‘It’s a way of feeling connected,’ Unlocking mysteries from the past through genealogy

‘It’s a way of feeling connected,’ Unlocking mysteries from the past through genealogy

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Do you want to learn more about your past? Websites offer an introduction but there’s a group in Las Vegas that can go much deeper.

8 News Now’s John Langler’s mother, Marilyn Langeler says she’s decided to take on the search for her distant relatives.

“We’re a very close-knit family,” she said. “I’d like to know more about those that passed before me.”

Snapshots of a family tree stretching from Sicily to Brooklyn to Henderson, Nevada, to the home of Langeler.

But there’s one part of Langler’s past still missing.

“Time becomes more important and you want to reconnect,” she added.

There are no pictures of Anthony Alcamo, who was Langler’s maternal grandfather until he was murdered at the age of 26 in 1919.

“My grandmother, who was six months pregnant with my mother, lost the love of her life when her husband was shot dead on the street in Brooklyn,” Langler said. “I’d like to know more about him and his family because we never really talked about it.”

Pat Saletore is president of the Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society and offered to help her.

It helps people like Langler learn how to uncover family history.

“You’d be surprised, someone you wouldn’t have thought has a story, has a story,” Saletore tells 8 News Now.

This journey began one Saturday afternoon in Palo Verde Library’s Heritage Room.

Using a family tree Langler filled out, Saletore went to work.

A bit of Ancestry.com, census records, shipping logs from the turn of the century, and newspaper articles.

“Oh, I’m excited but I don’t know what I’m looking at,” Langler expressed.

Slowly, Anthony Alcamo’s past appeared in the present.

“He also had a brother named Leonardo. Who also came to America,” said Saletore.

“Can I get a picture of that?” Langler asks Saletore.

A family ghost slowly comes to light for Langler.

“I have family somewhere that I don’t know about,” she said.

Now, it’s all in a book, a teacher’s edition Langler plans to use moving forward.

It’s just the start of turning nostalgia into knowledge.

“It’s a way of feeling connected, and knowing you’re part of something bigger,” Langler added. “There was a journey that other people made through life that created you.”

For more information on the Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society click HERE.

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