When Ralph Genetti handed me the boarding house photo, it was numbered on the front and the names of those present were noted on the back. It also contained the date of October 1906. Ralph related an interesting story associated with the photo passed down through family legend during the past one hundred years. Supposedly while the wedding celebrations were taking place downstairs, his grandmother Lucia was upstairs giving birth to Albert (1906-1990), Ralph’s father. Since Albert was born on October 21, 1906, this seemed to confirm the date printed on the back of the photo.
No caption was provided and it was difficult to determine exactly who had married who since many of the people in the front row were wearing corsages. Eventually I was able to conclude that two siblings, Richard and Virginia Fedrizzi, had taken vows on that day. Virginia had married Peter Dallachiesa. But Richard Fedrizzi’s bride was labeled only as Mrs. Richard Fedrizzi. Not much help!
I dutifully published the photo on our website along with the information and date provided on the back, although I felt it unfair to name one of the brides “Mrs. Fedrizzi” – as if she had no identity of her own. Unfortunately, at that time Ancestry.com was just beginning to add Pennsylvania wedding documents to their data base and I found nothing listed for a Fedrizzi wedding taking place in October of 1906.
A year passed and I received an email from a descendant of the Dallachiesa family. Arleen had seen our wedding photo and also wondered about the identity of the bride. Could she possibly be one of her ancestors? Arleen did a little research and soon wrote back to me. The bride was not from the Dallachiesa family. She was a woman named Angeline Cologna. And like most of the people in this photo, Angeline was a recent immigrant from our ancestral village of Castelfondo.
Our photo was updated with the newly found name. The bride of Richard Fedrizzi now had an identity!
Although Arleen had found the name of our illusive bride, she had not provided the date of the wedding, probably assuming the date I had listed was correct. I assumed the same thing!
That was my mistake. I had broken the number one rule of genealogy – never assume a date, event or name is correct unless substantiated by several public sources.
And the saga continues …
Watch for Part 3 – coming soon!
(Note: click on photos for a larger view)