Category Archives: Uncategorized

Video “Night of the Bakers” of Toritto, Bari, from Marti Paul

Hello Martha, I send you the video of the “night of the bakers 2014” .This great folk tradition is repeated every year in Toritto on the night between 23 and December 24 for hundreds of years. The bakers are those who cook the cakes for Christmas. They speak in the dialect of Toritto and announce the birth of baby Jesus in Toritto and the torittesi worldwide. This is one of the finest traditions of Toritto !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy New Year 2015 !!!!!!!!!!!


The Italian SIG will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 14, at 1:00 PM at the Savannah Recreation Center.  PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE.

Greg Seymour will be showing photos that he took of his ancestral home of San Demetrio Corone, Province of Cosenza, Region of Calabria, and providing background information along with the research process which led to finding records; how he built his “to do list”; and using such tools as maps, forums and social media.

Barbara Palmer will be reporting on the CIAO (Cleveland Italian American Organization) seminar which took place this past June.

Please type out and bring to the meeting any ancestral recipes along with the ancestor’s name and place where they lived.  These will be entered into our website.

For further information call Joanne De Cecchis 352-753-0214;; or .


Dr. James Ragusa will speak on Italian/Sicilian Immigration to America.

This multimedia presentation describes the numerous reasons why and how emigrants from Italy and Sicily left their homes to venture to an unknown land. Described are the conditions at the start of their journey that caused them to leave, processing at their ports of departure, the ships and conditions of their travel across a vast ocean, and admission at their ports of arrival. Also identified are the entry challenges they faced and the opportunities they were afforded in American. Time will remain during and after this presentation for questions and answers pertaining to all aspects of Italian/Sicilian genealogical research. Strategies and research resources will also be identified.

Dr. Ragusa is a genealogist, retired Air Force R&D Officer, NASA engineer and manager, tenured college professor in business and engineering, and Army consultant. As a long-term genealogist, he has performed family research in Italy, Sicily, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, the Chez Republic, England, Austria, Scotland, and Wales. However, his specialization remains Italian/Sicilian studies, and he has also researched in Salt Lake City, New York, Chicago, as well as in Europe and the British Isles. As a result of this research, he has written several books on his Sicilian family genealogy some going back to 1676.

One aspect of NASA activities was Gemini and Apollo astronaut training related to launch site egress and rescue to save their lives. He was the “stunt man” for Apollo slide wire (zip line) development and blast room operations. NASA recognized his Apollo contributions by having Astronaut Jim Irwin place his name on the Moon.

All members of the VGS and their guests are invited. We ask that you donate $5.00 towards the expense of our speaker.


The Italian SIG will hold its monthly meeting, Tuesday, November 18 at 1:00 PM at the Savannah Recreation Center.
We are honored to have at this month’s meeting the exciting speaker, Dr. James Ragusa, genealogist, retired Air Force R & D Officer, and NASA engineer and manager. His multimedia power point presentation describes the numerous reason why and how emigrants from Italy and Sicily left their homes to venture to an unknown land. He will speak on ships and conditions of their travel; arrival and challenges in their new country; and strategies and research resources will be identified. There will be time for questions and answers.
Guests are welcomed. We ask that you donate five dollars for the expense of our speaker.
For more information contact, Joanne De Cecchis at 914-325-7869 or go to www.villagesgenealogyor/sig.htm.