The Long and Winding Road of Genealogy, Part 1

Maria and Clemente Dallachiesa and family.

Maria Zambotti and Clemente Dallachiesa, married 1875. Family portrait, circa. 1887-1888, photographed in Castelfondo.

Genealogy doesn’t always follow a straight, clear path. Sometimes you start researching one branch of the family and before you know it, you’re lost in a maze of in-laws, family cross-overs and distant cousins leading to a completely different surname! Although often confusing, it’s worth the effort to travel down side streets, for they all contain a hidden surprise!

That’s exactly what happened to me during the past month. I was contacted by three different cousins, looking for info on their ancestors. Although indirectly related to the Genetti clan, I took on the task of researching their family connections and was amazed at what I discovered!

I knew most families who came from Castelfondo, Italy (Austria) were interrelated. It’s a small village and your choice of a marriage partner was usually limited. Marriages were often arranged between families and it was common for distant cousins to marry. By the time I finished putting together the puzzle pieces of this branch (which includes the surnames of Dallachiesa, Zambotti, Marchetti, Genetti, Ianes and Turri – all from Castelfondo) I had a clearer picture of just how complicated cousin connections can be when your family originates from a small town in the Italian Alps!

Since this is a long, complicated story … I’ll break it into several blog posts. You’ll soon see why!

Fred Dallachiesa (1921-2014)

Fred Dallachiesa (1921-2014)

First let’s start with Arleen Dallachiesa. Arleen contacted me back in June (see past blog post). She already had a good family genealogy mapped out and was wondering about the connection of her father Fred Dallachiesa to the Genetti family, since she believed Fred and Gus Genetti Sr. were cousins. It didn’t take long to find the connection – Fred’s grandmother was Maria Zambotti Dallachiesa (1854-1906), older sister to Gus’s mother Oliva Zambotti Genetti (1861-1938). Fred and Gus were first cousins, once removed. Plus Maria and Oliva’s grandmother, who married into the Zambotti family, was Maria Barbara Genetti (1796-1844), an ancestor of the Genetti branch who immigrated to Illinois. So Arleen was related to me twice, as a 3rd cousin through the Zambotti family and a 4th cousin through the Genetti family.

Gus Genetti Sr. (1892-1976)

Gus Genetti Sr.

I decided to add Arleen’s great-grandparents, Maria Zambotti and Clemente Dallachiesa (1844-1905) to our online tree since they were related to the Genetti family through two different branches. Arleen and I kept in-touch for several months, solving a few mysteries and swapping research.

Then a month ago, I received a request through from Melissa Stidom. She was looking for information on her 2nd great-grandfather, Clemente Dallachiesa. Wow, I thought, what were the chances of two cousins (who did not know each other) contacting me through the Dallachiesa family connection! I knew that Melissa was certainly related to Arleen! After counting the generations, I concluded Arleen and Melissa were 2nd cousins, once removed. Both were related through the Dallachiesa, Zambotti and Genetti families. This was just too much of a coincidence! I knew I had to dig deeper into our shared family connections – and that’s when my research took an unusual turn down a new road of discovery!

To be continued …


  7 comments for “The Long and Winding Road of Genealogy, Part 1

  1. Will Genetti
    December 15, 2015 at 3:28 am

    This is amazing. I love getting updates.

  2. Anne Marie Shelby
    December 15, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Love reading about our family

    • L.Roach
      December 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks Anne Marie … I love writing about our family!

  3. F. Kathlleen Lamb. (Mathilda Bott's daughter)
    December 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

    You are doing such a wonderful gift to so many people. My sister Lois has done a lot of work for our family history. It takes so much time to go back so far and I wanted u to know how much I do love reading all of the information. I have been so busy this past year that I have missed so much.
    Today I decided to do something for myself and just chill with my coffee and read your interesting, exciting information. Thanks so much!

    • L.Roach
      December 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Thanks for leaving a comment on our blog Kathlleen! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and so glad that you are enjoying the stories about our family. Mille grazie!

  4. F. Kathlleen Lamb. (Mathilda Bott's daughter)
    December 16, 2015 at 8:23 am

    If you ever run a trip to Northern Italy I would be most interested. I would see if my family would be interested. I think it would be great to meet relatives whose ancesters were raised in Castelfondo, Austria, now Italy. I have been to areas’ so close on tours but never to my Grandparents area. I remember my Mother getting excited when we saw a home in southern Germany with animals that lived under the house. She said she was told, her Dad’s home in Austria, Val di Non must have been similar. Fortunately, we do get to see and hear much from your experiences and others!!!!

    • L.Roach
      December 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

      I love the idea of a tour to Northern Italy and the Val di Non to explore our ancestry. Unfortunately my temperament is more that of a quiet researcher than a tour guide! I have visited Castelfondo twice, home of the Genetti family. During my visits I’ve met many of our Italian cousins and made many friends from the area. The Bott family is from the village of Salter, not far from Castelfondo. I remember driving past the sign for Salter while exploring the valley. I’ll try to include more photos from the region in future blog posts. And maybe one day you will have an opportunity to visit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: