Christmas Gift Ideas

Yes, it’s that time of year again! Time to shop for loved ones on your Christmas list. This year the elves at the Genetti Family Shop have been busy!. Find fun stocking stuffers and unique gift ideas for Genetti cousins young and old in our online store.

Give the gift of family history with a family tree print. In addition to our original Genetti family tree, we now have two branch trees available – all affordably priced and available in three sizes, ready for framing.

 

The Original Genetti Family Tree

(includes 12 generations)

Click here for information and pricing

 

 

 

 

New! 3-Generation Descendant Family Tree of

Damiano and Oliva Genetti of Pennsylvania

Click here for information and pricing

 

 

 

 

New! 3-Generation Descendant Family Tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti of Pennsylvania

Click here for information and pricing

 

 

Looking for a memorable gift for a spouse, sibling or cousin? We have the answer! The Genetti Coat-of-Arms (stemma) beautifully presented in a crystal acrylic cube is a truly unique present for any descendant of the Genett family! Display your Coat-of-Arms on a shelf or as an exquisite paper weight, this fascinating gift is a dazzling fine art piece that will be treasured for generations to come.

Available in five styles and two sizes ( 6″ x 6″ x 1″ or 4″ x 4″ x 1″).

Click here to see all Acrylic Blocks.

 

Click photo for more info or to purchase

 

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Want to browse our online shop?

You’ll find something for everyone on your family gift list at:

Genetti Family Shop

https://genettifamily.redbubble.com

And remember – when you shop at our online store, you help support this website!

Here are more suggestions for your cyber browsing pleasure!

(Click links below to see selections)

Drink Coasters (New!)

Socks (New!)

Wall Clocks

Tote Bags

Throw Pillows

Stickers

Spiral Notebooks

Cloth-bound Journals

Famed Fine Art Prints

Mugs

Greeting Cards

 

(From your webmaster: I receive a small percentage of each purchase made through the Genetti Family Shop and Family Bookstore featured on this website. All proceeds from these sales are used to off-set annual costs of maintaining our website as well as monthly fees associated with genealogy research. At this time, my personal out-of-pocket expenses are approximately $800 per year to maintain the Genetti Family Genealogy Project and continue with family history research. Your support is always appreciated!)

 

Photos from the Bott Family

Dora and Verecondo Bott,
probably early 1950’s
click to enlarge

A few months ago I received an email from Adriana Genetti along with three photos. Adriana is the youngest of four Genetti sisters from Castelfondo. She and her sisters are my 3rd cousins, once removed. On previous visits to Italy, I have had the pleasure to meet and socialize with Maria, Lidia and Luciana – Adriana’s older sisters. But I have yet to meet Adriana in person. However I do know that our Italian cousins (as well as many friends from Castelfondo) read our family blog and occasionally they send us photos and documents. I always look forward to their insight and comments.

Adriana’s email arrived in late August and was in Italian. I used Google Translator to read her message. Here is what she wrote:

Hello Louise!

Unfortunately, you and I have never met, but I know who you are and I know you. I’m writing to send you some photos of the Genetti family of America. During a trip to Assisi with my sister Luciana, I met a person from Salter who has family ties to the Bott family. We talked with her about our American relatives and she kindly gave me some photos that I now send to you.

50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner for
Condy and Anna Bott, 1957
click to enlarge

The first photo shows Dora Genetti (daughter of Damiano) with her husband Verecondo Bott. The other two photos also show Dora Genetti with her husband and other people in your family that you probably recognize. I hope you enjoy this message.

Sincerely,
Adriana Genetti

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I must admit – Adriana’s photos had me stumped for some time! Of course, I knew who Dora and Verecondo Bott were. But I was completely baffled by the group photos! Usually I only post photographs on our website if I can confirm details, dates and possibly the story attached to the pictures. Unfortunately, I’m not that familiar with the Bott family and did not recognize anyone in the group photos. This certainly was going to take a bit of investigation on my part to decipher the event, find a date and identify the people pictured in Adriana’s photos.

Guests at anniversary dinner, 1957
click to enlarge

The title attached to one photograph gave me my first clue: “50 cena dei 50 anni fratelli Bott”. This was a 50th Anniversary dinner and had something to do with the Bott brothers.

Look closely and you will see a cake topper with the number “50” positioned on the head table in front of one couple. On further inspection, I recognized Addorlorata (Dora) Bott seated on the far left side of the head table, but not with her husband Verecondo. However, two other men at the head table had a very close resemblance to Verecondo Bott – the man seated in the center and the gentleman dressed in the light-colored jacket, second from the right. Examining other details, I guessed that the event took place sometime in the 1950’s. Since Dora was in attendance, I surmised the dinner was probably held in or near Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Hazleton Standard Sentinel,
June 22, 1957
click to enlarge

With these clues in mind, I went to work digging into various research websites. With help from Newspapers.com and Ancestry.com I found what I was looking for.

After searching the Hazleton papers, circa 1950’s for the surname of Bott, I eventually narrowed my findings down to two articles that tell the story of Adriana’s photos. (see articles pictured in this post)

The group photographs were taken at a 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Condy Bott on June 22nd, 1957. Condy (short for Condido and incorrectly spelled as “Coney” in the first newspaper article) was the brother of Verecondo Bott, husband of Dora Genetti. So the couple at the center of the table were Condy Bott and his wife of 50 years, Anna Maria Seppi Bott. The people seated at the other tables were Condy and Anna’s adult children with their families. It was obvious that Condy looked very much like his brother Verecondo. 

But why was Dora at the dinner without her husband and who was the 2nd man at the table who also resembled Verecondo?

The rest of the story fell in place after I located Verecondo’s obituary dated July of 1955 (see below). Dora was seated at the head table because she was part of the Bott family. However her husband Verecondo passed away in 1955, two years prior to his brother’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. Therefore, he obviously was not at this event.

In Verecondo’s obituary it states that he is survived by two brothers: Condy of Drifton, PA and Silvio of Tyrol. Although I’m not certain, but I believe the man at the head table, second from the right is most likely the younger brother Silvio. He must have traveled to Pennsylvania to visit his family and take part in the celebration. Silvio was the baby of the family and much younger than his two brothers. I found no documentation that Silvio ever immigrated from the village of Salter to the United States. Therefore we can probably assume the anniversary photos were passed down through the descendants of Silvio Bott. And according to Adriana’s email, these descendants still lived in Salter, Val di Non!

In conclusion to this very long blog post – I also searched and found the obituaries for both Condy and Anna, (see below).

Condido Angelo Bott was born in Salter, Tyrol on December 11, 1876. He died in Drifton, Pennsylvania on Decemeber 8, 1958 at the age of 72.

Anna Maria Seppi Bott was born in Lattimer, Pennsylvania on January 3, 1888. She passed away in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on February 10, 1974 at the age of 86.

I have also included the obituary for Addolorata “Dora” Genetti Bott, born August 12, 1889 in Castefondo, Val di Non; died October 11, 1971 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Our thanks to Adriana Genetti for thinking of her American cousins and sharing these special photos with our extended family. Adriana’s photographs have also been added to our Pennsylvania Photo Page.

Obituary of Verecondo Bott, 1955, The Plain Speaker
click to enlarge

 

Obituary of Condy Bott, 1958,
The Plain Speaker
click to enlarge

 

Obituary of Anna Maria Seppi Bott, 1974
click to enlarge

 

Obituary of Dora Genetti Bott, 1971, Standard Speaker
click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 12

Page 12 and Page 13, click to enlarge

Again we have an entry in our 1902 notebook signed by Tillie’s sister, Addolorata (Dora). It appears to be a letter from Dora to a friend in another village describing the First Communion taking place in Castelfondo at San Nicolo’ Church.

Translation is from Page 13 right side, and Page 14 left side

Dear friend,

This week the schoolchildren of Castelfondo received the Easter Holy Communion and I want to tell you what we did.

On Monday first the boys then the girls who had to receive the Communion went to Confession.

Page 14 and Page 15, click to enlarge

On Tuesday the bells rang and we all went to church.

Seven lucky girls were admitted to the Communion, they were seated in the first bench and all the others behind them.

At seven started the Holy Mass celebrated by our parish priest. During the Mass the chaplain read the preparation to the Communion of our priest, then went to the sacristy wearing a white robe. He went to the altar, said the Confiteor [in Latin this means “I confess” and refers to a prayer said during Mass], then the Communion started. First the children of the first Communion, then all the others in good order.

Interior of San Nicolo’ Church, about 1900

After some minutes the chaplain read a thanksgiving. After that the priest gave some memory cards to the children who had received the first Communion. We said three prayers and we went away in good order and went back to our houses.

To tell the truth, on that day I said a word for you to Jesus and I hope you did the same.

I would like to know what you did in your village.

I am your affectionate classmate,

Addolorata Genetti 

20 March 1902

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loretta Cologna (our translator) and I thought this was the perfect post to show a few photos of the church and an archival communion photo published by Dino Marchetti in his beautiful hardcover book about Castelfondo. That’s when I learned that Loretta’s mother, a school teacher in Castelfondo, was also in several of the communion photos. I asked Loretta to share a few details about her mother and here is what she told me:

San Nicolo’ Church, photographed in 2011

From Loretta Cologna:

My mother was Livia Marchetti. She was born in 1920 and died in 2010. In 1940 she started teaching and worked for forty years as an elementary teacher until she retired in 1980.

For a few years she worked far from Castelfondo, then she got a job in the small village of Salobbi (north of Castelfondo) where she worked for eleven years. After that she had a position at the elementary school in Castelfondo, where she worked until her retirement.

Her school was the new school built in 1954. Before the new school, the original school was on the main square where the town hall offices are now.

The ground floor of the new school is for the nursery school children, ages 3 to 6. The first floor [in the US we would call this the second floor] is for the elementary grades.

First communion class of 1958 with Don Bruno (parish priest) and Livia Marchetti standing on the steps of San Nicolo’
click to enlarge

In the past the elementary teacher took an important part in the preparation of the First Communion and accompanied the children to Mass. As my mother worked for more than twenty years in the Castelfondo school, there are a lot of photos of her in Dino’s book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loretta told me that until the age of eleven, she also attended the little green school house in Castelfondo where her mother taught. She and the rest of her class then attended middle school in the village of Fondo (just a few miles down the road from Castelfondo). Loretta went on to attend a language high school in the city of Bolzano (about a 45 minute drive over the mountain pass). Finally completing her schooling at a university of languages in Verona.

Thank you Loretta! We are so happy to have you as a friend of our family and our wonderful translator!

The new school house of Castelfondo, located behind the church, built in 1954

One additional note, the little green school house in Castelfondo contains the portraits of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti in the front entry way along with a dedication plaque. (Look closely at the marble plaque pictured below and you will see Addolorata’s name!) It is my understanding that funds raised from the sale of Damiano’s estate after his death in 1944, helped to finance the construction of the school house. My grandparents, Leone and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti, visited Castelfondo in 1954. Perhaps it was for the dedication of the school. Leone’s brother, Stanley, also visited Castelfondo many times as an adult. According to Stanley’s autobiography, over the years he purchased several pieces of new playground equipment for the schoolyard.

Portraits of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti

So again we see how the lives of our ancestors are interwoven to create a vibrant family history!

Our special thanks to Dino Marchetti! His dedication and passion for preserving the history of Castelfondo is truly a gift to future generations and to his American cousins. The first communion class photo published in this post can be found on page 421 of Dino’s book “Castelfondo: Il paese la sua gente”. (Translation – Castelfondo: the country its people).

Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.

Plaque hanging inside Castelfondo school
click to enlarge

Veterans Day and the Armistice

August Henry Genetti (1892-1976)
Served: 1917-1919

Today we pay tribute to those who have served in the Armed Forces. On this Veterans Day, we salute you and thank you for your service to our country!

But did you know that Veterans Day was originally named Armistice Day? It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that marked the end of World War I and the day that the Armistice was signed (November 11, 1918). The name of this federal holiday was officially changed in 1954 to Veterans Day by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. November 11th is commemorated throughout the world as the end of World War I and is celebrated as “Remembrance Day” by the Commonwealth of Nations. Only the United States refers to this date as Veterans Day.

Today marks the 101st anniversary of the Armistice. It is also the time when our ancestors living in the Val di Non became citizens of Italy. Prior to 1918, their valley was under Austrian rule.

In tribute to our Genetti descendants who served in past wars and conflicts, I have listed many of them below. Unfortunately, it is difficult to access military records for any living descendants or for those whose records were destroyed in the fire of 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Approximately 16 to 18 million service history documents for personnel discharged between 1912 and 1964 were lost in this disaster.

If someone in your family has served in the United States military and is not included in the following list, please send me a message through our Contact page. Include your family member’s name (does not have to be named Genetti as long as they are a descendant of a Genetti), rank, the branch of the military in which they served, their years of service and any war or conflict that was part of their military service.

Eventually I would like to build a page on this website to honor our military veterans.

With respect and gratitude, we say thank you to all who have served our country!

 

Descendants Serving in the United States Military

World War I

August Henry Genetti (19 Jun 1892 – 22 Nov 1976) Enlisted 5 Jun 1917, Released 17 Feb 1919

John B. Genetti (30 Mar 1890 – 4 Jul 1972) Enlisted 28 Feb 1918, Released 7 Aug 1919

 

World War II

Albert Joseph Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Enlisted 5 Jul 1938, Released 10 Oct 1969

Bernard Genetti (1926 – living) Enlisted 29 Jan 1944

Charles A. Genetti (15 Aug 1922 – 9 Jun 2007) Enlisted 26 May 1944, Released 5 Apr 1946

Edward Genetti (10 Nov 1913 – 29 Sep 1999) Enlisted 31 Aug 1943, Released 6 Feb 1946

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Enlisted 23 July 1941, Released 2 Nov 1961

Frank George Genetti (19 Apr 1913 – 3 Nov 2010) Enlisted 16 July 1942, Released 2 Nov 1945

Frank L. Genetti (16 Oct 1916 – 7 Jan 2008) Enlisted 19 June 1942, Released 16 June 1945

Frank V. Genetti (20 Dec 1918 – 19 March 1994) Enlisted 1 July 1941, Released 31 Dec 1963

Henry Genetti (12 June 1922 – 16 Jun 1989) Enlisted 29 Nov 1942, Released 16 Nov 1945

John Damian Genetti (1 Nov 1919 – 21 July 1981) Enlisted 26 Oct 1942, Released 31 March 1947

John M. Genetti (20 Apr 1920 – 10 Apr 1986) Enlisted 17 Oct 1941, Released 2 May 1945

Leonard J. Genetti (8 Mar 1924 – 4 Oct 1973) Enlisted 15 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

Nicholas Genetti (5 Dec 1914 – 6 Jun 1985) Enlisted 7 Jun 1941, Released 25 Nov 1945

Regina L. Genetti (3 Jan 1927 – 28 Jan 1996) Service Date 25 Sep 1944 to 3 March 1947 – Cadet Nurses

Richard S. Genetti (10 Oct 1919 – 11 Sep 2009) Enlisted 3 Apr 1941, Released 24 Jun 1944

Rinaldo W. Genetti (16 Oct 1911 – 17 Jan 1962) Enlisted 17 Mar 1942

Robert Herman Genetti  (18 Nov 1916 – 24 June 2011) 1943-1948

Rudolph J. Genetti (12 Jan 1910 – 30 Jun 1994) Enlisted 22 Sep 1942, Released 6 Nov 1945

Vernon C. Genetti (5 Apr 1918 – 15 May 1999) Enlisted 29 Dec 1942, Released 19 Nov 1945

Leo Alex Zambotti (11 Oct 1913 – 30 June 1993) Enlisted 21 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

 

Korean War

Albert Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Career Army

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Career Army

Joseph Genetti (23 Mar 1931 – 17 May 1986) Enlisted 8 Oct 1952, Released 7 Oct 1954

Richard Genetti (3 Nov 1933 – 3 April 1983) Enlisted 28 Sep 1951, Released 27 Sep 1955

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more info about the history of the Armistice:

World War I Armistice Signed: November 11, 1918 – 100th Anniversary

Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)

 

Goodbye to Erma Ripple Zambotti

We say farewell to Erma Zambotti Ripple, the wife of Leo Alex Zambotti, (son of Ottilia Genetti and Pietro Zambotti).

Obituary provided by Legacy.com:

Erma Zambotti, 93, of Hazle Twp. passed away Sunday, November 3, 2019.

Born in Hazleton, she was the daughter of the late Christopher and Mearle Ripple.

Prior to retiring, Erma worked in the local garment industry.

Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents, were her husband, Leo, and six brothers and sisters.

Surviving are her daughter, Judy Malloy, with whom she resided; grandchildren, Erin Madjeska and husband, Alex; and Sean Malloy and wife, Julie; and great-grandchildren, Abby, Lexi and Piper. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. from Fierro Funeral Home, 26 W. Second St., Hazleton.

Interment will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.

 

Speaking Nones

 

I belong to a private Facebook group called Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino. There are almost 700 people in our group, all with a shared interest in Trentini (Tyrolean) ancestry. Most members are American Trentini (from USA, and some from South American countries) and a few are Italian Trentini.

Many of the Americans have ancestors from the Val di Non and share the same surnames as our grandparents and great-grandparents. I have found a surprising number of people in this group whose ancestors are from Castelfondo and nearby villages in the valley, with some being cousins.

Today one of our members, Michael Pancheri, posted two lovely videos. Michael is fluent in Italian, English and Nones. In the videos he speaks to his mother in English and she, in turn, translates the phrases into Nones. I understand a small amount of Italian, but was completely lost listening to a native speaker of Nones! Even though my Nonno spoke Nones, I was too young to remember anything of the language.

In the videos, you occasionally hear Michael and his mother chatting in Italian between translations. My ear recognized Italian immediately and I could understand some of their in-between conversation. Allora!

I hope you enjoy this little demonstration of our ancestral tongue. Our many thanks to Michael Pancheri for his gracious generosity. Grazie molto Michael!

 

Correction: Michael just informed me that the gentleman in the video is not him, but actually a professor from the Netherlands who is studying dying languages. He was interviewing Michael and his mother about their native language of Nones.

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 11

Page 12 and 13, click to enlarge

Our next translation is an entry by Addolorata (Dora) Genetti, Tillie’s older sister. After reading this sweet thank-you letter addressed to Dora’s godmother, I went to work searching through Castelfondo records and the references I had saved to my Ancestry.com tree. Using various dates and documentation, I pieced together a background story to go with our translation. It’s truly incredible the family history that can be constructed from clues in a thank-you note penned over a century ago!

Here is Loretta Cologna’s translation, followed by my family history information. I hope you enjoy the read!

Addolorata (Dora) Erminia Genetti Bott, (1889-1971) photographed in Pennsylvania about 1911

 

Page 12, left side and top of Page 13

Dear godmother,

I received your present with great pleasure yesterday night. A pair of golden earrings! It is too much for me, I surely did not deserve so much.

I will send you a present too, it as a bunch of forget-me-nots made of canvas which I made myself. Every leaf tells you that your goddaughter loves you. I did not know what other gift I could send you.

Thank you, thousand times thank you.

I am your goddaughter,

Addolorata Genetti

Castelfondo, 17 March 1902

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Addolorata (Dora) Genetti was born on August 12, 1889. Her parents Damiano and Oliva, had just returned to Castelfondo from Latimer, Pennsylvania early in 1888. They brought with them their infant son, Leone, who was about eight months old at the time they traveled.

According to baptismal records, Dora was born a triplet. Unfortunately her brother was still-born and never named. Her twin sister, Angela Cattarina, lived until the age of two. Dora was the only surviving child from this pregnancy.

Her baptismal record is somewhat complicated due to the triplet entry. Dora’s godparents are listed as Sisinio Genetti (Damiano’s older brother) and Erminia Erica Genetti (Damiano’s youngest sister). Dora’s twin, Angela, also has Erminia listed as her godmother, but a different godfather, Clemente Dallachiesa.

Erminia Enrica Genetti Recla, (1876-1972)

It is interesting to note that Erminia was just thirteen years old at the time of Dora’s birth. However, if we look at Dora’s full name, Addolorata Erminia, we now understand that she was her Aunt’s namesake.

Soon after Dora was born, her godmother left for the United States. According to the ship’s manifest, Erminia was escorted by her big brother Damiano, sailing on the ship La Bretagne out of the port at Le Havre, France. She arrived in New York City on March 10, 1890. After seeing his little sister safely to her new home, Damiano returned to his family in Castelfondo.

From her marriage certificate, it appears that Dora lived in Weston, Pennsylvania where she met her future husband Emanuel Recla. The young couple soon married in 1893. It is interesting to note that Erminia’s older sister, Angela Maddalena, married Raffaele Recla (Emanuel’s older brother) in 1887. So again, we see two sisters marrying two brothers. Thus the children of Erminia and Angela were double first cousins!

Returning to Dora’s thank you note of March 1902, we see through birth records that Erminia already has four children and is living in Crystal Falls, Michigan by this date. Within a few years, the growing family moved again and settled in Spokane, Washington. Erminia and Emanuel had a total of eleven children, with eight surviving to adulthood. Today you can still find many of their descendants living in Washington State.

As for Dora, she soon left for America with her father Damiano and little sister Esther, probably sometime in 1903. Big brother Leone, followed in 1904. The family set down roots in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where they established a meat and butchering business. The three siblings and their father moved into a home on Cedar Street. Their mother, Oliva, along with the remaining five siblings (Ottilia, August, Albino, Erminia, Constante and Angela) joined them in 1906.

We still are uncertain if this entry in the 1902 notebook was written by Dora, or penned by Tillie as a copy of an existing letter by her sister, possibly as a school exercise. We will have to wait and see what answers are found in future translations of the notebook.

One last side note: Dora’s godfather, Sisinio Genetti, died of tuberculosis in Castelfondo in 1908 at the young age of forty-four. However, Dora’s godmother, Erminia Genetti Recla, lived to a very old age of ninety-six, passing away in March of 1972. Erminia outlived her goddaughter by six months, as Dora died in October of 1971 at the age of eighty-two.

So that is the family history contained in Dora’s innocent little thank-you note to her godmother. I hope you enjoyed my diversion into family relationships and our recent ancestral past. 

Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.

Remembering Our Ancestors

Raffaele Genetti and Simone Zambotti, abt. 1890

“The thing that interests me most about family history is the gap between the things we think we know about our families and the realities.” ~ Jeremy Hardy

This is the perfect quote to describe my journey through genealogy! I became interested in family history ten years ago after watching the first episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” (a popular genealogy television show). The initial reason for researching my personal genealogy was simple – I had no idea who my ancestors were beyond my grandparents. Although I remembered childhood stories about the Alpine region of Tyrol and I had fuzzy memories of a few great-aunts and uncles, there was little else to go on other than the surnames of my paternal grandparents.

It didn’t take long before I was digging through online records at Ancestry.com, spending hours poring over microfilm church records at the local LDS family history center, and compiling names and dates into a huge family tree.

Damiano Genetti Meat Wagon
with sons and daughters
about 1908

Along the way I had help. Bill Genetti of Hazleton, gave me a copy of the original Genetti family tree, along with family records he had collected during the 1990’s. Bill is my first cousin, once removed and one of the many newly-found relatives I met at a family reunion held in October of 2010. At that time I was just a fledgling genealogist, but Bill’s tree and original family records were my road map to further research. The tree gave me a direction as I confirmed names, dates and events. I filled in the gaps, added missing ancestors and included my own facts and stats as I went along.

Soon it was obvious – research was yielding so much more than just names and dates. The memories of real people lingered as ghosts behind static records I found online. People born in another country, who grew up in a little village and married someone from down the road. They had children (sometimes many, many children!), grew old and were buried in the cemetery next to the church they had attended all of their lives. I knew my ancestors had made life decisions that ultimately affected who I am today. Their DNA was part of my DNA. I saw myself reflected back in their eyes and wondered if they ever thought about future generations.

Family and friends of the Genetti/Menghini/Yanes family
LaBarge, Wyoming, about 1934

With some sadness, I also realized how fleeting our memories were of those who came before us. In just two or three generations a relative’s memory can slip from family consciousness. When no one is left to remember an ancestor, they become little more than a name with a birth, marriage and death date attached. It was this understanding that resonated in my being and became the spark to continue searching for my forebears. Genealogy was so much more than just tracking down names and dates. Our ancestors had full and interesting lives, contributing much to our family history. I felt their memory should live on, not be forgotten and dismissed to a dusty past.

Rudy Genetti, born in
Rock Springs, Wyoming – 1954

Today my genealogy mission is to bring ancestors alive through the telling of stories, collected photographs, newspaper articles, and anything else I can find that adds details and richness to their memory. And once you start looking past a simple birth record and into a life filled with a spectrum of emotions and experiences, you find incredible people that shaped our modern existence.

During the past year this has become even more evident to me as I uncover the stories of both “saints and sinners” along with little-known historical details.

In 2019 DNA also played a major role in my genealogy research. Since January of this year, I have helped three adoptees and one person with questionable parentage to identify their true family origin. And guess what – they were all my cousins of varying degrees, linked to me through DNA results! Obviously their connection to our family offers insight into our ancestors’ stories as well as uncovering secrets long ago hidden away. Did you know that at least 10% (and sometimes the estimate is as high as 20%) of births are attributed to a “non-parental event”? That means that one or both parents you grew up with are not your true birth parents. With the advancement of DNA testing it was only a matter of time before unknown cousins began showing up in our matches. For obvious reasons of privacy, I won’t be sharing their stories. However, I am extremely honored to help adoptees with their ongoing ancestral search to identify birth parentage.

Siblings Frank, Katie and August Genetti
Collinsville, IL – about 1897

Also during the past year I encountered ancestors who went missing, never to be heard from again; plus stumbled upon several relatives who changed their surname, thus cutting family ties and heritage. I even came in contact with a family who changed their surname to “Genetti” after arriving in Hazleton, Pennsylvania – although they had no connection at all to our Genetti family, having immigrated from southern Italy with a completely different surname!

In 2019, I researched a century-old infamous trial involving four cousins, found references to bootlegging and family lawsuits, as well as investigated a few ancestors who met untimely deaths. I also found many family milestones marked by: military courage, successful businesses, artistic achievements, and happy life events. All of these and more are woven into the fabric of our family history.

Through the Genetti website and blog I hope to keep ancestral memories alive, colorful and relevant for today’s cousins. One example of this is a recent series published on our blog, translating a 1902 school notebook kept by Tillie Genetti Zambotti. Our thanks to Tillie’s granddaughter, Anne Marie Shelby, and to our translator, Loretta Cologna, of Cles, Italy for making this happen.

Another way to honor ancestors is through family trees. I began the Family Branch Tree project this year with the intention to:

  • extend our current family tree
  • include female relatives (missing from the original tree)
  • add detailed and well-researched information that might be missing
  • and offer a personalized print to individual branches of the Genetti family as an heirloom meant to be passed on to future generations

Family tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti

Through the handing down of family trees, we keep our most recent ancestors alive for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I will continue to research, dig and uncover our family’s past, sharing fascinating stories I feel are appropriate for publication.

If you have photographs, newspaper articles, obituaries, or personal stories you would like to share on this website, please email me through our Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Original Genetti Family Tree

Add a piece of ancestral history to your home with a Genetti Family Tree:

Original Genetti Family Tree (click for more info)

3-Generation Descendant Tree of Damiano and Oliva Genetti (click for more info)

3-Generation Descendant Tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti (click for more info)

 

Family tree of Damiano and Oliva Genetti

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Tillie’s Notebook, Part 10

Page 10 and 11, click to enlarge

Our next entry in the 1902 Notebook is a story with a moral.

Page 11, right side

The good advice

Ester, a girl with good parents, was good and obedient but she had the bad habit of talking too much.

One day her mother bought a plant of carnation that she could give her godmother as a present for her name-day.

Ester watered it every day and took great care of it to make it become beautiful.

One day when the girl was watering it she noticed a small insect on the carnation.

The girl went to her mother and said: There is a nice little animal on my carnation.

The mother answered: Kill it otherwise your flower will die.

No, I won’t kill it, it is so nice!

After some days the girl found it dead. Almost crying she went to her mother and said: The carnation is completely dry.

If you had killed the insect it would have been nice and green now. It serves you right! Now you will not have anything to give your aunt. You should obey me.

Girls, we must learn to listen to our parents’ advice!

Castelfondo 14 March 1902

. . . . . . . . . . .

An interesting note to this story, Tillie had a younger sister named Ester (Esther) who was almost seven years old at the time this story was composed. Since the story mentions Ester’s godmother is also her aunt, I thought a little investigative work was in order. Knowing Ester’s date of birth was May 11, 1895, it only took a few moments of searching through Castelfondo church registries to find her baptismal record. Ester’s godparents are listed as Angelo Zuech and Barbara Zambotti. Checking my ancestry tree for the Zambotti family I found – yes, Barbara was Ester’s mother’s oldest sister, therefore both her aunt and godmother.

So it seems that this moral story may have been written about an actual event that occurred between Tillie’s little sister, Ester, and her mother, Oliva.

As always, our thanks to Loretta Cologna for her dedication to this translation project. Mille grazie!

Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.

The Descendants of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti

3-Generation Descendant Family Tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti

I am happy to announce the second Family Branch Tree has been added to our online shop! A 3-generation descendant tree for the family of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti, this fine art print  features a family portrait and the Genetti coat-of-arms. Thoroughly researched for accuracy, names and dates on the tree have been recently updated using the latest genealogical information.

Raffaele Genetti was the younger brother of Damiano Genetti. His wife Lucia Zambotti was the younger sister of Oliva Zambotti (wife of Damiano). Yes, that’s correct – two brothers married two sisters. So if you are a descendant of either Damiano’s or Raffaele’s family, you are double-cousins with the other branch!

The Family Tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti includes their children (with spouses) and grandchildren (with spouses), along with vital statistics such as birth, marriage and death dates.

Printed in rich-colors on high-quality, semi-gloss paper, this beautiful fine art print is available in three sizes, suitable for framing.

Are you one of Raffaele and Lucia’s many descendants? Remember your ancestors with a family tree for your home or as a gift to your children.

Click here – for pricing or to purchase the Family Tree of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti.

My sincere thanks to all who patronize our Genetti Family Shop and Bookstore. Your support helps to offset website and research fees.

The Children of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti:

Alessandro Genetti

Sylvester Genetti (Silvio)

Mary K. Genetti Hudock

Leona Genetti Hayden

Elizabeth D. Genetti Smith

Albert Lawrence Genetti

Anna Ottilia Genetti Nenstiel

 

Also new in our Family Shop:

3-Generation Family Tree of Damiano and Oliva Genetti