Thank you to Mary Russell for sending me two family photos. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Erminia Enrica Genetti Recla.
The youngest child of Leone and Cattarina Genetti, Erminia was born in Castelfondo, Austria (Italy) in the year 1876. She arrived in America in 1890 at the age of 13. The ship’s passenger list shows that she traveled with her big brother Damiano, who escorted her across the ocean and then returned to his family in Castelfondo.
Since most of Erminia’s large family was already living in Pennsylvania, she was not alone. Her older sister Angela, had married a young man by the name of Raphael Recla in 1887. Angela must have introduced her little sister to Raphael’s brother, because a few years later in 1893 Erminia married Emmanuel Recla. The couple set-up housekeeping in Shepton, PA near Angela and Raphael, where their first two children were born. By 1897 they were living in Michigan and five more children followed. The family moved again around 1907 to Spokane, Washington and four more children were added to the large family. Of Erminia and Emmanuel’s eleven children, eight survived to adulthood.
Erminia passed away in 1972 at the ripe old age of 95. She was laid to rest next to Emmanuel (who passed away in 1939) in Holy Cross Cemetery – Spokane, WA. Erminia was the last surviving sibling of her family.
The interesting part of this story is that I met Mary Russell, Erminia’s great-granddaughter, through Ancestry.com when our DNA results came up as a match. Mary’s test results matched mine as “extremely high probability for 3rd or 4th cousins”. And sure enough, our “shared ancestor hint” correctly predicted that we shared common 2nd great-grandparents, Leone and Cattarina Genetti. Our great-grandparents, Erminia and Damiano, were siblings. This made Mary and I third cousins. I’m so glad that science brought us together and I have yet another lovely person to call cousin!
And one more twist to the story – I recently worked on an ancestral genealogy for Don Lingousky, the great-grandson of Angela Genetti Recla (see blog post from March 26, 2015). Don had emailed me directly, providing information and photos for our family tree. Since Don and Mary shared both a Genetti and a Recla ancestor (two Genetti sisters marrying two Recla brothers) and they were both interested in their family’s genealogy, it was only natural that they should meet. After several emails between the three of us, Don and Mary are now working on their Recla ancestry together. As it turns out – Don, Mary and I are all third cousins through the Genetti family. Don and Mary are also third cousins through the Recla family – therefore they are twice related. I bet they share a very interesting DNA match!