Category: Family History

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

Here is our next translation of Tillie Genetti Zambotti’s notebook from our friend, Loretta Cologna. It appears to be a letter written by Tillie’s older sister, Addolorata (Dora). We aren’t sure why Dora’s letter is appearing in Tillie’s notebook, but since it is in the same handwriting as the first two pages, Loretta believes it could be an exercise in writing and copying various things. Tillie was simply copying a letter that Dora had penned.

Once again, many thanks to Loretta for her help.

Page 3:

Dear friend,

My heart was very sad hearing that your mother is ill again. But don’t despair, she will soon feel better. Go to the altar of the Virgin and pray, she will certainly help you.

I hope it will be a short illness. Even if the doctor said worrying things don’t be alarmed because just one being knows if she is going to recover. Don’t lose your courage, have faith in God and bear these sorrows patiently. I will visit you on Thursday (with?) something to strengthen your mother. In the meanwhile pray for her healing. And tell her to have courage because she will soon be better.

If you need something write me and I will help you as far as I can.

I am yours affectionately,

Addolorata Genetti

Castelfondo, 28 February 1902

Read past posts:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

 

Memories from the 1930’s

Genetti’s Annual Outing, Hazleton, PA – 1934
click on photo to enlarge

A few weeks ago I received a visit from a fellow genealogist and Tyrolean, Judy Givens. Judy lives just six hours up the road from me in Colorado. We met online through the Facebook group Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino of which we are both members. Like me, she is 50% Tyrolean and was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Louise and Judy chatting about their Hazleton families

Sometime ago Judy emailed me about a group of photos saved by her father, dating to the early 1930’s. At the time, her father worked for – you guessed it – the Genetti Markets! Judy said she would stop for a visit next time she was in New Mexico and bring her photo memorabilia with her.

We finally met-up in August, sharing memories of Hazleton, laughing about our overlapping family stories and, of course, discussing the three photos she had brought for me to scan.

What a surprise! The large panoramic was a group picture taken at a Genetti staff picnic, circa 1934. I immediately recognized the four Genetti brothers reclining on the grass, front and center. Dressed in summer white, were Stanley, Albert, Leon (my grandfather) and Gus Sr. What a fantastic moment captured on film!

From the Hazleton Plain Speaker,
July 1934

After scanning the photograph and enlarging it for restoration, I had another surprise. Sitting directly behind Stanley (first brother on the left) is an elderly woman. It was Oliva, mother of the four brothers (and my great-grandmother)! Looking closely at the many smiling faces, I recognized one more person. The young boy sitting behind the third brother from the left, Leon, was my Uncle John! In 1934, John Damian Genetti, Leon’s oldest son, would have been fifteen years old. As an adult, he worked as a butcher for the Genetti Markets.

Wondering if any newspaper notices existed for the event, I searched Newspapers.com for the month of July 1934. Yes, there was a short article about the company picnic published in the Hazleton Plain Speaker. Now we had a bit of info to go along with the photograph.

 

From the Standard Sentinel
June 9, 1934

I was amazed that in 1934, during the years of the Great Depression, Genetti Markets employed two hundred people. I wondered just how many neighborhood groceries had been opened by the four Genetti brothers. From June of 1934, I found a clipping listing all of the local Genetti markets. At the time of the company picnic, there was a total of eleven markets run by D. Genetti and Sons.

Judy’s other images were just as compelling. I immediately recognized Genetti’s Popular street store in Hazleton. It was the family’s first neighborhood market, managed and operated by my grandfather, Leon Genetti.

Located at 436 South Poplar in Hazleton Heights, the market was right next door to my grandparents’ home. When I was a little girl in 1960, my grandmother Angeline would take me by the hand, walk me next door and let me pick out penny candy and little tubes of toothpaste. I remembered the old-fashioned hanging lights and stamped tin ceiling, exactly as pictured in Judy’s photos. Of course by 1960, my grandfather had long ago retired. But his son-in-law, Steve Kashi (married to Leon’s daughter Adeline), now owned and operated the little market next door.

Judy’s father, Quentin Knies, is standing to the left of the post, wearing a bowtie. Genetti Market on Poplar St., early 1930’s.
click on photo to enlarge

Judy’s photos from the early 1930’s pictured the interior of the grocery store along with several employees. Her father, Quentin “Knute” Knies (1910-1974) stands to the right of the gentleman in a suit.

With a little research, I learned that “Knute” lived right down the street from the market on South Poplar. What a small world it is indeed! Judy’s father had worked for my grandfather, lived on the same street as my family and most likely knew my aunts and uncles, perhaps even my father who was only a toddler in 1934.

My special thanks to Judy Givens for finding me, making the trip to Santa Fe and sharing her photographic memories with our website followers.

Judy’s father “Knute” is the tall fellow on the left. Genetti Market, Poplar St., early 1930’s.
Click on photo to enlarge.

I hope to see you in the future, Judy, when I take my next trip to Colorado. Mille grazie et un abbreccio!

All three photographs have been added to our Photo Gallery. You can find them on the Pennsylvania Genetti Family page.

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Sometimes the universe offers help when help is needed!

Last week I published my first post about Tillie Genetti Zambotti’s 1902 school notebook. Since I don’t speak Italian, I admittedly felt over-my-head in attempting to translate this beautiful family heirloom shared by Tillie’s granddaughter, Anne Marie Shelby. Never one to give up, I decided to do the best I could with my limited knowledge of Italian and the help of Google Translator.

On the same day that I published my post, it was shared by Giovanni Marchetti on the closed Facebook group, Chei da Chastelfon, of which I am a member and Giovanni is the Group Administrator. Within 24 hours I received a message from someone in the group, stating that she had read the post and would like to help with translation! I was overjoyed and responded immediately!

Yes, I thought, this is an angel from Val di Non who can help me!

Our Trentini angel is Loretta Cologna who lives in the city of Cles. Loretta grew up in Castelfondo (Cologna is a very old surname from the village). She is a retired school teacher and taught English in the Cles school system for many years. I couldn’t believe our luck! After several emails back and forth, I learned that we had at least three surnames in common from our family trees: Zambotti, Marchetti and Cologna. It’s probably a good bet that Loretta shares some DNA with our family line. She has generously offered to translate Tillie’s notebook in her spare time. Over the next year, we hope to work our way through the journal and publish a weekly post with a translation.

I am completely thankful, Loretta, for your kind and gracious generosity! Grazie di tutto!

Here is the next translation in our series courtesy of Loretta Cologna:

Bottom of page 1:

Castelfondo 24 II [February] 1902

Dear classmate, Genetti A.

While I was walking with one of my sisters on Thursday, she told me that you had told our teacher a bad lie. Bad my darling, very very bad my darling, this…(incomprehensible word) the good things that your teacher did for you.

(click on image to enlarge)

 

Page 2 (left side):

What I love

I love God, creator of a lot of wonders, beginning and end of all things, the greatest good. I love God because through holy Baptism he adopted me as his child among the many people he created.

I love the Holy Mary because through her we can get the favors of God.

I love my guardian angel because he is always near me and he defends me from dangers. I love my parents because they gave me life and because after God they are the greatest benefactors. Moreover I love my parents because they give me a lot of care and have a lot of expenses to support me.

I love my little brothers because they care about my troubles. I love my brothers.

Castelfondo 28 February 1902

(click on image to enlarge)

PDF file of 1902 School Notebook by Ottilia “Tillie” Genetti

 

1902 School Journal by Tillie Genetti

Ottilia Anna “Tillie” Genetti Zambotti
(1890-1985)

A few months ago I received a very special package from our cousin Anne Marie Shelby. Inside was an intact, but very fragile, school journal from 1902 by Ottilia “Tillie” (Genetti) Zambotti (1890-1985). Tillie was Anne Marie’s grandmother and the daughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti. I was honored to be trusted with such a precious family heirloom and thrilled for the opportunity to share this treasure on our website!

I got to work carefully scanning each delicate page, aware that I was handling a 117 year old notebook! How amazing this little gem had not been lost to time; having traveled from Castelfondo to the United States, and eventually passed down to Anne Marie’s generation as a family keepsake.

After scanning the document, I assembled the digital copy into a PDF file. You can now view Tillie’s original 1902 School Notebook in our “Gallery” section, under “Biographies by Members of the Genetti Family”. For a direct link to the PDF document, click here – but be patient, it is a large file and will take several minutes to load.

The journal was most likely a school assignment given to Tillie’s class in Castelfondo, with the intention of notating her thoughts and ideas during the school year. Each entry is dated, starting on the first page with February 24, 1902. Her journal entries offer a glimpse into the family life of our ancestors at the turn of the century, before they left their mountain village to start a new life.

Tillie was about twelve years old at the time and probably in grade six. This may have been her last year of formal schooling, as she soon traveled to America with her  siblings and mother to join her father Damiano in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

I was especially delighted to view such beautiful penmanship from a young girl. Composed in Italian (and I believe with a few words of Nones, our ancestral dialect), you can see where Tillie’s teacher has made corrections throughout the text. Also interesting to note, the title of her notebook is “Tragedy of Ottilia Genetti”.

Over time, I hope to translate the entire notebook. However, I understand only a tiny bit of Italian, and no Nones at all! But by using Google Translator, background information that I already have, and a little intuition, I will attempt to offer the gist of each journal entry.

Of course, if anyone out there would like to help with translation, your assistance would be greatly appreciated! And if my translation is incorrect, please feel free to offer the correct meaning in the comment section of each blog post. Hopefully, over the next year, we will work our way through Tillie’s notebook and have a full translation.

Beginning with the first page, it appears Tillie is writing about her paternal grandfather, “my dear grandfather”. This would have been Leone Genetti (Damiano’s father). She says that on a summer evening, he is sitting by the window, looking out at the stars and beautiful night sky. After working with the “semola” (I believe this is a reference to wheat), her grandfather told her stories (or answered her questions and gave her advice) while sitting by the fire.

[As a side note, according to Tillie’s brother Stanley Genetti, their grandfather Leone was a baker, confirming the fact that he worked with “semola”, a type of very fine wheat that is milled twice.

Here is a excerpt from Stanley Genetti’s biography:

“Grandfather was a baker and I remember hearing stories of him carting his bread from village to village on a mule with two big side baskets. He also owned a lumber mill and, I think, a grist mill. The mill was in a ravine so deep that it could only be reached by ladders. Despite his apparent wealth, he came to America and worked in the coal mines. After his wife died, she is buried in Weston, Pennsylvania, he returned to Tyrol.”]

Update: The word I transcribed as semola should actually be “scuola” or school. Tillie is actually telling us that she visits the house of her good nonno after school. Thank you to genealogist Lynn Serafinn for correcting my translation! Although Tillie is not talking about her grandfather’s occupation, I thought it was nice to keep this little story in our blog post as background information.

Continuing with Tillie’s text, her grandfather tells her that he had a learning disability as a child and was incapacitated by this problem. (Disgrafia – meaning that he had trouble reading, writing and/or focusing. Possibly a form of dyslexia or autism.) Tillie is thankful for his advice and believes if she listens to the words of her grandfather “will go with it to paradise above a throne of glory that I will be prepared for.”

To offer a base of understanding for Tillie’s story, here is a timeline of events for this time period:

  • Born in 1826 in Castelfondo, Leone Genetti married his distant cousin, Cattarina Genetti (1834-1893) in 1853.
  • They had fourteen children, with seven surviving to adulthood.
  • In 1891, Leone and Cattarina, came to Pennsylvania to join several of their adult children.
  • By this time, Leone’s son Damiano, his wife Oliva and their infant son Leone, have return to Castelfondo (1888).
  • Tillie is born in 1890 in Castelfondo.
  • Meanwhile, her grandmother, Cattarina, passes away in 1893 and is buried in Weston, Pennsylvania.
  • Her grandfather, Leone, soon returns to Castelfondo and reunites with Damiano’s growing family, his grandchildren.
  • Tillie leaves for Pennsylvania with five of her siblings and mother, 1906.
  • Leone passes away in 1909 in Castelfondo of old age.

During the next year, I will post more translations of Tillie’s notebook on our family blog.

Our many thanks to Anne Marie Shelby! Your generosity in sharing this lovely family heirloom is so very much appreciated!

Check out links referenced in this blog post:

School Notebook of Ottilia “Tillie” Genetti – composed in 1902, at school in Castelfondo, when Tillie was about twelve years old.

Autobiography of Stanley Genetti – written by Stanley Genetti, 1981

A photo of Tillie’s grandfather, Leone Genetti (1826-1909) can be found on the Photo Gallery page for the Pennsylvania Genetti Family.

UPDATE – August 29, 2019: My thanks to those of you who have sent corrections and suggestions about this post. 

Anne Marie Shelby corrected my date of immigration for Tillie, as the ship’s manifest states that Tillie arrived in 1906 (not 1904-1905 as I previously stated). She came with her mother Oliva and five of her siblings. This correction has been made in the text above! Many thanks Anne Maria for catching my mistake.

Thank you to genealogist Lynn Serafinn for correcting my English translation! Lynn is a friend (and distant Genetti cousin) living in London and specializing in Trentino Genealogy. You can visit Lynn’s website at: http://trentinogenealogy.com/

 

 

New Photo Gallery!

Vigilio and Maria Genetti

Vigilio and Maria Genetti of Illinois, 1886

It’s finally completed! Our new Photo Gallery is finished and online! You’ll find the direct link located in the Main Menu at the top of each page of our website, fourth link from the left under the title: Photo Gallery.

During the past year, I received many family photographs from different branches of the Genetti family. Since our old Photograph page had grown extremely large and cumbersome, the only possible solution for adding new images was to reorganize everything into manageable sections and republish as a separate gallery. After much thought, I came up with the solution to divide our photos into individual pages representing each state where our ancestors settled after arriving in the USA. We now have photo pages for: Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Illinois, Michigan, Washington and of course, our ancestral home of Castelfondo.

Many more names, dates and stories have been added to each page in the Photo Gallery. I hope with the addition of these details, I have created a descriptive account of family life, trials and tribulations encountered by our ancestors in their new country.

Our thanks to John Nimmo, great-grandson of Peter Menghini, who contributed many wonderful group photos to the Wyoming Genetti page.

Another thank you to Sharon Genetti Cain, great-granddaughter of Vigilio and Maria Genetti, for the exceptional collection of vintage images that now compose our Illinois Genetti page.

And finally, a big thank you to our friends and cousins in Italy who contributed several new photographs to our Castelfondo page as well as to other sections in our Photo Gallery. Mille grazie to Dino Marchetti, Giovanni Marchetti and Lidia Genetti.

Leone Genetti

Leone Genetti, Castelfondo, 1871

You might wonder why it has taken so long to see your photo memories appear on the Genetti Family Genealogy Project. Here is a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse at the process!

Upon receiving a new grouping of photographs, I first sort through the collection to determine if they are: 1. Genetti descendants and 2. they fit with the general theme of our website.

But before I can publish any new photo, there is much prep work involved. If possible, I prefer photographs to be sent via email as hi-res digital JPGs, along with names, dates, places, etc. This allows for the greatest working latitude with the images. Plus sending along photo details lays the groundwork for a story to go along with your family portraits.

However, this is not always the case and most photographs I receive require I great deal of attention before they are ready for our family website. Often the files arriving in my inbox are low-resolution, in need of restoration and have either no information or just a minimal title to identify them. And sometimes I receive packages by mail containing actual photos or newspaper clippings. In any case, every photo needs to be “prepped” and authenticated before it can be added to our gallery.

I begin by uploading (or in the case of hard copy photos – scanning) the images into Photoshop. I then try to increase clarity by using various filters and adjusting the tone of the photo. Next comes digitally repairing rips and tears, getting rid of dust spots and generally cleaning up the the image, restoring it to as close to original appearance as possible. After that, each photo must be resized to the correct resolution for online publishing. Now I’m ready for research!

If only basic information has been sent to me, I first locate the ancestor in my offline family tree (to date, I have collected information on over 1,700 family members beginning in the mid-1400’s up to present day living descendants). If I can’t find the ancestor on our tree or there just isn’t enough information in their file, I need to start researching using a variety of online resources such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and Find-A-Grave. After authenticating the people in the photo and finding enough information to compile a short story, I need to date the photograph. Sometimes I’m lucky and a date will be written on the photo or provided by the family, but usually this is not the case. Then I must put on my detective hat and estimate the year in which the photo was taken. I do this by using the following clues: determining the age of the subjects, the era of clothing style they are wearing, type of hairstyle they have, jewelry being worn and sometimes even identifying the background. All of these elements can offer clues to an approximate date.

After identifying the photo’s subjects, place and date, I am ready to publish your family memories to our website!

So take a stroll through the history of the Genetti family, see if you recognize any of your ancestors and enjoy browsing our new Photo Gallery.

Our many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our website! With your help, we have grown the Genetti Family Genealogy Project into an extensive resource, not only for our family, but also for the many Tyroleans who visit our website daily.

Grazie a tutti i nostri cugini di tutto il mondo (thank you to all of our cousins throughout the world)!

 

We welcome all contributions to the Genetti Family Photo Gallery. Please send me a direct message through our Contact page for directions on how to submit photographs.

 

 

Trentini Americani: Recollections of a Journey

Hey family and friends, I just found out about a super-cool project called Trentini Americani: Recollections of a Journey, a documentary project. The film is being produced by Vincenzo Mancuso of Trento, Italy and is a crowd-funding project at Indiegogo. Here is the project’s overview:

“At the beginning of the 20th century 10,000 Trentini made their way to the United States. From 2009 until 2018 I traveled across the United States, meeting with families from New York to San Francisco and collecting over 160 interviews. The conclusion of this long oral history project is the production of a documentary that spans four generations and that tells the stories of the Trentini immigrants.”

The film will be produced in English with Italian subtitles, allowing for both Americans and our Italian cousins to enjoy personal interviews with descendants. Read more about this amazing project and view photos of our Tyrolean ancestors at the project’s home page: Click Here!

This is quite the labor of love and a magnificent way to preserve our ancestral heritage. If you agree, why not join me in supporting Vincenzo’s campaign with a donation. By donating at the $28 level, you will receive a high-definition download of the film upon its completion. I think that’s a real bargain for all the work that is going into this documentary. Of course, every little bit helps in bringing this project to fruition. FYI – the Indiegogo campaign runs until the end of August, so don’t procrastinate – help share our heritage with the world by supporting Vincenzo’s dream.

And here is the video clip that introduces the project on Indiegogo:

Trentini Americani – Recollections of a Journey from ITALOAMERICANI on Vimeo.

For more information:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/trentini-americani-recollections-of-a-journey/x/1698596#/

Honoring Those Who Served

August Henry Genetti (1892-1976)

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

To celebrate Memorial Day this year I have compiled a list of Genetti descendants who served the United States in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. My goal is to create a special page on our website dedicated to our military family. Unfortunately, I am not able to access records for military personnel serving after the Korean War. So those serving later than the mid-1950’s are not on this list.

Also, the following compilation only includes descendants with the surname of Genetti. I would like to include all of our military descendants who have served our country from 1880 to present and can trace their roots directly to a Genetti ancestor.

If you or a loved one is a Genetti descendant, served in any branch of the military and would like to be listed on our permanent page, please write me through our Contact Page.

In researching this post, I also located a moving tribute to Frank George Genetti (1913-2010) who served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945. Descendant from the Illinois branch of the Genetti family, Frank and his three brothers all served our country during World War II. Frank’s youngest brother, Bernard, is alive and well – thank you so much for your honorable service! We salute you Bernard Genetti on this day of remembrance.

Frank George Genetti (1913-2010)

Frank George Genetti (1913-2010)
Served 1942-1945

To read about Frank George Genetti, click (GenettiFrank – 1916-2010) to open the PDF document. (Created by Vicki DeWitt, Area 51 Learning Technology Center, Edwardsville, IL. Memories, photos and images provided by Frank Genetti and his family of Gillespie, IL)

 

Descendants Serving in the United States Military – WW I, WW II, Korean War

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

 

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

 

Special Recognition

US Army Major General Albert J. Genetti

US Army Major General Albert J. Genetti (retired)
Photo: US National Archives

Albert J. Genetti (living) – U.S. Army Major General  (retired)

A Few Stats About the Genetti Family

Damiano Genetti Meat Wagon, Hazleton, PA – about 1915

Since I’m an avid genealogist, I am also a big fan of Ancestry.com. Having been a member of the research website for the past ten years, I often come across interesting bits of information, rare photos and valuable documents pertaining to our ancestors.

Today I found a fun link on Ancestry that instantly compiled facts about the Genetti Family as documented by the Ancestry data base. I just entered our surname and here’s what I found.

Meaning of Genetti: Italian – patronymic or plural form of Genetto, a reduced pet form of the personal name Eugenio, from Latin Eugenius. (Source: Dictionary of American Family Names)

Marriage License for Leon Genetti and Angeline Marchetti, 1914

There are over 4,000 historical documents on Ancestry containing the name Genetti:

  • 1K Birth, Marriage and Death
  • 259 Military Records
  • 350 Immigration Records
  • 1K Census and Voter Lists
  • 1K Member Trees

According to Ancestry.com, the Genetti family name was found in the USA, and the UK between 1891 and 1920. The most Genetti families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1920 there were 14 Genetti families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 19% of all the recorded Genetti’s in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highst population of Genetti families in 1920. The next largest concentrations are in: Illinois, Michigan, Wyoming, Nebraska and California (according to Federal Census Data).

Webmaster’s Note: the Genetti families listed in the federal census living in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey at this time were not connect to our family. They originated in central Italy with the surname of Giannetti. Sometime after they immigrated, the family changed their name to Genetti. The New England Genetti family is not related to the Castelfondo Genetti family.

Between 1963 and 2004, in the United States, Genetti life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1973, and highest in 1979. The average life expectancy for Genetti in 1963 was 83, and 85 in 2004 (according to the Social Security Death Index). FYI – this is very good news! It appears that Genetti family members tend to live longer than the average population, considering that in 2004 the average life expectancy of the general public was 74. So far our oldest living known ancestor was Angela Maria “Ann” Genetti McNelis (1903-2005), youngest daughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti. She lived to be 102 years old!

Fascinating information at a glance! Want to try it out for yourself? You can find the Ancestry link here:

https://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts

 

Cugini?

Massimino and Camillo Genetti, probably late 1920’s, photo courtesy of Giovanni Marchetti.

I am FaceBook friends with Gemma Genetti. She lives in Merano, a beautiful historical city in northern Italy. Gemma’s roots are from Castelfondo, the ancestral village of the Genetti family. Over the past few years we have kept in touch and were sure we were related. But somehow the link between our families eluded me – until yesterday.

I saw a FaceBook comment Gemma made under a photograph of her father and uncle posted in “Chei da Chastelfon,” a private FB group that we both belong to. The group publishes many historical documents and photos of scenes and people from Castelfondo. Yesterday I was staring at a portrait posted by the group administrator, Giovanni Marchetti, of Massimino Genetti and his brother Camillo in military uniform. As I translated the comments below the photo, a realization came to me. I might be able to match up the two siblings in the town’s baptismal records. If I could find both siblings, plus their sister Anna (mentioned in one of the comments) I would have the correct ancestors for this family. Since we have many repetitive names on our tree (such as Pietro, Giovanni and Fortunato) this is not always an easy task. But if all of the siblings’ records matched and I had the exact names of their parents and grandparents, I could positively identify the branch of their ancestors.

Part of Genetti Family Tree showing Antonio and Veronica Genetti with their six sons.

Within an hour I had scanned through pages of Castelfondo records prior to 1925 and found two of the three siblings. The baptismal records had exactly the information I was searching for. I glanced up at the family tree hanging above my desk and immediately saw Gemma’s grandfather, Pietro!

Grabbing a piece of paper, I drew a descendant chart for Gemma and another for me – and yes, we shared a set of great-grandparents! Our 3rd great-grandparents, Giovanni Battista Antonio Genetti (1789-1852) and Veronica Paniza (1789-1871) are one in the same. That means my 2nd great-grandfather, Leone Genetti (1826-1909) and Gemma’s 2nd great-grandfather, Francesco Genetti (1818-?) were brothers. After counting down the generations, I concluded Gemma and I are 4th cousins (cugini) from the same branch of the Genetti family. Yea!

It’s always exciting to find our genealogical connections and to acknowledge those that came before us. The life paths our families chose were different and yet we have a deep connection through DNA and ancestral heritage. Gemma’s great-grandfather, Fortunato, stayed in Italy. My great-grandfather, Damiano, came to America. Two different countries, two different families, two different languages – and yet connected six generations in the past.

A special hello and thank you (ciao e grazie) to Gemma Genetti, Giovanni Marchetti and all of the wonderful members of Chei da Chastelfon. I have so enjoyed connecting to my Trentino heritage through your posts and photos.

Hurry! Our Family DVD Will Soon Be Discontinued!

There are only a few copies left of our professionally edited DVD: “The Genetti Family of Castelfondo: Our Journey to America”! The deadline to order is December 31, 2017. After this date the DVD will be discontinued and we will no longer ship copies.

If you missed Reunion 2016 or would like a unique Christmas gift for a family member, this DVD is the perfect solution! Place your order TODAY – hurry before you miss this opportunity to own a piece of Genetti genealogy!

The price for this beautifully packaged presentation is $20 (includes shipping).

Please send your check addressed to:
William Genetti, 1345 N. Church St., Hazle Township, PA 18202.

Stop by the Genetti Family Shop for more goodies and gifts, from books about Tyrolean heritage to coffee mugs with the Genetti family coat-of-arms. Click here to shop!