BRIDGEPORT -- Italian Americans will have the opportunity to learn about tracing their roots back to Italy at the annual family history seminar to be held at HCC on March 14.
Speaking at the event will be noted genealogist and author Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk, the founding president of the Italian Genealogical Society of America and author of several publications, including “The Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research.” Iannizzi Melnyk is well known in genealogy circles and has lectured extensively nationwide on the topic.

The first part of the seminar, “Before You Jump the Pond,” will explore how to use American records to document family members in vital records, church registers, US census records and ship passenger lists. Part two will cover Italian records in Europe and will let the researcher see the type of records are available in Italian archives and how history affected the record types and their availability.

HCC foreign language Professor Jonathan Shea will also present a session on translating and making sense of Italian language documents.

Bridgeport has historically ranked second behind New Haven in the number of Italian-American residents in Connecticut.

Admission to the event is free and ample free parking is available in the HCC garage. The seminar, to be held in the Events Center on the second floor of Beacon Hall, will run from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Those interested in attending should contact Robert Locke at 203 778-4794 ( or Lisa Vasas (

This is the third seminar of its type held at HCC in the past two years. Previous seminars on  Polish/Eastern European and Irish  family history  were filled to capacity.

Housatonic is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the arena at Harbor Yard.