Our May Meeting

Sunday, May 19 at 1:00pm

We look forward to seeing you at our May meeting. Our speaker is Christine Elia, who will be giving a talk on the following two topics.

Genealogy Software:  Useful Features to Make Your (Genealogy) Life Easier

This presentation will show you various features of genealogy software you probably aren’t aware of, and how to find out which programs have which features. Using three different programs as examples (Legacy, RootsMagic and Gramps), we will explore features that can help us organize our data, display it in various ways, and find out what data we are missing. There will be time for audience questions so bring your software questions with you and let’s see if we can answer them.

What Are GEDCOM Files and Why Do I Need to Know About Them?

If you will ever want to share your data (or part of it), change to a different software program, or upload some of your data to a DNA matching website, you will want to know about GEDCOM files. GEDCOM is the standard format used by genealogists and software developers for exporting and importing data into genealogy software. We will also see how data from one software program can be imported into another program and why some of the data can be lost along the way. Without understanding what may be lost, you could lose some bits and bytes of your long-sought data!

About Christine Elia

Christine Elia retired as a programmer analyst in the aerospace field and IT department of a school district. She became interested in genealogy about 25 years ago when one of her kids had a school assignment to interview the oldest relatives they knew. At the end of the project, she was shown the finished assignment and was amazed at what she hadn’t known about her parents and in-laws. She held onto the report and it became the first “round” of collecting information.

Since then, she has located and visited distant relatives her immediate family had never heard about, traveled to her ancestral villages and met more relatives, and exchanged information with them. To date, she has been to Poland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, and Denmark to see relatives. Along the way, she has collected old letters written by relatives to each other, brought home tile pieces from her grandmother’s kitchen, a brick from a textile mill, milk bottles (her dad was a Carnation milkman), a window frame from a Polish barn (really! — it is soon to be a picture frame), and ethnic music records. Of course, many cemeteries have been photographed as well as the homes where relatives once lived. She has also become the family archivist since she seems to end up with boxes and suitcases full of photos and papers after elders die.

Besides researching her own family and that of her husband, she is interested in immigration history from any country to any other country and has collected hundreds of books on this topic. She also is working on a chain migration project for the Polish towns two of her grandparents came from.