report
On the tranquil Fall evening of Wednesday, November 10, 1999, Chicagoland's Italian genealogists meet at Suparossa Ristorante Italiano in West Suburban Woodridge, IL.
This was the rescheduled October 20th meeting which was cancelled due to the PIP leader's out of town family emergency.
Chapter #1 met for the 28th time since it's inception and this gathering marked the 7th anniversary of the group. Forty eight attended.
Following a very satisfying dinner, Leader Cav. Lascio #1051, brought the meeting to order by asking for a vote concerning the next meeting. Anthony will be unavailable in January due to his "snowbird status", therefore the group had three choices: 1) cancel the January 19 meeting, 2) hold the meeting with a substitute leader (Rose Ducato #1812,) or 3) reschedule the January meeting to February when the snowbird will have flown back north. The group voted overwhelmingly to reschedule the meeting for February.
First timer Frank DiGiovanni was asked to introduce himself and provide a brief synopsis.
First order of business was an update on Chapter #1's web site which was lead by Webmaster Lisa Perkins. She has formed a committee each of whom has volunteered to take a specific aspect of the site to enhance.
Next, Laura DeBartolo Heidekrueger #67, briefly mentioned her "Chicago Genealogy Station" web site which is linked to the PIP Chapter #1 site.
James Scarnegie made a few remarks about the Chapter #1 coolist, the E-mail communications network between our local PIP members. The number of subscribers now numbers 47.
Now it was time for the Italian travelog. Four PIPsters had visited Italy since the last meeting and each gave a repot of their experience. They were Pete and Rose Ducato #1812, James Scarnegie, Alex DeVolpi and Keith Grandolph. Each traveler had interesting comments and the discoveries of some were extraordinary. For example, the Ducatos stayed at monasteries in Sicily; Scarnegie discovered his Sicilian ancestral town was a walled community with a church built in 1299, where incidentally, he and his wife renewed their wedding vows on their 10th anniversary; DeVolpi visited the medical college in Padua where his grandfather graduated, and also discovered a DeVolpi family book dated in the 1700's at the Bari library; and Grandolph visited his Calabrian ancestral village church which was built in 1096.
Richard Jacobs #2827 offered comments about LDS microfilming old Italian records. Richard is a member of the Mormon Church.
Gerald Farenga #1763 offered two old POINTER Magazines to the group. It was suggested that POINTers donate outdated directories to their public library in the future.
Alex DeVolpi suggested anyone who has a CD with genealogical data share the information with the group. Lisa Perkins and Jenny Khalaf will coordinate this project by gathering a list of such material and make the list available to all.
Dan Beech displayed photos of Italian aviator Ito Balbo, the pilot who led a squadron of seaplanes to the Chicago Century of Progress (World's Fair) in 1933-1934. He also related the story of the event and a brief history of Balbo.
Arlene Gould announced that she has a resource who will provide free information for anyone interested in researching the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad records for ancestors.
Leader Anthony read excerpts from several recent Family Tree genealogy newspaper articles concerning the Ellis Island Immigration Center data base, the 1930 U.S. census availability, some interesting facts about ancestral generations, and the total number of ancestors located when reaching the 15th set of great grandparents.
The evening was previously announced as a "Show and Tell" night, therefore several of the PIPsters brought items to share with the group. Some of the presenters were: Lisa Perkins, a poster of her family tree; Linda Messina Holda #2055, a LaBefana doll and information about it's maker; Susan Lehrmann, a 100 year old linen from Italy used to carry bread out of the oven. Since no one knew it's proper name in English or Italian, the group suggested we call it a "bread spread"; Patti Tolone, a 1931 letter from her grandfather along with photo; Sara Jacobs, a model of a Sicilian donkey cart and an Italian scarf; Olympia Rozanski #3017, a 1917 passenger arrival list; Karen Bucaro #3774, a 1830 Italian marriage certificate and Hilda Rohmann #2352 produced an Italian bond dated 1934.
Debbie Peters suggested that old funeral registration books are a good source for obtaining names and addresses of ancestral family members.
The evening's final business was polling the attendees regarding the year 2000 Second POINT Conference scheduled for October in Austin, Texas. Chapter #10, which is hosting the event, requested a preliminary count of tentative participants. At this very early stage, six Chapter #1 PIPsters indicated possible interest in attending the Conference.
A door prize was announced. Joseph Becia #2912, lifted up his dinner plate and found a Roman coin over 1500 years old hiding there. Congratulations Guiseppe! Lascio pulled off one of his surprises again.
The next gathering of Chapter #1 will be Wednesday, Febraury 23rd 7PM. same location.
© PIP Chapter 1, 2003 ~ Webmaster: LPRoots@yahoo.com ~ page last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003