Uncle Dave's book

Friday, September 18, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #39: Giuseppe Tinetti, Chef in Monte Carlo?

      When I first started researching my family tree all that was known of my Mother's Mother's Father(Giovanni Tinetti)'s family was the name of his father, Giuseppe Tinetti, and mother, Maria Pastore.  No dates or places.  There was also a family story that he was a chef for the Grimaldi Family of Monaco.  Because there was very little online on this Italian family it took me a number of years before I started to really research it. The first thing I did was order the microfilm of births, marriages and deaths of the town in which my great grandmother, Angelina Tinetti, was born.  Angelina's birth and those of her brothers and sisters were all there, along with her parents marriage, the death of Giovanni's first wife and his mother.  Several noted that  Giovanni's father was Giuseppe Tinetti.  One even went further to note that Giuseppe's father was Martini Tinetti. And they gave a place name of San Martino. Giuseppe's birth was not in this town's records. But I had a new name (Martini) and a new place (San Martino).

     My next step was to see if the Family History Library had a microfilm of the records from San Martino.  They did! So I ordered it. Before I continue let me tell you that researching the Italian records is quite challenging at first.  The Civil records which start about 1845 are in Italian which is to be expected.  But the Italians write out the dates in the records! Where we would write 1845, for instance, Italians would write "Onethousandeighthundredfortyfive" but in Italian!  So I was grateful that I had printed out a paper on Italian numbers from Family Search. But then when you get earlier than the Civil Records you are into the Church records and these are in Latin! The tricky thing there is that they give the Latin equivalent of the first names. For instance, Joannes for Giovanni.  So I found Martini Tinetti (Martinus) and his wife Joanna(Giovanna) but couldn't find his son Giuseppe until I realized that it was "Josephus" in the records! (The hardest one like this was Luigi, in Latin it is "Aloysius" and it took me quite awhile to realize that that is the same name).(This name is Louis in English).

    So, I found his birth on 4 Jul 1789 and his marriage to Maria Magdalena Pastore on 11 Feb 1805 but then he disappeared. His son, Giovanni, was born in San Giovanni and I have found a number of sons and daughters of his but no exact birth records.  I think that I have not gotten the correct film for San Giovanni. If he went to Monaco to be a chef it would have been after the birth of Giovanni in 1825.  The family tradition says that he returned when Garibaldi was fighting to unite Italy. this would suggest before 1848.  During this time period Monaco and Torino were both part of the same country, the Kingdom of Sardinia which included Piedmont, the Southeastern part of France and Sardinia and was ruled by the House of Savoy.  So it's not far-fetched to think that he could have been employed by the Grimaldis in Monaco. Very few records are available for Monaco though so I have been unable to verify this.

    His wife, Maria, died as a widow on 21 Oct 1865 so he had died before this.  She died at her son, Giovanni's, house in Vallia, Torre Canavese. That is all I know of him so far.

     But finding San Martino was a breakthrough because there are many Tinettis in this town! There is even a street named Tinetti Street for Giacomo Tinetti.  He's not on our direct line but undoubtedly related.  I traced the line back to Pietro Tinetti born about 1650.  There are many men named Tinetti in the WWI and WW II Memorial there.  The Church in the town is breathtaking.  Also true for the one in San Giovanni. My sister and I visited there last year.  So I was very glad to have been able to discover the family connection to the towns and then to visit them myself! This post is supposed to be and a favorite place and I would now name them as among my favorite places.


  1. Excellent historical research and sleuthing! It hadn't occurred to me that Monaco was part of the same area as Piemonte under Savoy rule, but it makes sense.

    Yes, the churches in San Martino and San Giovanni were beautiful.

  2. I accidentally came upon your blog while searching for "Tinetti". My grandfather's mother was Anna Tinetti (married to Defendante Pricco) also from San Giovanni Canavese -I recognize the photos! I visited there many times.