Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 5

Albert Lawrence Genetti (1906-1990)

Time to look at the very person associated with our photo myth, Albert Lawrence Genetti. Albert is not pictured in our group wedding photograph. But for some unknown reason the date of his birth became part of the legend attached to this eventful day. Although we now know Albert was born in 1906, two and a half years prior to the date of the 1909 photo, public records show an interesting story also revolves around his birth.

Albert came into the world on October 21, 1906, the sixth child in a family of seven (note: Albert’s oldest sibling, Alessandro, passed away in 1910). According to Census records, his parents, Angelo Raffaele Genetti (Ralph) and Lucia Zambotti Genetti (Lucy), moved sometime around 1901 to Weston, Pennsylvania from North Union, Schuylkill County, where they had lived next door to Ralph’s older sister Angela Genetti Recla. The young couple established a large beer hall/boarding house in Weston, becoming prosperous entrepreneurs and growing their large family. Our double wedding was photographed on the front porch of Ralph and Lucy’s establishment.

Raffaele and Lucia Genetti with their family, about 1914, probably photographed in Weston, PA. Front: Raffaele (1867-1949), Anna (1909-1974), Lucia (1865-1952). Standing: Albert (1906-1990), Leona (1903-1979), Silvio (1899-1982), Mary (1901-1992), Elizabeth (1904-1964).

To refute the original date of 1906 associated with our boarding house photo, I went in search of Albert’s birth certificate. This proved to be a difficult research task indeed. Due to numerous errors most likely made by the county clerk, not only was Albert’s surname misspelled as “Jenetti”, but his first name was also incorrect – plus the incorrect name was spelled wrong!

Albert Lawrence Genetti Certificate of Birth – Pennsylvania

Ralph and Lucy’s infant son is registered as: Rafile Jenetti. And if this wasn’t bad enough, the names of both of his parents were also misspelled as: Rafile Jenetti and Lucia Zambody. Never have I found a birth record with so many errors, making it extremely difficult to research!

Albert’s date of birth is also a conundrum. The day and time are recorded as October 22, 1906 – 7 p.m. However, all other public documents for Albert Genetti (Social Security Death Index, WW II Draft Registration, U.S. Public Record Index and the U.S. Find A Grave Index) state his birth as October 21, 1906. Was Albert’s certificate of birth also wrong about his date of birth? Or did he and his family decide to celebrate his birthday on the 21st rather than the 22nd? I guess we will never know the answer to this puzzling question, but I’m betting the county clerk was not the most competent person for this job!

Amended birth record

In a backwards kind of way, I stumble upon the original birth record by first finding a revised correction of the document that had been notarized and filed on May 10, 1977. In that year Albert finally had the name on his birth certificate corrected to read Albert Lawrence Genetti. However his date of birth remained as October 22, 1906.

Albert and Vivian Genetti with sons Ralph and Lawrence.

Albert married Vivian Ellen Kummerer on January 20, 1940. They had two sons: Ralph and Lawrence. He had a long and successful career with Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, and became a well respected member of his community, belonging to numerous organizations. Albert passed away on December 15, 1990. You can read the obituary of Albert L. Genetti by clicking here.

Our thanks go to Ralph and Lawrence Genetti for sharing this fascinating photograph. It has added much to our family history!

In our next blog post, I will look into the lives of our two wedding couples from 1909.

Update: August 26, 2020

Thanks to comments from our readers, we have added an eighth child to this family: Raffaele Genetti Jr. (abt 1897? – abt 1897?).

Click here to read more about this additional child here.

  11 comments for “Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 5

  1. Helene L. Prehatny
    August 19, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Just one thing. There were 8 children in Raphael and Lucia’s family. There also was a son, Alex, (probably, Alessandro), who died, young. I don’t know exactly, but I had always understood that he was about 2 years old. I don’t know the details.

    • L.Roach
      August 19, 2020 at 10:47 am

      No sorry Helene, there were seven children in their family – three boys and four girls. The oldest son, Alessandro, died in childhood. Unfortunately there is no record of his death, so we don’t know the actual date. Our tree and my research is correct concerning the rest of the children who all grew to adulthood. You can check the family portrait on our photo page and you will see that there are only six children in the photograph.

    • L.Roach
      August 19, 2020 at 11:01 am

      Read the blog post again Helene and you will see that I mentioned Alessandro and his death.

      • Ralph Genetti
        August 19, 2020 at 6:13 pm

        Hi Louise,
        We are enjoying the blog on my family branch very much. We appreciate all your work.

        Our info agrees with Helene. There were 8 children. The first child Raffaele Jr. died at birth and we don’t know where or when he was born. Alessandro (Alex) was the second child. The rest in order of birth are: Sylvio, Mary, Leona, Elizabeth, Albert and Anna.

        My father needed a birth certificate to get a passport in 1977 to travel to Castelfundo. At the time no record could be found so he enlisted people to testify on his behalf. The record for Rafile is interesting. It was not a name he used. Helene Prehatny and Suzanne Portland are most knowlegeable about our branch.

      • L.Roach
        August 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm

        Thanks Ralph. I had no idea that there was a Raffaele Jr. as he doesn’t seem to appear in any records, but I will look further. Also, my original tree was based on Bill Genetti’s research and I’m sure he did not include this son. I’ll work on it tomorrow and see if I can find a birth record for Raffaele Jr. so I can enter accurate information. Thanks again and glad you are enjoying the series.

  2. Conrad Reich
    August 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    If they were still living in Weston, the parish records may show the dates of his Baptism and funeral

    • L.Roach
      August 19, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      That would seem like a good suggestion Conrad. But there are many issues to take into account. Here is what we know about the timeline for Alessandro. In the 1900 Census the family is living in North Union, Schuylkill County. Alessandro is five years old and his brother Silvio is one year old. That means that Alessandro was born in 1895 in North Union and probably baptized in a parish that was closer to where the family lived. We don’t know the exact year when Raffaele and Lucia move to Weston, but it is most likely around 1901 or 1902. By the 1910 Census, Alessandro has passed away and the family is in Weston. We don’t know if he died before the move or after the move. Adding to this confusion I have heard that Raffaele did not get along with the priest in Weston. As a result, Raffaele, Lucia and most of his family are not buried in Weston, but Calvary Cemetery in Drums (where your parents are). As far as I know, Alessandro is not buried near his family and I have yet to find his grave in Weston. I also have not found and record of his birth or death in Pennsylvania records in either Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org. So there are many mysteries about Alessandro. About the only thing that we do know is that he lived to be at least five years old. I will keep searching, but at this point I have no clues and I very much doubt that I will find a baptismal record for him in Weston. If there is anyone in Hazleton who would like to visit the Weston church and search through records, that would be great and most helpful for our family genealogy.

  3. Ralph
    August 19, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    I think Leona and Mary need to switched.

    Ralph

    • L.Roach
      August 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      I think you’re right Ralph. I’ll make the correction. Thank you!

  4. Helene Prehatny
    September 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I had gotten the names of Alessandro and Raffaele mixed up. I will get in touch with the priest from Weston and see if there are any records. There are multiple Genetti’s plots in the cemetery – not my grandparents. I hope to visit the area in the near future. I have two sister-in-laws, 95 and 92, who still live in Hazleton. They were at the last reunion.

    • L.Roach
      September 22, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you Helene.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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: