Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 07/29/09: Church Mural

Mural depicting the history of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, West Mifflin, PA. Digital image taken by Lisa Alzo, July 12, 2009.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sizzling Summer Courses at GenClass

Heat up your genealogical research this August!  Learn a new skill or research technique in a class from one of the expert instructors at GenClass.
* Adoption Investigative Class
Detailed search advice and assistance for successfully locating and reuniting adoptees and birth families.

* Canadian Research - Internet Resources - Part 3
Armed with the knowledge gained from Parts 1 & 2, you will be guided through the 'drill down' process of website layering.

* Eastern European Genealogy Research: Part 2 (Intermediate)
This class will continue on from the basic Eastern European research class, focusing on how to expand your research beyond your own family into a more community-oriented protocol.

* Jewish Internet Genealogy
This class provides detailed information about Jewish genealogy sites, search engines and general genealogy sites.

* Jumpstart your Genealogy!
Just where do you start if you are interested in your family tree: detailed instructions

* Salt Lake City: Part 1 - the Largest Genealogical Library in the World!                                Access the largest genealogical library in the world. Perform searches, knowledgeably; and understand what you've found.
Classes start August 1, 2009.  Click here to register now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 07/22/09: 1924 Wedding Photograph

Original photo & Digital image. Privately held by Lisa Alzo [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] New York, 2009

This is the wedding photograph of my maternal grandparents, John Figlar and Verona Straka Figlar, November 1, 1924, St. Clairsville, OH.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carnival of Genealogy: Summer Vacation: Canada 1970?

One of my favorite summer vacation memories is my first trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada. Although I can't remember the exact year, I believe it was 1970. We traveled there with my "Auntie"--Sister M. Camilla Alzo who came home to Pittsburgh for a vacation from Victoria, TX where she was a teacher. My father drove us to Canada to visit his cousin, Mike Alzo who lived in Toronto. We stopped at the Falls on the way--here's a picture of me with my "Auntie." Who could have known that many, many years later I would return to Niagara Falls to get married!

We visited many places in Canada included a park with beautiful gardens. Here I am with my mom and my favorite childhood toy, my bunny!

Poor Bunny met his demise not long after that--I became ill and unfortunately (an unintentionally) shared the virus with Bunny! Mom tried her best to save him, but putting him in the washer did him in! I cried and cried when we had to "let Bunny go to heaven."

One of the things I remember about this trip to Canada was watching Canadian television at my cousin's house and hearing Fred Flintstone talk in French! I asked my mother "Why is Fred talking like that?" because I couldn't understand him. But when I was a child that show was funny to me no matter the language (actually I still think it's pretty funny...)

Thanks for this Blog carnival prompt. It was fun reminiscing--I just wish my parents had put dates on the backs of their photographs!

Wordless Wednesday: Veteran Tributes John A. Alzo

Memorial headstone for John A. Alzo, Jr. (my father) in Holy Trinity Church Cemetery, West Mifflin, PA. Digital image taken by Lisa Alzo, July 12, 2009.

My father's tribute flag in Holy Trinity Church's "Avenue of Flags" in the church cemetery in West Mifflin, PA. Digital image taken by Lisa Alzo, July 12, 2009.

Name Plate "John A. Alzo" on flag pole at Holy Trinity Church cemetery, West Mifflin, PA. Digital image taken by Lisa Alzo, July 12, 2009.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 1915 Wedding Photo

My first "Wordless Wednesday" Posting

Original photo & Digital image. Privately held by Lisa Alzo [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] New York, 2009

This is the wedding photograph of my paternal grandparents, John Alzo and Elizabeth Fenscak, January 1, 1915, Duquesne, Pennsylvania.

There's Still Time: PGSCTNE 2009 Polish Genealogy Conference

There are still two days left to get the pre-registration discount for the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast's 25th anniversary conference to be held Friday and Saturday, August 7-8, 2009 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT. The conference will feature presentations by several experts in various areas of East European Genealogy. The speakers will inlcude:

Prof. Jonathan D. Shea (PGSCTNE President)
Matthew Bielawa (PGSCTNE Co-Vice President)
Lisa Alzo
Stephen Danko
William Fred Hoffman
Aleksandra Kacprzak
Brian J. Lenius
Kahlile Mehr
Thomas Sadauskas

There will also be a lecture on Saturday, August 8th by Dr. Mieczyslaw B. Biskupski, the Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies at CCSU.

Cost is $60 for Friday and Saturday (includes lunch on Saturday only); $20 Friday ONLY POSTMARKED BY July 10th.

After July 10th cost is $70 for Friday and Saturday (includes lunch on Saturday only); $25 Friday ONLY.

Come learn the strategies for tracing your Polish-American and Eastern European roots and how to fill in the missing pieces of your family history!

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Memories: What Triggers Them?

Today, like millions of others, I paused to watch the memorial for Michael Jackson. I felt sad. While I can't say I was a full-fledged "fan," I did appreciate his amazing talent as a singer and entertainer--really the artist of my generation. I grew up with his music. In high school my friends and I used to go out on weekends to some of the local dance clubs in Pittsburgh for the "Under 21" dance parties. We'd dance non-stop to "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "P.Y.T.," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." I remember watching the premiere of the "Thriller" video on MTV at West Virginia Wesleyan College. I had a small black and white TV, hooked up to cable, and a group of us gathered around and we couldn't stop talking about it!

Whenever I give my seminar on "Writing Your Family History" I talk about how we are all storytellers whether we realize it or not. Stories can be triggered by thoughts, images, circumstances. Today, watching the musical and video tributes at this memorial service, I was reminded of the the friends and activities of my youth. It brought back many memories.

Farewell to the "soundtrack of my teens!"

Sunday, July 05, 2009

June Joys

June was quite a busy month!  I had the opportunity to visit two places I've never been to before, attend two wonderful genealogy conferences and teach a course on "Researching Your Roots" at a new venue.
So, I've titled this post "June Joys."
First, the genealogy course, which I taught at the Oasis senior education program in Syracuse, NY.  I had a full class of eager learners, and I received some stellar evaluations, including one which said "Best presentation I've ever heard!"

Now on to the conferences.  
The first event was Family History Expos June 11-13 in Loveland, Colorado.  It was my first time as a speaker at FHE and my first trip to Colorado.  It was a fabulous event and I was so happy to finally get to meet Holly Hansen.  Holly and I go way back (to her days at Everton) and we've communicated by phone and e-mail but never met in person.  Holly and her team did a fabulous job with this Expo.  I enjoyed meeting those who attended my talks and I got to hang out with Allison Stacy (Family Tree Magazine), Bruce & Laurie Buzbee (RootsMagic) Janet Hovorka (The Chart Chick), and other fellow genealogists.  I also very much enjoyed th Keynote Speaker, Bernie Gracy, who gave an excellent address (one of the best I've heard) on "Breaking Down Brick Walls with Location-Based Genealogy."

The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree June 26-28 in Burbank, CA was another first time experience for me.  I was honored to be a speaker and enjoyed meeting so many fellow genealogists and attending some excellent sessions, including the Bloggers' Summit on Saturday, June 27th.  Loved the banquet talk by Tufuku Zuberi of History Detectives (and enjoyed chatting with him during a shared book signing time slot). My favorite part of all was meeting many of the awesome Geneabloggers and attending the dinner gathering on Saturday evening. 

Considering the flurry of activity in June, I think July is going to be rather boring (except for the family reunion this coming weekend!).

Friday, July 03, 2009

I've Been a Bad, Bad Blogger...

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. Having spent last weekend hanging out with some of my favorite fellow Geneabloggers at SCGS2009, I humbly realized how woefully inadequate my postings are in comparison to those of my colleagues. My heart is in the right place, but my time is lacking. I can do a quick "Tweet" or post a Facebook update without too much effort, but coming up with an interesting and meaningful Blog post on a regular basis is often quite challenging for me. Quite a few of my fellow blogging peeps mentioned that they wish I posted more often. I promise I’ll try. Stay tuned.