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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine's Day Family Love Stories #8: Giovanni and Catterina

   (I wrote seven Valentine's day Love Stories last year and thought I'd add some new ones this year because family history is really just a huge collection of love stories.)

     On 26 Aug 1846, Giovanni Tinetti, age 21, married Domenica Catherina Zanotti-Cussio, age 18. They were married in the town of San Giovanni Canavese where he was living at the time. Giovanni and Domenica had seven children, two of whom were stillborn. Giovanni prospered and they moved to a big house in Valia, just outside of Torre Canavese, not far from San Giovanni. Unfortunately, Domenica died on 3 Apr 1863, seventeen years after the marriage. This left Giovanni with five children ages 17 to 4. He turned to his sister-in-law, Catterina Zanotti-Cussio, for help.

     Catterina was thirty-three at this time. She came and took care of the children for Giovanni. In a short while he became concerned about her reputation, living in his house and not being married. So he offered to marry her, in name only, to protect her reputation. The family story goes that she replied that she would marry him but only as his wife in full and in fact. He was very happy with her reply and they were married. Together they had six children.

     It's a sweet story but, of course, leaves some questions. She was unmarried at 33, had she secretly been in love with him for the entire time he and her sister were married? An oddity is that the only marriage record I could find for them is 14 Aug 1878, after all their children were born. I looked in Torre Canavese and Cuceglio (her parish) but it occurs that I didn't look in San Giovanni where Giovanni and Domenica were married. For a man who was so concerned about her reputation to wait 15 years to marry her seems unlikely. I don't know but it is an Italian love story nevertheless, si?

     As a note, I have no pictures of her but I have pictures of two of her daughters at a fairly young age and one can assume that they resemble her.
Angelina, 18, and Rosa, 21, Tinetti ca 1889
Giovanni Tinetti 1904
Tinetti house in Valia (taken 2014)

1 comment:

  1. Ah, once again, family stories don't quite match up to the records! But maybe there's a marriage record in San Giovanni. Catterina must have been strong woman -- to have had six children after the age of 33!