Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting to know...John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

SLIG is happy to have John Philip Colletta coordinate his course, "Research in Original Source Repositories" in January 2015. In this course, he explores repositories of original historical sources: archives, courthouses and manuscript collections. We caught up with John to ask him some questions, so that you could get to know him better.
When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”
One summer when I was 13 or 14 and whining about having nothing to do, my mother suggested I create a family tree. She had just read an article about it in Family Circle magazine. I began interviewing my two grandmothers and took to genealogy in a big way immediately.

Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher? 

No, I have no “pet ancestor.” I feel particularly close to my mother’s mother’s parents, though, Andrew and Frances Noeth. They were born in Bavaria and came to Buffalo, New York, in 1886. Since my mother was very close to her grandparents (their back yards adjoined and the fence had a gate in it), I have heard more stories about Andrew and Frances Noeth than any other ancestors. It’s almost as though I knew them. Temperamentally, however, I feel a closer kinship to my father’s Sicilian ancestors.

You can read more about John's class at

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