Reno Bertoia was born in St. Vito Udine, Italy and his family immigrated to Windsor, Ontario when Reno was a boy. In 1953, the Detroit Tigers signed Bertoia to a bonus contract. He received $10,000 for himself, $1,000 for his mother to travel to Italy, and a promise by the Tigers to pay his future college tuition. Bertoia and Tiger great, Al Kaline roomed together for five seasons.
Bertoia played for the Tigers for six seasons at short stop and third base before being traded to the Washington Senators, which later became the Minnesota Twins. He also played for the Kansas City Athletics before being traded back to the Detroit Tigers in 1961. After being sent to the minors in 1962, Bertoia retired from baseball at the age of 27. In 10 major league seasons, Bertoia played in 612 games and had a .244 batting average with 27 home runs.
In 1958, after five years of studying remotely at spring training and on the road, Bertoia earned his bachelor’s degree from Assumption College. After his retirement from baseball, he worked for 30 years with the Windsor Catholic School Board as a social studies teacher.
Photo Copyright: Physical rights are retained by Detroit Public Library. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
Kenneth Merique, a director with The Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan, generously donated hundreds of funeral cards he has collected over the years. Most of the deceased are from the Detroit area, but some are distant relatives with Michigan connections. The Michigan Italian Genealogy Society thanks Ken for his contribution!
Click on the Funeral Cards link to browse through the collection.
Did you know that the Detroit Public Library has a fantastic digital collection of historic photos? These photos can help breathe life into your genealogy research.
Check it out here:
Copyright: Physical rights are retained by Detroit Public Library. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
Did your Italian ancestors settle in the Upper Peninsula? If so, you won't want to miss the Upper Peninsula History Conference hosted by the Historical Society of Michigan.
The 70th annual Upper Peninsula History Conference will be held June 28-30, 2019, in Escanaba, MI. The annual Upper Peninsula History Conference pays particular attention to U.P. history topics and themes. This conference moves to a different location in the Upper Peninsula each year to also explore that area’s heritage. In addition, the annual Upper Peninsula History Awards are presented at this conference.
The Upper Peninsula History Conference offers…
Mark your calendar for this year's Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar
Date/Time: 07/12/2019 – 07/13/2019 All Day
Michigan History Center
Welcome to the 2019 Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar hosted by the Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Genealogical Council.
Featuring Tina Beaird
Tina Beaird is owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is also a genealogy librarian at the Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield, Illinois. She lectures extensively on topics including Scottish genealogy, military research and archival preservation. She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists as well as a board directors for the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the Northern Illinois Historic League. Tina is also a commissioner for the Illinois WWI Centennial Commission. She has been published in the National Genealogical Society Magazine and TIARA: The Irish Ancestral Research Association Quarterly. Tina has provided research assistance for over fifteen years and has been researching her family’s history, as time permits, for over twenty years.
Here is a great article from a few years ago about Detroit's bootlegging history. A fascinating read!
In January, Family Search added the following records to their online site:
Italy, Mantova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1496–1906
34,7290 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy, Terni, Civil Registration, 1861–1921
123,2040 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy, Vicenza, Bassano del Grappa, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1871–1942
120,7520 New indexed records collection
If you haven't discovered them yet, Legacy Family Tree offers free genealogy webinars on a variety of topics. I haven't found one specific to Italian genealogy, but there are many regarding genealogy research.
Buona Fortuna paisans!
Here is an older article about the "Little Italy" neighborhoods of Michigan. It also has some good information about the Italians that settled in the UP.
Buona Fortuna paisans!
If you haven't created a Family Search account yet - what are you waiting for?
Family Search (www.familysearch.org) is the world's largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources.
Family Search also has a wealth of information for new researchers. Start with their Italian Genealogy wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Italy_Genealogy) for an Italy Genealogy Research Using the Wiki – Video Series - 14 five-minute instructional videos training you in how to use this Wiki to find civil registration and church records for Italy.
Buona Fortuna paisans!