Category: Cousins

A Surprising Discovery!

The Genetti Family Tree

The Genetti Family Tree

About a week ago, I broke through a genealogy brick wall that had blocked my research for some time on a particular branch of my direct line. The results were a surprising discovery that shocked even me! Here’s the story.

For the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time researching the Genetti family that settled in Illinois. This branch of the tree has many unusual stories with plot twists that have captured my interest. The descendants I’ve worked with are distant cousins that I’m related to twice since one set of their Genetti great-grandparents were fourth cousins. Usually I’ve found our kindred relationship to be eighth cousins through Cipriano Genetti (1811-1890) and fifth cousins, once or twice removed through his wife Catterina Genetti (1812-1875). When you look at our family tree pictured above, their family is located on the far left bottom corner and my family occupies the far right branches located half way up from the bottom right corner.

As I sat at my desk last week, researching ancestors and checking against the tree hanging on the wall before me, something caught my eye and clicked in my brain.

Oliva 1920s-b

Oliva Zambotti Genetti
1861-1938

To understand my discovery, we need to switch gears and talk about my great-grandmother, Oliva Zambotti. She married Damiano Genetti in 1886. I had worked on the Zambotti genealogy stretching back to the early 1700’s, but always hit a wall when it came to Oliva’s grandmother, Barbara Genetti (my 3rd great-grandmother) who married Alessandro Zambotti. Yes her maiden name was also Genetti! Up until this point, I had found no information on Barbara’s parents, Giovanni Battista Genetti (1767-1811) and Maria Domenica Corazza (1776-1854). Nor was I able to go back any further in this ancestral line. I assumed they were from the Genetti family with roots in the villages of Fondo or Dambel – a distant relation to the Castelfondo Genettis, with our common ancestor existing sometime before the mid-1500s.

As I studied the family tree that afternoon, I realized I had been looking for Barbara’s parents in the wrong place. There before me I saw their names. Giovanni Battista Genetti and Maria Dominica Corazza (my 4th great-grandparents) were ancestors of the Illinois Genetti family and on their branch of the tree! I had been researching Giovanni and Maria all along for their descendants and never made the connection. That means my 4th great-grandparents through my Zambotti great-grandmother were also the 4th great-grandparents for many of the Illinois Genetti descendants – they were the same people! My great-grandmother, Oliva, was first cousins, once removed with their Illinois patriarch in America, Vigilio Genetti. Oliva’s grandmother, Barbara Genetti Zambotti, was Vigilio’s aunt!

This changed everything! I was shocked at first, as I never considered that my Zambotti line had a Genetti ancestor from the 1700’s (although there have been four Genetti-Zambotti marriages in my family since 1886, including my great-grandparents).

Since Barbara Genetti’s parents (with their very long genealogy) were already part of my online family tree, I simple plugged in my great-grandmother Oliva’s connection and she instantly had Genetti ancestors going back to the 1400’s – sharing five ancestors from 1650 to 1491 with her husband Damiano. This means that my great-grandparents are 5th cousins, once removed – and Oliva is actually 6th cousins with her own children!

Getting back to the Illinois clan, I am related to Vigilio’s descendants through both of my great-grandparents – and through four common ancestors – Pietro Genetti 1650-1706, Giovanni Battista Genetti 1746-1807, Giovanni Battista Genetti 1767-1854 and Domenica Corazza 1776-1854. For many of Vigilio’s descendants, I am their 5th cousin (3 times!) as well as their 8th cousin. I wonder what our DNA results would look like? What kind of match could be determined by having so many common relatives? If anyone from the Illinois Genetti family would like to have their DNA tested through Ancestry.com (where my DNA results are based), let me know. I’m sure it would be absolutely fascinated to see the results!

If you are interested in purchasing a fine art print of the Genetti Family Tree, stop by our Shop for details on how to order your own piece of our ancestry. Click here!

 

 

New Photos Added

ErminiaReclaFamily

Erminia and Emmanuel Recla with their family. Children are Ralph, Elaine (in lap), Catherine (standing), Esther, Marie and Emma.
Spokane, WA – 1914.

Thank you to Mary Russell for sending me two family photos. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Erminia Enrica Genetti Recla.

The youngest child of Leone and Cattarina Genetti, Erminia was born in Castelfondo, Austria (Italy) in the year 1876. She arrived in America in 1890 at the age of 13. The ship’s passenger list shows that she traveled with her big brother Damiano, who escorted her across the ocean and then returned to his family in Castelfondo.

MaryHarryPettis

Marie Recla and her husband Harry Pettis – early 1920’s.

Since most of Erminia’s large family was already living in Pennsylvania, she was not alone. Her older sister Angela, had married a young man by the name of Raphael Recla in 1887. Angela must have introduced her little sister to Raphael’s brother, because a few years later in 1893 Erminia married Emmanuel Recla. The couple set-up housekeeping in Shepton, PA near Angela and Raphael, where their first two children were born. By 1897 they were living in Michigan and five more children followed. The family moved again around 1907 to Spokane, Washington and four more children were added to the large family. Of Erminia and Emmanuel’s eleven children, eight survived to adulthood.

Erminia passed away in 1972 at the ripe old age of 95. She was laid to rest next to Emmanuel (who passed away in 1939) in Holy Cross Cemetery – Spokane, WA. Erminia was the last surviving sibling of her family.

The interesting part of this story is that I met Mary Russell, Erminia’s great-granddaughter, through Ancestry.com when our DNA results came up as a match. Mary’s test results matched mine as “extremely high probability for 3rd or 4th cousins”. And sure enough, our “shared ancestor hint” correctly predicted that we shared common 2nd great-grandparents, Leone and Cattarina Genetti. Our great-grandparents, Erminia and Damiano, were siblings. This made Mary and I third cousins. I’m so glad that science brought us together and I have yet another lovely person to call cousin!

And one more twist to the story – I recently worked on an ancestral genealogy for Don Lingousky, the great-grandson of Angela Genetti Recla (see blog post from March 26, 2015). Don had emailed me directly, providing information and photos for our family tree. Since Don and Mary shared both a Genetti and a Recla ancestor (two Genetti sisters marrying two Recla brothers) and they were both interested in their family’s genealogy, it was only natural that they should meet. After several emails between the three of us, Don and Mary are now working on their Recla ancestry together. As it turns out – Don, Mary and I are all third cousins through the Genetti family. Don and Mary are also third cousins through the Recla family – therefore they are twice related. I bet they share a very interesting DNA match!

Make sure to visit our ever-growing Photograph page in the Gallery section of The Genetti Family Genealogy Project. You might also enjoy reading about the Genetti clan on our Family Stories page.

New Photos and People on the Tree!

angela genetti photo

Angela Maddalena Genetti Recla 1865-1937

The past two weeks have brought many new acquaintances and surprises to my genealogy research. I’ve compared DNA findings on Ancestry.com, discovered new facts about family stories, shared tips with those of you doing your own ancestor research and worked on several personal genealogies for Genetti cousins. There is so much to share that I need several blog posts to cover all of our exciting genealogy news!

Today I would like to thank Don Lingousky and his wife Joyce for their wonderful contribution to The Genetti Family Genealogy Project. Don is the great-grandson of Angela Maddalena Genetti, daughter of Leone and Cattarina Genetti, sister of Damiano and Rafaele Genetti.

Born the 25th of December, 1865 in Castelfondo, Trentino, Austria (Italy), Angela emigrated to Pennsylvania as a young woman and in 1887 married a fellow Tyrolean, Raphael Recla. They had six children (two died in childhood), before Raphael tragically passed away in 1896 at the young age of 32.

leonela recla

Leonela Erminia Recla Lingousky 1890-1979

Obviously a strong woman, Angela became the head of the household, raising her remaining children on her own. According to Angela’s great-grandson, Don, she also adopted a young boy named Henry Parisi from St. Joseph’s Foundling Home (Pennsylvania) around 1906. Angela said she had prayed for a favor and promised to adopt a child if what she prayed for came true. Henry became part of her family and is noted in the 1910 and 1920 Census. Angela’s middle child, Leonela Erminia pictured in this lovely portrait, married Bernard Thomas Lingousky in 1913. Leonela and Bernard are Don’s grandparents.

The email that Don sent me two weeks ago contained information on many of his family members along with beautiful old portraits. I was thrilled! Don and his wife Joyce were already working on their family genealogy when they found our website. Don and I share the same 2nd great-grandparents, Leone and Cattarina Genetti, making us third cousins. Since our ancestors overlap, I was able to provide my personal genealogy to Don, as well as add his information to our growing family tree. Thanks to the Lingouskys we have added 8 new portraits to our Photograph page and twenty-six new people to the online family tree!

And we have another surprise portrait that will be added in a future blog post of a missing ancestor! Don inherited several photos from his Aunt Bernardine (Leonela and Bernard’s daughter) – one of which “knocked my socks off”! I’m still researching this ancestor, but will bring you the details soon.

To see all of Don’s family portraits, visit the Photograph Page. You can also trace Angela Genetti Recla’s ancestry on our digital Family Tree.

Thanks again Don and Joyce! I wish you many happy and successful hours researching your rich Tyrolean heritage.

 

New Photos!

Lanci-5

Group photo taken in the meadows above Castelfondo.

Yay! Three new photos have been added to our Photograph page under the Gallery Section of the website. What a treat as these are from our Italian family in Trentino. Check them out, click here!

If you have family photos you would like to share on The Genetti Family Genealogy Project website, we would love to hear from you. Please email photos along with a description to: info.genetti.family(at)gmail.com.

 

A New Cousin

Vigilio Genetti, born 1852 in Castelfondo. Died 1932 in Collinsville, IL.

Baptismal record from San Nicolo Church:
Vigilio Genetti, born 1852 in Castelfondo, Austria.
Died 1932 in Collinsville, IL.

The Illinois Genetti Clan has proven to be very inquisitive and helpful concerning our shared ancestors. A few weeks ago I received an email from Brian Genetti with info about his family line. It turns out Brian is also a descendant of Vigilio Genetti who settled in Collinsville, Illinois around 1890. Why I say “also” is that I have had three other descendants of Vigilio contact me during the past year (Tom, Gary and Andrew). Each has contributed a bit more of our ancestral puzzle and allowed me to research further into their branch of the family tree. As a result of Brian’s info, I was able to add ten more descendants to our online tree and continue to extend Vigilio’s legacy in America. Brian says he also has photos of Vigilio Genetti tucked away somewhere. When he finds them we’ll add those pics to our photo archive page too.

Of course, I had to work out all of the cousin relationships. Here’s what I came up with:

– Brian is 1st cousin, twice removed from Tom.

– Brian is 1st cousin, once removed from Gary.

– Brian is a 3rd cousin of Andrew.

And Brian is my 5th cousin, once removed AND my 8th cousin once removed! Yes, my family twig is related to Brian twice!

Do you have descendants you would like included on our family tree? I believe we have only about a third of our ancestors documented so far. Feel free to email me with your information. If I can find documentation on the ancestor, I will add he/she to the Genetti Family online tree.

Many thanks to the Illinois Genetti Family for their participation.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

 

 

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.

 

Cousins – Cugini

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Genetti cousins (with my husband Michael in the orange shirt) in Bolzano, Italy

A week ago the Genetti “cugini” or cousins got together for an impromptu Saturday morning gathering. Several of our Italian cousins live in or near Bolzano, Italy – the city where I have been staying for the past month. We gathered at Laura’s husband’s shop located close to city center. Carlo loves to travel the world and for the past ten years has built a business selling ethnic jewelry and accessories which he purchases directly from artisans he meets on his travels. We are hoping that Carlo will visit us one day in Santa Fe and add Native American jewelry to his inventory.

LidiaDaughters

Cousin Lidia Genetti with her two daughters Giovanna and Laura.

Today there were a few more cousins joining us that I had not met on our previous outing, Laura’s sister Giovanna and Stephania’s brother Enrico. Along with the children and a friend of Laura’s (who turned out to be a TV journalist for a local station) we had 13 people meandering through the market crowds of Piazza Erbe. We came to stop at our favorite outdoor café, commandeered two tables and enjoyed drinks in the autumn sunshine. After a few hours of chatting, it was time to say our goodbyes and go on our separate ways. It was another lovely day in Bolzano with my Genetti cugini!

 

On the Road

plazawalter-2 I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been. Well I am enjoying life in Italy right now. My first few days were in Milan and the past week I’ve made my home in Bolzano in the region of Alto Adige or Sud Tirol. What a glorious city this is! A mix of German and Italian, it has an endearing old-world charm. The city center is closed to traffic, making it a wonderful place for walking and biking. My little apartment is a block away from the outdoor market. Open 6 days a week, it offers fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, breads, cheeses and dried meats. With a bar, restaurant or gelateria on every corner, there is a plethora of choices when it comes to food. Italian, German and Tyrolean specialties abound, but one can also find new cuisines on some menus.

 

bolzanomarket-2It seems that every available inch of farm land inside the city boundaries and climbing the surrounding terraced hills is brimming with fruit – grapes, apples and pears. The trees are so laden with apples you wonder how it is possible to grow so many on a single tree. And yet there are acres and acres of orchards and vineyards everywhere!

On this trip I have also had the good fortune to meet several of my Italian Genetti cousins. This is the best part of genealogy, when the stories of ancestors come alive and family connections are made that transcend international boundaries. Thank you to Chiara, Stephano, Leonardo, Benedicta, Laura and Lidia for making me feel welcome and a part of a much larger family. This week I hope to connect with a few more Genetti and Marchetti cousins.

rittenhiking-2I had planned to write a blog post every few days while I’m here, but as you can see that hasn’t happened. I do apologize – I’m just having so much fun hiking and seeing the sights that it’s difficult finding the time to write. But I will try to correspond more during the next few weeks since I want to share all of these lovely experiences with you. Ciao for now!