Month: August 2015

Postcards from the Past

elaine emma kathryn

The children of Erminia and Emmanuel Recla: Elaine Recla (1912-1982), Emma Recla (1899-1988) and Kathryn Recla (1909-?)

A few days ago, I received a beautiful portrait postcard from Don Lingousky. If you remember from previous posts, Don is the great-grandson of Angela Maddalena Genetti Recla (1865-1937), born in Castelfondo, Tyrol. She emigrated to Sheppton, Pennsylvania in 1882, (see previous post). During the past year Don has shared many family photos and stories with our website. Because our great-grandparents were siblings, Don and I our third cousins.

Don wrote to me: “I’ve had the attached photo sitting in my pile of ‘photos of unidentified people’ and I think I might now have an idea of who they are. I had always assumed that these were friends of my grandmother, but now I think they are Reclas. See what you think. Only close friends and family called my grandmother ‘Nela’. The back of the photo/postcard reads ‘Dear Nela, here is the picture of 3 ‘chicks’, Emma, Kathryn and the Baby Elaine. Emma has changed a bit since you saw her last, eh? Esther – Are you going to forget to write? I wrote you immediately but it looks as if you are mad.'”

Don continued: “I had a hunch that they might be relatives of my grandmother, so I searched for the names Emma, Elaine, Kathryn and Esther on the Genetti family tree and it looks to me like these could be Erminia Genetti and Emmanuel Relca’s daughters. The photo is stamped with the photography studio name Phelps in Spokane.” (end of email)

Great sleuthing job, Don! I agreed with him, but to be sure, we sent the portrait postcard on to Mary Russell for further verification. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Erminia and Emmanuel Recla and also a third cousin to Don and me (read blog post about Mary Russell). She wrote back immediately and confirmed that yes, it was Elaine, Emma and Kathryn Recla – Mary’s great-aunts. The portrait was also a nice surprise for Mary as she wrote: “Thanks so much for sending it. There are so few pictures!”

Another piece of the family puzzle found through cousin connections! This is the reason I love genealogy!

Visit our Photo Page to see both the back and front of this lovely heirloom. Many thanks to Don Lingousky for your gracious sharing and continuing support of our family website.

New Photos in the Gallery

Tillie and Peter Zambotti

Tillie Genetti and Peter Zambotti, probably photographed about the time of their wedding in 1911, Pennsylvania.

Our photo gallery is growing by leaps and bounds! Just posted are seven photos from the Zambotti – Reich family courtesy of Charis Hearn (great-granddaughter of Peter and Tillie Zambotti).

Otilla Anna “Tillie” Genetti was born in Castelfondo, Tyrol in 1890, the third surviving child of Oliva Zambotti and Damiano Genetti. She emigrated to America with her mother Oliva and four other siblings in 1906, arriving in New York City on December 3rd. In 1911, at the age of 21, she married Peter Zambotti, also of Castelfondo. The couple made their home in Weston, Pennsylvania and had four children: Elizabeth, Leo, Leona and Albert. The photographs included on our Photo Page depict the descendants of Tillie and Peter, through their eldest daughter Elizabeth Zambotti Reich (1912-1995). Make sure you also view Elizabeth and Lewis Reich’s wedding video on our new Video Page.

Our thanks to the Zambotti, Reich and Hearn families for sharing their memories with us.

Visit The Genetti Family Genealogy Project: Photo Page, Video Page and Gallery Page (click each link to access the page) for more family remembrances and tributes.

Follow us on Twitter!

imgresWooHoo! I finally signed up our family website to Twitter! Now you can follow blog posts and other Genetti family newsy stuff through our “tweets”. I’m sure this super social network will put us in-touch with family members throughout the world, plus offer a lively ongoing conversation.

So be one of our first Twitter Followers – fly over to and add us to the list of pages that you follow.

A Quote


Damiano and Oliva Genetti with 7 of their 9 children.

“May the protection of the ancestors be yours.”

From the poem “Beannacht” by Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue. A beautiful poem written as a blessing to the poet’s mother, this particular line jumped out at me. What an incredible way to think of our ancestors – as guardians over our lives. To read the complete poem, click here.

Another Video in the Gallery


The Genetti Hotel & Suites in Williamsport, PA

I’ve been searching YouTube for more Genetti family videos to add to our Video page in the Gallery section of the website. So far I’ve watched a number of interesting clips that include family businesses, performers and talented artists.

The next video added to our website I found posted on the Genetti Hotel Channel on YouTube. It commemorates the 90th Anniversary of the landmark Genetti Hotel & Suites in Williamsport, Pennsylvania owned by Gus and Val Genetti. I hope you enjoy it!

Click here to view.

What perfect timing – Gus Genetti was in the news on the same day I was writing this blog post! The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader published an interview with the owner of Genetti Hotel & Suites on August 9th. Stop by the newspaper’s website to read: “Behind the Business: More of life’s lessons still to learn and wisdom to impart for Gus Genetti” by Jerry Lynott.


We would love to receive more old home movies to post on our family website. Check your closets and attics! Let’s see what fun things we can discover together.

New Video Page!

Lewis J. Reich and Betty (Zambotti) Reich

Lewis J. Reich and Betty (Zambotti) Reich

About a month ago I received a DVD in the mail from Conrad Reich (great-grandson of Damiano and Oliva Genetti). The package contained a home movie of his parents’ wedding. This was certainly a treasured heirloom and I was very touched that the Reich family wanted to share it with us!

I knew immediately the time had come to include video in the Gallery section of our website. And so I am pleased to announce our new Video Page is now up and running! I love old black and white films and I hope you do too! Many thanks to the children of Lewis and Betty Reich for contributing our very first video – an early home movie of their parents’ wedding dated June 3, 1935.

Elizabeth “Betty” Zambotti Reich was the daughter of Tillie Genetti and Peter Zambotti, and the granddaughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti. According to Conrad, all of Damiano and Oliva’s children are in the movie along with Oliva. What a thrill to catch a glimpse of my own great-grandmother!

Lewis and Betty Reich on their wedding day, June 3, 1935, with their Maid-of-Honor and Best Man.

Lewis and Betty Reich on their wedding day, June 3, 1935, with their Maid-of-Honor and Best Man.

To read the story of how the video was discovered, visit the Video Page and take a stroll down memory lane.

(Special note: The original film was edited and converted into a DVD format. In the process music was also added. Unfortunately due to copyright laws, the music portion of the DVD had to be deleted.) 

Do you have an old family movie converted to DVD that you would like to share? Or have you already posted a video on YouTube? If so, contact me for shipping directions or with the YouTube embed link and we will do our best to publish it on the Video Page. I will also be searching YouTube for public videos showcasing the talents and businesses of Genetti family members. Watch for future blog posts announcing new videos finds!


Our special thanks to the children of Lewis and Betty Reich (Conrad, Olivia, Ann Marie and Lewis) for sharing their family’s treasured memories.