Author: L.Roach

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.

Etched Glassware from Gary Genetti

6set-GaryI received a wonderful email from Gary Genetti today. Gary is a master glass artist with work in many private and museum collections. He has generously offered to etch glassware with the Genetti Coat-of-Arms for family members at a discounted price.

I’ve created a separate page in our Genetti Shop just for Gary. Please stop by to see more examples of Genetti glassware. Click here to visit Gary’s page.

I’ve also spoken with Gary about offering more of his glass pieces in our online shop. I’m very excited about this! It would be fantastic to showcase the artistic talents of our family members. I look forward to working with Gary in 2015 on this project.

To see more of Gary’s exquisite glass art, visit http://genettiglass.com.

 

Cousins!

BillAndJean

First cousins, Bill Genetti and Jean Branz Daly, about 1940.

In previous blog posts you’ve heard me talk about 2nd cousins, 8th cousins, cousins that are once or twice removed, and so on. What does this genealogy jargon mean and how do I figure out the relationship between all of those cousins?

Surprisingly, we all have a multitude of distant cousins. If you take an autosomal DNA test (a combination of both parent’s DNA)  through Ancestry.com or Family Tree DNA, you will be matched up with others who have snippets of the same DNA. The more pieces of their DNA that match, the higher the likelihood that they are a close relative of yours. A first cousin may match up to 25% of your DNA. A sibling should match close to 50%. The more distant the cousin, the less DNA will match. We’ll save the DNA discussion for another time, since it is rather complicated. But just keep this info in mind as we discuss different degrees of cousins.

LidiaDaughters

Lidia Genetti (center) with two daughters, Giovanna and Laura. Laura’s young daughter Viola is also in the photo. Photographed 2014.

To determine a cousin relationship you first need to find your Closest Common Relative or CCR. You then count each generation away from this CCR to determine the cousin level.

Here’s is an easy way to remember cousin levels:

– Siblings or half-siblings: you share a parent.

– 1st cousins: you share a grandparent and are from the same generation.

– 2nd cousins: you share a great-grandparent and are from the same generation.

– 3rd cousins: you share a 2nd great-grandparent and are from the same generation.

– 4th cousins: you share a 3rd great-grandparent and are from the same generation.

Val,Me,MaryAnn

At Genetti reunion 2010, Valeria Genetti Bozek, Louise Genetti Roach and Marianne Genetti.

And it continues from there. I have traced some people to the level of 8th cousins! Usually I can figure out the relationships up to 4th cousins in my head. For really distant cousins (5th and beyond) I have to look at our family tree and physically count each generation from our Closest Common Relative. The further back in time that the CCR lived, the more distant the cousin. After discovering several 8th cousins, I found our CCR was born around the mid-1600’s.

Now comes the difficult part of the equation – what does “once removed mean”? This means that you share a CCR, but are from different generations. For example: the child of my first cousin would be my “first cousin, once removed”. Or in other terms, my grandparent(s) and their great-grandparent(s) are the same person – this is our shared CCR. A first cousin, twice removed would be the grandchild of my first cousin. Yeah, I know, it sounds complicated! But once you get the hang of it, the system really isn’t difficult to understand. The cousin relationship is one of the most important tools you have when researching genealogy to help discover family connections.

And in answer to several people who have written me – sorry, a second cousin is not the same as a first cousin, once removed. Second cousins share a great-grandparent. First cousins, once removed share a grandparent/great-grandparent (same person).

Let’s talk about the photos that accompany this post. The first image is of first cousins Bill Genetti and Jean Branz Daly, they share a set of grandparents and are also my father’s first cousins. My relationship to both Bill and Jean is first cousin, once removed – we have the same Closest Common Relatives, but I am from the next generation – or one generation removed.

The second photo shows Lidia Genetti from Italy with her two daughters and a granddaughter. Lidia’s 2nd great-grandparents and my 3rd great-grandparents are the same, Antonio and Veronica Genetti, (Antonio was born in 1789). That makes me Lidia’s 3rd cousin, once removed. Since I am from the same generation as Lidia’s daughters, I am their 4th cousin (we share the same 3rd great-grandparents, Antonio and Veronica). Laura’s daughter is my 4th cousin, once removed because she is from the next generation.

And the third photo pictures myself with Valeria Genetti Bozek and Marianne Genetti. Valeria and I are second cousins, we share a set of great-grandparents, Damiano and Oliva Genetti. But Marianne was my first cousin, once removed. Marianne’s grandparents were Damiano and Oliva, but since I am from the next generation, Damiano and Oliva are my great-grandparents. (To read more about Marianne Genetti, please visit her Tribute.)

Just one more fact to make your head spin – every person has sixty-four 4th great-grandparents or 32 sets! Yep, that’s a whole lot of great-grandparents! If each family had on average of three surviving children, that makes 96 fifth cousins. If you multiply that same equation out over five more generations, you end up with an average of 23,328 cousins! At last count my great-grandparents, Damiano and Oliva Genetti, have five generations of descendants – over 250 people!

Now you understand why you have so many cousins!

Here are two excellent Wikipedia articles that explain cousin relations and the DNA connection:

Autosomal DNA statistics

How to chart cousins

My Desk

deskJust for giggles I thought you might like to see my work space. This is where I do family research, work on the Genetti Family Genealogy website and blog, and ponder over ancestry mysteries.

Hanging on the wall is a print of our family tree, where I can easily reference it. The bright blue and yellow banner on the left  was given to me by Dino Marchetti, an ex-mayor and unofficial town historian of Castelfondo. It contains the Coat-of-Arms of the Commune of Castelfondo, Italy.

PrintsOn the wall to my left hangs a print of the carved marble family coat-of-arms (called a “stemma” in Italian), and a print of the Gothic fresco that graces the front wall of the Genetti homestead in Castelfondo.

This all sets the “mood” when I sit down at my computer to dig through names, dates, old newspaper articles, data bases and photos. I also have a bookshelf filled with books about Italy, the Tyrolean culture, documents and photos sent to me over the years, and a huge binder containing research notes. Lol …yes, I guess you could say that I am passionate about genealogy!

 

Welcoming Another Cousin

The Genetti Family Tree

The Genetti Family Tree

One of the best things about being a family genealogist is helping others find their roots. About once a month I receive a request from someone who has searched online for family information and stumbled upon the Genetti Family Genealogy Project. Often the only connection they have with their past are their grandparents. So this is where we begin the search, hoping that my library of family ancestry will yield clues to their heritage. Usually it takes about a week to research and compile the information, always with surprising results!

Two weeks ago I received an email from Andrew. His mother was a Genetti and he was hoping I could trace his family lineage. When I read that his family had settled in Illinois, I knew exactly what branch of the tree to begin our search. You see I’ve found that different family groups (or branches) from our tree, immigrated to specific locations in North and South America. They usually stayed together as an extended family and you can still find them in that location today. For example, my family settled in Pennsylvania. Others went to California, South Dakota, Michigan, Utah, Colorado and even Argentina. Andrew’s family was all in the Illinois/Missouri area.

It didn’t take long to find the connections since I had already compiled a genealogy for one of Andrew’s cousins. Here are the results of my research:

– We added two more generations to Andrew’s original line, extending four generations past the last ancestor noted on the family tree.

– Twelve new names were added to our online family tree.

– I have had past contact with two of Andrew’s cousins (Tom who is Andrew’s 1st cousin, twice removed, and Gary who is Andrew’s 2nd cousin, once removed). Hopefully they will all connect through this website. (FYI – I don’t share personal contact information of family members, but am more than happy to assist in making connections.)

– I am related twice to Andrew: My 2nd great-grandfather and Andrew’s 3rd great-grandmother were first cousins. That makes Andrew and me 4th cousins, once removed. And through Andrew’s 3rd great-grandfather, I am Andrew’s 8th cousin, once removed with our closest share relative being Pietro Genetti born in 1650.

Plus there were other surprises hiding within this genealogy that I have yet to figure out. But I’m sure it will be quite the story when I do! If there is anything I’ve learned from the Genetti clan, it’s that we are always full of surprises!

In my next blog post I’ll explain how I determine the different levels of cousins (2nd, 3rd, etc.) and what does it mean to be a cousin “once removed”. So stay tune for more interesting genealogy jargon.

 

 

Gifts from the Genetti Shop

Products with Genetti Coat-of-Arms

Mug with Genetti Coat-of-Arms. Also available as a stein and stainless steel travel mug.

With Christmas fast approaching, remember to shop for personal family gifts at the Genetti Shop! Here you’ll find mugs, T-shirts and mousepads with the Genetti family coat-of-arms; books about our Tyrolean culture; fine art prints of the original family tree and much more.

It’s not too late – order today and surprise you’re family with unique gifts that celebrate our family ancestry.

Click here to start shopping!

Who or Where is Melango?

While visiting Castelfondo this past September, I was told an interesting story by an old-timer of the village. See what you think …

TreeCloseup

Base of the original family tree.

Since I began researching our family genealogy, I’ve had a question about “Melango”. The first time I saw this word was on the Genetti Family Tree under Pietro Genetti born in 1461. Along with Pietro’s name is the word “Melango”. At first I thought this was Pietro’s wife, as this is the format for everyone else on the tree – husband’s name first, wife’s name listed below his.

But when I began researching baptismal records, I found that Melango was recorded as a place of origin. The record pictured below states that a son was born to Pietro Genet (oldest form of our name) of Melango on the 12th of February, 1568. He was baptized Andrea. The godmother to the child was the wife of Antoni Lorenecto (maybe a form of the name Lorenzetti) also of Melango. Obviously, Melango was a place. In almost all baptismal records of the time, the father’s village of origin is recorded, as a means of identification. For example, if you have five men named Pietro Genet born in the same region, you can tell them apart by their town.

baptismalrecord

Baptismal record from St. Nicolo Church, 1568.

 

Since the origin of the Genetti Family was supposedly the village of Castelfondo, I was confused. Researching further, I found that baptismal records through the end of the 1500’s clearly state that our branch of the family were all from Melango. About 1625, the records change, stating that our ancestors were “di Castelfondo” or “of Castelfondo”.

After searching for Melango on historical maps, Google, Wikipedia and even consulting with a local historian, I had no clear-cut answers. It seemed that Melango had been lost somewhere in time!

Melongo-2

Possible location of Melango – hill near Castelfondo.

 

On my first visit to Castelfondo in 2011, I met an older gentleman who had known my great-grandfather in the 1930’s and 40’s. Since Andrea spoke fluent English, he escorted me around the village, explaining various sites. When I approached the question of Melango, Andrea was also unsure. He and our historian friend, Marco, thought that it was a name for the general area of Castelfondo, but it was no longer used.

When I returned to the village this past September, Andrea had a surprise for me. He brought me to a hill right off the road leading into Castelfondo. The site was located between the village and Castello di Castelfondo, an ancient castle with origins dating back to the 11th century. “This is Melango,” he told me. We were standing on a high mound, covered with grass and partially planted with apple trees and grape vines. From the top of the hill we could see the gables of Castello di Castelfondo, peaking out from the forest further down the highway. Again, I was confused.

Melongo-3

Possible location of Melango – hill near Castelfondo.

Andrea explained. After speaking to a number of people, he had learned that Melango had indeed been a village located closer to the castle than the current town of Castelfondo. He was told at some point in history, there was a landslide that covered the village of Melango. And this hill was the remains of Melango – we were standing on top of an archaeological site! Apparently everyone who had survived moved up the road to Castelfondo or to the other surrounding hamlets. I asked if he knew the date of the landslide. No, he did not. Judging from the Castelfondo baptismal records I had spent months scouring over, Melango as a location seemed to fall out of use by around 1600. So if a slide had occurred, my guess was that it happened a generation before, around 1575.

Castle

The rooftops of Castello di Castelfondo as seen from the hill where Melango may have been located.

Arriving home, I tried researching Melango again. This time I was lucky! I found it mentioned on the Commune di Castelfondo webpage under the section titled: “Il paese”. After running the page through Google translator, I had a rough English translation. It seems the name “Castelfondo” designated a parish region composed of the communities of Melango, Raina and Dovena. I was familiar with Raina and Dovena, as they are hamlets bordering Castelfondo still in existence today – almost like Gothic suburbs. So that meant Melango had also bordered the village at one time. From the website translation, the description of Melango’s location matched the hill that Andrea had taken me to.

According to the historian, Carl Ausserer (“Archive Trentino” published 1900, historical literature quoted on the Castelfondo website), Melango was the original location of the first fortification and settlement in the region. It pre-dated Castello di Castelfondo!

Numerous archaeological finds from the site confirm that there were originally Roman and pre-Roman settlements on this location. The text also states that apparently over time the community of Melango disappeared due to abandonment or depopulation as a result of plague epidemics. The name was no longer used and the entire region became known as Castelfondo.

So now I had two stories about Melango, both fascinating! The village certainly did exist, but it’s true history pre-dates written records. Now I don’t know how valid either story is, but a few of the puzzle pieces are following into place.

In conclusion, it appears that our true family origin is from a village that no longer exists! However, this also could mean that the Genetti family is much older than the first date on our family tree of “1461”. What do you think?

I have another date that I’m researching of 1265 concerning the origin of our family. But hey, that’s another story!

 

Special Note: here is a link to an excellent photograph by Enrico Marchetti, showing Castello di Castelfondo in the forground and the village of Castelfondo in the background. Click here!

 

 

 

The Old and the New

OldTownPhoto

The view of Castelfondo from the hill outside of town. Probably about 1900.

 

I love old photographs! Particularly fascinating are “then and now” images comparing hundred-year-old photos with updates of the same location today. Sometimes the area looks completely different and unrecognizable from the original photo; sometimes little has changed and it appears time has stood still.

Village

Castelfondo today. Photo from the “Commune di Castelfondo” website. Click photo to access this website.

Here are a few photographs from Castelfondo – the village in Northern Italy where the Genetti family originated. You judge for yourself how much has changed … and how much has stayed the same.

CastelfondoWell

Castelfondo’s central well, photographed June 8, 1921.

The village well (fountain) is located in a little piazza near the center of town.

The town’s women would gather here to do laundry.

Photo provided by Dino Marchetti of Castelfondo.

 

 

 

 

Castelfondo-6

The town well today. This is not from the same view as the older photo.

The town well today is completely restored and mostly ornamental in function.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SanNicolor1800s

San Nicolo, late 1800’s.

The interior of San Nicolo church photographed in the late 1800’s and San Nicolo today.

Church-3

San Nicolo, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DamianoDoor

Damiano Genetti standing in the doorway of the Genetti homestead in Castelfondo, about 1937.

The doorway of the Genetti Family homestead in Castelfondo.

GenettiHome-2

Louise Genetti Roach standing in the same doorway, 2014.

 

 

 

New Family Photos

DamianoFamily

The family of Damiano and Oliva Genetti, circa 1898, Castelfondo, Austria

Last week I received a wonderful package of photos and information from Jean Branz Daly. Jean is my first cousin once removed (my father’s 1st cousin) and the granddaughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti. We have been corresponding for several months and Jean has shared many of her family memories with me. Her package of photographs was a treasure trove! I’ve spent the last few days adding many of them to our Gallery section of the website.

Take a few moments and walk down memory lane …

click here to view Family Photographs.

Jean was also kind enough to make copies of a booklet from the Tirolesi Alpini from Hazleton, PA. This social club was dedicated to those who had emigrated from Tirol (Tyrol). It contained a number of interesting articles and photos about the Tyroleans of Hazleton, including several about Genetti family members. I’ve added one about Gus Genetti Sr. to our Family Story page, click here to read.

Thank you so much Jean! Our ancestry becomes richer with the memories we share!

 

We welcome all contributions to the Genetti Family Gallery. Please send photos as JPG files attached to an email (no more than 8 attachments per email). Include information for each photo so we can give it a caption (names, dates, location). Send to Louise Genetti Roach. Click here for email link.

 

 

Another Amazing Genealogy Story

Joseph F. Genetti: 1874-1937Mary C. Genetti 1886-1972their son Frank 1911-2001

Joseph F. Genetti: 1874-1937
Mary C. Genetti 1886-1972
their son Frank 1911-2001

About two weeks ago I received an email from a woman searching for information about her family. Melissa explained that her maternal great-grandparents had emigrated from Tyrol and settled in the Hazleton/Nuremberg, Pennsylvania area. Her great-grandfather and grandfather had the surname of Genetti. As a child visiting her Tyrolean relatives, Melissa was told she came from a different family than the Genettis who owned businesses in Hazleton (my family). Not expecting to connect with her ancestors, Melissa wrote that she had stumbled upon the Genetti Family Genealogy Project website and emailed me that evening “on a total whim”.

As soon as I read the names of Melissa’s great-grandparents (Joseph F. and Mary C. Genetti) and the fact that they had settled in the same area as my direct ancestors, her emailed jumped off the page at me! I had a suspicion that Melissa and her ancestors would lead me to a missing branch of the extended Genetti family tree.

But first, an explanation of why I was excited about this inquiry. I am 50% Tyrolean (all of my fraternal relatives are from the same pastoral valley in Italy, the Val di Non). All of them emigrated to the same location in Pennsylvania. Therefore, they also are all buried within the Hazleton area in three local cemeteries. Quite extraordinarily, one small country cemetery in Weston, PA is the final resting place for one of my great-great grandmothers (Genetti-Genetti, yes this ancestor was a distant cousin to her husband), one of my great-great grandfathers (Battisti-Marchetti), two great-grandparents (Fellin-Marchetti) and numerous great and grand uncles, aunts and various distant cousins (Bott, Zambotti, Covi, etc). Since I’m related to many of the people buried in this cemetery, I have photographed most of the markers to help with my genealogy research. When Melissa wrote about her great-grandparents, I knew their graves were in the Weston cemetery and that I had a photograph of Joseph and Mary Genetti’s tombstone. But I had never put the pieces together to determine what their relationship was to my family. So I began searching  Ancestry.comFamilySearch.orgas well as my own personal files from Castelfondo for clues to Joseph and Mary’s origins.

The Genetti Family Tree

The Genetti Family Tree – Melissa’s 2nd great-grandparents, Giovanni Battista Genetti and Giula Segna, are located at the top, center one row down, right below the “TE” in Castelfondo.

This is what I found: Joseph F. (Melissa’s great-grandfather) was born in 1874 in Castelfondo, Austria (now Italy). He was baptized Francesco Giuseppe Genetti and had obviously Americanized his name when he emigrated to America in 1894. Joseph’s death certificate from 1937 listed his father’s name as Battista Genetti and his mother as Julia Segna.

That was the clue I needed! I whipped out my Genetti Family Tree and there they were – both of Joseph’s parents, Giovanni Battista Genetti (born in 1846)  and Giula Segna (born in 1853), married in Castelfondo in 1872. They were Melissa’s great-great grandparents. Their line on the tree had stopped with Battista and Giula, but now I knew it continued on in America with their son Joseph. Melissa had provided the missing link! It took only a few moments to trace both branches of the tree (hers and mine) to calculate that Melissa was my 5th cousin once removed! Our closest shared relative was Giovanni Battista Genetti, born in 1767 (my 4th great-grandfather and Melissa’s 5th great-grandfather). Yes we most certainly were related!

After this initial discovery, I settled in for a day of research to fill in the blanks (exact names and dates of Melissa’s male Genetti lineage along with their spouses). After a few hours of scanning the Castelfondo records, I found yet another surprise. Melissa’s 3rd great-grandmother, Cristina Battisti Genetti, and my 2nd great-grandmother, Rosalia Battisti Marchetti, were probably sisters! It appeared that they both had the same father, came from the same small village of Caverino, both had married men from Castelfondo and were only four years apart in age. All good signs that they were related. Although there are no records for Caverino before 1865, I thought it was a sound assumption that Cristina and Rosalia were either sisters or 1st cousins. If this were true, Melissa and I may also be 4th cousins once removed through the Battisti family! Unbelievably, I was related to Melissa through both my fraternal grandfather AND my fraternal grandmother!

To put it in other terms, my 2nd great-grandmother, Rosalia Battisti Marchetti, was Melissa’s great-grandfather’s grand-aunt. If we return to the same country cemetery in Weston, Pennsylvania where Joseph and Mary* are buried, we find a few rows away a headstone for Lorenzo Marchetti (my 2nd great-grandfather). On the headstone is a memorial to Lorenzo’s wife, Rosalia. She had died in Castelfondo at the young age of 42, just one year after delivering their eleventh child (who died in infancy). Several years after Rosalia’s death, Lorenzo emigrated to Pennsylvania with their six surviving children. Melissa’s great-grandfather, Joseph, never knew his grand-aunt Rosalia, since she died fours years before he was born. But now the memories of Rosalia and Joseph were tied together by the odd coincidence of their stone memorials being in the same unassuming cemetery in a new country. And, of course, by the inquisitive nature of their great-granddaughters!

My research of Melissa’s relatives has been added to the online Genetti family tree, resulting in twelve new ancestors and an extension of her branch into modern times. Many thanks to Melissa H. for acting “on a total whim” and contacting me. I feel it is always an honor when I add ancestors to our family genealogy. And a wonderful surprise when I connect with a new cousin!

To purchase a print of the original Genetti Family Tree, click here!

 

* Mary’s baptismal name was Maria Concetta Bertoldi.