Tracing Italian Immigrant History to the Italian Present

Join us this Monday (May 5th) at 7:00 p.m. when Dr. Salvatore Primeggia, a professor of sociology at Adelphia University, will speak on the history of Italian immigration to America. This lecture is free and open to the general public. This event is made possible through the Speakers in the Humanities program with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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New Indexing Project

John Martino of the Italian Genealogy Group in Bethpage has informed me that he will be looking for volunteers to help with a project to create an online index to the records of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  It is planned that the indexing process will be done directly online, and volunteers will be able to choose how much time they wish to devout to this project as they go along.  If you are interested in signing-up to volunteer, or if you would like to learn more, you can contact the Italian Genealogy Group at
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Extra! Extra! Extra!

Brooklyn Public Library has announced that they have finished digitizing the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper from 1903-1955. The full run of the newspaper (1841 to 1955) can now be found at The old Brooklyn Daily Eagle website will be phased out next month. 

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Question about Books

A couple of people, who attended our last Irish genealogy program, asked where they can find two Brooklyn genealogy books by Joseph Silinonte. Below is a list of Suffolk County public libraries that own these books. If you plan on going to these libraries to view the books, it is advised that you contact them ahead of time to check on availability because some local history rooms have limited hours.

Bishop Loughlin’s dispensations, Diocese of Brooklyn: genealogical information from marriage dispensation records of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, Kings, Queens, and Suffolk Counties, New York.

Brentwood Public Library (Local History)

East Hampton Public Library (Local History)

Sachem Public Library (Long Island Room)

Smithtown Public Library (Long Island Room)

Tombstones of the Irish Born: Cemetery of the Holy Cross Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Connetquot Public Library (Reference 929.5 Silinonte)

Center Moriches Library (Long Island History)

Mastic Moriches Shirley Community Library

Patchogue Medford Public Library (Reference Area)

Riverhead Free Library (Reference Area)

Smithtown Library (Long Island Room)

East Islip Public Library (Local History)

South Country Library


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Irish Genealogy for Beginners

Do you want to know where in Ireland your ancestors came from? Maybe you have already looked into it, but you find yourself at a dead end. If so, join us this Thursday (March 27th) at 7:00 p.m. when we present some useful resources that might help you find out where in Ireland your ancestors were from.

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A Different Approach Story

I always enjoy it when someone shares with me a different research approach that has helped them to break through a genealogical brick wall. It definitely helps me become a better researcher.  For that reason, I thought I would share an interesting success story that I encountered recently.
I was asked by someone this week to help her find a family in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.  After exhausting all the advanced search options on, she needed another approach. We decided to try to find the family by their address. However, the woman didn’t know what the family’s street address was in 1940, only that they lived in Brooklyn. To get the street address we went to the New York Public Library’s online Brooklyn 1940 telephone directory at Unfortunately, the surname wasn’t listed in the Brooklyn telephone directory, as not everyone had a telephone back then.  We had to find other avenues of research.
Finally some good news appeared, namely that the head of household was in his 50s in 1940, and therefore he was listed in database U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. This database consists of the World War II draft cards for older men in the age range of 45-65 (World War II draft cards for younger men are not available yet), and provides the address at which they live. Using that address and Stephen Morse’s ( 1870-1940 Large-City ED finder, we found the potential enumeration district number of interest. Moving on to the 1940 census index page, we used the enumeration browse function on the right side of the page. I couldn’t believe our luck when we found the family on the very first census page for the enumeration district.  It is very nice to have a challenge that forces you to approach a problem differently, and it is especially rewarding when you are successful.  It made my evening.

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Irish Historic Graves Project

If you are researching Irish families, you might be interested in learning about the Historic Graves project. It is a community-based project consisting of volunteers who are currently taking photographs of tombstones in Irish cemeteries and uploading them onto the website This alone promises to make it valuable to family researchers, but it also contains some even more interesting features.  Volunteers are uploading old and new surveys and recorded audio and video stories of cemeteries.  There is no fee to search or view the contents on the website.  However, don’t be surprised if you don’t yet see an ancestor’s headstone.  This is a fairly new, but on-going project. 

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Local Genealogy Groups

Since there seems to be more and more people getting started with their family research, I thought it would be helpful to list the websites of some of the more active local genealogy groups. These organizations usually have monthly meetings and lectures, and some even have help sessions for groups or individuals. It is suggested you visit the website of each individual group to learn more about what each one offers their members.

 German Genealogy Group

Irish Family History Forum

Italian Genealogical Group

Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island

Genealogy Workshop of the Huntington Historical Society

 African Atlantic Genealogical Society


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Rootstech Syllabus Materials

If you would like to learn about some of the topics that were featured at Rootstech, a family history technology conference hosted by FamilySearch, the handouts are available at: They are being made available for free download for limited time. 

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New York Vital Records Indexes on Ancestry

Last week Newsday (January 16th issue) reported that the New York City vital record indexes are now available on  Although these indexes are new to Ancestry, they have, in fact, been available for years on the and the websites.  Adding these indexes to Ancestry’s vast collection will certainly make it convenient to search them along with other records, but if you would like to search the New York City vital records free from your home computer, you will have to use them on or  But if you really want to search them on Ancestry, don’t forget that you can use Ancestry free of charge within our library building.

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