I just added a lovely book to our family’s online Bookstore. “Our First Year: Sketches from an Alpine Village” was written by a fellow Tyrolean American named Allen Rizzi. He has returned to live in the home of his ancestors, the tiny village of Tret located in the upper Val di Non. This eBook is a treat for those who yearn for their Tyrolean roots.
The Tyroleans: A Journey of Hope, A true story of a remarkable people and their emigration to America, (this is an Amazon affiliate link, click on title for information or to purchase), by David A. Prevedel, published in 2010. Available as a paperback through Amazon, price: $17.95. The minute you open this book, you know it’s a labor of love and a tribute to the author’s Tyrolean roots. David’s grandparents, (Giuseppe and Ester Rauzi, Floriano and Angelina Prevedel), all emigrated from the Val di Non in Austria (Italy). They, along with many other families from the villages of Brez, Castelfondo, Traversara, Fondo, Cloz and Tret, settled in Wyoming. At first they worked the coal mines in Superior and Rock Springs. After saving enough money, many families moved to Utah, becoming farmers and opening businesses. The author draws inspiration from in-person interviews conducted over the years with his Tyrolean relatives, friends and their descendants. Mr. Prevedel weaves family stories together with historical details, to create a lively and sometimes, humorous portrayal of Tyrolean immigrants building a new life in America. He touches upon the origin and history of Tyrol, as well as the affect World War I had on the people of the Val di Non. Continuing to Wyoming and Utah, the author provides a glimpse into life during the 1920’s and 30’s, Prohibition, the Great Depression, becoming an American citizen, the role World War II played in the lives of Tyrolean immigrants, and the post war years. Not only did I find Mr. Prevedel’s book warmly human and heartfelt, but this small volume truly captures the reality our Tyrolean ancestors experienced in a new land. Sprinkled throughout “The Tyroleans“, I recognized many surnames from my own research and from our Genetti family tree: Corazza, Menghini, Anselmi, Rauzi, Segna, Cologna and yes, even Genetti. Matter-of-fact, I believe David Prevedal’s book has provided a new clue to another branch of our family I have yet to research. I thoroughly enjoyed this touching memorial to a Tyrolean family and highly recommend it to anyone with ancestral roots in the Val di Non.
Stop by our online family Book Store to see all of our selections, click here!
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“If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are.” ~ quote by author Madeleine L’Engle
Have you ever thought of recording your life for future generations? I’ll bet your grandchildren and great-grandchildren would treasure a biography containing remembrances and details about the times in which you lived. And if your family is like ours, with a long and detailed history, an autobiography becomes part of the family’s ancestral legacy.
You’re probably thinking “why would someone want to read about me?” So many of us believe that our everyday lives are not worth writing about. But one hundred years from now, I can assure you, ordinary lives will seem quite extraordinary to future generations. Our family stories and photos, memories, details about our home and the town where we lived, reminiscences of how we met our spouse, what we did for a living, our children’s escapades, those folksy colloquialisms that pepper our speech – all of the small details of our “ordinary” lives will be cherished by future descendants searching for their family roots.
I know of two biographies written by members of the Genetti family. One by Stanley Genetti of Pennsylvania and the other by Herman Genetti of Wyoming, with the intriguing title of “Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming”. Both are fascinating first-hand accounts of life in America for Tyrolean immigrants during the 1900’s. Sprinkled with family stories, regional history and ancestral details, they make for very interesting reading! Unfortunately both memoirs are self-published and hard to come by. Having been produced in a limited number and usually only in the possession of direct family descendants, it is nearly impossible to obtain a copy of either Stanley’s or Herman’s autobiography.
Fortunately I have been able to locate both books. Several years ago, a copy of Stanley’s book was given to me by one of his grandchildren. I have read it many times, gleaning a good bit of genealogical information from Stan Genetti’s stories (FYI – Stanley was my grand uncle or in other terms, my grandfather’s brother).
Recently I was given a copy of Herman’s book. I had been looking for this volume for some time and had found only obscure mention of it online. Unbelievably, on a recent trip to Italy I met with a friend who is a local historian (and not from the Genetti family). He handed me Herman’s book and asked if I had ever heard of him. Apparently a copy of the original was given to my friend, possibly through someone in the Genetti family. I was amazed that at some point Herman’s book had made a long trip from Wyoming to Castelfondo, Italy and now would be returning to the United States via a distant cousin (me!). I gladly accepted the thick Xeroxed spiral-bound copy, tucked it away in my suitcase and happily returned to Santa Fe with my family treasure. I’m currently enjoying perusing “Herman’s Howlings”, sifting through the pages for genealogy info to include on our online family tree.
My hope is to one day include both of these books as free PDF downloads on The Genetti Family Genealogy Project website, of course with the permission of their descendants. If you are a direct descendant of Stanley Genetti or Herman Genetti and would like to make their autobiographies available for the rest of the family to read, please contact me at info.genetti.family(at)gmail.com. Mille grazie!
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.
Why not stop by our Book Shop to peruse our sampling of personally selected books about the Tyrolean culture? If you are interested in learning more about your roots or are planning a future trip to Trentino-Alto Adige, you’ll find just the right book to help you in your adventure.
Today I added a new book that was suggested by Chiara Dalle Nogare, one of our Genetti cousins who lives in Trento, Trentino. “The Hidden Frontier: Ecology and Ethnicity in an Alpine Valley” is a fascinated study of history and culture in the Val di Non. Well worth the read if you really want to understand your Tyrolean roots!
If you are Tyrolean American and would like to learn more about your heritage, you need to subscribe to Filo Magazine. First published in 2011, this quarterly magazine is available as a paper version or online – both are free. Filo (pronounced fee-lo) was the Tyrolean word for the daily gathering in the stables of the Trentino. Each day after work and chores, villagers would come together to tell stories, sing and socialize. Filo Magazine is published in the United States, but has many ties to Trentino. Their goal is to reach as many Tyrolean Americans as possible “to provide you with the background of your roots and ancestry.”
I have been receiving Filo since 2012. Through the magazine I have learned so much about our culture, food and language, as well as been intrigued by family stories that are publish in each issue.
To receive the free magazine, simple register at: http://filo.tiroles.com/registration.html.
Or to browse their extensive site, go to: http://filo.tiroles.com. If you are interested in learning more about dialect and in particular, the Nones language of the Val di Non (which is what the Genetti ancestors spoke), check out their dialect section. Quite fascinating!
In closing, here is a bit of dialect from Filo: ‘sa fente, nente o stente? Which translates into: What should we do, stay or go?