Tag: genealogy

What’s In a Name

Damiano-2

Cosma Damiano Genetti
Born: 26 Sept 1857
Died: 3 Dec 1944

Have you ever wondered where your name came from? Often when researching family genealogy, a namesake from an earlier generation will become apparent. For example: a son named after a grandfather or a daughter named after a favorite aunt. On the Genetti Family tree, sons are often named after fathers, grandfathers or an uncle. Each branch of our tree also has certain names that are passed down from generation to generation, identifying that particular family line. For example, you see the prevalence of Giovanni Battista, Pietro and Francesco in my branch of the tree. Another branch shows many Giorgio and Pietro ancestors. A third section of the tree has numerous Francesco Nicolo and Giovanni Battista.

When I began researching my great-grandfather and his siblings, I found the names in his family to be poetic and a bit different from others in that generation. A few children were named after family members, but others had their own unique character. My “bisnonno” (great-grandfather) was Cosma Damiano – certainly an unusual name! Other siblings included: Sisinio Alessandro, Angela Maddalena, Angelo Rafaele, Agostino Leone, Dionisio Antonio and Erminia Enrica. All lovely, expressive monikers.

But it was “Cosma Damiano” that I was fascinated by. There were no other men on the family tree with this name. Why had Catterina (my twice great-grandmother) baptized her second son with this odd name? With no clues to go by from the tree, I decided to do a web search. Perhaps he was named after a famous person or his “nome” had some other importance.

StCosmaDamiano

Twin physician brothers,
Saints Cosma and Damiano.

The answer came immediately from Wikipedia. “Santi Cosma e Damiano” or Saints Cosma and Damiano, were early Christian martyrs who died in the 3rd century. Twin brothers, they were considered to be two of the earliest physicians. They practiced their profession of healing, refusing to take any payment for their services. OK, this was interesting, but why had Catterina chosen this name for her son? Reading on, I found the clue. The feast day of Saints Cosma and Damiano was September 27. My bisnonno had been born on September 26, 1857 and baptized the next day on September 27th. His mother must have considered her baby’s birth to have an important synchronicity with this feast day. Although I have no proof to go by other than an educated guess, I believe this reasoning to be a fairly good conclusion of why the baby was named “Cosma Damiano”.

Two other interesting points to note:

– The Catholic church decided to move the feast day in 1969 from September 27th to September 26th, which coincidentally now coincides with Damiano Genetti’s birth date!

– Damiano Genetti, like his namesakes, was also considered a physician by the Tyrolean people of Castelfondo, Italy and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He was well-versed in herbal medicine and several other curative methods. And, like Saints Cosma and Damiano, he took no payment from anyone who sought his services. This information was related to me many times by Damiano’s grandchildren and by several people in Castelfondo. It was also documented in a book by Marco Romano, comprised of interviews by village elders. Damiano and his healing abilities were mentioned many times by those who knew and remembered him.

If Catterina’s intention was to name her son after the two physician saints, it seems to have had a prophetic effect on Damiano’s life.

 

Read more about Saints Cosma and Damiano:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santi_Cosma_e_Damiano 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saints_Cosmas_and_Damian 

Each of our relationships has a trajectory that death doesn’t destroy. We see its arc in the inner changes we undergo when we remember deceased loved ones, and even in outward changes as we continue to mold our lives in response to theirs.

~ Patricia Campbell Carlson

Continuing Research on Family Tree

Original Genetti Family TreeMost of you know that the Genetti Family Tree is large and extensive. Beginning in the 1400’s, it separates into two branches around 1590, and again divides into four main branches by 1680. The tree follows male ancestors only. Each name contains a birth year along with their spouse and marriage date. Death dates are not included. After the late 1700’s, a population boom is evident as the tree now blossoms out into many branches.

Several years ago, when I began my genealogy research, I concentrated on my particular family line. This involved tracing the original baptismal, marriage and death records for each male ancestor, along with online searches through data bases and other family trees. As I found new information such as death dates, spousal birth and death dates, daughters and missing male children not included on the tree, I added this info to my file. After many, many hours of research I was able to identify and document 13 generations up to my grandfather, along with all of the children born to each ancestor, including birth, marriage and death dates. This information, along with vital stats on spousal families such as the Marchetti and Zambotti families, makes up the online family tree data base found on this website.

Now comes the real challenge – researching the rest of the tree! Between blog posts and adding new photos and stories to the website, I continue to research separate individual branches of the Genetti tree. So far I have added one new line for the Genetti family who emigrated and settled in Illinois. I am currently working on a branch of the family who remained in Castelfondo and another branch whose descendants are in California and Wyoming. But it does take time, so be patient. I have a goal to completely document every Genetti ancestor from Castelfondo and attempt to locate their descendants’ country and state of emigration.

If you would like to help with my research, please email me any information you have about your ancestral line. I will use this information to search church records and accurately document the ancestors before adding them to the online tree.

A special thanks to Chiara Dalle Nogare’s mother, Maria Genetti (one of the four Genetti sisters of Castelfondo), who I have recently learned, commissioned the beautiful family tree pictured above. I consult this tree every time I sit down at the computer for an afternoon of research. It has been an invaluable tool in tracing the Genetti genealogy.

 

Featured on GeneaBloggers

The Genetti Family Genealogy Project was featured today on the GeneaBloggers’  website: New Genealogy Blogs 23 August 2014. Click here to see the post!

GeneaBloggers is described as “the ultimate site for your genealogy blog”. The site has a huge index of family genealogy blogs and also offers resources for bloggers. It’s a great way to get the word out about our website.

And speaking about getting the word out, you can help the The Genetti Family Genealogy Project grow by emailing the website address and FaceBook page to other family members. The goal of our project is to share our family history and culture, and connect with Genetti descendants throughout the world. To do that we need participation! So tell one and all to visit, subscribe to our blog posts and “like” our FaceBook page. We are also looking for family photos, stories and recipes to post on the website. Mille Grazie!

Website URL: www.genettifamily.com

FaceBook page: www.facebook.com/genettifamilygenealogy  

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Why am I a genealogist?

Family1916

The family of Raffaele and Lucia Genetti,
circa 1916.

Many people find my hobby of family genealogy interesting – but exceedingly tedious when they learn how much research is required to accurately compile all of those names and dates. Often they ask “Why do you spend so much time digging into the past?”.

So here are a few musings as to why I am a family genealogist.

Whenever I pass by an abandoned home, usually sitting isolated and alone on an old farm or open prairie, I wonder who once lived there. What memories were created in this house with peeling wallpaper and shutters hanging askew? Why did they leave?

Or who are the long-gone people in period dress peering out from a sepia photograph that I found at the flea market? And who once cherished this memento, but now they are gone too.

Like the vacant home or the family portrait, people are also forgotten. It only takes three or four generations before an ancestor passes from living memory. And truly the only thing that is left after we pass is our memory. As a genealogist, I try to capture and preserve the memories of those who came before me. My charts and trees, names and dates are to honor the ancestors in an attempt to keep their memory alive. In some small way, I hope someone in the future will do the same for me. We all want to believe that our life counted for something, that it had purpose and enriched those we came in contact with. I believe every ancestor created a stepping-stone for the next generation. Their knowledge, courage and life choices made each of us who we are today. Shouldn’t we in the very least remember their names?

The pursuit of genealogy is an awe-inspiring calling and one that I don’t take lightly. The Genetti clan was very fortunate – many relatives throughout the centuries took up the task of recording our ancestry. I am just one in a long line of family historians preserving the memory of past ancestors by compiling a family tree generation by generation. For in remembering and sharing a family’s genealogy, you join the lives of the past with those living today and those to come in the future.