Category: Tyrolean History

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 16

Page 20 and Page 21 (click to enlarge)

Here is another interesting moral tale involving three animals. We don’t know if this is an original story written by Tillie or her sister Dora. It may have also been just a school assignment in the practice of copying text provided by the teacher. I enjoyed the ending of this story very much and I think you will too!

Also – the “chamois” mentioned in this translation is a type of mountain goat, similar to an antelope, native to alpine regions.

Translation: Page 20, left side and top of Page 21, right side

Chamois

The Hare and the Chamois

The times were difficult and famine and illness were hitting the animals of the wood. There was a skinny and ill hare and a tired deer lying exhausted by famine and pains. You can imagine the miserable things happening inside the animals’ lairs.

A very sensitive hare was deeply moved seeing such evils and cried day and night and prayed Heaven to end this cruel calamity.

A chamois with a less tender heart than the hare did not lose time in shedding tears for the common misfortune. It gathered a council and spoke very well about the need to solve the problem. Some animals were sent to various villages to ask for help, food and medicines. Other animals took care of the ill. The chamois watched and worked to be of advantage to the miserable and at the end he could have the joy to stop their suffering.

Girls, you must understand that when our fellow beings are unfortunate we must help them through concrete action and advice not just restricting yourself to useless compassion.

Castelfondo 19 April 1902

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Once again, we extend our thanks to Loretta Cologna for her patience in translating Tillie’s Notebook.

 

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 13

Our next two translations are moral stories possibly used as a school exercise in copying text.

Since many short stories are a part of Tillie’s 1902 Notebook, I thought this would be an appropriate post to mention the ancestral history of Tyrolean folklore and the custom of “Filò” (pronounced fee-lò).

A time of socializing, Filò was an evening gathering of family and friends around the fire to share ancestral folktales and songs. Probably Tillie and her siblings were familiar with this custom and it may have taken place in the lower level of their home where the animals were kept.

In many ancient cultures there is an oral tradition of teaching and the passing down of knowledge through the use of storytelling and song. During the evening gathering of Filò, a storyteller entertained both children and adults with narratives such as those found in Tillie’s notebook. Children learned lessons through the tales told by elders, often concluding with a moral ending. A story containing visual imagery like the translation that follows below (The Chased Fox) is more likely to be remembered and practiced later in life as the imagery embeds itself into one’s memory (along with the moral message).

Obviously Tillie kept her little school notebook throughout her entire life. Perhaps these simple stories had a lasting impact on the little girl from Castelfondo who came to a new and strange country when she was sixteen years old.

Learn more about the communal tradition of Filò by visiting Filò magazine online – click here!

Tyrolean folktales still exist today and have become part of many traditional events in Alpine villages throughout Trentino. One such celebration taking place on December 5th is Krampus Night (Krampusnacht). This event precedes the Feast of St. Nicholas celebrated on December 6th.

During this dark and terrifying evening, the pagan demon named “Krampus” roams the streets, punishing bad children who have misbehaved during the past year. Today he appears in Christmas events throughout the Alpine region as a masked hairy beast, growling and frightening children as he parades through the village.

Click here to view a scary Krampus Parade that took place just last week in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Would you like to read more Tyrolean folktales? Visit our Genetti Family Bookstore to find Tales and Legends of the Tyrol, a collection of folklore from the villages of Tyrol, transcribed by Maria Alker von Gunther. Her original book was published in 1874 and is now available as a reprint in both digital and paperback formats – click here for info (Amazon affiliate link).

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And now for our translations of Tillie’s Notebook by Loretta Cologna …

Page 14 and Page 15 (click to enlarge)

 

Translation: Page 15, right side

Punished Arrogance

A hunter had a domesticated magpie. This man had some peacock feathers on his bedroom table. One day, after he had left the bedroom window open and had gone away, the magpie came into the room, took the feathers and put them around its neck. It proudly went among its friends but did not greet them. Then the magpie went among other birds that seeing such a well-dressed bird were cheerful.

(Note: Loretta believes this is not a finished story but a study in copying text. Therefore it does not make sense since there is no “punishment” at the end of the story as is referenced in the title “Punished Arrogance”)

Page 16 and Page 17 (click to enlarge)

 

Translation: Page 16, left side and top of Page 17, right side

The Chased Fox

On a nice spring day a fox was looking for food when it realized that two hunters were following it. It quickly went near a house where there was a woodcutter and said to him: “Be charitable, hide me because the hunters want to kill me.”

The woodcutter pointed to a hole where it could hide. The two hunters came and asked the man if he had seen a fox. The woodcutter said he had not seen it but he pointed to the hole where the animal was hiding.

The hunters did not pay attention and went away.

When the hunters were far away the fox came out of her shelter and went away without thanking him. The man said: “You are ungrateful, you go away without thanking me because I saved your life.”

The fox said: “You said no with your words but you actually showed my hiding place.”

We must learn from this story!

Castelfondo, March 1902

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For More Information:

Tales from Tirol: http://oaks.nvg.org/tirin.html

Filò Magazine: http://filo.tiroles.com/filo-magazine/

Krampus (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

Krampus: The Devilish Helpers of St. Nicholas: https://www.zugspitzarena.com/en/activities/culture-tradition/krampus

Krampuslauf Klagenfurt 2019 (a scary Krampus Parade that took place November 23, 2019 in Klagenfurt, Austria): https://youtu.be/Xo6bI81J298

 

 

 

Books, books, books!

The Tyrol, reproduction of 1905 book – (paid link)

I have always been a voracious bookworm! My Amazon Kindle is never far from my reach and my office is lined with one full wall of books. These days I prefer reading eBooks as they are often less expensive and more portable than paperbacks or hardcopy books.

However I do make an exception for one category – anything about Tyrolean/Trentini culture and heritage, and all books produced by the village of Castelfondo (I have three!). During the past eleven years I have collected a small ancestry library containing original volumes (some over a hundred years old!) and reprints of titles now in the public domain. Some of my books are quite valuable and no longer available in print. Others are self-published, written by fellow American Tyroleans.

In my library I have: travel guides from the 1800’s, cookbooks created by Trentini chefs, anthologies of Tyrolean folktales and legends, and political theses discussing the historical conflict of the South Tyrol.

The Tyroleans – (paid link)

My personal Tyrolean library has been compiled from many different sources. I have purchased new and used books on Amazon; found treasured out-of-print volumes on eBay; and toted many a gifted tomb home in my suitcase after visiting the Val di Non. On some trips, I have even left clothes behind in order to accommodate in my luggage the precious books, both purchased and given to me, during my travels.

I also have many selections dealing with genealogical research and DNA testing, to assist with my ongoing research into our family history. And most recently, I have added genealogy fiction to my favorites list (purely for recreational reading, this category does not pertain to our Tyrolean ancestry.)

It is with great pleasure that I maintain our Family Bookstore on the Genetti website; and a joy sharing with you my love of history, genealogy and culture through books!

This past week I added twelve new titles to our Family Bookstore. You’ll find these listings under the following categories:

  • Tyrolean Culture and History
  • DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy
  • Genealogy Research
  • Genealogy Fiction

I must confess, my new guilty pleasure is the genre of “Genealogy Fiction”! You’ll find loads of new recommendations in this group, all of which I have read in the past year! I loved the seven book series by British author Steve Robinson. Filled with genealogy mystery (and murder), I devoured this series. Usually murder mysteries are not my thing, but throw in genealogy and historical drama – and I can’t resist. And for those interested in war history and historical fiction, I recommend the seven book series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. I couldn’t put these books down!

The Forensic Genealogist Series
Books 1, 2, 3 – (paid link)

I hope you enjoy my curated collection of books. Perhaps one or two will strike your fancy!

Or begin your Christmas shopping now by browsing our Family Bookstore for that special holiday gift.

Simply click on the link provided for each book in our Bookstore and it will take you directly to Amazon.

Visit the Genetti Family Bookstore, click here!

 

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Special Note: Amazon prices are subject to change without notice! The book prices listed in our online bookstore may be different from the online sale price (over time some books decrease in price, some books increase in price due to demand). We update information on a regular basis.

All books in our shop are provided by Amazon through their affiliate program. Your purchase from our online Bookstore helps defray the costs of this website as well as support ongoing genealogy research. Mille grazie!

 

Statement as required by my Amazon Operating Agreement: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases”

 

Speaking Nones

 

I belong to a private Facebook group called Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino. There are almost 700 people in our group, all with a shared interest in Trentini (Tyrolean) ancestry. Most members are American Trentini (from USA, and some from South American countries) and a few are Italian Trentini.

Many of the Americans have ancestors from the Val di Non and share the same surnames as our grandparents and great-grandparents. I have found a surprising number of people in this group whose ancestors are from Castelfondo and nearby villages in the valley, with some being cousins.

Today one of our members, Michael Pancheri, posted two lovely videos. Michael is fluent in Italian, English and Nones. In the videos he speaks to his mother in English and she, in turn, translates the phrases into Nones. I understand a small amount of Italian, but was completely lost listening to a native speaker of Nones! Even though my Nonno spoke Nones, I was too young to remember anything of the language.

In the videos, you occasionally hear Michael and his mother chatting in Italian between translations. My ear recognized Italian immediately and I could understand some of their in-between conversation. Allora!

I hope you enjoy this little demonstration of our ancestral tongue. Our many thanks to Michael Pancheri for his gracious generosity. Grazie molto Michael!

 

Correction: Michael just informed me that the gentleman in the video is not him, but actually a professor from the Netherlands who is studying dying languages. He was interviewing Michael and his mother about their native language of Nones.

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 4

Click to enlarge

Continuing with our translation of Ottilia Genetti Zambotti’s notebook, here is a very sweet story composed by Tillie in March of 1902, as transcribed by our friend Loretta Cologna.

(left page, continued on right page)

While Maria was walking with her father along the main street of the town one day, she watched many valuable things in the jewelers’ shop windows; so she said to her father: In some months it will be Mum’s name day and as I have saved a little treasure in my money box I can buy her a nice gift.

Dear father, as you have great taste, you can give me some advice about my choice because I want to give Mum something that she may like.

My daughter – her father said – the most precious gifts that a girl can offer her mother are not jewels but obedience, hard work and study.

Following these truths Maria started to study with a double zeal, she got a notebook and wrote all the good advice and the lessons she received at school. On the last page her teacher registered the good marks and the praises that the young girl deserved throughout the school year.

On the desired day, beaming with joy, Maria gave her mother the notebook together with a  little plant of jasmine that she had grown herself.

Do you think there is a better gift for a mother?

Castelfondo, 1 March 1902

Read past posts:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

 

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 3

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

Once again, many thanks to Loretta for her help.

Page 3:

Dear friend,

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

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

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

I am yours affectionately,

Addolorata Genetti

Castelfondo, 28 February 1902

Read past posts:

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 1

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

 

Tillie’s Notebook, Part 2

Sometimes the universe offers help when help is needed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom of page 1:

Castelfondo 24 II [February] 1902

Dear classmate, Genetti A.

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

(click on image to enlarge)

 

Page 2 (left side):

What I love

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

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

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

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

Castelfondo 28 February 1902

(click on image to enlarge)

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

 

Guest Post by Allen Rizzi: Tirolean Names

Allen Rizzi
Author and Blogger

Today we have an interesting and informative guest article by author, songwriter, genealogist and fellow Trentini American, Allen E. Rizzi. We feature two of Allen’s books in our Family Bookstore (you’ll find links for all of his books at the end of this blog post).

I follow Allen’s eclectic blog and as soon as I read this post, I knew it would be perfect for the Genetti Family Genealogy Project.

If you enjoy Allen’s insightful article, read more of Mr. Rizzi’s plethora of commentary or subscribe to his blog at: https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/

Here is Allen’s August 30th post in its entirety.

Tirolean Names by Allen Rizzi

I have always loved names, especially Tirolean surnames. Surnames were invented after first names ceased to distinguish various people in small villages and towns. Prior to the year 800, people usually only had given names in the Tirol. Hence, you find Johannes fu (or von) Dominicus to simply describe the birth of Johannes, son of Dominicus. It was a simple naming convention and it worked… for awhile.

Surnames were then used to distinguish between the various people having the same given name in any particular population center. They were often fashioned after the patriarch’s given name. Of the various Johannes living in one spot, the surname was added; perhaps Dominici to distinguish a particular Johannes who was descended from Dominicus. Surnames were always descriptive and were intended to differentiate for reasons of census and taxation.

But as populations grew, there were too many people of the same given name and same surname in any one location. Confusion once again reigned. In my native village of Cloz for example, there were many people named Giovanni Rizzi at any one time. What to do? In the Tirol, sopranomi (nicknames) were introduced.

Sopranomi were first used to distinguish people with identical names living in one population center or town. If there were too many Johannes Dominicis in one area, the sopronome helped to discern which Johannes Dominici was being named in any instance.

Sopranomi vary widely in the Tirol. Some are taken from physical characteristic, others from one’s occupation and still others from the patriarch of the family. I was, for example, born Picolo Alessandro di Eugenio Valentino Von Rizzi Regin. The last of this huge moniker is my soprnome, Regin. It derives from the fact that a very distant ancestor once worked in the court of Maria Teresa of Austria (regin = queen in our dialect) as a secretary. My grandmother’s sopranome was Segala, indicating that one of her ancestors was known for being born in a rye field. Sopranomi were mandatory for many years as populations in the Tirol grew. Both governments and local residents had to know who exactly was being referred to. Today, they are of little real importance although most families still carry them with pride as a cherished piece of their heritage. In fact in some villages, people are still known only by their sopranome rather than their surname.

But let’s turn our attention to those wonderful Tirolean surnames. Many simply mean “sons of” such as Michelini, Bertagnolli, Martinelli, Giuliani (sons of Michael, Umberto, Martin and Julian). Of all Tirolean surnames, this type is the most common. Hundreds of examples can be found, many ending in “i.” Sometimes surnames of German origin have been Italianized such as Gebardi (sons of Gebhart, which in turn means hardy and brave). Other Germanic surnames have survived intact such as Larcher (living among the larch ((tamarack)) trees), Mayrhofer (from the region of Mayrhof in Austria.) and Kirschbaumer (cherry grower).

Still other surnames are descriptive of physical characteristics such as my own surname Rizzi, which simply means “curly haired.” In my native village of Cloz in the Val di Non, there are only a few surnames: Angeli (Angels), Franch (free of taxation), Gembrini (born in December), Flor (flower), Floretta (little flower), Zanoni (sons of John), Canestrini (little jars), Rauzi (root harvesters) and of course Rizzi.

Yet other surnames describe a trade or residence location. These are commonly found in both the Italian and German rooted languages. Some examples of trade referenced surnames include Zadra (weavers), Kofler (land surveyors), Geiser (goat herders), Sartori (tailors), Mitterer (carpenters), Preti (priests), and Zucali (pumpkin growers).

Examples of residence referenced surnames include Aufderklamm (living on the gorge), Plattner (living on level fields), Egger (living on the corner), DalRi (living near the river), DallaValle (living in the valley), Dalsass (living among the stones), Dalpiaz (living in the piazza), Clauser (from Cloz) and Ausserer (living outside the edge of town).

Sometimes, surnames are super obvious. I recently saw a funeral notice for a woman whose maiden name was Carotta (carrot) and whose married name was Stanchina (a little tired). I joked that she had passed away as a “carrot who was a little tired.” Actually, the woman lived to 103 years; not bad for a tired old vegetable!

In all cases Tirolean surnames actually mean something, even if it has been lost in ancient local dialect. That’s where genealogists like me come in. Many of us are able to trace the exact origin of surnames, even if those words or names no longer exist or have been drastically changed.

Tirolean names – They are interesting and most have a very long and traceable history. If you would like your Tirolean name researched, please get in touch with me. Genealogy is what I do. You may contact me here: http://www.allenrizzi.weebly.com

About Allen Rizzi: Writer with over 55 years professional experience including non-fiction, music, and corporate analytical writing. Author of eight books available through Amazon.com. Additional expertise as a photographer. Specialties: Historical non-fiction, fiction, nostalgia, public profiles, biographies, contracts, and documentary writing in English, Italian, and German. Recent articles have appeared in The Numismatist, NOS Magazine, and on the internet. Music composition and lyrics have been a specialty since 1974. Songwriting credits include over 150 songs (1974-present): Easy Listening, Country, Rock, and R&B. Currently completing a book in German and writing music and lyrics for recording artists in the United States and Europe. Cogito, ergo scribo….

For more info, please see Allen Rizzi’s LinkedIn account at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/allen-rizzi-59ab5420/

Books by Allen Rizzi

Click on book for Amazon link:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1902 School Journal by Tillie Genetti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a excerpt from Stanley Genetti’s biography:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out links referenced in this blog post:

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

Autobiography of Stanley Genetti – written by Stanley Genetti, 1981

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

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

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

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

 

 

New Photo Gallery!

Vigilio and Maria Genetti

Vigilio and Maria Genetti of Illinois, 1886

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leone Genetti

Leone Genetti, Castelfondo, 1871

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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