New Italian American Biography Publication Announced

I’m excited to announce the publication of another book about Luigi Del Bianco, the Mount Rushmore sculptor featured in Lou Bianco’s book In the Shadow of the Mountain:

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Del Bianco is described by the author as “the man who saved Jefferson’s face and brought Lincoln’s eyes to life.”

The second book about Del Bianco is set for release in May of 2014, according to a recent press release.

I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

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Italian Americans of Boston

For Italian Americans with Boston roots, I’ve got great news from Boston’s North End Historical Society! Documentary filmmaker Maureen McNamara of Kendall Productions is looking for your old photos, home movies, or newspaper clips from the family scrapbooks. Check out what they’ve put together so far:

If you and your family would like to be a part of this historic undertaking, you can send your materials to the North End Historical Society at : NorthEndHS@gmail.com.

The North End Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so they need your help raising the funds for this project, as well! Contributions are tax-deductible, so send them in to NorthEndBoston.org or send a check to:
North End Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. BOX 130152
Boston, MA 02113

FamilySearch Brokers Deal with Italian Archives for Online Records

This is great news for Italian Americans who want to learn more about their ancestors! Click on the image, below, for the full story:

FamilySearch.org has been publishing their microfilm holdings to the Internet for the past couple of years (you can see a list of Italian records available online here) but the digitization project announced last week in the LDS newsroom means that we will be seeing more Italian genealogical records on the Internet, and at a greater rate!

Kudos to FamilySearch for making Italian research a priority, and to the Italian State Archives, for allowing FamilySearch to make these records accessible to Italian American researchers! 🙂

Cosenza’s Records Online:

The Italian province of Cosenza has been transcribing records from their many different comuni and posting them online as a searchable database. If you have ancestors from the Cosenza province, you will definitely want to check out this site. Click on the image below to access it:

When searching this database, you will see a results page that shows where your ancestors’ name appears across the various comuni within the Cosenza province, and some of them even have images attached, as in this example:

Can you say genealogical heaven? I wish all of Italy’s provincie had web sites like this! 🙂

Italian Parliamentary Records Online

Italy’s parliament recently posted an online database that allows users to search–free of charge–the biographical sketches and parliamentary records that all sorts of individuals either working in Parliament or being discussed by them from 1848 up to 2008. This is a small (maybe 12,ooo names) yet fabulous new resource for Italian American genealogy enthusiasts! You can visit the site of this collection by clicking on the image below:

You will notice that there are four different search boxes on this site’s page. The first search box, in the site header’s image, will search everything–even photographs!–for the names or locations that you enter. But the three boxes below it will allow you to specifically search three different collections:

  1. Employee profiles and photographs
  2. Parliamentary work records (meeting minutes, etc)
  3. Laws, acts, bills, both proposed and passed, etc.

Note that you can also browse each of the three collections by clicking on the arrow (triangle inside a circle) hat appears next to each search box’s label (“deputati,” “lavori parlamentari,” and “atti e documenti”).

When searching the three collections, you will want to type your Italian ancestors’ names into all three boxes (because even if they didn’t work in parliament, they might have been involved in cases being discussed), and then enter their hometown into the last two search boxes, just in case there were acts passed or bills proposed that pertained to your ancestral paese (which you might want to include in your family’s story).

When looking through your search results, you can narrow the search criteria according to the fields offered on the right-hand side of your search results.

If this is too confusing, or if you have hits on your ancestors and don’t understand them, drop me a line and I’d be happy to take a look at what you’ve found!

Happy hunting! 🙂

How to Find Your Italian Ancestors

With the help of this research guide–written by one of the top experts in the field of Italian Genealogy–Italian Americans can conduct their own family history research!

I heartily recommend this fabulous book to anyone with Italian ancestry who wants to explore their family history:

suzanne's book

Find YOUR Ancestors Here!

Thank you, Italian Genealogy Group, for all the effort and hard work that went into into these databases of immigrant records!
Those of us who use these databases should consider the time and expense required to undertake such an enormous project; I propose thanking them with a donation, especially because they offer these databases FOR FREE (unlike some other sites whose names don’t deserve mention here).