Category: Family History

Something to Think About


Damiano and Oliva Genetti on their wedding day (the webmaster’s great-grandparents).

I just had one of those “a-hah” moments that lit up my brain while doing research:

I am here today because of the choices and decisions made by my 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 – 2nd great-grandparents and 32 – 3rd great grandparents. Amazing when you think of it … the decisions you make today with your children will affect your great-great-great grandchildren in the future! That’s awe-inspiring!


I Have Returned!

Louise and Michael visiting Ireland, standing in front of the ancient tomb at New Grange.

Louise and Michael visiting Ireland, standing in front of the ancient tomb at New Grange.

It’s been awhile since I wrote a new post, but I’m back and ready to dig into our Genetti genealogy! For the past six weeks I’ve been adventuring in Ireland with my husband, Michael. We had a grand time hiking through the Irish countryside, chatting it up with new-found friends, exploring ancient ruins, and generally “having craic” (pronounced ‘crack’) – the Irish expression for having a good time.

Since part of my husband’s lineage is Irish, we also conducted a bit of informal genealogy research on the Roach surname (originally spelled Roche) wherever we wandered. During conversations with local people we met, tour guides or museum historians, I always mentioned the Roach name. Everyone recognized it as a prominent Irish surname originating in County Cork, but I learned very little beyond this.

Deciding to take matters into my own hands, one evening I searched Google for ancestral leads. Prior to our trip, my husband had conducted his own family research on Michael was confident of his American lineage stretching back to the late 1790’s. But he found no ancestor that linked his 3rd great-grandfather, John Jacob Roach born in 1802 in New Jersey, back to Ireland. In genealogy research, this is called “a brick wall”. Unfortunately for Irish descendants, it is a common problem since many records were destroyed during numerous uprisings throughout Irish history. And later, records of Irish immigrants were burned during the American War of 1812.

Luckily my research skills quickly paid off! I came across a goldmine of genealogy information about the Roche/Roach/Roache clan in a blog published by Jim Roache called Roche Lineages. Michael’s ancestral roots were indeed planted in County Cork, with the arrival of two brothers to the island in the year 1167. The brothers had been knighted and granted land in Cork. I soon found another surprise – the Roche family was actually Flemish. (According to Wikipedia, the Flemish were a Germanic ethnic group who spoke Dutch and lived in the northern region of modern-day Belgium.) The family first settled in Wales over a thousand years ago before moving on to Ireland. According to Jim’s findings, they were not Irish in origin but transplants that came with the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172 – a true surprise! To learn if Michael is connected to the original Roche family from County Cork, he’ll need to take a Y-chromosome DNA test and enter it into theRoach, Roche, Roch Surname Group. This surname project was established by Peter Roche through Family Tree DNA to collect Y-chromosome results from males having the last name of Roach or any of its similar spellings. Positive DNA matches with existing members in the group will link Michael to a specific branch of the family and perhaps connect him with distant cousins throughout the world. Very exciting indeed!

Jim Roache’s blog contained a good deal more information in the form of an ancestral timeline. He had compiled info on every person, event and date he could find belonging to the Roach family of Country Cork and published it all in one large PDF document. Impressive! I was intrigued by this genealogical presentation. The thought occurred to me that a similar timeline might work for the Genetti family.

Over the years I have accumulated a vast amount of ancestral information on our family, including births, marriages, deaths, news articles and other interesting tidbits. How to organize and assemble all of these facts into one easy-to-read, searchable document had been a problem. Perhaps a timeline was the right solution! By compiling statistics from the original records of Castelfondo, Trentino (our ancestral village) along with our modern family stats, a document could be created that consolidated all information from every branch of the family in one place. Plus by using a digital format for the Timeline, new information would be easy to add and publish as future revised issues.

So you guessed it – this will be my next family project! My vision is to establish a Genetti Family Timeline as a concise archive to be enjoyed by today’s family members and for use by future generations in their own genealogy research. It will be a document that can be passed down from one generation to the next. A tall order to tackle, but my genealogist heart is doing back- flips! Yes, this is a project that I can really dig into and continue to develop!

I’ll keep you posted as to the progress of our Genetti Family Timeline.

Before I close … a big thank you to all the great folks who emailed me while I was traveling. I’ll be getting back to you as soon as I can to compare notes, share DNA test results and chat about our family connections. I may even share your messages here at our blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and participate in The Genetti Family Genealogy Project!


The Gallery


Damiano Genetti standing in the doorway of the Genetti ancestral home in Castelfondo, Austria (Italy).

Have you visited The Gallery yet on The Genetti Family Genealogy Project? This section of our website contains a huge amount of information about our family. Here you’ll find an archive of photographs, individual family portraits, info and photos from our ancestral home of Castelfondo, a cache of family stories, pics from cemeteries where our ancestors are buried, and obituaries. The Gallery section is always growing as more cousins send in their family archives.





Stop by today for a visit! Click below to visit individual sections.

The Gallery


Family Pages


Family Stories

Cemeteries and Markers


Family Memories by Don Lingousky

angela mary ralph peter

Left to right: Angela Genetti, her husband Raffael Recla; Peter Zambotti and his wife, Anna Maria (Mary) Genetti. Angela and Mary were sisters. About 1895.

Another Memory Page has been added to our Family Stories section! Don Lingousky, the great-grandson of Angela Maddalena Genetti Recla of Sheppton, Pennsylvania has shared a treasure trove of photographs and stories about his family.

During the past few months, I’ve became acquainted with Don and his wife Joyce, via email. While conducting his own genealogy research, Don found the Genetti website and generously offered his ancestral findings for our family archives. I was thrilled to see formal portraits from the turn of the century and read personal stories about another twig of the Genetti family tree. And even more excited – this particular twig was part of my branch of the tree! Don’s great-grandmother (Angela) and my great-grandfather (Damiano), were siblings – making Don and I third cousins. We share the same great-great grandparents – Leone and Cattarina Genetti.

angela genetti photo

Angela Maddalena Genetti Recla, 1865 – 1937. Photo taken sometime before 1937.

Through our combined research, we have uncovered a number of interesting facts that shed light on our mutual ancestors. Along the way, I introduced Don to another third cousin of ours, Nancy, who I met through when our DNA results matched. Don and Nancy have the added bonus of being double 3rd cousins – both of their great-grandmothers (sisters Angela and Erminia Genetti) married brothers (Raffael and Emmanuel Recla). Now we are all communicating together and sharing our research.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back in your favorite comfy chair and reminisce while you’re reading Don’s Memory Page, (click here). Allow yourself to be transported 125 years back in time to the coal mines of rural Pennsylvania. It was an era when the Genetti family immigrated to America, worked hard and brought with them the dream of becoming entrepreneurs.

After you have enjoyed Don’s family lore, why not take a stroll down your own memory lane? Dig out that dusty shoe box of photos from the back of the closet. Pick a few of your favorites and begin writing. Soon you’ll find stories flowing from forgotten corners of your memory – precious moments your brain tucked safely away, waiting for the right moment to surface. And if you are so inclined, please share your special family tales with the Genetti Family Genealogy Project. We would love to hear from you!

Click here for our Contact page!

Need help or ideas on how to write your family story? Visit the online Bookstore and check out our Family Legacy Book selections.

We would like to thank Don and Joyce Lingousky for their contribution to and continuing support of the Genetti Family Genealogy Project.

Family Memories from Jean Branz Daly


Standing: Jean Branz Daly and Leona Zambotti (daughter of Tillie). Seated: Ann Genetti McNelis, Tillie Genetti Zambotti and Catherine Branz La Porte (Jean’s sister), 1977.

During the past year I’ve met many family members through email correspondence. A few weeks after our site was launched in July of 2014, I received an email  from Regina Branz Daly. Jean, as she is called, introduced herself as the granddaughter of Oliva and Damiano Genetti. She was excited about the website and wanted to contribute her own memories and photos. I’m always thrilled when a cousin contacts me with information for our family website. And so began our year-long correspondence.

Jean is 84 years old and of the same generation as my father. Matter-of-fact, Jean and my father were first cousins – they were born just two days apart! She remembers playing together as children. Over the past ten months we have written back and forth, shared family stories, and have become good friends. Since Jean was my father’s 1st cousin and the common relatives we share are Oliva and Damiano Genetti (Jean’s grandparents and my great-grandparents), but I am of the next younger generation – our official relationship is “1st cousin, once removed”.

This past month I compiled all of Jean’s stories and photos, with contributions from her sister Catherine, into a Family Memory Page. You can now find this lovely personal memoir under the Gallery section of the Genetti website – click on the Family Stories link to find the page. Jean, her sister Catherine, and I look forward to our continuing correspondence. We will be adding more stories and photos in the future to their ongoing memoir.

My sincerest thanks to both of the Branz sisters for sharing their little corner of our family history. In their memories, I have found many personal connections to my Pennsylvania Tyrolean family as I’m sure you will too! Click here for a direct link to Family Memories by Regina “Jean” Branz Daly.

On a final note, if you have a parent or grandparent, take a few moments and talk with them about family history. Ask them about their childhood, their parents and the town that they grew up in. Beyond dates and stats, it is the ancestral stories that matter most. Today the sages of the Genetti family are Jean’s generation. They link the memories of past and present. Don’t let this opportunity to connect with your ancestry slip away. Ask your father or grandmother a few questions, than document your conversation with a family journal, photographs and video. Your children will cherish the legacy you have created as will future generations when they look back at the words and images of their great great grandparents.


Special Note: If you are interested in preserving families memories, I have added three new books to our online Bookstore with advise on how to create a treasured family memoir. Click here to find out more and scroll to the bottom of the page.


The Mystery of Giuseppe Genetti

My great-grandfather, Damiano Genetti (1857-1944), had three brothers and three sisters who survived to adulthood. All of his siblings emigrated to the United States with the exception of his oldest brother, Sisinio Alessandro (1854-1908), who stayed in the village of Castelfondo. He passed away at the age of 53 of tuberculosis. From the perspective of genealogy, we know quite a bit about Damiano and his siblings since they all left a trail of documentation: census, vital stats (birth, marriage, death records), land deeds, family photos, newspaper articles, etc. Every sibling except for one – Giuseppe Genetti (or Joseph in English).


Giuseppe Genetti’s baptismal record from Castelfondo, Austria (Italy)

When I began our family research a number of years ago, I was told stories about Giuseppe. He had emigrated to Pennsylvania at a young age, worked in the coal mines, and one day left for California. His family never heard from him again. No one knew if he had any descendants, when he died or where he was buried. And there seemed to be no existing portraits of Giuseppe. Since I love a good mystery, my great granduncle, Joseph, became an ongoing research project that I have returned to time and time again throughout the years.


Ship manifest from 1882 – Joseph Genetti is listed on the 2nd half of the document, 14th name from the bottom.

I had two documents for Giuseppe that I felt certain of: his baptismal record from St. Nicolo church in Castelfondo stating that he was born July 30, 1862 and a ship’s manifest showing his arrival in New York City on June 19, 1882. The ship’s list showed that Joseph came over with two other young men of his village, Fortunato and Peter Ianas (both of whom I have identified in Castelfondo baptismal records.) And that’s as far as I got!

He does not appear in any Federal Census, city directories, land deeds, marriage records or death notices under either Giuseppe or Joseph Genetti.

As much as I searched, the only clue to Joseph’s whereabouts was a mention in the obituaries of his sisters, Marie Genetti Zambotti and Angela Genetti Recla. Both obits state surviving family members and siblings, including “Joseph Genetti of California”.

Imagine my surprise when last month I received a photo from Don Lingousky identified as “Uncle Joe”. Don is the great-grandson of Angela Genetti Recla (sister of Joseph). After years of searching, here was an actual portrait of my mysterious great granduncle! What clues would it hold?

uncle joe

Studio portrait of Giuseppe “Uncle Joe” Genetti – photographed sometime in the early 1900’s.

After a little investigative work, Don and I determined that this must indeed be a portrait of the missing Giuseppe (Joseph), since we could find no evidence of a Joseph on the Recla side of Don’s family. Obviously a studio portrait, the image also contained the name of the photographer: L.C. Marchetti. This was another amazing clue! Searching online I found several formal portraits photographed in the early 1900’s by the same L.C. Marchetti who was from Nuremberg, Pennsylvania. At this time the Genetti siblings all lived in the same region of north central PA in the towns of Weston, Nuremberg, Hazleton and Sheppton, as did many Tyrolean families who immigrated from the Val di Non region of Austria (Italy).

Since my grandmother was from the Marchetti family of Nuremberg, PA, I took a look at her family tree. There was my answer – she had an older brother named Lawrence Camillo Marchetti. He must have been L.C. Marchetti since no other Marchetti ancestors matched those initials. Lawrence would have known the other Tyrolean families and was probably the only photographer at this time in the area. Giuseppe may have had a formal portrait taken in Nuremberg before leaving on his travels. Judging from the dates on other portraits by L.C. Marchetti that I found, the time frame was most likely between 1900-1910. Since Don was in possession of the photo, it had apparently been handed down through Angela Genetti Recla’s family (Joseph’s sister). So from this evidence, we now know that Giuseppe (Joseph) was living in Pennsylvania at least until the turn of the century, that he had contact with his family before seeking his fortune elsewhere, and that he most likely lived with or close to them since the portrait was done in Nuremberg.


Payroll list from the Southern Pacific Company – Salt Lake Division, dated Aug. 1916. Joe Genetti is the 16th name on the list.

I was so grateful to Don for providing this unexpected find! The information we had gleaned from the portrait now gave me some idea of a timeline for Joseph. Again I went back to searching hundreds of online records for any inkling of his whereabouts. Taking a different tactic, I researched categories and scanned through individual data bases, rather than doing a general search under records. After two weeks of research, I found one document with promise – although there is no hard evidence that this is our Joseph Genetti. What I came upon was a California payroll sheet from the Southern Pacific Company – Salt Lake Division dated August of 1916. It shows a Joe Genetti who worked as a laborer for eleven and a half days during this month, earning $2.00 a day, for a total paycheck of $23.50. Not much info to go on!

I was aware of a Genetti family who had eventually settled in Utah, but they don’t show up in the Federal Census until much later in 1940. There was also a Genetti family living in California as early as the 1900 Census, but none that matched Joseph’s name, birth year or immigration year. Since the Southern Pacific was a railroad company, this could mean that he worked the rails and had no permanent address – if indeed, it is the same Giuseppe (Joseph) Genetti that we are looking for. With no other collaborating evidence, this may be hard to prove.

For now, it is the end of the line for Giuseppe. As more data bases are digitized, we may come upon new clues in the future. Or, like Don’s portrait of “Uncle Joe”, information may unexpectedly surface from a family member’s closet or attic. If you are reading this blog post and have information, stories, letters or documents about Giuseppe (Joseph) Genetti born in 1862 in Castelfondo, Austria (Italy), we would love to hear from you!

Our special thanks to Don Lingouski for your help and contribution to our family story.

You can read the full obituaries of Angela Genetti Recla and Maria Genetti Zambotti (click on their names).

And visit our Photograph Page to see our large collection of family portraits (including Giuseppe Genetti). Click here!

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

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 (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


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.


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 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, 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 Photo in Gallery

VigilioAndMariaThank you to Brian Genetti, a descendant of William Vigilio Genetti, for sending me a wonderful photograph of his great great grandparents! During the past year I’ve received many requests from this branch of our family who settled in Illinois. All have contributed information to our growing family tree. The photograph of William Vigilio Genetti with his first wife Maria Dolzadelli may be their wedding portrait, probably photographed sometime in the 1880’s. According to census records they had six children. Maria passed away in 1907 and Vigilio later remarried. He and his second wife, Margaretha, had three more children. Today there are many descendants of this family living in the United States.

Stop by the Photograph Gallery at the Genetti Family Genealogy Project to see this photo and many others. Click here!