Category: Family Stories

The Traveling Genealogist: Part 2 – Salzburg, Austria

View of Salzburg from the Salzach river. Originally built in 1077, the medieval Hohensalzburg Fortress can be seen on the hill towering above the city.

Leaving Berlin on October 6th, we hopped a plane to Salzburg, Austria, the next stop on our 2018 trip. Michael had reserved four days in this charming little city located on the banks of the Salzach river. Although I have no genealogical ties to Salzburg (that I know of), it felt like a step back in time to my original Tyrolean heritage. As you may remember from previous posts, Trentino was part of the Austrian Tyrol for many centuries and the culture of Austria certainly influenced our ancestors in many ways.

So quaint and picturesque, I fell in love with Salzburg the very minute we stepped onto its cobblestone streets. Shop windows displayed traditional Tyrolean woolen jackets, leather lederhosen and dirndl dresses. Rows of cuckoo clocks patiently ticked away in another store window. At a third shop intricate beer steins and green felt Tyrolean hats beckoned. Restaurants were decorated in knotty pine paneling with carved wooden chairs selling mugs of beer, plates of sausages, and scrumptious apple streusel. 

On our first afternoon we asked for a recommendation to a traditional beer garden. After a bit of walking, we found ourselves at a lovely garden located away from the usual tourist area. My husband ordered a frosty mug of beer and I imbibed in a local Riesling. A few tables away a small wedding party celebrated their afternoon nuptials. Dressed in stunning Tyrolean couture, they laughed and toasted each other. The men wore smartly tailored jackets with knee-length leather pants; the women were in beautiful pastel and white dirndle dresses carrying small nosegays with their hair coiffed in braids and pinned to frame their faces. A memorable afternoon indeed!

Stately Mirabell Gardens

If you are a fan of “The Sound of Music” you’ll remember the original story of Maria and the Von Trapp family took place in Salzburg. Although the movie is somewhat fictionalized, it does embody the spirit of the real-life Maria. Filmed in and around Salzburg, it was great fun searching out the original sites pictured in the movie. We climbed the steep stairs to reach the Abbey of Nonnberg (the oldest continuously existing nunnery in the world dating back to the year 715). The original Maria was a novice at Nonnberg and she was married in the abbey church. It is a rather simple, dark church, nothing like the grand cathedral pictured in the movie. We also walked through the beautiful Mirabell Gardens pictured in “Do Re Mi” and photographed the Pegasus Fountain from the same musical number where the children danced along the edge. Tourists who visit Salzburg often book a “Sound of Music Tour” that buses you around to each location in the film. But we found it much more fun exploring on foot and discovering the sites for ourselves.

The church at Nonnberg Abbey where the real-life Maria was married.

When we arrived home in November I had to watch the movie again. The film is now 52 years old, but Salzburg hasn’t changed much and I could easily point out many sites we had visited.

Michael and I spent many happy hours trekking over the hills surrounding the city (remember – The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music!), photographing sites of interest, strolling the river promenade and enjoying a city of heritage and culture, the birthplace of Mozart. What a wonderful way to spend four days in Austria!

Next stop: Bolzano, Italy!

(Note: click on photos to see a larger view.)

 

When was the last time you saw The Sound of Music? I recommend purchasing or renting the 50th Anniversary Edition. The entire extra hour at the end is an interview with Julie Andrews! She visits Salzburg to celebrate the 50th anniversary, sharing memories and photos from the original filming. I absolutely loved it!

Here’s the Amazon link: The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Edition

 

If you missed the first part of The Traveling Genealogist series, read:
Part 1 – London, Berlin and a Cousin Coincidence!

 

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!

Letters from the Past

DamianoDoorAs a genealogist, I get excited about dates and stats. But nothing thrills me more than finding a memoir or letter written by an ancestor. These bits of history allow a personal glimpse into the life and times of a family member.

On my last visit back to Pennsylvania, I was fortunate to be gifted a box of memories by my Uncle Leon Genetti. It proved to be a cache of information, transporting me back decades into my personal family line.

I am now in the process of sorting and scanning documents before returning this “time capsule” back to my uncle. The amount of historical information I have found is incredible, yielding several stories I will tell you in future blog posts.

letters1The first bit of Genetti memorabilia I’d like to share with you are two letters penned by my great-grandfather Damiano Genetti, sent to his son Stanley (Costante) Genetti. The letters were written in December of 1938 and August of 1939, sent from Castelfondo, Italy.

A little back history about Damiano – he returns to his native village in the Val di Non (Trentino, Italy) around 1922, without his family. He lives in Castelfondo for the next twenty-two years, until his death in December of 1944. During this time World War II breaks out (Sept. 1939 – Sept. 1945). The northern province of Trentino/Alto Adige is caught in the middle between German and Italian forces.

It is significant to note that Damiano’s wife, Oliva Zambotti Genetti, passes away in August of 1938. The second letter discusses Damiano paying for masses to be said in the memory of Oliva.

Another known fact to consider is that by 1939, Damiano is making plans to return to America, but is unable to leave due to the declaration of war in Europe.

Now back to our letters! After inspecting the documents, it’s obvious that the original letters were penned in dialect or Italian and later translated into English by someone familiar with the Tyrolean tongue. We can tell this from the unusual sentence syntax. Also, the signature at the bottom of both letters, does not match other documents personally signed by Damiano. From these observations we can conclude that the letters were received by one member of the family (in this case Damiano’s son Stanley) then translated, copied and distributed to other family members. We can also conclude from the mention of past letters, that Damiano wrote to his children on a fairly frequent basis and was concerned with their welfare.

letters2-aBefore composing this blog post, I shared the letters with Bill Genetti, Damiano’s grandson, to get his impressions. Bill made a very important observation: “The 2nd letter is dated 3 days before WWII broke out. September 1st was the date Hitler attacked Poland and war was declared. That 2nd letter may be the last letter to get through and he died before the Allies reached his area.”

Wow! Damiano was writing to his family on the very brink of war! I felt many emotions reading his letters – sadness, loneliness, affection for his children, a resignation of his position in life. Damiano’s words resonated through the decades, speaking volumes.

Since I was born thirteen years after his death, I can only go by the description others have told me of my great-grandfather: stubborn and determined, intelligent and scrupulous, caring and generous, a humanitarian yet distant and detached from his family. Perhaps Damiano’s words will give you a new perspective of an ancestor who lived many different lives (husband, father, mining superintendent, Calvary officer, businessman, traveler, mayor, herbalist).For these are personal letters from a man who lived a complicated life. It is an honor to share them with you now.

I’ll leave Damiano’s words speak for themselves. (To read each letter, click on the image for an enlarged view.)

letters2-bDo you have ancestor letters tucked away in your basement or attic? Why not share them with the Genetti Genealogy Project. Write me at info.genetti.family@gmail.com. Each letter will be added to your ancestor’s digital file in the Genetti Archive we are in the process of compiling.

See more photos of Damiano Genetti on our website Photograph Page.

Read Damiano’s obituary on our Tributes Page.

We Made the News!

standardspeakerOur thanks to writer, Jill Whalen, at the Standard-Speaker newspaper for writing an extensive article about the Genetti family of Hazleton, PA. When I sent out press releases a few months back, I had expected just a few paragraphs about our October reunion to be published in the paper. I was completely blown away by the full-page article detailing our family’s history in the area and their involvement in local business. Jill obviously did her research – digging into old family documents, genealogy records and newspaper archives. Since my memories of our family businesses are as a child – my father taking me for a visit to the Tyrolean Room (where he worked) or buying groceries at our local Genetti market, I was surprised by many of the details Jill included in her article. Some of which I wasn’t aware of! What a great piece to include in our growing family archive!

imagegallery1The complete article can be found as a link on our Family News page. Or just click here and go directly to the article page on our website.

Want to read the article online at the Standard-Speaker? Click here for the original story.

I’d like to acknowledge one detail left out of Jill’s article. It was brought to my attention by a descendant of Damiano and Oliva that there was no mention of their daughters or the role they played in establishing the family businesses. This was an unfortunate oversight and I offer my apologies.

Yes, it is my understanding that all of the children (including their daughters) worked hard to help the family prosper in a new land. Until they married and left the family home, the five Genetti daughters all contributed in some way to the growing business. Two daughters, Esther and Anne, also had official job titles within the Genetti company. According to the Federal Census, Esther never married and worked for many years as a bookkeeper in the family business. Youngest daughter, Anne, was also a bookkeeper in the Genetti offices until her marriage to James McNelis in 1932.

Our family history centers around the four Genetti sons, but often ignores their sisters and the part they played in establishing D. Genetti & Sons. My sincerest apologies to the descendants of these dedicated women (Dora, Tillie, Esther, Erminia and Angela) who were regrettably overlooked in this recent article.

I also would like to acknowledge the many grandchildren (and great-grandchildren!) of Daminano and Oliva who worked in the family businesses throughout the years. You are part of the entrepreneurial spirit our ancestors brought with them on the long journey from Castelfondo to Hazleton. I applaud your contribution to our family history!

The Story of a Mailbox

HermanGenettiMailbox

Every week I receive emails from cousins near and far. Many have family stories or photos to share with me. But an email I received last week, was truly unusual in nature! It came from a gentleman named Gerard Loeve who lives in The Netherlands. Gerard tracked down our family website via search, because he was intrigued by the name on a mailbox! I love this story – how a total stranger from another country connect to our family through a photo taken 36 years ago on a trek through the American southwest. Here is Gerard’s email. I’m sure you’ll find his tale totally charming!

“My name is Gerard Loeve from Gouda, The Netherlands. In 1980 I traveled the western part of the U.S. with two of my best friends. After our U.S. visit I have been so fortunate to see much more of the globe between 1980 and the present day. Most of my travels were before digital photography and part of the heritage of my travels is a collection of 26,000 slides. A couple of years back I started digitizing (scanning) my nicest and/or most interesting slides (in random travel order). It is a very time consuming process, but the reward is huge. I ‘live’ it all once more and my collection is preserved for ever, also in ‘the cloud’.

You must be wondering what all this has to do with you. I will explain. I am presently scanning the slides of my 1980 visit I mentioned above. One of them was taken in Wyoming along a desolate road. My two friends are standing next to the car in the distance. In the forefront of the picture there are a number of typical US mailboxes we don’t see in Europe. After scanning, removing dust & scratches and executing other improvements, I noticed a name on the nearest box: Herman Genetti.

For some reason his name intrigued me and I started a search on the internet where I came across your ‘The Genetti Family Genealogy Project’. After some reading and surfing on your very impressive website (my compliments!), I am almost convinced the mailbox must have belonged to the Herman Angelo Genetti who wrote ‘Herman’s Howling’s’, the book which is mentioned on your website. Since slides do not contain any meta data, I have been doing some more puzzling. The picture was taken in southern direction on October 4, 1980, along road 189, somewhere in the La Barge, Wyoming surroundings, where Herman used to live, as far as I figure.

Why I have been doing the search I can not explain. Maybe because my wife’s aunt is also from Southern Tirol (Quero, near Belluno). Her aunt owns a very famous Ice Parlor in The Hague and we have visited Italy very often. We have a ‘thing’ for Italy I suppose. I don’t know. Of course I told my wife about the above and she suggested I should tell you my little story and send you the picture. So here we are. I do not know if my story is of any interest to you, so please do with it what you like.

Of course, you will find ‘the’ 1980 slide scan, the trigger for all this, attached to this mail.”

I agree with Gerard – this must have been Herman Genetti’s mailbox located along the side of the road in La Barge, Wyoming!

Our thanks to Gerard for sharing this story with us! I hope one day to visit he and his wife in The Netherlands – and we will raise a toast to our ancestor, Herman Genetti!

If you haven’t already, check out Herman’s biography “Herman’s Howlings” on our website: click here to read the digital version of his book.

Photos from the Past

Pietro Zambotti and Leon Genetti

Pietro Zambotti and Leon Genetti,
photographed in Hazleton, PA, 1908

Sometimes clues to our past find us in the most unexpected ways. I belong to a Facebook group administered by Giovanni Marchetti. “Chei da Chastelfon” posts photos, stories and history about our ancestral village of Castelfondo. I love seeing photographs of ancient family homes, San Nicolo church and Castello di Castelfondo (the 12th century castle perched on a rock outcropping just below the village). Members of the group share vintage pics from their own family albums. And once in a while, Giovanni (who follows our family blog) will post a link back to the Genetti Family Genealogy Project. 

A month ago, Giovanni posted a message for me to look in a specific file under the group’s photo albums. He thought I might find something of interest there. It took a little searching, since of course everything is in Italian. Upon finding the correct album and opening the file, I found myself staring at a collection of twenty vintage cabinet cards and postcards. (A cabinet card is a type of photographic portrait mounted on a stiff card measuring 4.5″ x 6.5″. It was popular from the 1870’s through the 1920’s.)

I immediately was drawn to one postcard – it was an early photograph of my grandfather, Leon Genetti! There was no hesitation on my part – for you see, I have my grandfather’s eyes. It’s like seeing yourself reflected in a mirror. Those eyes are obviously a genetic characteristic, since I have recognize their lilting, soft appearance in several living Genetti descendants as well as in a number of ancestor portraits. Plus – my grandfather looks just like my younger brother, James, at that same age! What a surprise – I was overwhelmed with joy!

Pietro ZambottiIn the postcard, my grandfather is standing next to a shorter gentleman with dark hair. From other photos, I recognized him too. It was Pietro (Peter) Zambotti – my grandfather’s cousin! The back of the postcard was stamped Dec. 7, 1908 and had obviously been sent to Castelfondo since it was written in Italian (with a bit of Nones). I could tell that the message was from Pietro, but I needed a little help with the translation. So I wrote Chiara Dalle Nogare, one of our Italian cousins who lives in Trento. Chiara and I are 4th cousins, we share 3rd great-grandparents, Antonio Genetti and Veronica Panizza.

Chiara got back to me right away with a translation. Here’s what Pietro Zambotti wrote to his relatives back home in Castelfondo many, many Christmases ago:

“Many greetings from your godson; together with my cousin I want to wish you merry Christmas and a happy new year. I am well and so I hope are you and all of your family. Your godson Pietro Zambotti” (someone else wrote next to this: the shorter) and then on the left: Leo Daminano (the taller)

According to Pietro’s baptismal record, his godparents were: Pietro Dallachiesa and Barbara Zambotti. So the postcard must have belonged to one of these people. My curiosity was aroused! Was I related to any of the other images staring back at me from this group of century-old cabinet cards? Where did they come from and who had cherished this collection of memories for so many years?

Ecstatic, I wrote back to Giovanni, asking for his help in identifing more of the cards. His answer surprised me. Giovanni, also a lover of history and genealogy, had found the grouping on eBay! He recognized the names on several of the cards (many are not identified) and bid on the lot. Unfortunately, Giovanni could not identify any of the photos other than those that were obviously labeled. He had placed them online in the group photo album, with the hope that others might recognize their relatives and a name could be added to a face.

So it seems the history of the postcard goes like this: My grandfather at age 21 and his cousin (age 27) had a picture postcard photographed at a studio in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The card was sent to Castelfondo, Austria in 1908 to one of Pietro’s godparents. At some point this godparent died and the photo was passed down to someone else. Ultimately the grouping was offered for sale on eBay, probably by someone who had no family connection to the photos (because who would sell such cherished family memories!). A caring soul, Giovanni Marchetti, rescued them from oblivion, bringing them back home to Castelfondo. What a story!

And there’s more! So far I’ve identified three additional cards and will tell their story in a future blog post.

Our thanks and appreciation to Giovanni Marchetti and the group at Chei da Chastelfon! Your American cousins are eternally grateful! Mille grazie!

 

 

Cousins!

Cousins-1

Margaret Young, Sandy Farkus, Stephen Farkus, Arthur Young. About 1949, Hazleton Heights, PA.
Photo by Joseph E. Genetti.

This has been an amazing month! So many cousin connections made during April and May, that my heart is overflowing with joy! The branches of the Genetti family tree extend in many directions, resulting in thousands of descendants – therefore, thousands of cousins! Today’s blog post is dedicated to all of my newly found cousins.

Most emails I receive are from 3rd or 4th cousins, and sometimes, even more distant family members. But this past month I was thrilled to have several first cousins locate me through our website. Sandra Farkus Eshelman is my first cousin through my Aunt Catherine Genetti Farkus. Sandy sent a message to me via the Genetti website. I cried tears of happiness when I saw that email. As one of my first babysitters, I have fond memories of Sandy from my childhood, but we had been out of touch for over 50 years! Since she reached out to me a month ago, we have been sharing photos, memories and are now connected on Facebook.

Siblings-2

Rita Genetti Young (1915-1998), Leon Genetti Jr. (living), Catherine Genetti Farkus (1917-2001) – siblings. Photographed at the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Catherine and Stephen Farkus – 1992, Reading, PA.
Photo by Sandra Farkus Eshelman.

It only took a few days for another first cousin, Margaret Young Lychock, to find me through Sandy’s friend list on Facebook. Margaret (and her twin brother Arthur) are my first cousins through their mother Rita Genetti Young, (my father’s sister). Margaret and I spent an hour on the phone catching up. I was over-the-moon happy that we once again had a cousin connection. Plus Margaret’s daughter, Lisa Ann (who is only a few years younger than me) is now also part of my cousin circle. Lisa Ann is my first cousin, once removed. We all share the common ancestors of Leon Genetti and Angeline Marchetti (the grandparents of Margaret, Arthur, Sandy and I; the great-grandparents of Lisa Ann).

The vintage photo pictured above is of three cousins (Margaret, Sandy and Arthur) walking with Sandy’s father, Stephen Farkus on Easter morning (probably 1949) in front of one of the first Genetti markets. Originally managed by my grandfather Leon Genetti, the market was later run by Steve Kashi (Leon’s son-in-law who was married to his daughter Adeline Genetti). The store was a small, neighborhood grocery attached to my grandparents’ home, located in Hazleton Heights, across the street from St. Gabriel’s Cemetery. I remember visiting the store as a small child. Instead of candy, my Uncle Kashi always gave me a tube of toothpaste from the grocery shelf. What funny things stick in our memories! Check out the wonderful old cars parked at the curb in this photo!

Hello to Chandra Genetti Chitswara, the granddaughter of Leon Genetti, Junior. Chandra’s great-grandparents were also my grandparents. That makes us first cousins, once removed. Chandra wrote to inquire about a Descendants Report. This is a statistical data file generated through my Family Tree Maker software. The Report details five generations of descendants (names, stats, etc.). I ran the report for her using Cosma Damiano Genetti as the starting point, Chandra’s 2nd great-grandfather and my great-grandfather. Imagine our surprise when the software spit out a 24-page PDF of our shared family descendants!

A shout out to Robert Genetti, Ken Genetti, Cathy Genetti Reinhard, Jim Genetti and Marilee Genetti Yerkovich. All are descendants of the Wyoming Genetti branch of our tree. All wrote me recently – and all are closely related to each other, having the common ancestors of Angelo Genetti and Teresa Annunziata Marchetti. The Wyoming Genetti Family is also related twice to the Pennsylvania Genetti Family – through two separate branches of the tree! And they are related twice to a branch of the Genetti family who settled in Michigan – distantly through the Genetti tree and a second time much closer through the Marchetti family. Matter-of-fact, the four Wyoming brothers (see previous blog post) were first cousins, (related through their Marchetti mothers who were sisters), to Pietro Genetti who settled in Ironwood, Michigan. Make sure you attend the Genetti Reunion in October, when I explain more about cousin inter-relations between branches of our tree. I guarantee you’ll find it fascinating!

Hello to Carol Genetti of Colorado! Carol’s grandfather, Enrico Genetti, also immigrated to Ironwood, Michigan. He was a third cousin to Pietro Genetti, mentioned in the paragraph above. Carol’s branch is noted on the original Genetti family tree, however a bit more research is required on my part before I can enter her ancestors into our current online tree. Hopefully I will get to this soon!

ErminiaOlder

Erminia Enrica Genetti Recla (1876-1972)

And finally, hugs go out to Linda Pettis Sullivan, a descendant of Erminia Genetti (1876-1972) and Emmanuel Recla (1866-1939), who are Linda’s great-grandparents. Last month I was browsing through my DNA matches on Ancestry.com. I notice that Ancestry’s software had matched Linda and I through our shared 2nd great-grandparents, Leone and Cattarina Genetti. We were 3rd cousins! I sent off a message ASAP, introducing myself and sharing the web address for The Genetti Family Genealogy Project. Linda wrote back immediately, confirming that yes we were cousins and that I had already contacted her sister Mary Pettis Russell (whose DNA I had also matched earlier on Ancestry.com). What a small, small world we live in!

Thank you to all Genetti cousins for enriching our shared ancestry experience! I hope to meet many of you at the family reunion in October.

 

Herman’s Howlings

HermanAngeloGenetti

Herman Angelo Genetti
1922-2007

I am thrilled to announce another family memoir has been added to our website! “Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming” was written some time in the 1990’s by Herman Genetti (1922-2007), son of Ermenegildo (Herman/Joe) Genetti (1893-1967) and grandson of Angelo Genetti (1859-1946) of Castelfondo, Tyrol. If you remember my last blog post, Ermenegildo was one of the four Genetti brothers who settled in the wilds of Wyoming.

His son, Herman Angelo Genetti, was a born storyteller, as evidenced by his memoir filled with personal remembrances and “folkisms”. While reading this treasure-trove of family stories, I fell in love with Herman and his witty sayings. His plain, honest words allow us to reach back in time to the rough and tumble prairie life of the 1900’s. Important family details, times and places are incorporated within Herman’s tales of LaBarge, Wyoming and beyond.

Written as a gift to his family and dedicated to his wife, Imogene, “Herman’s Howlings” is a self-published spiral bound book, printed in an edition of 200. Distributed to family members, the book was almost unheard of outside of the Wyoming Genetti family. A few years ago, I stumbled upon an obscure reference for “Herman’s Howlings” in a library index. Intrigued, I searched further. Perhaps it had been digitized, I thought, and could be downloaded. After more Googling, it became obvious – finding this book would be like finding the fabled needle in a Wyoming haystack. Near to impossible! So I made a note in my files and hoped that a copy would one day arrive at my door.

Herman's Howlings

Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming

In September of 2014, I spent six weeks in Northern Italy. Of course, I once again visited our family ancestral village of Castelfondo. Over the years I’ve made several friends in the Val di Non, one being Marco Romano, a researcher, historian and film maker of the Trentino culture. As we were enjoying lunch at a quaint country inn located in the village of Tret, Marco handed me a package. I opened it  – and you guessed it – there was the elusive “Herman’s Howlings” sitting in my lap! Marco explained the book had been given to him by a member of the Genetti family, but he wasn’t sure of its exact origin. Because of my genealogy research, he thought it would be a good resource of Genetti history. Amazed by this unexpected gift, I thanked Marco and pledged that one day I would digitize Herman’s book and make it available to all family on our website.

Somehow I squeezed that thick, heavy book into my luggage and toted it all the way home to New Mexico. Unbelievably, I had to travel to Castelfondo, Italy to find a family book written in Wyoming! And that’s how I came into possession of “Herman’s Howlings”!

I have digitally scanned the exact copy of the book handed to me by Marco Romano. All handwritten notes, fuzzy photos and extra text have been left intact, as this offers a better glimpse into the author’s life. I know you’ll be as enchanted as I was with Herman’s wit and storytelling prowess.

You’ll find “Herman’s Howlings” under our website Gallery Section, Books by Members of the Genetti Family. When you click on the book link, it will open as a PDF file. You can either read it online or save the book to your computer.

Now to leave you with a closing thought from Herman:

“I never went through a publisher. I did it step by step like a blind dog in a meat house. I enjoyed it.” ~ Herman Genetti

 

The Wyoming Genetti Family

AngeloGenetti

Angelo Genetti
1859-1946

I’ve spent the past month in the “zone”. That’s what happens when you’re deep in research, attempting to find pieces of your genealogy puzzle.

The Genetti Family tree is huge with many branches and multitudes of records to dig through. I love diving into century-old ledgers to tease out the truth! But to focus my concentration and patience on the task of research, I must block out everything else.

It takes weeks to complete an entire line, and so it was with the Wyoming Genetti Family. This branch has many descendants now living in California, Utah, Texas, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming and possibly still in Castelfondo, Italy. For over a year, I have attempted to tackle the extensive research required for this family, but always got sidelined with one thing or another. Last month I put my nose to the grindstone (or “mola” as it is known in Italian) and went at it nonstop.

FrankGenetti

Frank Genetti
1884-1974

The results: 102 new ancestor names with birth, marriage and death dates, 23 photos and 8 new generations added to the Genetti Family Online Tree! And I still have the current generations to document, plus two side branches to research before the Wyoming line is complete. Want to find the beginning of this family branch on our online tree? Search for Andrea Genetti 1597 – 1660 and follow his male descendants forward in time.

Angelo Genetti (1859-1946) was the patriarch of the modern Wyoming family. He was the first to travel to America in 1887, finding work in the coal mines of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Angelo stayed for five years, earning much needed money for his family back home. In 1892, he returned to Castelfondo, Tyrol. Between 1880 and 1899, Angelo and his wife,Teresa Annunziata Marchetti, had four sons and four daughters.

EnricoGenetti

Enrico Genetti
1886-1941

As they grew into adults, Angelo encouraged his sons: Francesco (Frank), Enrico, Ermenegildo (Herman or Joe) and Dominico (Dominic), to seek their fortunes in America. The brothers began life as immigrants in hard-scrabble Rock Springs, living in a close-knit community of Tyroleans from the Val di Non. Soon all the brothers became United States citizens, married and began raising families on the dusty prairies of the American west.

Angelo, his wife, Teresa, and their four daughters: Maria Domenica, Anna Maria, Maria Virginia and Annunziata – all remained in Castelfondo. The girls married and had families of their own. And so Angelo’s family was split between America and Tyrol.

HermanGenetti

Herman Genetti
1893-1967

Eventually the children and grandchildren of the four brothers moved to other destinations in the United States. Today you’ll find their descendants living in such cities as Salt Lake City, Sonoma and Boise.

A big THANK YOU to Alexandra Genetti! An avid genealogist, Alexandra is married to Ken Genetti, the grandson of Enrico Genetti. I met Alexandra a number of years ago through Ancestry.com when I stumbled upon her Genetti family tree. We were soon corresponding and collaborating as “genealogy geeks” – a befitting term coined by Alexandra. Her family research and photos have proven to be an invaluable resource. Most of the information for the last three generations of this branch came from Alexandra and Ken. Many thanks to you both!

DominicGenetti

Dominic Genetti
1895-1966

FYI – Ken and I are related twice through the Genetti family: as 4th cousins, once removed and as 9th cousins, twice removed (I also think we are distantly related through the Marchetti family!). But wait – this is a story for another blog post!

As I continue to add living descendants to the Wyoming Genetti branch, I hope more cousins from this large family will email me with their own family stats. Are you a descendant of Frank, Enrico, Herman or Dominic and would like your family’s info to be included in the Genetti archive? Click on our Contact Page and send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Take a look at our Photograph Page – I’ve added portraits of Angelo, Teresa and their four sons to the photo archive. For more descendant portraits, check out this family in the online Genetti tree (search for Angelo Genetti). There you’ll find many portraits attached to individual descendant listings.

Watch for future posts about the Wyoming Genetti family – I have a number of interesting stories yet to share!

 

Books by the Family

Constante Stanley Genetti

Stanley V. Genetti
1899-1988

I have just added a new page to our Gallery section: Books by Members of the Genetti Family. This important project has been on the back-burner for at least a year and now I am finally devoting time to making it happen.

We have two family members (that I know of) who have penned memoirs: Stanley Genetti (Pennsylvania) and Herman Genetti (Wyoming). Copies of both books have been forwarded to me through different channels. They were obviously written with a great deal of love and with the intention of sharing family history. Until now, both autobiographies existed only as paper copies in the possession of a few relatives. As personal legacies offering an account of life during a bygone era, I feel the narratives are an important part of our shared ancestry. In making them available on this website, I hope others will find great joy and comfort in the stories they tell. Perhaps the bios will inspire others to write their own account of life within the Genetti clan.

I am pleased to announce that The Autobiography of Stanley Genetti is now available on our website and can be download as a PDF file. This entertaining bio is a true treasure – I have read it several times and always find a new revelation with each reading. As with most memoirs, Stanley wrote this account from memory, including family stories and lore passed down from his elders, as well as autobiographical information about life as a businessman. I appreciated Stanley’s perspective of the Genetti businesses and the role he played within the family hierarchy. Since my grandfather, Leon Genetti, was Stanley’s older brother and one of his business partners, the memoir provides a peek into my own family dynamics.

StoreHeights-2

Genetti Store – Hazleton Heights, PA – 1921

Stanley self-published his book in 1981, distributing it to cousins, children and friends. As with any memoir, it’s always a good idea to check against genealogy records before using generational information as fact. At the time Stanley compiled his memories, there was no internet or the ability to fact-check against baptismal and death records. Written at the age of 82 and with both of his parents, (Damiano and Oliva) long gone, it would have been difficult to accurately record specifics about his parents’ siblings. Unfortunately several details about his aunts and uncles are not consistent with Castelfondo church records (the corrected information can be found on the Genetti online family tree). But hey – I hope I can look back on my life at 82 and remember so much! Kudos to you Stanley – your gift of memories will be treasured by future generations as a source of pride, recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our ancestors.

I hope you enjoy and share the legacy of story that Stanley left for us. Many thanks to his family who made this book available to me.

I am currently working on a digitize version of Herman Genetti’s book – Herman’s Howlings, and hope to have it online soon. If there are other family journals, collections of letters or biographies out there, gathering dust while stashed in a forgotten shoe box, please consider sharing these pearls of wisdom with us. If they are only available in paper form, mail me a Xeroxed copy. I will gladly spend the time to digitize it into a PDF format and post it on our website.

Thank you once again to all of our contributors. Through your efforts, we are building a genealogical endowment for future generations.

I invite you to take a few moments and visit our ever-growing Gallery Section!