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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
I fell in love with reading at the age of seven. To my young mind, books were a magical passport to far-off lands and cultures. They held knowledge and history, fantasy and fiction. Growing up, I fondly remember weekly excursions to our local library, where my check-out limit was ten books per visit. I always left ecstatic, my arms laden with the maximum allotment of titles!
I have never outgrown my appreciation for reading and always have a queue of ebooks on my Kindle, in eager anticipation of the next historical novel or genealogy publication waiting to be read.
Because I am a bibliophile, I take great pleasure in researching, curating and sharing books with family and friends through the Genetti Bookstore. Twice a year I update our ever-growing virtual shelves, adding or deleting titles and tidying up each listing’s description.
Just in time for holiday browsing, I have spent the past week dusting off current tomes and delightfully including a whopping eighteen new books to our selection! Yes, you read that correctly – I have located eighteen exciting new titles to join our list of must-reads! From fiction based on Trentini culture to true-life genetic genealogy stories, there is something for everyone looking for a good read or a special gift! I even stumbled upon another cookbook featuring recipes from the Tyrolean Alps!
And remember, every time you make a purchase from our Genetti Family Bookstore at Amazon, a small percentage of that sale supports this website and our ongoing genealogical research.
Come visit, peruse and do a little Christmas shopping for the booklovers on your gift list. Or treat yourself to a genealogy crime mystery series (I have several listed!) – the perfect guilty pleasure for a wintery afternoon inside with a cup of hot chocolate.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to think about our holiday gift list. Right in time for Christmas shopping, our supplier for the Genetti Family Shop is offering an amazing 4-Day gift giving special! From November 9th through November 12th, everything in our family shop is discounted between 20% to 60%! Wow – what a great way to shop for unique gifts right from the comfort and safety of your own home – plus save money too! (Remember – our supplier, Redbubble, is a global provider. So they ship anywhere in the world!)
Here’s a list of holiday specials: (use the coupon code: GIFTS60 when you check out to receive your discount)
And more big news: we now have lots more products available in the Genetti Family Shop! I have added a new collection called “I’m Tyrolean” with three fun Tyrolean designs – perfect for a T-shirt, mug, sticker, magnet or kid’s shirt.
And another new collection for all Genetti descendants called “Tyrolean Surnames”. Here I’ve highlighted 11 Tyrolean surnames featured on T-shirts, stickers, mugs, etc. Names in this collection include: Genetti, Marchetti, Zambotti, Yannes, Turri, Recla, Piazzi, Cologna, Dallachiesa, Fellin and Bott. (If you would like your surname included in this collection, just let me know. I can customize the design for any name.)
Come by for a visit and browse all of the new products now available in the Genetti Family Shop: coasters, magnets, button pins, jigsaw puzzles, socks, aprons, and a large selection of different T-shirt styles. I was thrilled to see jigsaw puzzles available to our subscribers! What a great gift this holiday when everyone is staying inside. I created a special design specifically to be printed as apuzzle featuring the family coat-of-arms.
When you access our online store at https://genettifamily.redbubble.com you can shop by Collection or by Category. All 6 Collections can be viewed at the top scroll bar (Family Tree, Fine Art Prints, Fun Stuff!, Family Branch Trees, Tyrolean Surnames and I’m Tyrolean). You can also find Collections and Categories on the left hand side of the page under Filters.
If you want to view all products using a particular design (each design is featured on just one product), click on that design link and go to it’s first product page. This might be a button pin, sticker or t-shirt. To see the rest of the products for this design, scroll down the page until you see a link that says “Available on +50 products”. Click on this link and a pop-up menu will appear with the entire selection of available products.
To receive your sales discount, you must use your special coupon code at the time of checkout. Products will not show a discount until checkout.
This incredible sale began today and runs through Thursday, November 12th. To receive your sales discount, remember to use the coupon code: GIFTS60 at checkout!
So if you have been holding off on buying a family tree print or just want something special like a Tyrolean t-shirt to put in someone’s stocking this year, visit The Genetti Family Shopfor easy, safe, at-home shopping. Products in our shop have been designed specifically for our family and are not available anywhere else! Give a unique family gift designed by an artist!
And know that every purchase supports our family genealogy research and the upkeep of this website. We could not have this wonderful online family archive if it wasn’t for your ongoing support.
Affiliate Disclaimer: this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchase 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 the Genetti Family Shop.
Since the intention of this blog is to discuss genealogy, family history and Tyrolean culture, I usually keep my posts on theme and don’t relate anything of a personal nature. However the past two months have brought a number of unusual circumstances into my life and I want to share these with you. So sit back with a cup of coffee while I relate the trials and tribulations of my recent adventures during self-isolation.
In September my computer crashed and burned! Yep, I had a dead laptop and a big headache to go with it! Since I rely heavily on my computer for just about everything (including this website and blog!) I knew I had to meet the problem head-on and get through it.
After a few days of online research using a borrowed laptop from my husband, I decided on a new PC, ordered it from Amazon and a week later my shiny new computer was delivered to my door.
Then the fun began! Luckily all of my graphic and genealogy files were saved to external hard drives. No problem there – all of my precious specialized files were safe and sound. And I had automatic cloud backup for my main hard drive through Backblaze. However I soon found out – reloading all of my software and then restoring thousands of files from my old computer to my new laptop was a massive job! Thank goodness I had cloud backup or I would have been in real trouble. The annual fee to Backblaze was certainly money well spent!
Since I am also a graphic artist, there are hundreds of embedded files such as fonts, etc. that had to be located and reloaded into the correct program. It took almost three weeks to get my new computer in working order. Although I lost a few apps and files here and there, for the most part I was back to normal by the beginning of October. This is one reason why you have seen so few blog posts from me in the past two months.
The second thing to occur in my life during this time of isolation is an unexpected turn on the genealogy research path. Since March I have been actively helping NPEs (non-parental events, adoptees) along with others who have family members with questionable parentage, locate birth parents and solve family mysteries. This has taken up the majority of my time and I now consider myself a full-time “Search Angel” (someone who works pro bono in helping others locate family). Within the past seven months, I have solved six “cases”, found a number of unknown half-siblings, yanked a few skeletons out of dark family closets and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Helping others in their life-long search for the truth is both thrilling and rewarding. I now consider this to be my life purpose. So – I am currently in the process of channeling my genealogy energy towards the goal of being a full-time “gen geni” (genetic genealogist). Although I’m not exactly sure how this pivot will occur, I am making tentative plans to proceed in this direction. I love being a modern-day detective, using DNA and genealogy to solve family mysteries. And believe me – I have found many strange and unknown events hiding in every family tree that I have researched!
In closing, I would say there is certainly a silver lining to this time of self-isolation. With no social engagements to contend with and quiet days allowing for deep research and concentration, I have found a rewarding direction that naturally utilizes my personal skills.
Thanks for listening to my private ramblings! If there are any folks out there with lingering questions about their family origins (unknown birth parents, mysterious grandparents or unexplained DNA matches) send me an email and I’ll see if I can be of assistance.