The Italian Genealogical Group’s John Martino received a well-deserved award at the opening event of the international Jewish genealogy conference.
His 500-700 volunteers, many of whom were present at the ceremonies, have produced a most astonishing project, indexing records of many different kinds, all online, accessible for free at www.italiangen.org.
Martino, a former marine, and his army of volunteers have indexed some eight million records, convincing archives to allow the indexing, and creating databases that will continue to make an impact for generations to come.
Looking and sounding like TV’s Tony Soprano doing genealogy, Martino says nine million records will be available by the end of this year.
A great sense of humor helps. When Martino finds some volunteers are not finishing their work for the project, he says he tells them he’ll visit their homes and bring some of his cousins. "It isn’t easy, but I get the records."