Out on a limb: Rusyn Genealogy and Heritage Conference scheduled at King’s

Tom Mooney - Out on a Limb | September 18th, 2017 6:00 am

If you’re a genealogist with Carpatho-Rusyn in your background, you won’t want to miss a big event coming up later this month.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society will hold the fifth annual Rusyn Genealogy and Heritage Conference on Sept. 30 at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the conference will feature expert speakers on a wide variety of topics including history, culture, language and ethnicity.

Rusyns are one of the ethnic groups of Slovakia, in central Europe, and have ancestral ties to the Carpathian Mountains. Their ancestral language is also known as Rusyn. Many Rusyns emigrated to America in the late 1800s and early 1900s and settled in the coal region of Eastern Pennsylvania, according to www.slovakia.org.

Entitled “Rusyn History and Culture from A to Z,” the event will be held at the King’s College Campus Center, easily accessible in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The cost is $45 and includes a breakfast buffet and lunch. To register by Sept. 25, contact Sharon Jarrow at [email protected] or call 610-759-2628.

Genealogical Society News: The research library of the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. This is the last day for the month that it will be open to the public for genealogical research. The library is in the caretaker building on the grounds of the Hanover Green Cemetery, Main Road, Hanover Township.

Records Update: There’s bad and good news about Luzerne County’s plan for a public-access record storage facility. First, the bad. It’s now known that a total of 1,701 boxes of records suffered water damage because of a malfunctioning sprinkler at the warehouse where they are stored, Luzerne County officials announced recently. Most of those records were from the District Attorney’s Office. A contractor hired by the county is to examine the records and determine what can be saved, The Times Leader reported.

As for the good news, an additional $700,000 will be put into renovating and preparing a building in Hanover Township. The former United States Postal Service building will hold county records and will have space for the public to visit and view them. No opening data has been specified, but county officials say they expect to have all records out of the old building by the end of October, according to The Times Leader.

News Notes: The Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania will no longer be open on Thursdays, the group announced recently. It will remain open to the public from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The research library is at 1100 Main St., Peckville.

An era ended earlier this month when Family Search discontinued its microfilm rentals, going over entirely to a digital format. Operating at www.familysearch.org, it is a free repository of genealogical information maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church). The church also operates numerous family history centers offering help to genealogists.

Meanwhile, Family Search announced last week that it has added 20 million new records to its free data base. The trove includes census and other records from various nations in Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific. Also included are records of World War II era relocations of Japanese-Americans.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that it’s entering the final stages of a test-run for the census of 2020. It’s using some new methods in an attempt to reach all Americans, focusing on three widely separated areas to perfect its improved systems.

Tom Mooney Out on a Limb
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Tom Mooney

Out on a Limb

Tom Mooney is a Times Leader genealogy columnist. Reach him at [email protected]