It is essential to learn your family ethnic background when doing your family tree. There are numerous organizations and clubs who solely focus and assist individuals of a particulate ethnic group. One of the major organizations in the United States is ‘POINT’ which stands for ‘Pursuing Our Italian Names Together.’ Their goal is to help people with their Italian heritage.
During America’s history there were some 5.5 million Italians who immigrated between 1820 and into the mid-20th century. With those who came to live permanently and then their descendants, many 3, 4 and 5 generations; those Americans with Italian ancestry represent the fourth largest European ethnic group in the country. There are over 18 million Americans who claim some Italian ancestry. Some of the most celebrated names of Italian background included: Frank Sinatra, Nancy Pelosi, Dan Marino, Anne Bancroft, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and Mayor Rudy Guiliani. More than likely you have some Italian ancestors and will need some help in completing your family tree.
The ‘POINT’ Internet site is a network with many different connections helping the family researcher. Some of the items offered include an email list of other researchers, which offer a great opportunity to network with others looking for similar surnames. It also has information about the various local chapters of ‘POINTers’, those people who meet in person in their own local area to offer genealogical advice and assistance. In California there are several chapters of ‘POINTers” as well as in Washington, D. C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Texas, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio to name a few.
They provide a series of additional web site links covering Italian-based genealogical locations. Many of these are individual Italian surnames such as Alfano, Bellanti, DeNardo, Ferrari, Giamona, Abbruscato, Gucciardo, Camilletti, Balbi, Incitti and Vanni which cover many branches of a certain name. Also some sites provide general resources for Italian genealogy.
This Italian Club, 'POINT' is open to everyone, but do offer a membership with even greater privileges. Their annual dues are $30 and could prove to be very rewarding for those pursuing their Italian ancestors. With over 5,200 members, with 1,000 very active members, they are very interested in sharing their knowledge to help fellow researchers.
An interesting addition for those who become ‘POINT’ members, they have The American Journal of Italian Genealogy issued four times a year to the membership. A whole array of the newest information and tips to doing Italian genealogy are covered in the journal.
There is also a complete database of Italian surnames with information which is continually be added to. They have it in a computer disc format or in a printed directory.