Category: Family History

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

 

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

 

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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)

 

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!

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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

Disclaimer: purchases made through the above links will result in a small commission to me (at no extra cost to you!) This allows me to do what I LOVE to do, supports the costs involved with maintaining this website and helps pay the fees associated with genealogical research. Thank you to everyone who supports this family website by purchasing from our Genetti Family Shop. 

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

 

 

 

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 9

Page 10 and 11, click to enlarge

Another mysterious entry appears to have been penned by Tillie’s older sister, Addolorata. Or perhaps Tillie was simply copying a letter written by her big sister. We simply don’t know!

Page 10, left side

Dear friend,

While I was walking with Enrica yesterday afternoon she asked me: Are you ill again? Poor you! No leaf falls that God forbid! Bear your sorrows patiently and offer them to Jesus and one day you will find them written down in golden characters. Don’t despair my dear, because your illness will be temporary.

And even if you can’t go to school, don’t worry because I am going to visit you on Thursday and I am going to repeat the lessons that were taught these days.

In the meanwhile I will pray for your recovery.

Yours affectionately,

Genetti Addolorata

Castelfondo 14 March 1902

 

Read past posts from this series:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 4

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 5

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 6

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 7

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 8

 

New Family Branch Tree Print!

Genetti Family Tree

3-Generation Descendant Family Tree of Damiano and Oliva Genetti

I am so excited to share with you the newest addition to our Genetti Family Shop – Family Branch Tree Prints!

The idea came to me this summer – how cool it would be to incorporate my love of art and my passion for genealogy into a unique item designed specially for our family. The Family Branch Tree Print was born!

The first print in this series is a three-generation descendant tree for Damiano and Oliva Genetti, featuring their children (with spouses) and grandchildren (with spouses). Tree details include birth years, death years, and marriage years for each descendant. Meticulously researched for correctness, the art print also showcases the wedding portrait of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti dated 1886, plus the Genetti Coat-of-Arms that hangs above the doorway of the original Castelfondo home.

Me with my new descendants’ tree for Damiano and Oliva Genetti!

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

If you are one of the many descendants of Damiano and Oliva Genetti, this fine art print is the perfect addition to your home or a thoughtful Christmas present for your children.

I am currently at work researching and designing future additions to this series, with the plan of creating many Family Branch Tree prints for the various lines of the Genetti family.

Click here – For pricing or to purchase the Family Tree of Damiano and Oliva Genetti.

And as always, my many thanks for your patronage! Purchases from the Genetti Family Shop and Bookstore support the fees involved in maintaining this website as well as our ongoing cost of genealogy research.

Special Note: Here are the nine surviving children of Damiano and Oliva Genetti
(are one of these descendants your parent, grandparent or great-grandparent?)

Leone A. Genetti

Addolorata E. Genetti Bott (Dora)

Ottilia A. Genetti Zambotti (Tillie)

Augusto L. H. Genetti (Gus)

Albino V. Genetti (Al)

Esther Genetti

Erminia Genetti Branz

Costante V. Genetti (Stanley)

Angela M. Genetti McNelis (Ann)

 

 

A Blast from the Past!

Keeping up with the comings and goings of the Genetti family isn’t easy! To be in the know, I use a handy little tool called Google Alerts. Through my Google account, I enter a number of keywords into this nifty app (such as “Genetti”, “Otzi”, “Castelfondo” and “Hazleton”) and every day I receive an email with online links corresponding to that particular keyword. Often it will be a newspaper article, press release or current event that includes one of my keywords. Most of the alerts aren’t worth blogging about. But every once in awhile a fun or interesting tidbit will pop up in my inbox and I just have to share it with you.

That’s what happened on Thursday! I received a true “blast from the past” email alert in the form of an advertisement for an upscale online vintage shop in New York City.

Here’s the Google Alert:

Silver Mink Stole | Big Shawl Collar | Gus Genetti Mink Shop
Ruby Lane
Title: Silver Mink Stole | Big Shawl Collar | Gus Genetti Mink Shop | Sapphire Mink Stole |, Price: $425 USD , Category: Vintage …

This vintage mink will surely bring back memories for the Pennsylvania Genetti clan! It was an ad for an exquisite stole with the label “Gus Genetti Mink Shop”. I love coming across items like this from a family business and thought you would enjoy it too!

There’s no mention of age for the silver sapphire mink, but I would place it sometime in the early to mid-1960’s, an era when a luxury fur was a true status symbol for most American women.

Now I’m not a “fur person” but if you are so incline to purchase this lovely stole, the shop, Ruby Lane, has it priced at $425.

After a bit of research, I found a newspaper article that stated Gus Genetti Sr. (Augusto Lodovico Henry Genetti: 1892-1976) of Hazleton, Pennsylvania had a fur ranch for 35 years in Sugarloaf, PA. Known more for his hotel and restaurant establishment, Gus also opened a fur shop at his Hazleton business, Gus Genetti’s Hotel and Restaurant of Distinction, in 1956.

Here’s the link for Ruby Lane and the fabulous Genetti Mink Stole: https://www.rubylane.com/item/1234101-1171

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 8

Page 8 and Page 9, click to enlarge

Another odd entry in Tillie’s notebook! This appears to be a loan or bond between two men named Enrico Zamboni (debtor) and Ernesto Palaver (creditor). Strangely, neither family is from Castelfondo (Zamboni is from Fondo and Palaver is from Cles). And neither men are related to the Genetti family.

Loretta and I are stumped by these entries; our only guess being that Tillie may have copied a legal document that she found in her home. Your guess is as good as ours!

Here is the next entry, from page 9 (right side)

BOND

I undersigned Enrico Zamboni of Andrea from Fondo declare to receive from Ernesto Palaver of Antonio C 213 that is Crowns two hundred and thirteen as a loan,  with the obligation to give an annual interest of 4 and 1/4 %, four and one forth per cent, starting from today and to give the capital back on the 14 January 1907.

If Mr Ernesto Palaver of Antonio from Cles needs his capital before the established time, I oblige myself to give it back to him after a 15-day advance notice.

If Enrico Zamboni of Andrea from Fondo could give back the capital before the established time, Ernesto Palaver must take it back.

Read and signed at the presence of the witnesses.

Enrico Zamboni debtor
Ernesto Palaver creditor

Read past posts from this series:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 4

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 5

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 6

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 7

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 7

Cover, The Tragedy of Ottilia Genetti
click to enlarge

As our translator, Loretta, and I progress through Tillie’s notebook, we are finding it to be a unusual mixture of writing. Although the title on the cover says that it is the “Tragedy of Ottilia Genetti” written during the second session of Class II (2nd grade), the contents don’t appear to match the cover!

As all of the entries are dated 1902, Tillie would have been about twelve years old in this year – much older than a 2nd grader! And Loretta has found several entries signed by Addolorata (Dora), Tillie’s older sister who was age thirteen in 1902. It also appears the journal is certainly written by someone more mature and older than a 2nd grader.

Our little notebook is turning into quite the mystery! We will continue to translate and publish its contents and at the end, hopefully be able to make a judgement as to who was the author and what was the purpose of the school journal.

Page 6 and Page 7, click to enlarge

 

Continuing on to the next entry, we begin on Page 7 (right side) and turn to Page 8 (left side). It is a short story obviously written as moral lesson. Loretta found it difficult to read and translate the end of the story on Page 8 due to the eraser marks, so she has attempted to interpret the ending. We hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Page 8 and Page 9, click to enlarge

 

The Poor Orphan Child

Angela, daughter of rich parents, was 9 years old. One day she was eating some bread with a piece of cheese on her house door. Giulio, a poor orphan child passed by, he was still without food. When he saw the bread he went near the girl and said: Be charitable, give me a piece of bread because I am hungry.

She answered: No, go and get bread elsewhere, because I am going to eat it.

The child went away with tears in his eyes looking at the bread.

In that moment a dog came near the girl wagging its tail. She caressed it and gave it a piece of bread.

Giuseppe started to cry and said to the girl: Am I less important than an animal? I am a creature created in the image of God.

When the teacher knew what had happened she told her off  and said: If you have a piece of bread left you must not give it to a dog but spare it for the poor who suffer for hunger.

Castelfondo 7 March 1902

 

Read past posts from this series:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 4

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 5

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 6