Month: February 2015

A New Cousin

Vigilio Genetti, born 1852 in Castelfondo. Died 1932 in Collinsville, IL.

Baptismal record from San Nicolo Church:
Vigilio Genetti, born 1852 in Castelfondo, Austria.
Died 1932 in Collinsville, IL.

The Illinois Genetti Clan has proven to be very inquisitive and helpful concerning our shared ancestors. A few weeks ago I received an email from Brian Genetti with info about his family line. It turns out Brian is also a descendant of Vigilio Genetti who settled in Collinsville, Illinois around 1890. Why I say “also” is that I have had three other descendants of Vigilio contact me during the past year (Tom, Gary and Andrew). Each has contributed a bit more of our ancestral puzzle and allowed me to research further into their branch of the family tree. As a result of Brian’s info, I was able to add ten more descendants to our online tree and continue to extend Vigilio’s legacy in America. Brian says he also has photos of Vigilio Genetti tucked away somewhere. When he finds them we’ll add those pics to our photo archive page too.

Of course, I had to work out all of the cousin relationships. Here’s what I came up with:

– Brian is 1st cousin, twice removed from Tom.

– Brian is 1st cousin, once removed from Gary.

– Brian is a 3rd cousin of Andrew.

And Brian is my 5th cousin, once removed AND my 8th cousin once removed! Yes, my family twig is related to Brian twice!

Do you have descendants you would like included on our family tree? I believe we have only about a third of our ancestors documented so far. Feel free to email me with your information. If I can find documentation on the ancestor, I will add he/she to the Genetti Family online tree.

Many thanks to the Illinois Genetti Family for their participation.






Bill Genetti in the News

BillGenetti2012Our very special congratulations to Bill Genetti of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. I’m sure most of you know Bill for his kind generosity, as the owner of Best Western Genetti Inn and Suites in Hazleton, as our family genealogist, and as the organizer of our Genetti Family Reunions. After 65 years in the hotel and banquet business, Bill is finally ready to retire. According to several recent newspaper articles and a wonderful news video, Bill has sold the hotel portion of his business. The catering and banquet end of Genetti’s will be taken over by his son, Patrick.

Congratulations Bill! The Genetti family owes you a great debt of gratitude for all you have accomplished and given. We wish you many happy years of retirement!

To read the full story and see the newscast, click here.   

Back home

StatsFeb172015I’m back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico after our excursion to Australia. As always, visiting another culture offered a new view of the world and confirms just how much people are alike. I am so grateful that my husband and I are able to travel and make friends wherever we go.

This trip gave us many opportunities to chat and establish friendships. Along the way we conversed with people from Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and of course, Australia. We also discovered many Italians in Australia on work visas. It was a joy to strike up a friendly conversation with someone from Milan, Verona or Bolzano, ask them about their home town and share our own travels in Italy. I now have several new friends on FaceBook who originate from different points of the globe. Who would have thought a decade ago that we could post our thoughts on a website and have comments left by friends living in five different countries! Amazing!

While I was away, our website was busy. The stats show many new visitors, as well as return viewers, who have checked-out The Genetti Family Genealogy Project during the past six weeks. Thank you to all new family members from around the world who have stumbled upon our little website. During my trip I received emails from two distant cousins and one 2nd cousin through the Genetti Family website. Over on, I’ve had two close DNA matches with people related to me through Genetti ancestors – one I believe to be a third cousin. For a genealogy geek, this is exciting stuff! Now it’s time to get down to work, dig into my archives and find out how each person fits into our family tree. So Marcel, Ann R., Brian, Mary and Ann T. thank you for writing and I feel privileged to be a part of your genealogy journey. I will be emailing you individually with the results of my research. This info will then be added to the online Genetti family tree.

Now if I can just get over this jet lag …

Can You Imagine?

Have you ever wondered what your ancestors looked like? Before the invention of photography in the 1830’s, there was only one way to remember a loved one – a formal portrait painted by an artist. If your family had enough money, they might commission an artist to capture your image for posterity. But this was an expense most families could not afford. More likely than not, ancestors living prior to the 1840s (when commercial photography was first introduced) left no images for future generations to ponder.

artmuseum-1I’ve spent many hours researching the details of the Genetti family – their names, spouses, children, birth dates and deaths. This information is all that we have to remember them by. Often I wonder just who they were, what kind of personalities they had, what did they do for a living, how did they dress and what did they look like.

A few days ago, I was visiting an art museum in Sydney (yes I’m still in Australia). A small oil portrait by an Italian artist of the late Renaissance period caught my eye.

The name plate on the work of art stopped me immediately. “Portrait of a Young Man” painted around 1565 by Giovanni Battista Moroni. The artist’s name made me smile since there are many men on the Genetti family tree named “Giovanni Battista”. I snapped a photo of the painting and decided to do more research later on Master Moroni.

That evening I googled the artist to find a pleasant surprise. He was considered one of the best portrait painters of his time. Giovanni was born and worked most of his life in a small Northern Italian city, not far from Castelfondo (the Genetti’s village of origin). He had also worked for a period of time in the city of Trent (Trento), located down the valley from Castelfondo. Giovanni Battista was of Northern Italian descent, as most likely, were his clients and sitters. Wow!

My next thought was: “did my ancestors look like this too?”

artmuseum-2The pensive young man in the painting with intense eyes, short-cropped hair and a ruffled collar probably represented the appearance and dress of men in the mid-1500’s. Which of my ancestors had been a contemporary of this era? After consulting the online family tree, I found Pietro Genetti, my 10th great-grandfather, had lived during this time. From clues left in parish records, we know that Pietro was born about 1530 and lived until 1580. He was married to Chatarina Segna.

How tempting it is to imagine Pietro dressed as the portrait sitter. Dapper in a ruffled collar, his sandy-colored hair short and beard neatly trimmed, peering at me with steel-gray eyes. Of course, this is all speculation and fantasy on my part. There is no record of Pietro’s appearance. But what fun it is using a little imagination to bring my 10th great-grandfather to life!