I'm a photographer and digital artist. My passions are reading, traveling, art, hiking and genealogy. Between excursions to explore other countries and cultures, I spend most of my time building my family genealogy blog and creating digital art.
I was recently made aware that another Genetti cousin passed away in 2020. William “Bill” J. Genetti (1956-2020) had his roots in the Wyoming branch of our family. He was the son of Joseph Henry Genetti (1925-2006) and Marie Fernandez (1925-2008), the grandson of Ermenegildo Genetti (1893-1967) and Dola Belle Whitman (1900-1985), and the great-grandson of Angelo Genetti (1959-1946) and Terresa A. Marchetti (1858-1902) – both of Castelfondo, Trentino, Austria (Italy).
Although I never met William Genetti, his brother Robert Genetti attended two Genetti Family Reunions in Pennsylvania, where I had the pleasure to speak with him. The Wyoming Genetti family was related to all branches of our family who settled in the United States: Pennsylvania branch, Illinois branch and Michigan branch, as well as to several ancestors who immigrated to Argentina.
We extend our thoughts and sympathies to William Genetti’s family.
Wow! Our printer, Redbubble, is holding a HUGE weekend sale! Everything in our online Genetti Shop is 20%-60% off from May 28th through June 1st. Now is the time to buy a family tree print. Or maybe sample a few of our fun new products such as puzzles, aprons and drink coasters. And how about a T-shirt proclaiming “It’s a Tyrolean Thing … you wouldn’t understand”. This is the weekend to save big at this super sale! Just use the coupon code FINDYOURTHING at checkout to receive your sale discount!
Our website shop has been recently updated too! Spend a few moments browsing and see the fantastic goodies we now offer – all for a special low price this weekend!
Visit the Genetti Family Shop on our website and see what’s new: Click here!
Or go directly to the Genetti Family Shop at Redbubble: Click here!
And remember – every purchase made through our shop helps support family research and the Genetti Family Genealogy Project website!
Gary was the great-grandson of Costantino (also known as August) and Rosa Genetti. Costantino was born in Castelfondo, Tyrol in 1841 and immigrated to the United States with Rosa in 1868. They were the first members of the extensive Castelfondo Genetti family to leave their village and come to America. The couple, along with Costantino’s brothers and sisters, are considered the founding ancestors of the Illinois branch of the Genetti family.
Being a family genealogist is not always easy. And this is one of those times. I invariably knew the day would arrive when I had to create a memorial page for William “Bill” Genetti. It was a task I hoped would never come.
You see Bill was my family history mentor. When I first began my journey into genealogy back in 2010, Bill was happy to help by sharing his extensive family research files. Over the years, he had gathered information on all of the descendants of the Pennsylvania Genetti family. His files gave me a great jump-start into compiling our extended family tree.
Bill also introduced me to the original Genetti Family Tree – an amazing collection of ancestors presented as a beautiful fine art print. It was another incredible family history gift for a budding genealogist!
In 2014 he cheered me on when I accepted the responsibility of renovating and maintaining our family website. And in the Spring of 2016, Bill asked if I would help him organize a family reunion for that October. I was honored to assist Bill in bringing together cousins from all branches of our family. It was a wonderful reunion that I will always remember.
Throughout the years, Bill and I shared information via email correspondence and the occasional phone call, sometimes surprising each other with an unexpected family secret that we had uncovered through genetic genealogy or research. Yes, Bill was my genealogy buddy! I will very much miss his insight and generosity, as well as his passion for family history and the honor he brought to our ancestors. Bill will be greatly missed by our family and his Hazleton community. But I know his memory will live on through his many descendants and a lifetime of charitable works.
To my genealogy buddy, I bid you a fond farewell and God speed!
A memorial page has been created for Bill Genetti in the Tributes and Obituaries section of our family website. Please feel free to share your memories in the comments section of that page.
With much sadness I bring you the news that William (Bill) Edward Fox Genetti of Hazleton passed away this morning, May 8th, 2021. A great presence in the Pennsylvania family, Bill was a family man, business owner, genealogist and friend to many. Carrying on the family business from his father, Gus Genetti Sr., Bill was a prominent member of the Hazleton community. Over the years, he brought together many cousins and extended family by hosting reunions at his Genetti establishment.
We offer our thoughts and love to Bill’s wife Pat, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his brother Gus and his family during this difficult time.
A memorial for Bill will be posted on our Tributes and Obituaries Page at a later date.
One of the genealogy websites I use from time to time is MyHeritage. I’m not a paying member as I concentrate my resources mostly at Ancestry.com, but MyHeritage does allow limited access to their interesting photo enhancement tools as a way of sampling their many resources.
Last week the website introduced an amazing app and I just had to give it a whirl. It’s an animation tool called Deep Nostalgia – and it does the most unbelievable, weirdly wonderful thing to old photos – it brings them to life! Although I was only able to test a few photos, I thought the animation was extraordinary and at the same time strangely eerie, as if I was being introduced to ancestors who had passed away long before I was born.
Here are the links to two Genetti ancestors that I animated using Deep Nostalgia. I hope you find them as intriguing as I did!
The first animation is of Damiano Genetti (1857-1944). I uploaded the photo from Damiano’s 1922 American passport into the MyHeritage tool. Although my great-grandfather died thirteen years before I was born, his animation appeared so life-like as to be peering at me through the window of time. I also saw a strong resemblance to my grandfather (his son) as well as my own father reflected in Damiano’s stern but quizzical stare as he looked directly out from my computer monitor.
The second animation was of Giuseppe Genetti (1862-?) – also known as Uncle Joe. Giuseppe was one of Damiano’s younger brothers. His life is a mystery as he appears to have vanished from public records sometime after 1910. Supposedly he left Pennsylvania to seek his fortunes in California and was never heard of again. The studio portrait of Uncle Joe was provided by Don and Joyce Lingousky. I’m sure they will be surprised to see their long lost uncle come to life! I found Uncle Joe’s animation strikingly different from Damiano’s. He seems to be directly questioning the viewer, perhaps wondering how he ended up in this strange animated state of being.
I just found out today that our printer is holding a store-wide three-day sale for all items in our Genetti Family Shop! Yippy! This is a great time to order a family tree print or a fun gift for a sibling. All items from prints to aprons are 20% off starting today and running through midnight February 17th (Wednesday). Use the coupon code: 3DAYSALE at checkout to receive your discount.
If you haven’t visited our online shop in awhile, now is the time to see all of the new designs and items that have been added during the past year. We now have aprons, drink coasters, button pins, stickers and magnets. Plus an entire new collection called Tyrolean Surnames! Along with Genetti, you’ll find Zambotti, Marchetti, Fellin, Bott and many, many more (a total of 44 surnames). And under our Fun Stuff Collection you’ll find new “Tyrolean” themed designs: “It’s a Tyrolean thing… you wouldn’t understand” and “Kiss me, I’m Tyrolean”. These new themes were a big hit during the Christmas season – especially on aprons!
And for those lazy winter evenings watching the snow fall, our new Genetti puzzle is just the thing! Available in five sizes: (30 pieces, 110 pieces, 252 pieces, 500 pieces and 1,000 pieces) this will be a treat for the whole family.
Affiliate Disclaimer: In full transparency, please be aware that this post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission to me (at no extra cost to you!) This allows me to do what I LOVE to do, supports the costs involved with maintaining this website and helps pay the fees associated with genealogical research. Thank you to everyone who supports this family website by purchasing from our Family Shop.
A recent blog comment from Tom Genetti posed the following question: What airport do you fly into to get to Castelfondo?
From the many inquiries I have received over the years, it seems a pilgrimage to our ancestral village is a popular travel destination for descendants of the Genetti family. Although a trip to Italy is out of the question during this time of pandemic as their country is also dealing with travel restrictions, lock-downs and red zones, we can always hope for a better future. This blog post will answer Tom’s question based on my personal experience traveling in Northern Italy. And with luck, one day we will once again enjoy a journey to the home of our ancestors.
The short answer to Tom’s question is: there are no international airports in close proximity to Castelfondo. Located in the upper Val di Non, the village resides in a rural, mountainous area surrounded by apple orchards. The region is beautiful, but semi-isolated. Traveling to Castelfondo takes ingenuity as it is certainly off the beaten path.
To my knowledge, the easiest and most direct travel route is flying into the Malpensa Airport in Milan and renting a car at the airport. You then drive the toll road east from Milan to the city of Trent (Trento), about a three hour trip by car. After passing through Trento, head north up the valley to Castelfondo, arriving an hour later. Along the way you will pass through a number of small towns with scenic views.
A second option is to fly into Milan, board a train to the city of Verona, and change trains to Trento. This is a three to four hour trip depending on your connections. After arriving in Trento, rent a car for the hour drive north to Castelfondo. This will save you some trouble navigating Italian highways, but a car is still necessary to reach the village.
If you prefer staying in the picturesque city of Bolzano, located on the east side of the mountain range in the province of Alto Adige, (Castelfondo is located on the west side of the mountains) travel by train from Milan east to the city of Verona. Change trains in Verona and head north to Bolzano via a smaller regional train. Located just a few blocks from city center, the Bolzano train station is an easy walk to hotels and restaurants.
Since my husband and I love staying in the beautiful city of Bolzano with all it has to offer a visiting tourist, we opt for flying into Milan and train travel to Bolzano. Keep in mind Bolzano (also known as Bozen in German) is a pedestrian city and cars are prohibited in the city center. It’s best to stay a few days here, get your bearings then rent a car for your visit to Castelfondo.
FYI – always make sure you have some form of GPS while driving, as it is a necessity! Road signs are in Italian and/or German, rarely English. Plus you often can’t see signage as it may be posted above eye level, attached to a building or missing altogether. Sometimes roads wind through ancient villages and are so narrow as to be one lane squeezed between houses. You need to keep your wits about you so as not to scrape against stone buildings or run into a tractor turning out of an orchard and onto the road in front of you. When traveling, my husband drives and I navigate using our iPad and a travel app loaded with our intended route. He can concentrate on the road and I concentrate on getting us there!
When you are ready to visit Castelfondo from Bolzano, a rental car facility is available at the city train station. From the Bolzano station head west out of town, driving through the curving, hairpin mountain road over Passo Mendola, arriving an hour later in Castelfondo. Fair warning – this mountain drive is not for the faint of heart! It always leaves me with a queasy stomach and frayed nerves from the narrow blind curves zigzagging up the mountain!
Of course, there are other options for air travel as Italy has international airports in Rome, Florence and Venice. If you are planning to visit other cities during your vacation, one of these airports may work better with your travel itinerary. Keep in mind – no matter where you fly into, you need to find your way from the airport to Castelfondo via train, bus, car or a combination of all three.
On our first Italian trip in 2011, we flew into Rome and spent a glorious week experiencing the sites and culture of this historic city. When it was time to leave, we took a taxi to the northern part of the city and rented a car on the outskirts, thus by-passing city traffic. Driving on the streets of Rome is insane and I don’t recommend it! We then traveled seven hours north to Bolzano, where we parked our car for several days in an underground facility as we could not drive within city center. A few days later, we drove west from Bolzano over the curving (and very scary) mountain pass, arriving in the village of Ronzone where we stayed at the lovely Villa Orso Grigio, a short drive from Castelfondo.
After our two-day visit to the village of my ancestors, we drove south down the valley to the city of Trento then on to Milan’s airport where we returned our rental car. Taking a taxi back into the city, we spent two days exploring the historic piazza and the majestic Duomo di Milano before departing for home.
So you see – it takes much planning and creativity to finally arrive in Castelfondo!
In a future blog post, I’ll offer suggestions for travel accommodations and things to see and do.
With a heavy heart I bring the news that Valeria Elaine Yackshaw Genetti passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of December 22nd. It is always difficult to post news of this nature, but particularly hard when it is about a member of my Pennsylvania family.
Val was the wife of Gus Genetti Jr. and the mother of six children. Married for 60 years, Val and Gus lived the past 50 years in Wilkes-Barre, PA where they raised their family and grew a prosperous business. She was a beloved member of the Wilkes-Barre community and well known for her philanthropic endeavors.
For family and friends living in the Pennsylvania area, a social-distancing viewing will be held Sunday, Dec. 27th from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Daniel J. Hughes Funeral and Cremation Service, 617 Carey Ave, Wilkes-Barre (masks and social distancing required).
Funeral services will be held on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, 134 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery Drums, Pa.
We extend our love and sympathy to the family of Val and Gus Genetti during this difficult time. Valeria’s cheerful and exuberant nature will be missed by all.
Wishing all Genetti descendants throughout the world Merry Christmas – Buon Natale.
May we remember our many cousins and friends who have been affected by the pandemic this past year, especially those who have passed on. Let us hold them in our hearts, light a candle in their memory and send them our love. It has been a difficult year for many of our Genetti cousins. May we look towards the future with the hope of a better New Year for all in 2021.