Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Italians of Nebraska and Iowa

That's right!  There are people with Italian heritage in Nebraska and Iowa.  In the 1930s during the Great Depression, the Federal Writers' Program sponsored a book called the The Italians of Omaha.  Omaha has preserved its Italian neighborhood or "Little Italy" and it has its own Facebook page.   My great grandfather immigrated from Carlentini, Sicily to Omaha in 1906.  His wife and three children including my grandfather immigrated in 1911.  Here is what the book Italians of Omaha had to say about Omaha's Little Italy as it existed in the 1930s:
"The most distinct Italian colony, from an ethnic standpoint, and in which segregation is most intense with the highest ratio of foreign-born, is Omaha's Little Italy.  It lies in the eastern part of the city, south of the downtown business and industrial section.  It is here that the Sicilians are in the majority with an astoundingly heavy representation from the towns of Lentini and Carlentini...if one were to stand on the corner of Sixth and Pierce Streets and question the Italians who passed, the tabulation would show Lentini and Carlentini in the Province of Syracuse as the place of origin of seven out of ten persons."
If you would like to take a virtual tour of Lentini and Carlentini, go to Google maps and search the town names, then look at the street view.  I have spent many hours wandering the streets and looking up addresses from the Italian vital records for my family in this way.

I would like to organize a delegation of Americans with ancestry connected to Omaha, Lentini and Carlentini to visit Sicily in the near future.  We can travel to the island of our ancestors and connect with our heritage together.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Are you looking for a speaker for your club or genealogy society?  I can offer my Irish genealogy lecture.

In 2003, I became keenly interested in Irish Genealogy. During this period of research, I discovered that more and more can be done online, quite a bit can be done using LDS Library resources and some work is best done in Ireland.

This was my first research trip outside North America. My Irish ancestors presented an intriguing challenge. My wife and I traveled to Ireland in April 2008 and spent time in Dublin and Belfast with five days spent at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. I was able to document many of my family stories in the records at PRONI and came back with many wonderful Irish genealogical souvenirs which will be on display.

The presentation will provide an overview of Sources for Irish Genealogy including:
-census and substitutes
-vital records
-church records
-Irish Estate records
-maps & land records
-parish histories
-online sources
-paid research
-research in Ireland

In addition to PRONI we spent time at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh which is vital to an understanding of the historical context of our Northern Irish immigrant ancestors. Other fascinating cultural sites we visited were the Ulysses S. Grant ancestral home, the walled city of Derry and Belfast Castle where one of my Irish relatives was the gatekeeper.

Please consider inviting me to your club or society for a presentation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Upcoming Italian Genealogy Lectures

My next presentation on "Italian Genealogy" will be at the Clayton Library Friends meeting on November 12, 2011 at 10 am at the Clayton Genealogical Center at 5300 Caroline, Houston TX 77004 http://www.hpl.lib.tx.us/clayton

There is no charge for this presentation.  Hope to see you there!

Since moving to Texas from northern California I have presented "Italian Genealogy" to the following groups:
  • Bay Area Genealogical Society, Houston, TX- March 25, 2011
  • Italy in America at the Italian Cultural and Community Center, Houston, TX- April 14, 2011
  • Galveston Genealogical Society, Galveston, TX- September 1, 2011
  • Texas City Ancestor Searchers, Texas City, TX- September 21, 2011
I would love to make a presentation to your club or society on searching for Italian ancestry or any other topics related to genealogy, family history and historic preservation.


Free Genealogy Courses
at League City Public Library
(AKA Helen Hall Library)
 100 W. Walker St.
 League City, TX 77573
No reservation required

Presented by
Nick Cimino

All Courses presented on Thursdays from 10 AM to Noon

September 1, 2011

Beginning Genealogy- Part 1 Genealogical Basics
This course will provide an overview of genealogical basics. By the end of this lesson you will understand:
•a variety of motivations for studying your family history
•the building blocks of a family tree
•how to identify the relationships in your family tree
•how to record your family tree in a variety of formats
•the proper methods for recording names, dates and places
•a list of questions to ask your family members

September 15, 2011

Beginning Genealogy-Part 2  Principles of Family History
Genealogical or family history research is the process of searching records to find information about your relatives and using those records to link individuals to earlier and later generations.
This course describes a process for doing genealogical and family history research.   Information will be provided on records to search for in your own home and in the homes of your relatives.  In addition this course will provide an overview of the most common records used to conduct genealogical research and how to access them.   Sources for accessing compiled genealogies and family histories will be identified. The instructor will provide guidance on where and how to obtain original records in print, microfilm and online sources.

September 29, 2011

Computer and Internet Genealogy-Part 1
Computers and the internet have greatly enhanced the ability of the genealogist to organize their family tree information, share it with others and obtain compiled and original records through internet record portals and databases.  Part 1 of this course will provide an overview of both computerized and online genealogical record keeping options.  Both software and internet sites will be discussed and accessed.

October 27, 2011

Computer and Internet Genealogy-Part 2  Introduction to Genealogy Databases
Genealogical databases are available through many public libraries including the League City Public Library and the Clayton Center for Genealogical Research in Houston.  This course will provide an overview of the major genealogical databases available in local libraries.  Special focus will be on methods to conduct searches in Ancestry.com Library Edition which is the largest database in terms of the number of records and the number of users.  Students will be given a broad exposure to the compiled records and the original records available on Ancestry.com.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Rainy Day in Texas...

is a good day to start blogging.  I came up to my office with the intention of scanning some more documents from a binder lent to me by a local researcher on the Italians in the Fairview Cemetery of League City, Texas, my new hometown.  Based on a recommendation from Dick Eastman, I purchased a Fujitsu Scan Snap S1500.  WOW!  What a machine!  It took me awhile to figure out that it was duplex scanning both the back and front of the documents on one pass.  The speed and quality of the scans are very impressive.  Finally, I have a way to digitize all of my genealogy binders.  But in the meantime, I am scanning the genealogy of the local Italians that was compiled by Deborah.

I guess you could say that I am a joiner.  Since arriving in League City in August 2010, I have joined the League City Historical Society, the Friends of the Clayton Library, the Italian Cultural and Community Center in Houston and the Butler Longhorn Museum.  Robin and I filled out volunteer forms for the Galveston Historical Foundation and we worked on their Historic Home Tour.

I have been reaching out to the local genealogical societies and offering to present my lectures on Italian and Irish genealogy.  In the process, I have become part of an effort to restore the Ghirardi Farm House to serve as an Italian Heritage Museum.  I have received an invitation from the Bay Area Genealogical Society to present my Italian Genealogy lecture at their meeting on March 25 at 6:30 pm at the University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive in Houston.

Come see and hear my PowerPoint presentation on Italian Genealogy!