Slate and Pember to host Carpatho-Rusyn genealogy program

I n a combination of resources and local history, the Slate Valley Museum and the Pember Library and Museum will host a two-day genealogy program this week.

Genealogist Lisa Alzo will lead the classes, which focus on researching Carpatho-Rusyn genealogy.

First, on Friday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., Alzo will guide participants through the online world of resources during her “Find Your Roots Online” presentation, officials said.

The following morning at 10 a.m., participants will gain a deeper understanding of where to start and how to tackle the challenges of researching family roots that begin in Eastern Europe during the program “Slovak Land” or “No Man’s Land”: Finding Your Slovak and Rusyn Roots.”

Although complimentary, the two programs are designed to stand alone, for participants only able to participate in one or the other. Friday’s topic, “Find Your Roots Online,” will help participants identify and search popular websites to find ancestors.

“This talk will present methods for identifying and searching the most popular online databases and websites, and will include tips and tricks to narrow your searches for names, vital record and other documents,” officials said.

On Saturday, officials said the focus will move toward more specific research in “Slovak Land.” Participants will learn how to find their Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn ancestry, determine similarities and differences between the two groups, overcome the most common “brick walls” and find ways to network with other researchers.

“In recent years, interest in Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn genealogy has greatly increased thanks to easier access to records, visits to the homeland and use of the Internet, among others,” officials said.

The workshop is sponsored by the two museums, as well as the Station House Bed and Breakfast and the New York Council for the Humanities.

Alzo, who lives in Ithaca, is on the board of directors for the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She is the author of nine books and hundreds of magazine articles.

Those interested in either one of both of Alzo’s presentations must sign up at or call 518-642-1417.



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