During the past year I’ve met many family members through email correspondence. A few weeks after our site was launched in July of 2014, I received an email from Regina Branz Daly. Jean, as she is called, introduced herself as the granddaughter of Oliva and Damiano Genetti. She was excited about the website and wanted to contribute her own memories and photos. I’m always thrilled when a cousin contacts me with information for our family website. And so began our year-long correspondence.
Jean is 84 years old and of the same generation as my father. Matter-of-fact, Jean and my father were first cousins – they were born just two days apart! She remembers playing together as children. Over the past ten months we have written back and forth, shared family stories, and have become good friends. Since Jean was my father’s 1st cousin and the common relatives we share are Oliva and Damiano Genetti (Jean’s grandparents and my great-grandparents), but I am of the next younger generation – our official relationship is “1st cousin, once removed”.
This past month I compiled all of Jean’s stories and photos, with contributions from her sister Catherine, into a Family Memory Page. You can now find this lovely personal memoir under the Gallery section of the Genetti website – click on the Family Stories link to find the page. Jean, her sister Catherine, and I look forward to our continuing correspondence. We will be adding more stories and photos in the future to their ongoing memoir.
My sincerest thanks to both of the Branz sisters for sharing their little corner of our family history. In their memories, I have found many personal connections to my Pennsylvania Tyrolean family as I’m sure you will too! Click here for a direct link to Family Memories by Regina “Jean” Branz Daly.
On a final note, if you have a parent or grandparent, take a few moments and talk with them about family history. Ask them about their childhood, their parents and the town that they grew up in. Beyond dates and stats, it is the ancestral stories that matter most. Today the sages of the Genetti family are Jean’s generation. They link the memories of past and present. Don’t let this opportunity to connect with your ancestry slip away. Ask your father or grandmother a few questions, than document your conversation with a family journal, photographs and video. Your children will cherish the legacy you have created as will future generations when they look back at the words and images of their great great grandparents.
Special Note: If you are interested in preserving families memories, I have added three new books to our online Bookstore with advise on how to create a treasured family memoir. Click here to find out more and scroll to the bottom of the page.