(St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) — The Caribbean Genealogy Library is pleased to have avid family historian Dante Beretta present his research at the library on February 9th, 2019 at 2pm.

Growing up on the island of St. Thomas, Dante Beretta was captivated by family stories related to him by his grandmother, Ms. Verna Dinzey. He also worked as a teen with his mother Betsy at her photographic studio, The Snap Shop. Dante now lives in Minnesota where he has practiced Family Medicine for the last 25 years. Lately, Dante has been combining his penchant for photography, island history and genealogy to write family stories as short vignettes; including “My Emancipated Ancestors”, “How Crown House Survived the Hurricane of 1916″, “Early St. Thomas Panoramas – 1850s”, and “Taking the Last Danish Census – 1911” just to name a few.

Dante Beretta explains “My island grandparents, Giorgio A. Beretta and Verna Dinzey were both born in Charlotte Amalia, St. Thomas but came from very different backgrounds. Mr. Beretta was a Main Street merchant, at the helm of various business enterprises. Miss Verna grew up in Savan in a matrilineal family structure, worked as a dental nurse, but spent most of her working life as a seamstress.”

The family stories Dante Beretta has researched and that he will share at his presentation at the Caribbean Genealogy Library illustrate the diversity and social history of Virgin Islanders during the early American years stretching back to Danish times.

beretta and dinzey graphic

Dante will also highlight the resources he used to conduct his family research. Dante Beretta indexed the majority of the 1911 census for the Danish National Archives’ digitization project “The Danish West Indies – Sources of history”. These types of records are especially important for genealogy and personal history.

The Caribbean Genealogy Library had been closed since Hurricane Irma, September 2017. It reopened last month. The library’s volunteers encourage you to research and document your family and community history. Attendance of library events is free for current library members. Non-members are welcomed, its $5 for non-members.

Caribbean Genealogy Library’s mission to identify, preserve and provide access to Caribbean genealogy, history and cultural heritage information resources for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. The library houses unique and rare books on Virgin Islands history and culture; funeral booklets, microfilms; and provides access to church records and other documents. It is located in the Al Cohen’s Plaza (at the top of Raphune Hill). The library is on the 2nd floor, above Paint Depot. For more information email caribgenlibrary@gmail.com, or call at (340) 714-2136.