“I am bound to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices. I honor their history. I cherish their lives. I will tell their story. I will remember them.” ~ Author Unknown
Month: March 2016
Books by the Family
I have just added a new page to our Gallery section: Books by Members of the Genetti Family. This important project has been on the back-burner for at least a year and now I am finally devoting time to making it happen.
We have two family members (that I know of) who have penned memoirs: Stanley Genetti (Pennsylvania) and Herman Genetti (Wyoming). Copies of both books have been forwarded to me through different channels. They were obviously written with a great deal of love and with the intention of sharing family history. Until now, both autobiographies existed only as paper copies in the possession of a few relatives. As personal legacies offering an account of life during a bygone era, I feel the narratives are an important part of our shared ancestry. In making them available on this website, I hope others will find great joy and comfort in the stories they tell. Perhaps the bios will inspire others to write their own account of life within the Genetti clan.
I am pleased to announce that The Autobiography of Stanley Genetti is now available on our website and can be download as a PDF file. This entertaining bio is a true treasure – I have read it several times and always find a new revelation with each reading. As with most memoirs, Stanley wrote this account from memory, including family stories and lore passed down from his elders, as well as autobiographical information about life as a businessman. I appreciated Stanley’s perspective of the Genetti businesses and the role he played within the family hierarchy. Since my grandfather, Leon Genetti, was Stanley’s older brother and one of his business partners, the memoir provides a peek into my own family dynamics.
Stanley self-published his book in 1981, distributing it to cousins, children and friends. As with any memoir, it’s always a good idea to check against genealogy records before using generational information as fact. At the time Stanley compiled his memories, there was no internet or the ability to fact-check against baptismal and death records. Written at the age of 82 and with both of his parents, (Damiano and Oliva) long gone, it would have been difficult to accurately record specifics about his parents’ siblings. Unfortunately several details about his aunts and uncles are not consistent with Castelfondo church records (the corrected information can be found on the Genetti online family tree). But hey – I hope I can look back on my life at 82 and remember so much! Kudos to you Stanley – your gift of memories will be treasured by future generations as a source of pride, recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our ancestors.
I hope you enjoy and share the legacy of story that Stanley left for us. Many thanks to his family who made this book available to me.
I am currently working on a digitize version of Herman Genetti’s book – Herman’s Howlings, and hope to have it online soon. If there are other family journals, collections of letters or biographies out there, gathering dust while stashed in a forgotten shoe box, please consider sharing these pearls of wisdom with us. If they are only available in paper form, mail me a Xeroxed copy. I will gladly spend the time to digitize it into a PDF format and post it on our website.
Thank you once again to all of our contributors. Through your efforts, we are building a genealogical endowment for future generations.
I invite you to take a few moments and visit our ever-growing Gallery Section!
Words of Wisdom
For your enjoyment, here are a few quotes I came across today:
“When a society or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found. They forgot where they came from.” ~ Carl Sanberg
“You live as long as you are remembered.” ~ Russian Proverb
“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” ~ Edmund Burke
Genealogy Trivia: “If you figure there’s 25 years between each generation, 500 years ago there were 1,048,576 people involved in creating you!”
“We don’t own our family history. We simply preserve it for the next generation.” ~ Rosemary Alva
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.” ~ Alex Haley
Thank you to Family Tree Circles for these insightful words of wisdom!
A Tyrolean Proverb
My favorite reason for doing genealogy are the people you meet along the way. Our little family website has drawn the attention of Tyrolean descendants from all over the world. Sometimes they turn out to be cousins; often they are family genealogists searching for clues to their own ancestry.
Last week I received a wonderful email from Ray Branz who shares our Tyrolean heritage. Ray explained, “Years ago I was traveling through Diamondville, WY and came across the attached story. I do not know the Bazzanella family … but … they left behind a proverb that may bring a smile.”
The name “Branz” immediately rang a bell! Jean Branz Daly is a prolific contributor to the Genetti website (and my first cousin, once removed). Jean’s mother, Erminia Genetti, married Henry Branz and they lived in Freeland, PA. I wondered if Ray was related to Jean’s father’s family.
Since Ray is also a genealogist and has detailed research about his own family tree, he wrote back immediately with the answer. Yes, we had many overlaps in our shared family histories. The Branz family was from the village of Sanzeno in the Val di Non, not far from the Genetti’s ancestral village of Castelfondo. Ray’s great-grandparents, Camillo and Maria Rosa, immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1890’s, settling in Nuremberg, PA for a short time. They soon moved on to the coal mines of Wyoming. In 1904, the family finally putting down roots in southern Illinois. From Ray’s calculations, he and Jean were indeed distantly related as 6th cousins, once removed through the Branz family.
Since I have Genetti and Marchetti family who lived at the same time and in the same place in Pennsylvania as Ray’s great-grandparents, we are sure our ancestors knew each other. Plus different branches of the Genetti family also worked the mines in Wyoming and Illinois. Since Tyrolean immigrants who shared a common dialect (such as Nones from the Val di Non) often socialized and lived in the same communities, it’s likely that Camillo and Maria Rosa also knew the Genetti families who lived in these states. I always marvel at how truly small the world is!
Below is the original typed copy of the Tyrolean Proverb shared by Ray Branz. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Many thanks Ray. I look forward to future conversations about our shared heritage.
In closing, here’s a quote for everyone who has taken the time to write me during the past two years:
“The best part about genealogy is searching for ancestors and finding friends.” ~ Lawrence Dillard
More About Ötzi, The Iceman
For all of you Ötzi fans, The Iceman has been making the news recently.
PBS just aired an informative NOVA episode, “Iceman Reborn”, filming the unique process used to create an identical replica of the Tyrolean mummy. Ötzi’s twin will be available to scientists who are unable to observe the famous ice mummy in person.
Paleo-artist, Gary Staab, worked for five months to reproduce the first of three copies utilizing cutting edge techniques in 3-D printing combined with his extraordinary talent of observation and artistic skill. I loved the program!
Read an interview with artist, Gary Staab at the Smithsonian: http://goo.gl/ZZHSOz
Or, watch the PBS NOVA episode at: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365669542/
In other Ötzi news – The Iceman Speaks! Well … not quite. Scientists are in the process of recreating Ötzi’s vocal tract, including his vocal cords and mouth. The experiment will then combine the replica with software that will approximate what Ötzi’s voice sounded like 5,300 years ago.
Of course scientists have no idea what language was spoken by the famous Tyrolean, since the earliest written inscriptions by humans appear around 1500 BC. Ötzi’s birth date is between 3359 and 3105 BC. According to project coordinator, Francesco Avanzini, “We should be able to recreate the timbre of his vowel sounds and, I hope, even create simulation of consonants.” How exciting!
Click here to read the article “Can mummies talk? Scientists find out” by The Christian Science Monitor.
See more photos of Ötzi, published in the March 2016 issue of National Geographic, click here.
Want to get up-close and personal with The Iceman, then hop on over to Ötzi’s home at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology: http://www.iceman.it/en