The Italian Genealogical Group was started, like so many things in life, because there was a need. June DeLalio, who had been doing genealogy for several years started to research the Italian side of her family and found a great void when she wanted to talk to other Italian genealogical researchers. There was no organization for them and, indeed, it was hard to find anyone doing such research. There also was dearth of books and other resources. Basically, there was no one even to discuss or trade information on Italian family history.
In the fall of 1993, June started
to attend various Family History Fairs with a sign-up sheet in an attempt to
find other people who would like to get together and start such a group. She
and John Martino met and shared a strong interest in developing an organization
to help with Italian research. Finally in January of 1994 a small group
of people got together with June and John to discuss the possibilities.
The people at that meeting were:
Marie and Gene Capobianco, June DeLalio, MaryAnn Horn, John Martino, Gloria
Musante, Robert Sisco, Robert Mills Smith, Albert Zani, Daniel Tonery and
Natalie Aurucci Stiefel.
Thereafter followed some more
informal meetings. By April 1994 there were over 20 people meeting in an office
building in Farmingdale, New York. It was decided to formalize the organization
and obtain dues to fund the Group. The original name was the Italian
Genealogical Group of New York.
By the beginning of summer we had a
one page Newsletter going out and a committee was formed to develop By-Laws and
the first officers of the group assumed office in September 1994.
President June DeLalio
Vice President John Martino
Corresponding Secretary Elaine Caridi
Recording Secretary Marianne Regalbuto
Treasurer Natalie Aurucci Stiefel
The goals of the organization were
to develop new sources for Italian genealogy and to make available the best
materials, speakers and knowledge for all other Italian family history
In the first year of the organization (September 1994 to June 1995) we grew steadily and presented high caliber speakers from the National Archives, the Ellis Island Restoration Committee, etc. as well as members of our own group who had extensive knowledge in the field of Italian genealogy. Our Newsletter grew from one page to 8 pages. Through the assistance of Marianne Regalbuto, we were fortunate to have Louis Mendola, an Italian genealogist based in Palermo, Sicily, come to New York and give lectures at the ROOTS Genealogical Seminar on April 1, 1995 on Long Island and again in New York City on Sunday, April 2, 1995.
At this point we were expanding rapidly and went on during the summer of 1995 to incorporate under the name Italian Genealogical Group as a non-profit corporation in the State of New York. The change in name reflected our growing membership which had become comprised of approximately 50% of members from outside New York State.
We had a tremendous growth in our
second year and added many people and positions to the group to handle the
various services we were giving our members. Our Surname Database had become
quite large. In 1996, we were able to have Trafford Cole, the author of Italian
Genealogical Records, come to the United States to give an all-day Seminar in
New York City to our members. We also were able to put the Italian Genealogical
Group on the Internet and maintain a Web page to tell people about our
organization and how they could join.
By the beginning of our third year we had approximately 300 members and were able to smoothly make the transition to a complete new board of officers. We now felt that we had achieve stability and endurance and were able to project to the genealogical community that we are a strong viable organization with many plans for the future.