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Italian SIG Meeting November 18, Savannah, 1:00 PM

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 consider donating 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.


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.

AARP Discount at

aarp_discounts_logo Ancestry_com_logo

30% Off AARP Discount on Ancestry World Explorer Membership

Yesterday, my real life human alter-ego, Jim Lannin, remembered that his Ancestry membership was about to auto-renew today at the sky-high price of $299.40/year. Calling Ancestry’s Customer Service line to grovel and beg seemed to be the only last minute option. Besides, he embarrasses me when he gets like that!

Robot on PhoneWhen “Little Mary Sunshine” came on the line, her cheerfulness and friendliness immediately began to soften his cynicism. When he started to whine about getting stonewalled at renewal time last year, only to have his friends tell him all year stories about the discounts they had received… well, it was just plain ugly!

Things got better when “Little Mary” interrupted him and asked: “Sir, are you a member of AARP?” He responded: You bet! I’m surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of people here in The Villages who are both customers and AARP members.”

Little Mary Sunshine“Mary” then told him about the discount now available to AARP members of 30% off on Ancestry subscriptions. “That will cut your annual subscription cost to $209.00″, she said. After a feeble attempt to grind another $10.00 off, he gave in, saying: ” OK you win! Just don’t take the payment out again tomorrow!”

Jim then proceeded to give “Little Mary Sunshine” his card number for a one year subscription. This, of course, gives new meaning to the old expression: “Pay a “Little”, Save a Lot”!

For more info on this deal, please check out the AARP Benefits Page on the subject at: Save 30% on an® membership for a year .



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