Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 7

Peter Dallachiesa and Virginia Fedrizzi

It has been awhile since we last visited our double wedding photograph and the stories it holds. Let’s look at the second couple who exchanged vows on February 13th, 1909 and what life had in store for them.

Pietro Simone Dallachiesa (Peter) and his bride Maria Virginia Giuseppa Fedrizzi (Virginia) became husband and wife at a joint ceremony with Virginia’s brother Richard Fedrizzi and his bride Angeline Cologna.

Peter was born September of 1876 in Castelfondo, Austria (now Italy), the son of Clemente Dallachiesa and Maria Zambotti. According to his birth record, Peter’s godparents were his maternal uncle and aunt, Simone Zambotti (brother of his mother) and his wife Catterina Dallachiesa.

A quick look at my family tree and I found that Peter’s mother was the older sister of Lucia Zambotti. Lucia and her husband Raffaele Genetti were the owners of the Weston beer hall where Peter and Virginia’s wedding reception took place. Therefore, Lucia was Peter’s maternal aunt. (Note: Peter was also the nephew of Oliva Zambotti, who was married to Raffaele’s brother Damiano Genetti, as Oliva was the sister of both Maria and Lucia Zambotti.)

Peter arrived in the United States on January 13th, 1907 at the age of 24. Like most of his friends and family, Peter found work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Two years after settling in Weston, PA he married Virginia, who had also emigrated in 1907 at the age of 21.

His bride was born in 1886 in the town of Nanno, Austria (now Italy). The couple set-up housekeeping in Black Rock (close to Weston) and soon their first child, Esther Olivia, was born in December of 1909. One year later in 1910 a son was added to the family, Stephen Clemente.

By 1912, Peter was granted citizenship. His naturalization papers describe him as 5′ 5″, 155 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes (however Peter’s WW I Draft Registration states his eye color was “blue”). Peter’s occupation was listed as Miner. On the same day that Peter registered his Declaration of Intention for citizenship, his younger brother, Fortunato Dallachiesa, did the same.

The couple’s third child, Oliver Clement, was born in 1913. And their last child, Albert Fortunato, came along in 1916. It appeared the family was happily established within their Tyrolean American community and gainfully employed. Unfortunately this would soon change.

Peter Dallachiesa’s World War 1 Draft Registration. Note: Peter’s birth year is incorrectly listed as 1877 rather than 1876. He turned 42 years old three days after registering for the draft.

When war broke out, Peter was obligated to register for the draft. His WW I registration card is dated September 12, 1918. Just a few weeks later, on October 29th, 1918 Peter succumbed to the terrible influenza outbreak that was ravaging the country at that time. He was only 42 years old and left behind a wife and four young children. Pietro Simone Dallachiesa is buried in the little country graveyard where he lived, Sacred Heart Cemetery in Weston, Pennsylvania.

The 1920 and 1930 Federal Census tells us that Virginia continued to live in Black Creek with her four children. We can only assume that the tight-knit Tyrolean community helped her through the difficult time after her husband’s passing. From the census, we know that all four of the the Dallachiesa children reached adulthood.

By the 1940 Federal Census, Virginia is now 54 years old and living in Hazleton with her oldest son, Stephen, a self-employed truck driver. Sadly two short years later at the young age of 56, Virginia passes away as a result of kidney disease and anemia. Life had certainly been difficult for Virginia, loosing her husband after just nine years of marriage and having to raise four children on her own. Virginia is also interred with her husband at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Weston, Pennsylvania.

Now let’s take a look at Peter and Virginia’s children. As of 1993, all four of the Dallachiesa children had passed away. But there are numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren living in Maryland and New York State.

Their oldest child, Esther Olivia, married Albert Bonan in 1937 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Tyrolese Church in Hazleton, PA. Soon after the couple moved to Maryland and had six children. Esther was a school teacher prior to her marriage to Albert. Sadly, like her parents, Esther also passed away at the young age of 52.

Esther Dallachiesa Marriage License – 1937

Stephen Dallachiesa married Rena Corradini of Hazleton, PA. The couple join Esther’s family in Maryland. According to Rena’s recent obituary, she and her husband had three children, six grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Stephen passed away in 1990 at the age of 80, but his wife Rena died just this year (2020) three months shy of her 100th birthday.

The third sibling, Oliver Dallachiesa, lived in Shortsville, New York. He married and had two children.

Youngest brother Albert Dallachiesa also lived in Maryland, married and had four children. And like his parents and sister before him, Albert died at a young age in 1967 (51 years old).

As we all know, no life is perfect. Everyone maneuvers through highs and lows. There is a certain intrigue when viewing a moment captured in time such as the double wedding photograph of the Federizzi siblings from 111 years ago, then tracing the family history forward to present day. We can all learn something from researching our ancestry. Seeing the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors, offers a new perspective on the circumstances of our own lives and that of future generations.

I have come across a number of Dallachiesa listed within my personal DNA results, as well as this surname showing up in genealogy research from time to time. Since Dallachiesa does not appear in our original Genetti family tree, in the past I assumed the family was distantly related due to our shared family origin in Castelfondo. Now I understand through researching this photograph that Pietro Dallachiesa was actually much more closely related to me than previously thought. He was my first cousin, twice removed with our common ancestors being Alessandro Zambotti and Maria Covi (Pietro’s maternal grandparents and my paternal 2nd great-grandparents).

Simone and Catterina were the parents of Alessandro and Pietro Zambotti. (San Nicolo Cemetery in Castelfondo – marker no longer in cemetery)

And to confuse you even more about intermarriages between families, one of Peter Dallachiesa’s younger sisters, Maria Dallachiesa, married (Giuseppe) Alessandro Zambotti, son of her mother’s brother Simone Zambotti and his wife Catterina Dallachiesa. He was also Maria’s first cousin. Maria and Alessandro Zambotti’s children would have been cousins to each other as they were related through both their maternal and paternal lines.

Plus Alessandro’s brother, Pietro, married Ottilia Genetti, daughter of his Aunt Oliva (both pictured in our wedding photograph – but that’s a story for a future blog post!)

This means that within our wedding photograph the following people were all closely related: Silvio Genetti, Peter (Pietro) Zambotti, Dora (Addolorata) Genetti Bott, Tillie (Ottilia) Genetti Zambotti, and Peter (Pietro) Dallachiesa.

I’m sure we’ll find more close cousin relationships as we delve further into the wedding photograph of 1909!

  2 comments for “Anatomy of a Photograph, Part 7

  1. Tom Genetti
    January 24, 2021 at 10:11 am

    What Airport do you fly into to get to Castelfondo?

  2. L.Roach
    January 24, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Tom, thanks for asking this question. The short answer is there are no international airports that are close to Castelfondo. That means you need to evaluate which major Italian city you want to fly into and then how you will get from that city to Castelfondo (not easy to do). Since this question requires a long, detailed explanation and it really doesn’t fit with this particular blog post, the best way to answer it is in a future blog post. That way I can offer advice based on my past visits to Castelfondo and it will benefit everyone who reads our family blog. I will try to compile and publish a travel post within the next few weeks.

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