Guest post from Terry Koch-Bostic
I was greatly saddened to hear about John’s Martino’s passing Monday morning, November 30th. He was quite ill the last six months or so and many of us had a chance to see him, call him or write to him and share our concern for him as his health deteriorated. But this was still very difficult news to hear. His enthusiasm, sense of humor and special brand of warmth will be missed by all who knew him. Arrangements are still pending.
John is a hero of mine. He had a great love of history and genealogy, as well as spunk, conviction and vision. Leading the charge, John along with Don Eckerle and Bob Boeckle, motivated thousands of volunteers from GGG, IGG, the Long Island Genealogy Federation and beyond to create the free, digitized indexes to databases for New York City (1847 to 1948) and Long Island vital records and naturalizations (over 16 million records). This monumental project is still ongoing after more than ten years. These indexes have given family historians all over the United States and the World much needed clues to find their family’s records.
In 2014, John, Don and Bob were recognized for their work by the National Genealogical Society. They were presented the NGS 2014 Award of Merit at the NGS Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia.
Right up to his last days, John wanted to be involved in his team’s ongoing projects. He wouldn’t rest, always thinking of all the work to be done. Please consider making a donation in John’s name at the IGG or the GGG website to continue the work he loved and we have greatly benefited from. You can also honor John by volunteering to help with a project by contacting Don Eckerle through the GGG www.germangenealogygroup.com.
APG-NY Chapter Representative, Association of Professional Genealogists, and National Genealogical Society Board of Directors
Note: Other projects John and these gifted and generous people have given to the field of New York history and genealogy are listed below and still growing. See the databases on the Italian Genealogical Group’s website,www.italiangen.org, and the German Genealogy Group’s website, www.germangenealogygroup.com. For both websites, click on databases on the left side.