Finding one’s roots and one’s family history can be a fascinating hobby. More and more people have become interested in tracing back their ancestry from generation to generation. Finding one’s roots and one’s family history can be a fascinating hobby. More and more people have become interested in tracing back their ancestry from generation to generation The Barga Genealogy Research Group (BGRG) was formed several years ago by people whose ancestors came from Barga and the neighboring villages. The purpose of the BGRG is to foster interest in Barga and to help members discover their roots from this area. The Group has grown to 36 members in six countries: Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the USA.
The Group has its own website where genealogical data can be shared (http://barga.homedns.org:81/). One of the BGRG’s projects is to digitally photograph all of the church records from the seven parishes within the Barga Comune (Albiano, Barga, Castelvecchio, Loppia, San Pietro, Sommocolonia, and TIglio).
The records include baptism, marriage, death, and stato d’amine (census) and some go back to the 1400’s when they were written in Latin. The photographing of the records will help to preserve the original documents by reducing the need for people seeking their ancestry to handle them and also will facilitate research.
The Group has purchased a camera and computer for this purpose and donated them to Don Alessandro in Filecchio. All of the photographed records will be stored on this computer located at the rectory there. Copies of all the recorded pictures are also available on the Group’s website for members to do their research. In addition to the photographing, members are indexing the records to help locate a specific individual.
Currently tens of thousands of records have been photographed mainly by members on trips to Barga and more will be filmed in the future. Next fall beginning on September 8, the BGRG will hold a weeklong reunion in Barga to meet each other and to give members a chance to see their ancestral home. For many it will be their first trip to Italy. There are various functions planned: tours, meals with traditional dishes and other events. One of the key events will be on Sept 9 at the Sagra Della Polenta e Uccelli in Filecchio where we hope to have dinner and raise a glass of wine with the members’ relatives who have remained in Barga.
We hope to locate these relatives in the next several months with the help of Paolo Marroni and the anagrafe. During the reunion week, one of our members, Max Griffin, will be holding an exhibit of the plaster statue studios founded by Barghigiani. It will include pictures, catalogs and statues from various studios including the Caproni Studio which was a major studio in Boston during the early part of the 20th Century.