Vines and Branches
1, Issue 1 -- April 1997
The Gianninis of Virginia
Allan Gianniny, Jr., 1711 King Mountain Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901
newsletter is the first developed to summarize
the stories and the activities of the Giannini-Gianniny extended families.
The idea for this newsletter came from family members who attended the 1996
reunion in Charlottesville. It is supported by contributions from those attending that
reunion, in hopes that they and others who did not attend might keep in touch with each
Your comments, suggestions and stories
are welcome. Our purpose is to announce events, share our knowledge and interests on a
frequent if not regular basis.
More than 150 descendants
of the original Giannini immigrants celebrated the lives of Anthony and Mary at a reunion
on Labor Day weekend in Charlottesville. The occasion was the first public showing
of THE GIANNINI'S OF VIRGINIA, co-edited by Robert Lewis Giannini III (fourth
great-grandson) and Omer Allan Gianniny (third great-grandson). Barbara Martin
(third great-grand-daughter) hosted the event which attracted children of Nicholas and
Lawrence, two of the three sons of Anthony and Mary.
This group enjoyed good food, conversation and visiting on a warm and pleasant Saturday
afternoon. Those attending asked that a major reunion be planned for 1997.
committee for 1997 includes Donna Morris, chair; Buck Gianniny, Florence
Fitzgerald, Pete Gianniny, Rosanna Bencoach, and Cyndi Burton.
Saturday, August 2, in Charlottesville
Make plans now to attend the first major reunion of the
Giannini/Gianniny family in Charlottesville.
Come and bring the family. Bring photos or notes to share. Enjoy a morning
trip to Colle and Ash Lawn and the afternoon picnic at the Elks Club shelter. A detailed
announcement of events will be made in a special newsletter in early June.
Visit Colle and Ash Lawn: 9:30-12:00
See the land where Mazzei
and Antonio attempted their first vineyards. For those who wish to add a little extra to
their visit, we are planning a Saturday morning visit to Colle, the original home of
Anthony and Mary when they came to Albemarle County in 1773. Colle is about 5 miles from
Charlottesville, just past Monticello. The trip will include a tour of the Monticello
winery, at Colle and a conversation with Jim Wooten, Curator of Ash Lawn-Highland on 18th
century life in the Buck Island area.
Elks Club Shelter, 3:00-8:00
The Elks Club facility
offers an attractive and convenient site just north of the intersection of US 250 and VA
20 (north) on the east edge of the city. Enjoy swimming, tennis, volley ball, croquet and other similar entertainment. A small
fee will cover the cost of lifeguards and operation of
the swimming pool.
Relax in the shade at
the large pavilion for conversation, sharing
stories and photographs and enjoying each others company. Bring folding chairs, in
case the crowd overruns the installed benches.
Barbecue supper at 5:30, catered. (Participants will be asked for a
contribution) and each family is asked to bring a vegetable, fruit, salad, or dessert. Group photos and video-taped interviews will help
to make this a memorable occasion.
THE GIANNINIS OF VIRGINIA
edited by O. Allan Gianniny,
Jr. and Robert L. Giannini III, 1996.
second printing of this book will be available at the reunion. The first edition,
published in August, 1996, is sold out. One hundred copies were printed and by mid-March
of 1997, less than five copies remained for sale. Orders and requests have
come from family members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, , Maryland, North
Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and, of course, from all parts of Virginia.
This is the first document that
closely follows the lives of Antonio (Anthony) and Maria (Mary), beginning in their native
province of Lucca, moving to Albemarle County and eventually to Nelson County in Virginia.
The more we learn about them the more interesting they become. We are planning a new
printing so the book will continue to be available.
As is always the case, the first
a genealogical record contains some errors-- omissions and mistaken connections. To
make revision easier, we bound the books in plastic ring binders that can be spread to add
or replace pages. Though individuals can open the binders to change pages, it is easier to
seek the help of a copy shop that has spreaders available.
Some members of the family have
already shared with us their information that corrected or added to the 2500 listings we
have accumulated. If you have additions or corrections, please send them to the editor.
Wherever possible, tell us how you know (e.g., personal knowledge, family stories,
Revisions and new entries may be sent in printed form or on
3 1/2 inch disks using the standard GED
format, readable in WINDOWS 3.1. Include your
name, address phone number and e-mail address.
Deadline for Family Tree Revisions
For the reunion we will also publish a separate and expanded Part V --
Outline Family Tree and "Book of Descendants." Revisions received by the
editor not later than June 1, 1997, will be included. Information received after
June 1 will be held for later publication.
Sites for early Gianninis
Can you help locate grave sites for early members of the family?
We know little about the burial sites for members of the family in
the 19th century. To share your information or stories that would help to locate
sites, drop a line to the editor, for future publication.
What do You Know about Gianninis as "Stone Masons"?
told and long lasting accounts claim that at least some Giannini immigrants were brick or
stone masons. So far, however, we have been unable to learn who they were,
where and when they worked at the trade. We would like to collect all the versions
possible to see whether they show some skills
and interests we have not known about. Too many of these stories have survived for us to
Some versions of the story claim that
three brothers were brought to Virginia to work for Thomas Jefferson. Some stories have
placed the brothers at Monticello; say they worked at the University of Virginia.
Sometimes these Gianninis have been called brick masons, stone masons, sculptors,
and at least once, architects!
However, none of our searches of lists
of workmen at the University and Monticello show any masons named Giannini. Neither have
we found tools, and or records of work done--
except that crude stone carved by "Antony JAHNNENE" in 1776. Let us know the
versions you have heard, and if possible, the sources.
We are unwilling to discount these
stories; they are too prominent and have come from so many sources-- some Gianninis
must have done some work with brick or stone.
were the Gianniny Children attending Miller
records at Miller School of Albemarle County show that four orphaned Gianniny children
were enrolled. We have identified two of these children. Can you help us with the other
Mary Lizzie [Elizabeth] Gianniny, daughter of John Wesley Gianniny and Mary Samuel
Parrish, was enrolled from 1890 until 1894.
Walter L. Gianniny, son of John W. Gianniny
and Gurtha [Gertie Lang] was enrolled from 1915 until 1919.
The two we have not identified are probably brother and sister: Ethel Dice Gianniny, enrolled in the years 1900
until 1904, and Morero Antonio Gianniny, enrolled between 1901 and 1905. Their parents or
guardians were listed as Jas. L. and
Jennie M. Was Jas. L. the James Lawrence Gianniny, son of Nicholas, and
Jennie was his wife, Jane Amanda? If so, were they grandparents acting as
guardians? If you can identify these
children, please write or call the editor.
for Young People of All Ages
Look for answers in
THE GIANNINIS OF VIRGINIA
1. Who was the Giannini child who came from Lucca in the ship with her parents, Antonio
and Maria ?_____
When did the first Gianninis arrive in Virginia? ____________________
How many children did Anthony and Mary raise? ______________
Where did some of your other ancestors (not
Gianninis) come from? ______________