Month: September 2019

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

Here is our next translation of Tillie Genetti Zambotti’s notebook from our friend, Loretta Cologna. It appears to be a letter written by Tillie’s older sister, Addolorata (Dora). We aren’t sure why Dora’s letter is appearing in Tillie’s notebook, but since it is in the same handwriting as the first two pages, Loretta believes it could be an exercise in writing and copying various things. Tillie was simply copying a letter that Dora had penned.

Once again, many thanks to Loretta for her help.

Page 3:

Dear friend,

My heart was very sad hearing that your mother is ill again. But don’t despair, she will soon feel better. Go to the altar of the Virgin and pray, she will certainly help you.

I hope it will be a short illness. Even if the doctor said worrying things don’t be alarmed because just one being knows if she is going to recover. Don’t lose your courage, have faith in God and bear these sorrows patiently. I will visit you on Thursday (with?) something to strengthen your mother. In the meanwhile pray for her healing. And tell her to have courage because she will soon be better.

If you need something write me and I will help you as far as I can.

I am yours affectionately,

Addolorata Genetti

Castelfondo, 28 February 1902

Read past posts:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

 

Memories from the 1930’s

Genetti’s Annual Outing, Hazleton, PA – 1934
click on photo to enlarge

A few weeks ago I received a visit from a fellow genealogist and Tyrolean, Judy Givens. Judy lives just six hours up the road from me in Colorado. We met online through the Facebook group Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino of which we are both members. Like me, she is 50% Tyrolean and was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Louise and Judy chatting about their Hazleton families

Sometime ago Judy emailed me about a group of photos saved by her father, dating to the early 1930’s. At the time, her father worked for – you guessed it – the Genetti Markets! Judy said she would stop for a visit next time she was in New Mexico and bring her photo memorabilia with her.

We finally met-up in August, sharing memories of Hazleton, laughing about our overlapping family stories and, of course, discussing the three photos she had brought for me to scan.

What a surprise! The large panoramic was a group picture taken at a Genetti staff picnic, circa 1934. I immediately recognized the four Genetti brothers reclining on the grass, front and center. Dressed in summer white, were Stanley, Albert, Leon (my grandfather) and Gus Sr. What a fantastic moment captured on film!

From the Hazleton Plain Speaker,
July 1934

After scanning the photograph and enlarging it for restoration, I had another surprise. Sitting directly behind Stanley (first brother on the left) is an elderly woman. It was Oliva, mother of the four brothers (and my great-grandmother)! Looking closely at the many smiling faces, I recognized one more person. The young boy sitting behind the third brother from the left, Leon, was my Uncle John! In 1934, John Damian Genetti, Leon’s oldest son, would have been fifteen years old. As an adult, he worked as a butcher for the Genetti Markets.

Wondering if any newspaper notices existed for the event, I searched Newspapers.com for the month of July 1934. Yes, there was a short article about the company picnic published in the Hazleton Plain Speaker. Now we had a bit of info to go along with the photograph.

 

From the Standard Sentinel
June 9, 1934

I was amazed that in 1934, during the years of the Great Depression, Genetti Markets employed two hundred people. I wondered just how many neighborhood groceries had been opened by the four Genetti brothers. From June of 1934, I found a clipping listing all of the local Genetti markets. At the time of the company picnic, there was a total of eleven markets run by D. Genetti and Sons.

Judy’s other images were just as compelling. I immediately recognized Genetti’s Popular street store in Hazleton. It was the family’s first neighborhood market, managed and operated by my grandfather, Leon Genetti.

Located at 436 South Poplar in Hazleton Heights, the market was right next door to my grandparents’ home. When I was a little girl in 1960, my grandmother Angeline would take me by the hand, walk me next door and let me pick out penny candy and little tubes of toothpaste. I remembered the old-fashioned hanging lights and stamped tin ceiling, exactly as pictured in Judy’s photos. Of course by 1960, my grandfather had long ago retired. But his son-in-law, Steve Kashi (married to Leon’s daughter Adeline), now owned and operated the little market next door.

Judy’s father, Quentin Knies, is standing to the left of the post, wearing a bowtie. Genetti Market on Poplar St., early 1930’s.
click on photo to enlarge

Judy’s photos from the early 1930’s pictured the interior of the grocery store along with several employees. Her father, Quentin “Knute” Knies (1910-1974) stands to the right of the gentleman in a suit.

With a little research, I learned that “Knute” lived right down the street from the market on South Poplar. What a small world it is indeed! Judy’s father had worked for my grandfather, lived on the same street as my family and most likely knew my aunts and uncles, perhaps even my father who was only a toddler in 1934.

My special thanks to Judy Givens for finding me, making the trip to Santa Fe and sharing her photographic memories with our website followers.

Judy’s father “Knute” is the tall fellow on the left. Genetti Market, Poplar St., early 1930’s.
Click on photo to enlarge.

I hope to see you in the future, Judy, when I take my next trip to Colorado. Mille grazie et un abbreccio!

All three photographs have been added to our Photo Gallery. You can find them on the Pennsylvania Genetti Family page.

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Sometimes the universe offers help when help is needed!

Last week I published my first post about Tillie Genetti Zambotti’s 1902 school notebook. Since I don’t speak Italian, I admittedly felt over-my-head in attempting to translate this beautiful family heirloom shared by Tillie’s granddaughter, Anne Marie Shelby. Never one to give up, I decided to do the best I could with my limited knowledge of Italian and the help of Google Translator.

On the same day that I published my post, it was shared by Giovanni Marchetti on the closed Facebook group, Chei da Chastelfon, of which I am a member and Giovanni is the Group Administrator. Within 24 hours I received a message from someone in the group, stating that she had read the post and would like to help with translation! I was overjoyed and responded immediately!

Yes, I thought, this is an angel from Val di Non who can help me!

Our Trentini angel is Loretta Cologna who lives in the city of Cles. Loretta grew up in Castelfondo (Cologna is a very old surname from the village). She is a retired school teacher and taught English in the Cles school system for many years. I couldn’t believe our luck! After several emails back and forth, I learned that we had at least three surnames in common from our family trees: Zambotti, Marchetti and Cologna. It’s probably a good bet that Loretta shares some DNA with our family line. She has generously offered to translate Tillie’s notebook in her spare time. Over the next year, we hope to work our way through the journal and publish a weekly post with a translation.

I am completely thankful, Loretta, for your kind and gracious generosity! Grazie di tutto!

Here is the next translation in our series courtesy of Loretta Cologna:

Bottom of page 1:

Castelfondo 24 II [February] 1902

Dear classmate, Genetti A.

While I was walking with one of my sisters on Thursday, she told me that you had told our teacher a bad lie. Bad my darling, very very bad my darling, this…(incomprehensible word) the good things that your teacher did for you.

(click on image to enlarge)

 

Page 2 (left side):

What I love

I love God, creator of a lot of wonders, beginning and end of all things, the greatest good. I love God because through holy Baptism he adopted me as his child among the many people he created.

I love the Holy Mary because through her we can get the favors of God.

I love my guardian angel because he is always near me and he defends me from dangers. I love my parents because they gave me life and because after God they are the greatest benefactors. Moreover I love my parents because they give me a lot of care and have a lot of expenses to support me.

I love my little brothers because they care about my troubles. I love my brothers.

Castelfondo 28 February 1902

(click on image to enlarge)

PDF file of 1902 School Notebook by Ottilia “Tillie” Genetti

 

Guest Post by Allen Rizzi: Tirolean Names

Allen Rizzi
Author and Blogger

Today we have an interesting and informative guest article by author, songwriter, genealogist and fellow Trentini American, Allen E. Rizzi. We feature two of Allen’s books in our Family Bookstore (you’ll find links for all of his books at the end of this blog post).

I follow Allen’s eclectic blog and as soon as I read this post, I knew it would be perfect for the Genetti Family Genealogy Project.

If you enjoy Allen’s insightful article, read more of Mr. Rizzi’s plethora of commentary or subscribe to his blog at: https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/

Here is Allen’s August 30th post in its entirety.

Tirolean Names by Allen Rizzi

I have always loved names, especially Tirolean surnames. Surnames were invented after first names ceased to distinguish various people in small villages and towns. Prior to the year 800, people usually only had given names in the Tirol. Hence, you find Johannes fu (or von) Dominicus to simply describe the birth of Johannes, son of Dominicus. It was a simple naming convention and it worked… for awhile.

Surnames were then used to distinguish between the various people having the same given name in any particular population center. They were often fashioned after the patriarch’s given name. Of the various Johannes living in one spot, the surname was added; perhaps Dominici to distinguish a particular Johannes who was descended from Dominicus. Surnames were always descriptive and were intended to differentiate for reasons of census and taxation.

But as populations grew, there were too many people of the same given name and same surname in any one location. Confusion once again reigned. In my native village of Cloz for example, there were many people named Giovanni Rizzi at any one time. What to do? In the Tirol, sopranomi (nicknames) were introduced.

Sopranomi were first used to distinguish people with identical names living in one population center or town. If there were too many Johannes Dominicis in one area, the sopronome helped to discern which Johannes Dominici was being named in any instance.

Sopranomi vary widely in the Tirol. Some are taken from physical characteristic, others from one’s occupation and still others from the patriarch of the family. I was, for example, born Picolo Alessandro di Eugenio Valentino Von Rizzi Regin. The last of this huge moniker is my soprnome, Regin. It derives from the fact that a very distant ancestor once worked in the court of Maria Teresa of Austria (regin = queen in our dialect) as a secretary. My grandmother’s sopranome was Segala, indicating that one of her ancestors was known for being born in a rye field. Sopranomi were mandatory for many years as populations in the Tirol grew. Both governments and local residents had to know who exactly was being referred to. Today, they are of little real importance although most families still carry them with pride as a cherished piece of their heritage. In fact in some villages, people are still known only by their sopranome rather than their surname.

But let’s turn our attention to those wonderful Tirolean surnames. Many simply mean “sons of” such as Michelini, Bertagnolli, Martinelli, Giuliani (sons of Michael, Umberto, Martin and Julian). Of all Tirolean surnames, this type is the most common. Hundreds of examples can be found, many ending in “i.” Sometimes surnames of German origin have been Italianized such as Gebardi (sons of Gebhart, which in turn means hardy and brave). Other Germanic surnames have survived intact such as Larcher (living among the larch ((tamarack)) trees), Mayrhofer (from the region of Mayrhof in Austria.) and Kirschbaumer (cherry grower).

Still other surnames are descriptive of physical characteristics such as my own surname Rizzi, which simply means “curly haired.” In my native village of Cloz in the Val di Non, there are only a few surnames: Angeli (Angels), Franch (free of taxation), Gembrini (born in December), Flor (flower), Floretta (little flower), Zanoni (sons of John), Canestrini (little jars), Rauzi (root harvesters) and of course Rizzi.

Yet other surnames describe a trade or residence location. These are commonly found in both the Italian and German rooted languages. Some examples of trade referenced surnames include Zadra (weavers), Kofler (land surveyors), Geiser (goat herders), Sartori (tailors), Mitterer (carpenters), Preti (priests), and Zucali (pumpkin growers).

Examples of residence referenced surnames include Aufderklamm (living on the gorge), Plattner (living on level fields), Egger (living on the corner), DalRi (living near the river), DallaValle (living in the valley), Dalsass (living among the stones), Dalpiaz (living in the piazza), Clauser (from Cloz) and Ausserer (living outside the edge of town).

Sometimes, surnames are super obvious. I recently saw a funeral notice for a woman whose maiden name was Carotta (carrot) and whose married name was Stanchina (a little tired). I joked that she had passed away as a “carrot who was a little tired.” Actually, the woman lived to 103 years; not bad for a tired old vegetable!

In all cases Tirolean surnames actually mean something, even if it has been lost in ancient local dialect. That’s where genealogists like me come in. Many of us are able to trace the exact origin of surnames, even if those words or names no longer exist or have been drastically changed.

Tirolean names – They are interesting and most have a very long and traceable history. If you would like your Tirolean name researched, please get in touch with me. Genealogy is what I do. You may contact me here: http://www.allenrizzi.weebly.com

About Allen Rizzi: Writer with over 55 years professional experience including non-fiction, music, and corporate analytical writing. Author of eight books available through Amazon.com. Additional expertise as a photographer. Specialties: Historical non-fiction, fiction, nostalgia, public profiles, biographies, contracts, and documentary writing in English, Italian, and German. Recent articles have appeared in The Numismatist, NOS Magazine, and on the internet. Music composition and lyrics have been a specialty since 1974. Songwriting credits include over 150 songs (1974-present): Easy Listening, Country, Rock, and R&B. Currently completing a book in German and writing music and lyrics for recording artists in the United States and Europe. Cogito, ergo scribo….

For more info, please see Allen Rizzi’s LinkedIn account at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/allen-rizzi-59ab5420/

Books by Allen Rizzi

Click on book for Amazon link: