Category: Pennsylvania

Memories from the 1930’s

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

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

Louise and Judy chatting about their Hazleton families

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

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

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

From the Hazleton Plain Speaker,
July 1934

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

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

 

From the Standard Sentinel
June 9, 1934

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Photo Gallery!

Vigilio and Maria Genetti

Vigilio and Maria Genetti of Illinois, 1886

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leone Genetti

Leone Genetti, Castelfondo, 1871

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

The Passing of Leon A. Genetti Jr.

Leon Genetti with his great-granddaughters at Genetti Family Reunion, 2016

With much sadness, I bring you the news that my uncle, Leon A. Genetti Jr. of Hazleton, PA passed away suddenly on Monday, December 18th while at home. He was 89 years old, just two months shy of his 90th birthday. Leon was the son of Leon and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti, and the grandson of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti.

Obituary:

Standard Speaker, Hazleton, Pennsylvania – December 21, 2017

Leon A. Genetti, 89, of Hazle Twp. passed away Tuesday [note: actual death date was Monday, December 18, 2017] at his home.

Born in Hazleton, he was the son of the late Leon A. and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti and was a member of Queen of Heaven Parish at Our Lady of Grace Church, Hazleton.

Leon was affiliated with the Genetti supermarket chain and owned a local trucking company for that firm. He later owned Hazleton Engine and Brake Co. and operated it with his two sons, Leon and David.

He was an avid fisherman, had his private pilot’s license and had a love for flying.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife, the former Marie Passarelli, in 2014; brothers, Joseph and John Genetti; and sisters, Catherine Farkus, Rita Young and Adeline Kashi [note: another sister, Joyce, passed away in 1934].

Surviving are his sons, Leon J. and his wife, Diane, Hazle Twp.; David P., Wake Forest, N.C.; and Michael A., Drums; grandchildren, Leon Scott, Ross, Jillian, Lori and Chandra; great-grandchildren, Kaylee Grace and Kelsey Rose; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His funeral will be held Saturday [December 23, 2017] at 9 a.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in Queen of Heaven Parish at Our Lady of Grace Church.His funeral will be held Saturday [December 23, 2017] at 9 a.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Burial will be in Our Lady of Grace Cemetery.

Friends may call Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hazleton Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 481, Hazleton, PA 18201, or to the Hazle Twp. Fire and Rescue Department, P.O. Box 499, Harleigh, PA 18225.

Condolences may be sent through http://www.moranfuneralhome.com

[webpage for condolences: click here]

Webmaster Note: Visit Leon’s Tribute page on the Genetti Family Genealogy Project website: https://genettifamily.com/leon-a-genetti-jr/

If the family would like to contribute addition photos to our Tribute page, please send them to: info.genetti.family@gmail.com. 

The Passing of Edward F. Genetti

Edward F. Genetti, 81, of Sugarload Twp. passed away November 12, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Stanley and Eleanor (Rauzi) Genetti and was a member of St. John Bosco Church, Sugarloaf Twp.

Ed started his career by becoming a busboy in the family-owned Tyrolean Room. He also worked on the family fox and mink farm and then in the Genetti supermarkets.

Ed graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, where he served in his senior year as president of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

In 1961, he was called into the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis.

After his return, he developed Townview Estates in Hazleton, and in 1965, with his brother, Richard, he built and operated Pantry Quiks, the first convenient store chain in the area. In 1967, he built the Church Hill Mall in nine months. Ed also owned several AM and FM radio stations and started Panorama Magazine in 1981. At his death, he served as the chairman of the board of Genetti-owned enterprises and companies.

He was active in several civic organizations, having chaired the United Way Campaign in 1968. In 1978, while participating in the Action for the Eighties, he helped develop the project for the building of the senior community center in downtown Hazleton.

Ed had many interests, including importing Hanoverian horses from Germany and racing cars on the east coast. In his later years, he loved traveling, reading and history, especially the study of World War II.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his first wife, the former Rosemary Gaudiano, in 2001, and his brother, Richard Genetti, in 1983.

Surviving are his wife, the former Edwina Roland Ustynoski; sons, Timothy Genetti and his wife, Michelle, Sugarload Twy.; and Alan Genetti and his wife, Dana, Sugarloaf Twp.; grandchildren, Stephen, Douglas, Alexandra and Ava Genetti; sister, Beverly Perry, Virginia; five stepchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. John Bosco Church.

Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Drums.

The family will receive friends Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton.

 

Updates to our Tree

MaryHarryPettis

Mary Louise Recla (daughter of Erminia Genetti and Emanuel Recla) with husband Harry Pettis – early 1920’s.

Thank you to all of the cousins who have provided new information for our family tree. Your help has been invaluable in growing our Genetti Archive.

As a family genealogist, I research our deceased ancestors who usually leave a pretty good paper trail for us to follow. But it’s much more difficult gathering info on living family members and keeping our tree up-to-date. I rely on all of you to send me names, birth dates, marriages, spouses and children of current generations.

During the past two weeks, I have completed three branches of the Genetti family tree. First is the family of Mary Pettis Russell. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Erminia Genetti and Emanuel Recla, who settled in Spokane, Washington, and the granddaughter of Mary Recla and Harry Pettis. We met Mary’s sister, Linda and her daughter at our recent family reunion. With Mary’s info, ten new family members have been added to the Genetti/Recla/Pettis branch.

 

vigilio

William Vigilio Genetti (1852-1932)

Our second family are descendants of Virgil Genetti and his second wife, Margaret Mueller, from the Illinois clan. Tom Genetti and his sisters, Genelle and Sharon, are the children of Virgil’s youngest child Vernon. With their help, we have added twenty-one new descendants to the Illinois Genetti branch.

Our third family line is that of Jeanne Genetti Murphy. Jeanne’s parents Faustino Genetti and Matilda Turri immigrated to Pennsylvania. Jeanne is ninety-two years old and a first generation American. I was able to research and add many new ancestors from Jeanne’s father’s generation in Castelfondo, as well as American cousins and the family’s current generation. This update gave us twenty-nine additional family members on our tree.

 

 

jeannemurphy

Jeanne Genetti Murphy – 1940’s.

All total, sixty new Genetti descendants are now a part of our offline and online family trees!

You can access the online Genetti Family tree at: http://genettifamily.tribalpages.com/. (For privacy reasons, personal information for living family members is hidden on this tree.) This page is a great place to start your own genealogy research on our extensive family.

Our offline tree contains all information (such as birth dates and places, spouses, children, etc) on living and diseased descendants. This data base forms the basis of our Genetti Archive. I am happy to provide a 5-generation Descendant Report free of charge to any family member for a specific branch of their family. Simply send me a request through our Contact page and I will email you the report. (Note: Descendant Reports are NOT available to anyone outside of the family. If I have a question about the authenticity of a request, I will not issue the report.)

We still have many branches of our tree to update – both from the United States and Italy. So if your immediate family is missing from our tree, take a few minutes and email me. If you can provide me with information on your living family, I will do my best to research your ancestral line. Together we can grow the Genetti Family tree one twig at a time!

 

Reunion Photos and more!

Reunion 2016

Reunion 2016 – please click for a larger view

Thank you to all who made the journey last week to Hazleton! We had a packed house with a total of 152 attendees at the Saturday evening banquet. I hope you had as much fun as I did – meeting new cousins and sharing stories with lots of hugs to go around. I will certainly remember this reunion with fond memories.

Make sure you visit the Reunion page on our website: https://genettifamily.com/reunion-news/. It has been updated with photos from our family weekend. Want to share your own reunion pics? Please email photos with captions to: info.genetti.family@gmail.com. Let’s share our reunion with cousins throughout the world by adding lots of fun candid photographs to this page. Our special thanks to Patricia Genetti (who did all of our table photos), Diane Genetti (who organized our group photo) and Valeria Genetti Bozek (who photographed candid pics of the Saturday presentations). Your contributions allowed us to have photographs online by Saturday evening!

Thanks to Patricia Genetti, we now have a Facebook public group page where our reunion photos were quickly posted. If you are a member of Facebook, click here to go to the “Genetti Family” public group page – and join! As of today, the page has 92 members.

If you missed our Saturday evening program, “The Genetti Family of Castelfondo: Our Journey to America” we have good news! Bill Genetti had the presentation professionally videotaped and it will soon be produced for sale as a DVD. This presentation will make a fantastic Christmas gift for family members or a historic memento to pass down to future generations.

To order, please send a check for $15 (includes shipping) to:

Bill Genetti (address your check to Bill Genetti)
1345 N. Church St.
Hazle Township, PA 18202

Due to the cost, only a limited number of DVDs are being produced. So don’t delay, order your reunion presentation DVD today!

Genetti Family Tree

Family Tree

And one final note, if you are interested in purchasing a Genetti Family Tree Print, a print of our Coat-of-Arms or a beautiful printed chiffon scarf (one of our many reunion door prizes) you’re in luck. The company that provides our fine art prints (Redbubble) is offering us a one day sale of 20% off on all items through the Redbubble store. This offer is for the Genetti family only (not for the general public)! Hurry – the offer is only valid on Monday, October 17th!!!

Please use the unique coupon code of:
twentyoff-GenettiFamily when checking out. You must place your order by midnight, October 17th to receive the 20% discount.

Here is the Redbubble link to our family page where you will find all of our fine art print products: http://www.redbubble.com/people/genettifamily

You can also find Redbubble Fine Art prints at:
Genetti Family Shop page: https://genettifamily.com/shop-2/

Once again, many thanks to everyone who attended and participated in Reunion weekend!

New Family Memory Page

raffaeleluciaolder

Raffaele Genetti and Lucia (Zambotti) Genetti – photograph of Nono and Nona. Probably photographed in the mid-1940’s.

During the past month, I have been working with Helene Smith Prehatny to create a Family Memory page about her beloved Nono and Nona, Raffaele and Lucia Genetti. The result is a beautiful memoir from Helene’s childhood, recalling loving moments with her grandparents who lived in Weston, Pennsylvania.

Raffaele was Helene’s buddy and mentor, always encouraging his young granddaughter to respect herself and believe “there are no limits in what you can accomplish”. Digging into her collection of photographs, Helene included family portraits that walk us through the years from the late 1890’s to the mid-1940’s. Her well thought-out piece is a moving tribute to her family. And her memoir has now become a treasured part of the Genetti family archive.

Thank you Helene! Your contribution to our Family Story page is so very appreciated!

Click here to read “Family Memories by Helene Smith Prehatny”.

All of Helene’s photographs have also been added to the Photograph Page of our Gallery Section (a total of nine new photos!). Make sure to visit this popular page to browse cherished memories of our ancestors.

Do you have special memories that you would like to preserve for future generations? A Family Memory Page is the perfect venue to express your thoughts and thanks to our ancestors. Feel free to email me with your ideas and we’ll work on your Family Memory Page together. Click here to go to our website contact 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!

Reunion Photos

1987small

Genetti Family Reunion – 1987 – Hazleton, PA
First Row Seated, L to R: Gus Genetti, Esther Bott Clark, Jean Branz Daly, Catherine Branz LaPorte, Betty Zambotti Reich, Aunt Ann Genetti NcNelis, Leo Zambotti, Catherine Genetti Farkus, Rita Genetti Young, Agnes Bott York, Marianne Genetti, Bill Genetti. 1st Row Standing, L to R: Val Genetti, Gus Genetti III, Joseph LaPorte, Louis Reich, Erma Zambotti, Steve Farkus, Elaine White Young, unknown, unknown, Pat Genetti.

Thanks to Jean Branz Daly, we have just added a few more reunion group photos to our Reunion News page. Take a stroll down memory lane and see what the Genetti family looked like in years past. Click here then scroll to the bottom of the page to see reunions from 1983, 1987, 1992, 1994 and 1995. Jean even provided most of the names for the 1987 photo.

Alas, many of our old-timers are no longer with us. Some who were pictured in the early reunions, were born in Castelfondo, Tyrol (Stanley Genetti, Ann Genetti McNelis). We owe them a debt of gratitude as the first immigrants of our family. They came to Pennsylvania as children, forging a life for future generations. Their children were the first generation to be born in America. Many of our 1st generation family members are also pictured throughout the years (Jean Branz Daly, Catherine Branz LaPorte, Gus Genetti, Bill Genetti, Marianne Genetti, Betty Zambotti Reich).

Can you help identify others in our reunion photos? I know some, but not all. It would be a great gift to the family if we can positively identify each person in all of these photos. If you can help or you were in any of these photos, write me at info.genetti.family@gmail.com with your photo names, reunion year and position in the photo.

Many thanks to Jean Branz Daly (the granddaughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti). Jean has been a frequent contributor to our family website and we are sincerely grateful! Grazie mille Jean!

Hey – have you sent in your Reunion Reservation yet? Only one week to go before the reservation deadline of September 1st! Don’t miss out on this special event – meet new cousins, hug old cousins, two special presentations, great food and loads of door prizes! It will be a memorable weekend for all, celebrating our Genetti Family heritage!

Check the links below for Reunion info:

Reunion News!

Reunion Reservation Form

Afternoon Workshop: The Basics of DNA Testing

Evening Presentation: The Genetti Family of Castelfondo: Our Journey to America

Reunion Prizes!

Reunion Sponsors