Month: November 2019

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 12

Page 12 and Page 13, click to enlarge

Again we have an entry in our 1902 notebook signed by Tillie’s sister, Addolorata (Dora). It appears to be a letter from Dora to a friend in another village describing the First Communion taking place in Castelfondo at San Nicolo’ Church.

Translation is from Page 13 right side, and Page 14 left side

Dear friend,

This week the schoolchildren of Castelfondo received the Easter Holy Communion and I want to tell you what we did.

On Monday first the boys then the girls who had to receive the Communion went to Confession.

Page 14 and Page 15, click to enlarge

On Tuesday the bells rang and we all went to church.

Seven lucky girls were admitted to the Communion, they were seated in the first bench and all the others behind them.

At seven started the Holy Mass celebrated by our parish priest. During the Mass the chaplain read the preparation to the Communion of our priest, then went to the sacristy wearing a white robe. He went to the altar, said the Confiteor [in Latin this means “I confess” and refers to a prayer said during Mass], then the Communion started. First the children of the first Communion, then all the others in good order.

Interior of San Nicolo’ Church, about 1900

After some minutes the chaplain read a thanksgiving. After that the priest gave some memory cards to the children who had received the first Communion. We said three prayers and we went away in good order and went back to our houses.

To tell the truth, on that day I said a word for you to Jesus and I hope you did the same.

I would like to know what you did in your village.

I am your affectionate classmate,

Addolorata Genetti 

20 March 1902

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Loretta Cologna (our translator) and I thought this was the perfect post to show a few photos of the church and an archival communion photo published by Dino Marchetti in his beautiful hardcover book about Castelfondo. That’s when I learned that Loretta’s mother, a school teacher in Castelfondo, was also in several of the communion photos. I asked Loretta to share a few details about her mother and here is what she told me:

San Nicolo’ Church, photographed in 2011

From Loretta Cologna:

My mother was Livia Marchetti. She was born in 1920 and died in 2010. In 1940 she started teaching and worked for forty years as an elementary teacher until she retired in 1980.

For a few years she worked far from Castelfondo, then she got a job in the small village of Salobbi (north of Castelfondo) where she worked for eleven years. After that she had a position at the elementary school in Castelfondo, where she worked until her retirement.

Her school was the new school built in 1954. Before the new school, the original school was on the main square where the town hall offices are now.

The ground floor of the new school is for the nursery school children, ages 3 to 6. The first floor [in the US we would call this the second floor] is for the elementary grades.

First communion class of 1950 with Don Bruno (parish priest) and Livia Marchetti standing on the steps of San Nicolo’
click to enlarge

In the past the elementary teacher took an important part in the preparation of the First Communion and accompanied the children to Mass. As my mother worked for more than twenty years in the Castelfondo school, there are a lot of photos of her in Dino’s book.

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Loretta told me that until the age of eleven, she also attended the little green school house in Castelfondo where her mother taught. She and the rest of her class then attended middle school in the village of Fondo (just a few miles down the road from Castelfondo). Loretta went on to attend a language high school in the city of Bolzano (about a 45 minute drive over the mountain pass). Finally completing her schooling at a university of languages in Verona.

Thank you Loretta! We are so happy to have you as a friend of our family and our wonderful translator!

The new school house of Castelfondo, located behind the church, built in 1954

One additional note, the little green school house in Castelfondo contains the portraits of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti in the front entry way along with a dedication plaque. (Look closely at the marble plaque pictured below and you will see Addolorata’s name!) It is my understanding that funds raised from the sale of Damiano’s estate after his death in 1944, helped to finance the construction of the school house. My grandparents, Leone and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti, visited Castelfondo in 1954. Perhaps it was for the dedication of the school. Leone’s brother, Stanley, also visited Castelfondo many times as an adult. According to Stanley’s autobiography, over the years he purchased several pieces of new playground equipment for the schoolyard.

Portraits of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti

So again we see how the lives of our ancestors are interwoven to create a vibrant family history!

Our special thanks to Dino Marchetti! His dedication and passion for preserving the history of Castelfondo is truly a gift to future generations and to his American cousins. The first communion class photo published in this post can be found on page 421 of Dino’s book “Castelfondo: Il paese la sua gente”. (Translation – Castelfondo: the country its people).

Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.

Plaque hanging inside Castelfondo school
click to enlarge

Veterans Day and the Armistice

August Henry Genetti (1892-1976)
Served: 1917-1919

Today we pay tribute to those who have served in the Armed Forces. On this Veterans Day, we salute you and thank you for your service to our country!

But did you know that Veterans Day was originally named Armistice Day? It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that marked the end of World War I and the day that the Armistice was signed (November 11, 1918). The name of this federal holiday was officially changed in 1954 to Veterans Day by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. November 11th is commemorated throughout the world as the end of World War I and is celebrated as “Remembrance Day” by the Commonwealth of Nations. Only the United States refers to this date as Veterans Day.

Today marks the 101st anniversary of the Armistice. It is also the time when our ancestors living in the Val di Non became citizens of Italy. Prior to 1918, their valley was under Austrian rule.

In tribute to our Genetti descendants who served in past wars and conflicts, I have listed many of them below. Unfortunately, it is difficult to access military records for any living descendants or for those whose records were destroyed in the fire of 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Approximately 16 to 18 million service history documents for personnel discharged between 1912 and 1964 were lost in this disaster.

If someone in your family has served in the United States military and is not included in the following list, please send me a message through our Contact page. Include your family member’s name (does not have to be named Genetti as long as they are a descendant of a Genetti), rank, the branch of the military in which they served, their years of service and any war or conflict that was part of their military service.

Eventually I would like to build a page on this website to honor our military veterans.

With respect and gratitude, we say thank you to all who have served our country!

 

Descendants Serving in the United States Military

World War I

August Henry Genetti (19 Jun 1892 – 22 Nov 1976) Enlisted 5 Jun 1917, Released 17 Feb 1919

John B. Genetti (30 Mar 1890 – 4 Jul 1972) Enlisted 28 Feb 1918, Released 7 Aug 1919

 

World War II

Albert Joseph Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Enlisted 5 Jul 1938, Released 10 Oct 1969

Bernard Genetti (1926 – living) Enlisted 29 Jan 1944

Charles A. Genetti (15 Aug 1922 – 9 Jun 2007) Enlisted 26 May 1944, Released 5 Apr 1946

Edward Genetti (10 Nov 1913 – 29 Sep 1999) Enlisted 31 Aug 1943, Released 6 Feb 1946

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Enlisted 23 July 1941, Released 2 Nov 1961

Frank George Genetti (19 Apr 1913 – 3 Nov 2010) Enlisted 16 July 1942, Released 2 Nov 1945

Frank L. Genetti (16 Oct 1916 – 7 Jan 2008) Enlisted 19 June 1942, Released 16 June 1945

Frank V. Genetti (20 Dec 1918 – 19 March 1994) Enlisted 1 July 1941, Released 31 Dec 1963

Henry Genetti (12 June 1922 – 16 Jun 1989) Enlisted 29 Nov 1942, Released 16 Nov 1945

John Damian Genetti (1 Nov 1919 – 21 July 1981) Enlisted 26 Oct 1942, Released 31 March 1947

John M. Genetti (20 Apr 1920 – 10 Apr 1986) Enlisted 17 Oct 1941, Released 2 May 1945

Leonard J. Genetti (8 Mar 1924 – 4 Oct 1973) Enlisted 15 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

Nicholas Genetti (5 Dec 1914 – 6 Jun 1985) Enlisted 7 Jun 1941, Released 25 Nov 1945

Regina L. Genetti (3 Jan 1927 – 28 Jan 1996) Service Date 25 Sep 1944 to 3 March 1947 – Cadet Nurses

Richard S. Genetti (10 Oct 1919 – 11 Sep 2009) Enlisted 3 Apr 1941, Released 24 Jun 1944

Rinaldo W. Genetti (16 Oct 1911 – 17 Jan 1962) Enlisted 17 Mar 1942

Robert Herman Genetti  (18 Nov 1916 – 24 June 2011) 1943-1948

Rudolph J. Genetti (12 Jan 1910 – 30 Jun 1994) Enlisted 22 Sep 1942, Released 6 Nov 1945

Vernon C. Genetti (5 Apr 1918 – 15 May 1999) Enlisted 29 Dec 1942, Released 19 Nov 1945

Leo Alex Zambotti (11 Oct 1913 – 30 June 1993) Enlisted 21 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

 

Korean War

Albert Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Career Army

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Career Army

Joseph Genetti (23 Mar 1931 – 17 May 1986) Enlisted 8 Oct 1952, Released 7 Oct 1954

Richard Genetti (3 Nov 1933 – 3 April 1983) Enlisted 28 Sep 1951, Released 27 Sep 1955

 

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For more info about the history of the Armistice:

World War I Armistice Signed: November 11, 1918 – 100th Anniversary

Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)

 

Goodbye to Erma Ripple Zambotti

We say farewell to Erma Zambotti Ripple, the wife of Leo Alex Zambotti, (son of Ottilia Genetti and Pietro Zambotti).

Obituary provided by Legacy.com:

Erma Zambotti, 93, of Hazle Twp. passed away Sunday, November 3, 2019.

Born in Hazleton, she was the daughter of the late Christopher and Mearle Ripple.

Prior to retiring, Erma worked in the local garment industry.

Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents, were her husband, Leo, and six brothers and sisters.

Surviving are her daughter, Judy Malloy, with whom she resided; grandchildren, Erin Madjeska and husband, Alex; and Sean Malloy and wife, Julie; and great-grandchildren, Abby, Lexi and Piper. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. from Fierro Funeral Home, 26 W. Second St., Hazleton.

Interment will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.

 

Speaking Nones

 

I belong to a private Facebook group called Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino. There are almost 700 people in our group, all with a shared interest in Trentini (Tyrolean) ancestry. Most members are American Trentini (from USA, and some from South American countries) and a few are Italian Trentini.

Many of the Americans have ancestors from the Val di Non and share the same surnames as our grandparents and great-grandparents. I have found a surprising number of people in this group whose ancestors are from Castelfondo and nearby villages in the valley, with some being cousins.

Today one of our members, Michael Pancheri, posted two lovely videos. Michael is fluent in Italian, English and Nones. In the videos he speaks to his mother in English and she, in turn, translates the phrases into Nones. I understand a small amount of Italian, but was completely lost listening to a native speaker of Nones! Even though my Nonno spoke Nones, I was too young to remember anything of the language.

In the videos, you occasionally hear Michael and his mother chatting in Italian between translations. My ear recognized Italian immediately and I could understand some of their in-between conversation. Allora!

I hope you enjoy this little demonstration of our ancestral tongue. Our many thanks to Michael Pancheri for his gracious generosity. Grazie molto Michael!

 

Correction: Michael just informed me that the gentleman in the video is not him, but actually a professor from the Netherlands who is studying dying languages. He was interviewing Michael and his mother about their native language of Nones.

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 11

Page 12 and 13, click to enlarge

Our next translation is an entry by Addolorata (Dora) Genetti, Tillie’s older sister. After reading this sweet thank-you letter addressed to Dora’s godmother, I went to work searching through Castelfondo records and the references I had saved to my Ancestry.com tree. Using various dates and documentation, I pieced together a background story to go with our translation. It’s truly incredible the family history that can be constructed from clues in a thank-you note penned over a century ago!

Here is Loretta Cologna’s translation, followed by my family history information. I hope you enjoy the read!

Addolorata (Dora) Erminia Genetti Bott, (1889-1971) photographed in Pennsylvania about 1911

 

Page 12, left side and top of Page 13

Dear godmother,

I received your present with great pleasure yesterday night. A pair of golden earrings! It is too much for me, I surely did not deserve so much.

I will send you a present too, it as a bunch of forget-me-nots made of canvas which I made myself. Every leaf tells you that your goddaughter loves you. I did not know what other gift I could send you.

Thank you, thousand times thank you.

I am your goddaughter,

Addolorata Genetti

Castelfondo, 17 March 1902

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Addolorata (Dora) Genetti was born on August 12, 1889. Her parents Damiano and Oliva, had just returned to Castelfondo from Latimer, Pennsylvania early in 1888. They brought with them their infant son, Leone, who was about eight months old at the time they traveled.

According to baptismal records, Dora was born a triplet. Unfortunately her brother was still-born and never named. Her twin sister, Angela Cattarina, lived until the age of two. Dora was the only surviving child from this pregnancy.

Her baptismal record is somewhat complicated due to the triplet entry. Dora’s godparents are listed as Sisinio Genetti (Damiano’s older brother) and Erminia Erica Genetti (Damiano’s youngest sister). Dora’s twin, Angela, also has Erminia listed as her godmother, but a different godfather, Clemente Dallachiesa.

Erminia Enrica Genetti Recla, (1876-1972)

It is interesting to note that Erminia was just thirteen years old at the time of Dora’s birth. However, if we look at Dora’s full name, Addolorata Erminia, we now understand that she was her Aunt’s namesake.

Soon after Dora was born, her godmother left for the United States. According to the ship’s manifest, Erminia was escorted by her big brother Damiano, sailing on the ship La Bretagne out of the port at Le Havre, France. She arrived in New York City on March 10, 1890. After seeing his little sister safely to her new home, Damiano returned to his family in Castelfondo.

From her marriage certificate, it appears that Dora lived in Weston, Pennsylvania where she met her future husband Emanuel Recla. The young couple soon married in 1893. It is interesting to note that Erminia’s older sister, Angela Maddalena, married Raffaele Recla (Emanuel’s older brother) in 1887. So again, we see two sisters marrying two brothers. Thus the children of Erminia and Angela were double first cousins!

Returning to Dora’s thank you note of March 1902, we see through birth records that Erminia already has four children and is living in Crystal Falls, Michigan by this date. Within a few years, the growing family moved again and settled in Spokane, Washington. Erminia and Emanuel had a total of eleven children, with eight surviving to adulthood. Today you can still find many of their descendants living in Washington State.

As for Dora, she soon left for America with her father Damiano and little sister Esther, probably sometime in 1903. Big brother Leone, followed in 1904. The family set down roots in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where they established a meat and butchering business. The three siblings and their father moved into a home on Cedar Street. Their mother, Oliva, along with the remaining five siblings (Ottilia, August, Albino, Erminia, Constante and Angela) joined them in 1906.

We still are uncertain if this entry in the 1902 notebook was written by Dora, or penned by Tillie as a copy of an existing letter by her sister, possibly as a school exercise. We will have to wait and see what answers are found in future translations of the notebook.

One last side note: Dora’s godfather, Sisinio Genetti, died of tuberculosis in Castelfondo in 1908 at the young age of forty-four. However, Dora’s godmother, Erminia Genetti Recla, lived to a very old age of ninety-six, passing away in March of 1972. Erminia outlived her goddaughter by six months, as Dora died in October of 1971 at the age of eighty-two.

So that is the family history contained in Dora’s innocent little thank-you note to her godmother. I hope you enjoyed my diversion into family relationships and our recent ancestral past. 

Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.