This was written by my friend, Vicki Albu.
I am a product of the American “melting pot.” Through genealogy I have discovered Irish, German, Norwegian, hillbilly, and Mormon Pioneer ancestors. Few ethnic traditions survived the four-plus generations that most of my family have been in this country. For years my genealogy “brick wall” has been my Romanian great-grandfather, Ilie Moisescu, who was born in 1875 in what was then Austria-Hungary, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1911. The Twin Cities and especially South St. Paul were popular destinations for Romanian immigrants in the early 20th century, and there are many people of Romanian descent who still live in this area. But I rarely encounter anyone involved in Romanian genealogy, and I know of only one or two Romanian family history organizations in the U.S., if not in the world. Befriended by Romanians who came to this country in the 1990s, my interest grew stronger. I became almost obsessed with my Romanian heritage, and developed a fondness for eggplant, visinata, and sarmale (popular Romanian foods). In 2009, we formed the Heritage Organization of Romanian Americans in Minnesota (www.hora-mn.org) to educate others about Romanian culture and traditions.
At my friends’ urgings, and upon reflection of my tough grandmother’s advice that if you want something done you will need to do it yourself, I decided to form a Romanian Genealogy Society in Minnesota. On November 18, 2011 we held the first meeting of the Romanian Genealogy Society, attended by sixteen people who braved our first seasonal Minnesota snowstorm. I was thrilled at the turnout, because I had known so few people to be researching Romanian ancestors. Officers are Vicki Young Albu, president; Dorrene Dragos Hern, secretary; and Peggy Corniea, treasurer. Our next membership meeting was at the Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS) on February 18, and we’ve issued our first newsletter.
We are in the process of becoming an official branch group of MGS, and will participate in the Central & East European Family History Conference at Inver Hills Community College on April 27-28, 2012, with three planned presentations on Romanian research. I am getting almost daily e-mails from people all over the U.S., Canada and Romania, asking about the Romanian Genealogy Society! Things are moving so fast; I am learning so much, and I don’t know why I waited this long to “just do it.” If you have any questions or to sign up for a mailing list, please contact Vicki Young Albu by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership dues for the RGS are $20.00 per calendar year per household, beginning in 2012. We welcome photos and stories about all Romanian-American families, especially those with connections to Minnesota and the Midwest.
Follow the RGS news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanianGenealogySociety
© 2012 – 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.