The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club offering free online classes to help you create and grow your own family tree

Connect with your ancestors

Have you ever wanted to gather your family’s history but don’t know where to start?

The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club (KCIC) is now offering free online classes to help you create and grow your own family tree.

The workshop's host, Don Rampone, says most people creating their family trees want the emotion behind the stories and want to understand what their ancestors lives were like.

But to get those stories, Rampone says you need all the facts and figures.

"A big part of the research work that we're doing and teach people to do is how to find those facts and figures, and hopefully we can put the story together once we have those things in place," he tells Castanet.

Although the workshop is done through The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club, the classes are open to people of all cultures.

Tools like 23andMe or Ancestry.ca’s DNA testing are useful but you’ll still need a concrete family tree to understand your results. There are archives all over the world that you probably don’t even know exist.

Rampone says often when immigrants come to Canada their names are spelled incorrectly on documents so some people don’t even realize that there’s vital information about their family history, right under their nose.

"So much of everybody's history really isn't taught in school, so it's good to put it down in terms of some sort of paper or video or something so that we have a connection," adds Rosanne Nanci, KCIC president.

Sometimes, you can’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been.

Rampone says when he did his family tree, he learned about his great grandfather who he has never met.

His great grandfather moved here from Italy in 1893 and he lived out in the countryside and would walk everywhere. It turns out, Rampone lives in the same neighbourhood.

"Now as I walk in the area," he explains, "I actually feel like I'm in his footsteps... The more I do it the deeper I get into it."

"I never met the guy, but feelings are passed down, whether you know it or not."

The free workshops are every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. and you can join at anytime. Register here.

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