Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 6

Richard Fedrizzi and Angeline Cologna, 1909

It’s time to research the individual lives of those who appear in our photograph. I am always intrigued by the stories that emerge when digging into the genealogical record. Even the most mundane life can be an interesting glimpse back in time, capturing a snapshot of our ancestors. One of my favorite research exercises is to gather all of the clues left behind by a person or family and compile them into a life story.

Let’s begin with one of our wedding couples from that momentous day: Richard Fedrizzi and Angeline Cologna.

“Richard” was baptized Riccardo Cesera Fedrizzi and this name appears on all of his official documents. However, he must have “Americanized” his name upon arrival in Pennsylvania and went by Richard in everyday life. I found several newspaper clippings for miscellaneous events and classifieds that all referred to Riccardo Fedrizzi as “Richard”.

He was born on December 15th, 1879 in Nanno, Austria (now Italy). Nanno is located in the Val di Non, not far from the city of Trento. Riccardo arrived in New York City on October 17, 1905 at the age of 26. He found work as a miner in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. His bride-to-be, Angeline Cologna, arrived soon afterward in December of 1906. Angeline was 22 years old at the time, having been born in Raina, part of the Commune of Castelfondo.

The young couple was married on Saturday, February 13th, 1909 in a double wedding with Riccardo’s sister, Virginia Fedrizzi and her groom Peter Dallachiesa. Most likely the ceremony took place at Sacred Heart Church in Weston, with the reception held at Raffaele Genetti’s saloon and boarding house located in the same village. The newlyweds setup housekeeping in Weston where they lived for most of their married life.

In December of that same year, Riccardo applied to become a naturalized citizen by filing his Declaration of Intention. It would take three more years before his Petition for Naturalization was filed and granted.

By February of 1910, the couple’s first child was born. Her name was Amelia. Two more children quickly followed in 1911 and 1912. As the years rolled by, their family continued to grow. Riccardo and Angeline became the proud parents of eight children. Sadly, little Amelia died in 1920 at the age of ten. Her death was attributed to tetanus. The rest of the Fedrizzi children all lived to adulthood.

Albert (1911-1998), Esther (1916-2001), Eugene (1919-2000) and Richard Jr. (1924-2000) moved to Niagara Falls, New York. Personally, I found the fact that four of the Fedrizzi children lived in upstate New York to be of interest as I grew up not far away in Buffalo, NY.  Since I was a wedding photographer between the years of 1980 to 1991 and often worked in Niagara Falls, there was the opportunity that I may have encountered one of the Fedrizzi clan at a wedding. Who knows!

The other three children: Edith (1912-2000), Albino (1914-1964), and Victor (1925-living) all made their home in California. Eventually Riccardo and Angeline joined them on the west coast, spending their twilight years in the sunshine state. They moved in with their daughter Edith and her family.

Angeline passed away at the age of 74 on December 30, 1958. Riccardo followed a few years later, with his passing on September 30, 1963 at the age of 83. The couple is buried in Los Angeles County at Resurrection Cemetery.

Their one surviving child, Victor, is 95 years old and still resides in California. Being a first born American with both parents from the Val di Non, Victor is certainly one of the last living connections to our Tyrolean heritage.

In our next blog post we will look into the life of Riccardo’s sister Virginia Fedrizzi and her husband Peter Dellachiesa.

UPDATE: Thank you to Giovanni Marchetti for spotting an error in our text. Angeline Cologna Fedrizzi was born in Raina, which is part of the larger village of Castelfondo – not in Ravena as I had previously stated. According to San Nicolo baptismal records, Angeline was born on October 11, 1884 to Urbano Cologna and Rachele Ianes. Later documentation from the United States contained the error stating that Angeline was born in a different village. I have corrected my original blog post to read “Raina”.

Thank you Giovanni for helping with this correction! We are extremely grateful to all of our Italian cousins for reading our blog and sharing their knowledge with us! Mille grazie!

  7 comments for “Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 6

  1. Giovanni Marchetti
    September 22, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Il paese di nascita di Angelina penso sia “Raina” (frazione di Castelfondo) e non come trascritto “Ravenna”. Almeno penso sia la conclusione più probabile. Tanti saluti da Castelfondo Louise !!!!

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

      Thank you Giovanni. I thought that Ravenna was incorrect also. But Angelina’s ship manifest said Ravenna not Raina. I will do more searching in the records and see if I can find her baptismal record for Raina. If so, I’ll make the correction. Hello to everyone in Castelfondo ❤️

      • L.Roach
        September 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm

        You were correct as I found Angeline’s baptismal record. Yes she was born in Raina. Many thanks for spotting that error. I have made the correction and added an update to the bottom of the blog post. Grazie mille amico mio!

  2. Jennifer Caviness
    January 24, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Hello Louise,

    Your site and all the work you put into this is amazing! My grandparents lived in Weston, PA until my grandfather passed away in 2018 and I spent every summer there visiting them. All the names on your site are so familiar and this story about Angeline just caught my attention. My great-grandmother, Mitzi Wagner (or Mary Cologna), was cousins with the Fedrizzis, so I think Angeline must have been her Aunt. Mitzi was the daughter of Arcangelo Cologna and Marie Bolotti. Is there any chance you have come across these names in your searches? Either way, thank you for all these amazing stories and insight into the Tyrolean culture!!

    • L.Roach
      January 25, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Jennifer – thank you for visiting our website and leaving a comment. I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about Mitizi Cologna Wagner. But since she was a Cologna, I know that she was born in Castelfondo and most likely was friends with or related to my ancestors. We might come across her name when I research future blog posts as I am never sure what will turn up when I dig into our ancestors!

    January 25, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Many thanks Louise. Leggo sempre volentieri delle tue nuove scoperte ed i tuoi commenti !!!!!!!!!!!

    • L.Roach
      January 25, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Grazie Giovanni, siete i benvenuti!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: