Origins and Evolution of the ZILLER Families of Trentino

Origins and Evolution of the ZILLER Families of Trentino

Genealogist Lynn Serafinn discusses the origins, history, nobility, and expansion of the Ziller of Seio, Sanzeno, and beyond Trentino. 

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Acknowledgements:
My heartfelt thanks to Dr Ferdinand Ziller, Elisa Giuliani Pancheri, Mike Girardi, and Robert Jusko for their valuable contributions and assistance.

Possible Linguistic and Geographic Origins of the Surname Ziller

Spelling Variants: Ciller; Cilleri; Cileri; Ciler; Cillera; Ziler; Zillera; Zill, et.al.

The surname Ziller most frequently associated with the village of Seio in the parish of Sarnonico in Val di Non. Although it has been in the province of Trentino at least since the mid-1400s, linguistic historian Aldo Bertoluzza does not include it in his Guida ai Cognomi del Trentino. The surname is surely Germanic in origin, as evidenced by the suffix ‘-er’, which typically indicates either an occupation or a place of origin.

I believe ‘Ziller’ was most likely adopted as a surname by someone who either came from the Ziller valley (Zillertal in German), or perhaps more broadly from the mountain range in that area known as the Zillertal Alps. This mountain range runs along the border of the present-day county of Tyrol in Salzburg, Austria, and South Tyrol (also called the province of Bolzano). If my presumption is correct, the surname would simply have meant ‘someone who came from the Ziller Valley or mountain range.’

MAP of Zillertal Alps to Seio in Val di Non, Trentino
Click on image to see it larger

As with so many Germanic names, you will find numerous spelling variations in records written by Italian speakers of Trentino. Aside from finding it without the double ‘L’ (Ziler), you will frequently find it spelled ‘Ciller’ or ‘Ciler’, and occasionally ‘Cillera’ or ‘Cilleri’, in older documents.

Regardless of the spelling in the document, I believe it is best to consistently use the German spelling Ziller, especially to distinguish it from the surname Cillà (or Cilladi) from Val Giudicarie, which has no connection whatsoever to the Ziller.[i]

The Early Ziller of Seio

Rauzi says the Ziller were present in Seio in 1529,[ii] but there is documentary evidence demonstrating that they were living there at least a century earlier.

The Ziller were a family of notaries, which is roughly equivalent to the modern idea of a contract lawyer, but with much greater social importance. There was not a single business transaction, legal agreement, charter or dispute that could be settled without a notary to draft the document. And in a world where negotiating fiefs and land agreements were almost daily events among the wealthy, and the poor were rarely literate, notaries were cornerstones of medieval European society. Moreover, the profession tended to run in families; if a man was a notary, it was almost expected that at least one of his sons would follow in his footsteps, often taking over the same clients and duties after his father passed away.

The names of notaries are much more likely to appear early documents than those of ordinary farmers, for example. This makes them very interesting people to have in your family tree, because you can often take their lines back much further in time than the parish registers.

We find, for example, the signature of notary named Girolamo Ziller of Seio, son of the late Antonio, on legal document drafted at Castel Morenberg in Sarnonico on 2 February 1466,[iii] which a good 120 years before the first baptismal record appears in Seio. From this document alone, we know Girolamo was at least the age of a legal adult (i.e., at least 25 years old), placing his date of birth no later than around 1440, and possibly many years earlier. We can estimate that his late father Antonio was born around the beginning of the 1400s.

As Girolamo is referred to as ‘of Seio’ (and not ‘living in Seio’), we can infer he was born there, and that his family were not considered to be newcomers to the area. Still, the surname itself tells a story, and if ‘Ziller’ is indeed an indication of the family’s place of origin, we know they had to have arrived from outside the province at some point. The Black Death (1347-1352), which is estimated to have wiped out between 30-50% of Europe’s population, also had a massive economic impact on medieval society, triggering many migrations in the decades to follow, as surviving families sought to find their feet again. Knowing this, it is certainly a possible that the Ziller were one of the many families who relocated in the latter decades of the 1300s.

A generation after Girolamo, we find another Ziller notary, named Antonio. This Antonio, whose name appears in several surviving documents at least as early as 1513, was the son of a Giovanni.[iv] [v] [vi] Later, we find Antonio’s son, Girolamo, carrying on this same profession between the years 1549 and 1575.[vii] [viii] [ix] We’ll look at Antonio in more detail in the next two sections, but for now I will simply comment that it seems likely his father Giovanni was the brother of the Girolamo, son of Antonio, the notary from 1466, but this is speculation at this point.

RURAL NOBILITY: Award of 1527

In 1525, a rebellion broke out in many parts of Trentino between the peasants and the Prince-Bishop of Trento, who was then Cardinal Bernardo Cles. This rebellion is known as the ‘Guerra Rustica’ (Rustic War). Many man who remained faithful to the Bishop during the Guerra Rustica, defending him against the ‘rebels’, were granted a special rank of ‘Rural Nobility’ as a reward for their loyalty and support.

On 15 October 1527, Cardinal Cles granted the title of ‘Rural Nobility to the notary Antonio Ziller of Seio, along with several other members of his family. To date, I have not found a single published book that gives the full and accurate details of this award.[x] [xi] [xii] [xiii] Fortunately, Dr Ferdinand Ziller of Austria, who has been researching his ancestral history for more than two decades, was kind enough to send me a link to an online project from the Archivio di Stato of Trento, which has beautifully digitised images of the original document. [xiv]

1527. Detail of Diploma of Rural Nobility granted to notary Antonio Ziller of Seio by Cardinal Bernardo Cles.
Click on image to see it larger

The original diploma, granted ‘to the faithful and beloved Antonio Ziller, notary of Seio in Val di Non’, is written in Latin, and spans three pages of the book. Above, I have zoomed into a few lines where it clearly states that the title was also being granted to his brothers Pietro and Nicolò, and their paternal cousins Giacomo and Bartolomeo, and that the title and associated privileges could be passed on to their heirs and to legitimate descendants. It does not say the name of the father of Giacomo and Bartolomeo (nor even whether sons of the same uncle).

The document goes on to describe the stemma (coat-of-arms) awarded to the family, saying the shield would be divided into two sections; the upper field would be ‘the colour of a crocus’ (a kind of golden yellow) and the lower field would be red. In the lower half, a dog (in this case, a greyhound) would be standing on its hind legs, rising up from a cloud or fog. In some depictions, the dog is wearing a gold collar, while in others the collar is red. Above the main shield is a crest with the same greyhound.[xv] Although this stemma will evolve over the centuries, these core features and colour scheme will always be retained.

1527 Stemma (coat-of-arms) of Antonio Ziller of Seio and his brothers and cousins
Click on image to see it larger

In terms of their relevance to genealogy:

  • I have not been able to find any descendants for Antonio’s brother Pietro, nor for his cousins Giacomo and Bartolomeo.
  • Antonio’s brother Nicolò appears to have had at least five children (four of whom were sons), but his male line seems to have died by the early 1600s.[xvi]
  • We can, however, trace the descendants of Antonio down through the centuries to the present day.

Thus, most of our attention throughout this article will be on the descendants of Antonio.

Short-Lived Presence in Tres

Between the years 1598-1624, we do find several legal documents (land sales, land use agreements) where we find ‘Giovanni Federico Ziller of Seio living in Tres.’[xvii] [xviii] [xix] [xx] The transcription of the 1598 document says he was the ‘son of Benedetto, son of [Pietro] Lorenzo Ziller’ (brackets included). I don’t know whether the brackets mean the person who did the transcription was unsure as to whether the document said Pietro or Lorenzo, or if his name was Pietro Lorenzo.

Dr Ferdinand Ziller has told me that, several years ago, he found a document at the Archivio di Stato in Trento drafted by notary Gottardo Gottardi that mentions a ‘Lorenzo Ziller, living in Tres.’ However, I haven’t found this document online, and I don’t even know the date it was written.[xxi] P. Remo Stenico tells us Gottardo Gottardi practiced his profession between the years 1547-1597,[xxii] so that could place him as the ‘Lorenzo’ mentioned in the 1598 document above, but I would first want to read and review this originally document before drawing that conclusion.

Although none of the Tres documents say ‘the noble Giovanni Federico, in a document from 1614, we find Giovanni Federico negotiating a sale on behalf of Baron Giorgio Sigismondo Thun, [xxiii] a role which surely indicates he was regarded as being of respectable social status.

In a baptismal record dated 16 October 1636, we find a ‘Giacoma, wife of Lorenzo Cileri’ (i.e., Ziller) cited as godmother.[xxiv] Seven years later, we find a death record for ‘Giacoma, wife of dominus Lorenzo Cileri’ on 3 October 1643.[xxv] No age is given for her when she dies, but the inference is that her husband Lorenzo is still alive. As we know the couple was married by October 1636, but there are no children registered for them in the Tres baptismal records that begin in 1636, I would presume this means Giacoma was already past childbearing age in 1636, which means she may have been born around 1590 or a bit earlier. From this, we might guess that Lorenzo was around the same age, or a few years older than his wife. If this is correct, he would have been in the correct generation to have been the son of the above-mentioned Giovanni Federico.

I have scoured the Tres death records and there is no death recorded for Lorenzo in Tres (I checked through the end of the 1600s). I can only assume this means he moved out of that parish sometime after his wife’s death. If they had any children, they would have moved too, as there are no births, marriages or deaths for any Ziller (under any spelling) in the parish of Tres after this.[xxvi]

Thus, we must conclude that either the line never took root due to early deaths, or the family moved out of the parish.

The Early Ziller of Sanzeno

Gianmaria Rauzi says the Ziller were present in Sanzeno in 1636,[xxvii] but there is much evidence that at least one branch was already living there about two generations earlier.

Although we do not find the Ziller amongst those listed as Rural Nobility for Sanzeno in 1529, we start to see the surname there in the second half of the 1500s, when a Giorgio Ziller is cited as being a landowner in the area in a document from January 1559.[xxviii] Almost two decades later, in 1577, we find a document drafted by a notary Antonio Ziller[xxix], son of Giorgio, originally from Seio but living in Sanzeno.[xxx] The transcription of the document online actually says ‘son of the LATE Giorgio’, but we know from other documents that Giorgio was still alive at this time, so either the transcription is incorrect, or the surviving document is a copy made later after Giorgio’s death.

We know that Giorgio was married twice: once to a Cattarina, with whom he had at least five children, and later to Giuliana Ioris of Denno.[xxxi] A highly informative document dated 26 August 1576 has been shared and explained by researcher Dr Ferdinand Ziller on his website.[xxxii] This document is a legal agreement between Giorgio – who says he is the son of the late Antonio – and his three sons, Antonio, Giacomo and Martino, who declare that they wish to become legally independent from their father.[xxxiii] The result of the agreement is that Giorgio grants the family home (‘Casa Zillera’) to the three sons, while maintaining his other assets for himself, his wife Giuliana and his (then) unmarried daughter Maddalena. Maddalena married Giovanni Pietro Busetti of Casez about a year and a half later.[xxxiv]

The document also says that he had another son, Pietro, who was already deceased. The only reference to ‘Pietro son of Giorgio Ziller’ I have found is in the marriage record of his son (and likely his only child), Nicolò on 28 February 1585. In that document, Nicolò’s paternal uncle Martino Ziller is cited as one of the witnesses.[xxxv]

Using these documents as our guide, we can construct this rough chart of the first Ziller generation in Sanzeno, showing their spouses, where known. I am hypothesising that Pietro’s wife may have been named Giuliana, only because that is the name of two of his granddaughters. I have put a placeholder for Antonio’s wife, as her name is not recorded in the baptismal record of the only child that I have managed to find for him.[xxxvi]

Descendant Chart for Giorgio Ziller of Sanzeno (1 generation)
Click on image to see it larger

On his website, Dr Ziller shares a photo of this beautiful medieval house in Sanzeno referenced in the 1576 document. Formerly known as Casa Ziller, it is now called Casa Giuliani:[xxxvii]

Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Dr Ferdinando Ziller.
Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Dr Ferdinando Ziller.

Elisa Giuliani Pancheri (whose great-uncle Basilio Giuliani bought the house from the Ziller family shortly after World War 1) has also sent me these interesting photos of the house:

Interior of Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Elisa Giuliani Pancheri.
Interior of Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Elisa Giuliani Pancheri.
Exterior of Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Elisa Giuliani Pancheri.
Exterior of Casa Ziller (now Casa Giuliani) in Sanzeno, Trentino. Photo courtesy of Elisa Giuliani Pancheri.

I believe Giorgio was most likely born sometime between 1515-1520. The latest document I have found where he is apparently alive is dated 24 February 1593, where his wife Giuliana is cited as a godmother.[xxxviii] As the document specifically says ‘wife’ (not widow) and does not say ‘the late Giorgio’, I would presume he was still alive, but he was surely at least in his mid-70s by this time.

Aside from the above sons of Giorgio, we find an Andrea Ziller who died in Sanzeno at the age of 66 on 8 October 1636. P. Remo Stenico also refers to a priest ‘Lorenzo Ziller of Sanzeno,’ whose name appears in documents from 1571-1572.[xxxix] A present, I cannot say whether these men were related to each other (or to Giorgio Ziller), but in any case, it does seem that all the present-day Ziller of Sanzeno are descendants of Giorgio.

Seio and Sanzeno – Interpreting the Data

Piecing together the available information, we can construct a very rough diagram of the four earliest known generations of Ziller in Seio and Sanzeno:

Descendant chart (3 generations) of Antonio Ziller, notary of Seio.
Click on image to see it larger

I have labelled Antonio the notary (born ca. 1480), whom we know was the son of Giovanni (born ca. 1445), the primary recipient of the title of Rural Nobility, in purple. We know that the notary Girolamo (born ca. 1440) was the son of Antonio (born ca. 1410), and I am speculating that Giovanni (father of Antonio the notary), was another son of the early Antonio. My speculation is someone tenuous, however, as I am basing it mainly on the fact that his son was named Antonio.

To the right of Antonio the notary, we see his brothers Pietro and Nicolò, and his cousins Giacomo and Bartolomeo. I have placed his cousins as sons of an uncle whose name is currently unknown, but they may have been the sons of Girolamo.

Below Antonio the notary’s brother Nicolò, are his five children mentioned in a 1576 notary document.

As the Sarnonico baptismal records do not start until 1585, I cannot make a direct line between Antonio, his brothers and cousins, and the Ziller who were born in Seio in the late 1500s. However, as ALL of the Ziller lines there are referred to as ‘nobility’ we must conclude that all of the Ziller of Seio are descended from one of these five men, who are in turn possibly all descended from the early Antonio at the top of the chart, or at least from one of his brothers.

Below Antonio the notary, we see his three known sons: Giovanni, Girolamo and Giorgio. I have labelled Giorgio in green, to highlight the fact he is the founder of the Sanzeno line. I haven’t put Giorgio’s descendants in this chart, but all of the surviving Ziller lines from Sanzeno seem to come via his son Martino, who had at least 13 children.

SIDE NOTE: Much later, there were two Ziller brothers – Gaspare and Vigilio – who moved from Seio to Sanzeno after they married two Pellegrini sisters in the 1790s.[xl] However, it seems all of their children (at least those who were born Sanzeno) were daughters, these do not represent new Ziller lines in that parish.

Ziller in Other Frazioni of Sanzeno

As the Ziller lines grew in numbers in Sanzeno, they naturally began to expand into other frazioni within the parish, namely the villages of Casez, Malgolo and Banco. Of the three, the oldest and most enduring is definitely in Casez. Below is a screenshot of a Google Map showing their position to one another. Casez is less than a 1 ½ miles away from Sanzeno, with Banco less than half a mile to the west of Casez. Malgolo is further to the northeast, Google says it is still less than two miles from Sanzeno.

MAP: Sanzeno, Casez, Banco, Malgolo in Val di Non, Trentino, Italy
Click on image to see it larger

Casez

Rauzi tells us the Ziller were in Casez in 1760,[xli] but again the parish records for Sanzeno show us that the Ziller were living in Casez more than two decades earlier. The first Ziller to appear in Casez was the Giovanni Cristoforo Ziller, son of the noble Giorgio Ziller of Sanzeno and his wife Domenica[xlii]. Giovanni Cristoforo was born in Sanzeno on 26 July 1708,[xliii] but we find him married and living in Casez by January 1735,[xliv] where he is usually just called ‘Cristoforo’. Cristoforo and his wife Maria (or Anna Maria) had at least four sons, three of whom grew up and had large families of their own.[xlv]

It is interesting that several of the baptismal records of the children of these sons, it says they were ‘from Sanzeno, living in Casez’, even though they themselves were born in Casez. Unless there were some Ziller families who moved to Casez after the 19th century, all of the Ziller of Casez appear to be descended from these three sons.

Malgolo

In the mid-1700s, we find a Ziller family living in Malgolo, a curate of the parish of Sanzeno. This branch was headed by Giovanni Bonificio Ziller of Sanzeno, who was born 5 February 1723 to Giovanni Michele Ziller and Anna Maria Sandri.[xlvi] Known only as ‘Bonifacio’ in his adult life, he married Domenica Sarcletti of Malgolo on 16 September 1747.[xlvii] Interestingly, he is referred to as ‘Rural Nobility’ in his marriage record.

After they married, the couple settled in Domenica’s home village and started a family. After giving birth to two children, however, Domenica died on 25 June 1753 at the age of 32.[xlviii]

After Domenica’s death, Bonifacio chose to stay in Malgolo. He remarried twice: first to a Dorotea (widow of Antonio Riz), who died less than two years later without bearing any Ziller children (I have not looked into whether she had children from her first marriage).[xlix] After the death of Dorotea, he married a third time to Maria Maddalena Zucol of Sarnonico on 8 April 1755.[l] The couple had at least one daughter and one son. I have not traced this line fully, but I believe it has died out.

Banco

Between the years 1609-1616, we find a Giacomo Antonio Ziller of Sanzeno and his wife Mafiola Ramponi living in the parish rectory (‘canonica’) when their first four children were born.[li] In two of these baptismal records, the priest specifies that the canonica was in the village of Banco. Interestingly, the priest who was parroco of Sanzeno from 1601-1623 (who seems to have married them) was Mafiola’s paternal uncle, Rev. Giovanni Ramponi of Magras.[lii] Perhaps this living arrangement was his way of making sure his niece was cared for, as she had only just turned 17 years old when she married. By 1618, however, the couple left the rectory to live in Sanzeno, so they did not start a new Ziller line in Banco.

The first lasting branch of the family in Banco began when Giovanni Mattia Domenico Ziller of Sanzeno[liii] (known as Mattia) married Maria Orsola Blasiol of Banco in 1826,[liv] whereupon the couple settled in Maria’s village to raise their family. The couple had six children, including four sons. While I have not fully traced this line forward in time, I know at least one of their sons (Giovanni Michele) married and had family of his own, establishing the surname in the frazione of Banco, where it still exists today.

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NOBILITY: Ziller di Taubendorf

Leaping forward to the 19th century, we find Domenico Francesco Ziller, then serving as senior commissioner of police in Pavia in Lombardia, who was granted Imperial nobility by Emperor Ferdinando I on 27 August 1840. With this title, the Emperor granted him the predicate ‘di Taubendorf’. [lv] [lvi]

Although none of the sources mentioning this title tell us who Domenico Francesco was, I am fairly confident he was Domenico Francesco Luigi, born in Sanzeno on 26 May 1790, the only son of the noble Giovanni Domenico Antonio Ziller of Sanzeno and his second wife, the noble lady Elena Dalla Motta of Pressano.[lvii]

NOBILITY: Ernesto Ziller de Methoburg: Knight of the Austrian Empire

A generation later, and in the same extended family Domenico Francesco Ziller di Taubendorf, we come to Ernesto Goberto Ziller, who was born in Sanzeno on 4 April 1808, son of the noble Gasparo Sisinio Ziller, a pharmacist, and his wife, Cattarina Menghini of Brez.[lviii] In his baptismal record, we see his godmother was the Lady Carolina, Countess of Arsio.

On 22 April 1869, Ernesto was elevated to rank of Knight of the Austrian Empire by Emperor Franz Josef I, at which time he was also granted an embellishment of the Ziller stemma.[lix] [lx] [lxi]

1869 stemma (coat-of-arms) of Ernesto Ziller di Methoburg of Sanzeno, Knight of the Austrian Empire.
Click on image to see it larger

A few years later, in Vienna on 25 September 1876, the same emperor expanded this honour, granting Ernesto (‘Ernst’ in German) the right to use the predicate ‘de Methoburg’ (‘von Methoburg’ in German).[lxii] [lxiii]

While we know he was a Knight of the Austrian Empire, on a lapida (marble memorial stone) placed by his family on the outer wall of the church of Santi Sisinio, Martirio e Alessandro (often referred to as the church of the three martyrs), he is specifically referred to as a ‘Cavaliere della Corona Ferrea’, i.e., a Knight of the Iron Crown. The Corona Ferrea is an ancient crown used for many centuries in the coronations of the Kings of Italy. The crown was long considered to be relic containing iron from a nail of the cross of Christ, and many believed it to be the crown used at the coronation of Constantine the Great. Modern tests, however, reveal it is made entirely of gold and silver (not iron), and that was most likely manufactured at least three or four centuries after the death of Christ.[lxiv] [lxv] Nonetheless, a knighthood connecting one to the Corona Ferrea held tremendous symbolic meaning, and was highly prestigious.

Ernesto died in Trento on 28 December 1883, but he was buried in Sanzeno.[lxvi] The Sanzeno death register recorded his death, wherein he is referred to as a ‘retired advisor (‘consigliere in pensione’). The memorial stone outside the church says he was buried next to his parents, as per his wishes. This stone, which was placed there by his widow and nephews (‘la vedova ed i nipoti’), says he was a state prosecutor as well as an appellate advisor.

Photo of commemorative stone in Sanzeno for Ernesto Ziller di Methoburg, taken in 2022 by Dr Ferdinand Manfred Ziller. Used with permission.
Photo courtesy of Dr Ferdinand Ziller. Click on image to see it larger

I should mention that the Italian word ‘nipoti’ can mean either ‘grandsons’ or ‘nephews’,[lxvii] which is the cause of many headaches for genealogists. However, in this case, we fortunately have other evidence that helps us know the word definitely means ‘nephews’ and not ‘grandsons.’ Inside the church itself, we find this beautiful stained-glass window, telling us more about this family:

Photo of Ziller stained-glass window in parish church in Sanzeno, taken by Dr Ferdinand Manfred Ziller. Used with permission.
Photo courtesy of Dr Ferdinand Ziller. Click on image to see it larger

The window panel on the left says (my translation from the Latin):

‘Elia and Rafaele, Knights of the Holy Roman Empire,
Concini de Concini, heirs of
Ernesto, Knight, Ziller de Methoburg
Imperial Appellate Advisor[lxviii]

Elia Luigi and Rafaele de Concini were the sons of Ernesto’s younger sister Adelaide Francesca Ziller.[lxix] At the age of 19, Adelaide married the noble Giulio de Concini, bearing him 15 children, at least 9 of whom died in infancy.[lxx] As Elia and Rafaele are referred to as the ‘heirs of Ernesto’, we can infer that there were no surviving children from Ernesto’s marriage when he died in 1883. Ernesto had only one full brother, Venanzio, a Catholic priest who had served as the Curate of Malgolo, but he was already deceased when Ernesto passed away.[lxxi]  Thus, Ernesto’s his title and stemma were transferred to the sons of his sister. The de Concini were already nobility in their own right, but the stemma shown is that of the Ziller, not the de Concini.

SIDE NOTE: The window on the right commemorates Roberto Ziller, a Major in the army, who was the much younger half-brother of Ernesto, and the youngest son of Gasparo and his second wife Giulia Rizzoli of Cavalese.[lxxii]

Obviously a very strong woman, Adelaide passed away in Casez on 23 March 1897, shortly after her 84th birthday.[lxxiii] A monument to her and her husband Giulio de Concini can be seen outside the church in Casez, where she is referred to as ‘Adelaide of the Noble de Ziller of Sanzeno’.

Commemorative stone to Adelaide Ziller and her husband Giulio de Concini in Casez, Trentino. Photo taken in 2019 by Mike Girardi; used with permission.
Photo taken in 2019 by Mike Girardi; used with permission. Click on image to see it larger.

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Ziller ‘Nel Mondo’ (Around the World)

Over the centuries, we find branches of the Ziller family living in other parts of the province of Trentino, and eventually expanding into other countries. However, invariably, all of these lines can be traced back to Seio or Sanzeno.

Below I will share what I have learned about these lines, roughly in chronological order of when they first appeared.

Denno

Rauzi says the Ziller were present in Denno in 1529,[lxxiv] but this is not correct. No Ziller families appear in the 1529 or 1604 tax records for Denno,[lxxv] and they are not mentioned in the Carta di Regola (charter of rules) from 1632.[lxxvi] In the 1665 tax record for Denno, we finally find a noble Giacomo Ziller.[lxxvii]

From this information, we can glean that even if Giacomo was already living in Denno in 1632, he would not yet have been considered a vicino (official ‘neighbour’, or citizen) eligible to have a say in local government. This tells us he had to have come from someplace else. As I have not found a Giacomo Ziller from Seio during this period, I believe the most likely candidate is the noble Giacomo Ziller of Sanzeno, born 12 January 1623.[lxxviii]

Sadly, most of the early records for Denno were destroyed in a fire in 1736,[lxxix] which means there are no baptismal records before 1700, or marriages before 1708. I do know there is no marriage record for this Giacomo in Sanzeno, so perhaps he married a woman from Denno and moved there after marriage.

The surname went extinct in Denno less than two centuries later, as there are no listings for Ziller (under any spelling variant) in the parish of Denno in the Nati in Trentino database (1815-1923).

Taio

In the mid-1700s, a new branch of the Sanzeno Ziller started in the parish of Taio, which lies due south of Sanzeno.[lxxx] The line began when the noble Giovanni Andrea Ziller of Sanzeno married Veronica Emer of Taio on 27 January 1742,[lxxxi] and chose to setting in Veronica’s native village. The couple had at least two sons who reached adulthood (Giuseppe and Michele). They both lived full lives, living to the age of 64 and 70, respectively.[lxxxii] [lxxxiii]

While I have not discovered any children for their son Giuseppe, I know that their son Michele married a woman named Anna, and they also lived long lives. [lxxxiv] [lxxxv] The had at least two sons – Andrea and Tommaso – whose descendants carried the Ziller surname forward in Taio.

By the middle of the 19th century, we find records indicating the descendants of Andrea (whom I presume was the older of the two) had adopted the soprannome ‘Maggior’, while the descendants of his brother Tommaso were using the soprannome ‘Caff’.

What is really interesting about the Ziller in Taio is that they are never referred to as ‘noble’ in those parish registers, despite the fact that their patriarch, Giovanni Andrea, is called noble in both his baptismal record and his marriage record. So, perhaps either that branch of the family (or the local parish priest) no longer considered it relevant.

While Taio is still its own parish, its civil administration now comes under the comune of Predaia. The Cognomix says there are currently four Ziller families living in Predaia, whom I presume are all descendants of Giovanni Andrea and Veronica.[lxxxvi]

Dambel, Switzerland, and USA

Moving ahead into the mid-19th century, we find an Antonio Ziller of Seio (born 25 March 1828 to Tommaso Placido Vigilio Ziller and Agata Covi) who married Maria Giuliani of Dambel (born 17 Apr 1835 to Romedio Giuliani and Cattarina Giuliani) on 21 April 1855.[lxxxvii] The couple chose to settle and raise their family in Dambel rather than Antonio’s parish of birth. They had five children, including two sons: Romedio Celestino Vigilio (born 6 April 1856)[lxxxviii] and Candido (born 25 August 1865).[lxxxix]

We only find one child for Romedio mentioned in the Dambel records, a son named Ermenegildo who died a few days after birth.[xc] However, inserted into a page of the Sarnonico marriage records, we find a copy of the marriage record for Romedio and his wife Giulia Pedrotti (also of Dambel), saying they married in Wassen, Switzerland on 12 December 1880.[xci] At the bottom of the record, it has a note saying the couple had a daughter named Cattarina, born before the marriage, on 13 October 1880, and that Romedio acknowledges she is his child. It also says Romedio was working as a miner.

The next time we hear about this family in the Dambel records is when Giulia dies in Dambel on 2 May 1903, when she is said to be the widow of Romedio.[xcii] However, there is no death record for Romedio in Dambel (nor is there one for their daughter Cattarina), nor do we find the births or deaths of any other children for them in the Dambel records. This leads me to believe the couple (or at least Romedio) went back to Switzerland or somewhere else outside the province, where Romedio died sometime before 1903.

Antonio’s youngest son, Candido, remained in Dambel for most of his life. On 26 November 1890, he married his first cousin, Francesca Ziller of Seio, daughter of his father’s brother Andrea Cirillo.[xciii] The couple had twelve children together between the years 1891-1912, but a massive eight them died in infancy/childhood.

Although he reached adulthood, their second son Giuseppe (born 12 September 1894), had a short and tragic life. Like thousands of other Trentini men during World War 1, he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, and captured by the Russians and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Siberia. He survived the war and was released, making his way across Siberia and China working in the railway tunnels, finally arriving in Trentino via Genova. However, during his imprisonment he had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, which gradually destroyed and consumed his body (indeed, another word for tuberculosis was ‘consumption’). He died from this disease on 27 March 1922 and was buried in Dambel in his military uniform.[xciv] [xcv] He was 27 years old when he died; he never married or had children.

This leaves only three of Candido and Francesca’s children who grew up to marry and have families: their sons Candido Michele, Luigi Basilio, and Ernesto Celeste.

Born 29 September 1891, Candido Michele Ziller was the couple’s eldest child.[xcvi] In his marriage record to Angela Pellegrini (also of Dambel[xcvii]) dated 4 February 1922, it says he had previously been a soldier, and had worked from some time in America.[xcviii] Because the images of the parish registers do not go beyond 1923 (for privacy reasons), I have found only one child for them, but I presume Candido and Angela had other children, as they both lived into their 70s.[xcix]

Candido Michele’s younger brother Luigi Basilio as born on 17 June 1903.[c] Again, although we cannot view the images past 1923, there is a note in the margin of his baptismal record saying he married Celestina ‘Speranza’ Maria Zucati of Dambel on 12 January 1929, a notation that also appears in Speranza’s baptismal record.[ci] We find in their baptismal records that they both lived long lives,[cii] so again I would imagine they had children.

I would presume all the present-day Ziller in Dambel are descendants of one of these two brothers, as the last of the brothers to marry – Ernesto Celeste – emigrated to America.

Ernesto Celeste, born 22 December 1907. Although his birth is registered in the Dambel parish records, he was actually born in New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, USA.[ciii] A quick search through the immigration records on Ancestry shows that Candido made a few trips back and forth to America, but for Ernesto to have been born there, it means both of his parents were in the United States at the time of his birth. He is the only one of his siblings said to have been born in America. This meant that Ernesto was automatically a US citizen. In fact, based on his citizenship, we find him applying for a US passport on 25 February 1925 at the age of 17, wherein he says he intends to go to the US immediately.[civ] True to his word, we find him arriving in New York on 9 April 1925,[cv] but he apparently made multiple trips as we find him arriving there again in 1934.[cvi] A few years later, now known as Ernest, he married Alma Giuliani of Malgolo in New York City on 23 October 1941.[cvii] The couple had at least one son, who was the father of a Ziller line that still exists there today. I am unsure if there were other children, as Ernest passed away at the relatively young age of 37 on 15 June 1945.[cviii] His baptismal record in Dambel also says ‘died in America in 1945’.

Fondo and South Tyrol

At the beginning of the 20th century, we find two new Ziller lines starting with a couple of years of each other in the parish of Fondo, which lies on the northern border of the parish of Sarnonico. Thus, as you might expect, both lines are from the Ziller of Seio.

The first of this lines started when Gustavo Ziller of Seio married Carlotta Maria Bertol of Fondo on 14 May 1900.[cix] As a point of interest, although all of Gustavo’s siblings were born in Seio, he was actually born in Württemberg, Germany.[cx] He was the son of Andrea Cirillo Ziller and Crescenza Soll, and the younger brother of Francesca Ziller (wife of Candido Ziller), the matriarch of the Dambel line we explored in the previous section.

Gustavo and Carlotta had one daughter and two sons, all born in Fondo. A note in the baptismal record of their daughter Augusta Crescenza (born 28 January 1903) says she died in Cles on 27 February 1982 (age 79). I presume this means she married someone from Cles, but the record does not give her husband’s name.[cxi]

Both of Gustavo and Carlotta’s sons married, but the younger one (Emilio) moved to Bolzano in South Tyrol, remaining there until his death in 1983.[cxii] The elder son, Adolfo, however, remained in Fondo, where he died at the age of 69 in 1973,[cxiii] thus becoming one of the patriarchs of the Fondo lines.

The other Fondo line began with Romano Ziller of Seio (born 18 April 1865) who married Giulia Ottilia Maffei of Fondo on 26 April 1899.[cxiv] Romano was the 2nd cousin 1X removed of Gustavo whom we just discussed.

Like Gustavo, Romano and Giulia also had two sons and one daughter, all of whom reached adulthood and married. Their eldest child (Camillo) was born in Seio, but the family moved to Fondo sometime before the birth of their second child (Romano Romedio) in 1905.[cxv] Both sons stayed in Fondo, living well into their 70s. I do not know how many children they had, however, as both of their wives were in their mid-to-late 30s when they married. [cxvi] [cxvii]

Revò and South Tyrol

In the early 20th century, another Ziller line from Sanzeno branched into the parish of Revò, which is just northwest of Sanzeno in Val di Non.

The line began when a tailer from Sanzeno named Eugenio Camillo Ziller (son of Teodoro Ziller and Carolina Melchiori)[cxviii] married Rosa Angelica Facinelli of Revò (daughter of Simone Facinelli and Rosa Ferrari) on 21 January 1903.[cxix] The couple had eight children, seven of whom were sons (there would undoubtedly have been more children but for a large gap in births during World War 1).[cxx]

Five of these sons reached adulthood and married, thus establishing the Ziller surname in Revò. These sons were:

  1. Faustino Romano Teodoro, born 26 April 1907.[cxxi]
  2. Lino Teodoro Arcangelo, born 27 September 1908.[cxxii]
  3. Teodoro Celestino, born 20 April 1910.[cxxiii]
  4. Roberto Raffaele Arcangelo, born 27 August 1912.[cxxiv]
  5. Giulio Adolfo, born 11 December 1921.[cxxv]

All of their baptismal records contain useful margin notes telling us more about their lives.

We learn from his baptismal record that Faustino was married twice: first to Erminia Rossi in 1938, and later to Adelina Fellin in 1955. He passed away in Revò on 18 November 1974.

The next two brothers – Lino and Teodoro – moved to the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol by the 1940s. Lino also served as mayor of Bolzano from 1948-1957.[cxxvi] They appear to have married two sisters in the 1930s (at least they seem to have had the same surname), and both died in Bolzano in in the 1970s.[cxxvii] At some point, Lino also purchased the historic home of the Martini de Wasserberg in Revò, which still bears the Wasserberg stemma (coat-of-arms).[cxxviii] [cxxix]

Teodoro and Roberto are both listed in the military register on the Archivio di Stato in Trento website, indicating they both served in the Second World War. The site also tells us that Teodoro was a prisoner of war in Germany from April 1944 to September 1945.[cxxx]

A member of the Ziller family have personally told me that Roberto Ziller, his wife (Carmen Flor),[cxxxi] and his brother Faustino ran the ‘Ziller shop’ in Revò for many years. The same family member told me that Roberto passed away at the age of 90 on 20 February 2003.

The baptismal record of the youngest brother, Giulio, tells us that he married Franca Visintainer of Cles at the Basilica di Santa Maria di Monte Berico in Vicenza on 16 May 1953. The couple lived in Revò, however, where Giulio passed away in 1982.[cxxxii]

The Cognomix website tells us there are currently 10 Ziller families (all descendants of these sons) living in the present-day municipality of Novella, which includes Revò and its surrounding frazioni.[cxxxiii] It also shows 21 Ziller families living in the province of Bolzano, but not all of these would be from the Revò line.

Germany, Austria and USA

In Sanzeno, we now look at the family of Mattia Giovanni Ziller and his wife Barbara Cattarina Inama, whose descendants expanded beyond Trentino into at least three different countries.

In 1855, when he was not quite 30 years old, Mattia Giovanni married Marianna Anselmi of the frazione of Traversara in the parish of Brez.[cxxxiv] Their marriage was tragically cut short, however, when Marianna succumbed to cholera exactly four months later, during the great epidemic of 1855.[cxxxv]

After the death of his first wife, Mattia Giovanni remarried Barbara Cattarina Inama in Sanzeno on 2 April 1856.[cxxxvi] The couple had six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons and one daughter died in infancy, but the remaining six children all married and had families. Their two daughters, Modesta[cxxxvii] and Concetta[cxxxviii], stayed close to home, both marrying men from the parish. Both women had large families and lived into their 80s. Their sons, however, took the Ziller surname far beyond Trentino:

  1. Giuseppe (born 27 January 1857)[cxxxix] remained in Sanzeno, but his only son settled in the USA.
  2. Giovanni Mattia (born 15 December 1860)[cxl] moved to the Pradl district of Innsbruck in Austria.
  3. Emanuelle Andrea (born 7 October 1883)[cxli] emigrated to Germany.
  4. Basilio (born 9 June 1870)[cxlii] emigrated to the USA (first to Wyoming, and then to California).

We will look at each in turn, showing how they all became patriarchs of new Ziller lines in Austria, Germany and the United States.

Although apparently based in Sanzeno, we know Giuseppe spent at least some time outside the province. He married twice, first to Maria Luigia Marinelli in 1883. But sadly, less than two years later, Maria succumbed to tuberculosis at the young age of 24, without having given birth to any children. Giuseppe waited a full six years before he remarried, this time to Giuditta Paternoster of Malgolo. Despite the fact that both Giuseppe and Giuditta lived long lives, they had only one child: a son named Vittorio Emmanuele, born 22 March 1893.[cxliii] Curiously, although we know Vittorio grew up in Sanzeno, his baptismal record says he was born in ‘Ering (?), Prussia’. This might refer to Ering in present-day Lower Bavaria in Germany, which was considered to be part of Prussia in that era, but as German place names are notoriously misspelled in Italian documents, it is difficult to say for sure. One thing we do notice in the record is that the godfather is ‘Andrea Ziller’, which most surely refers to his uncle Emanuelle Andrea, whom we know was living in Westphalia in Germany, which was part of old Prussia.

We will return to Vittorio a bit later, as he would eventually leave Trentino to settle in the United States.

The next brother, Giovanni Mattia, married Filomena ‘Clementina’ Clementi, the daughter of shoemaker Angelo Clementi of Pressano (Trentino). After learning the art of shoemaking himself (possibly from his father-in-law), Giovanni Mattia moved with his wife to Innsbruck in Austria, establishing a shoemaking workshop in Pradl district of Innsbruck.[cxliv] In Austria, he used the German form of his name: ‘Johann Mathias’.

MORE READING:   ZAMBIASI of Val di Non. Origins, Nobility, Theatre, Science

In 1903, leaving his wife and their six young children behind in Innsbruck, ‘Johann Mathias’ travelled across the ocean to join his brother Basilio who was then working in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Now calling himself ‘John’, Johan Mathias worked in the coal mines of Diamondville and Glencoe. According to the family story, he sent financial support back to Innsbruck for a while, but then kind of ‘fell off the map’ for a few years, until he unexpectedly showed up at his wife’s doorstep in Austria in 1913. However, by this time, Johann was a seriously ill man, suffering from late-stage oesophageal cancer, which he had contracted as a result of working in the coal mines. He died from that horrible disease in the Innsbruck district Pradl on the 12 July 1914, and he was buried there two days later.

Johann Mathias and Clementina had six sons, thus creating a new Ziller line in Austria. Their son Evaristo Ziller would later establish another Ziller line in the United States (more about him shortly). Their son Ferdinand Eugen Ziller (15 Jun 1896-5 July 1964), who remained in Innsbruck, was the grandfather of Dr Ferdinand Ziller, who gave this information and kindly permitted me to share it.

The third brother Emanuelle Andrea emigrated to Germany at the end of the 19th century. Now known as Andreas, he settled in Ahlen in North Rhine-Westphalia,[cxlv] generating a new line of Zillers in Germany. He died in Germany in 1922. Earlier, I mentioned that he appears to be the godfather of his nephew Vittorio Emmanuele, who was born in ‘Prussia’. This does lead me to wonder whether Andreas’s brother Giuseppe and his wife were staying with him in Germany when their son Vittorio Emmanuele was born in 1893.

We now turn to the youngest of the brothers, Basilio Ziller. After spending some time working in the coalmines of Westfalen in Germany as a teenager, Basilio emigrated to the United States in 1890,[cxlvi] along with his paternal first cousin Enrico Romedio Ziller, son of his father’s youngest brother.[cxlvii]

Now calling himself ‘Basil,’ he first worked as an iron miner in Minnesota, where he married Maria Rosa Anselmi (‘Mary Rose’) on 27 November 1897.[cxlviii] His cousin Enrico (now calling himself ‘Henry’) married Mary Rose’s sister, Rosina.[cxlix] According to one of Basilio’s granddaughters, ‘The two couples led parallel lives always living in the same places at the same times as they raised their families.’[cl]

By 1919 or 1920, after having lived in several US states (Minnesota, Idaho, Michigan, Wyoming), both families finally shifted to Los Angeles County, California, where they remained permanently. Here, we are told, Basilio became a carpenter, a profession he continued until he retired.[cli]

Cousin Enrico died in Los Angeles County at the age of 81 on 16 January 1955.[clii] A year later, on 31 January 1956, Basilio passed away at the age of 85. His wife Mary Rose, to whom he had been married for nearly 60 years, died 10 years later, at the age of 93.

Basilio and Mary Rose had six children, but two of them died in infancy/childhood. The surviving children were all female, so the surname did not continue with this line, but there are numerous descendants via their daughters still living in America. Their granddaughter, Deanna Davidson Stelzer, has written an excellent and profile of the family on Dr Ferdinand Ziller’s Ziller family site.[cliii] As that story is in English, I have simply summarised the key points, and I encourage you to read her family story if you wish to find out more about them.

There are two other men from this extended family we need to mention, as their lives are also intertwined, and both migrated to the US:

  • One is the previously-mentioned Vittorio Emmanuele Ziller, the only child of the eldest brother, Giuseppe.
  • The other is Johann Evangelist Ziller (also called ‘Evaristo’, who was the son of Giovanni Mattia Ziller (‘Johann Mathias’), who had moved to Innsbruck.

Born only a month apart,[cliv] these two cousins actually grew up together in Sanzeno. According to Dr Ferdinand Ziller, as Johann Mathias had six sons, he sent Evaristo back to Sanzeno when he was a young child, so he could group up with his cousin Vittorio (who was an only child).

Seemingly destined to follow a similar trajectory as adults, both men emigrated to the United States in 1913.[clv] From this point, however, they seem to have diverged, with Vittore (now called ‘Victor E.’) settling on the east coast, and Evaristo (now called ‘John Evaristo’) settling in Los Angeles County, where his uncle Basilio was living. In fact, Evaristo married Basilio’s daughter Pauline Catherine Ziller in 1921 (in other words, he married his first cousin), with whom he had two daughters before they parted ways in 1929.[clvi] He died in San Diego County, California in 1969.[clvii]

Although I have not yet found their marriage record (which would have taken place in the United States), Vittore Emmanuele married Emma Angela Marignoni (also of Sanzeno), sometime around 1918. The couple had at least five children, four of whom were sons. I know at least two of these lived long lives, and further helped to establish the Ziller surname in the US. He died at the age of 54 on 27 Jun 1947 in Nuremberg, Pennsylvania, and is buried (along with so many other Trentini) in Hazleton.[clviii]

Roaming and Coming Home: The Impact of Industrialisation

In the past, the vast majority of Trentini were contadini, i.e., subsistence farmers who lived off the land with little or no income from other sources. Because their survival was dependent upon the very land on which they lived, contadini tended to stay in the same place, sometimes for many centuries. Generally, the only people who had the means and opportunity to migrate were those with education, money or some kind of transferrable form of employment, such as priests, notaries, merchants, artisans/craftsmen, etc. Of course, the very wealthy who made their main income by buying and renting out land were also gifted with more mobility than the ordinary farmer.

But by the end of the short-lived Napoleonic era in the early 1800s, the political, economic and social landscape of Trentino had changed significantly. Most of the nobility had lost their financial and social privileges of the past. The 300-year-old title of ‘Rural Nobility’ was being challenged, as it was seen as no longer relevant, especially when many so-called ‘rural nobles’ lived no differently from the contadini while still being exempt from taxation.[clix]

These factors, along with the rise of industrialisation, created a change in migratory habits in Trentino. By the mid-19th century, we start to see many families popping up in places we would not expect, often to find work in burgeoning industries such as mining, manufacturing and the railway industry. While such travels can sometimes result in new lines of surnames popping up in disparate places, many families returned to ‘home base’ after spending several years on the road. Other times, men left their families during the winter months to find seasonal work, returning home in the spring.

In the case of the Ziller, for example, there was one Lorenzo Ziller from Seio (born 8 March 1830)[clx], who settled in Priò in the parish of Torra, where he married Anna Cattarina Melchiori of the same place.[clxi] Their only child, a daughter, died at age 2, and Anna Cattarina died just 10 days later.[clxii] A few years later, Lorenzo remarried a Giuditta Zanella of Magras in Val di Sole.[clxiii] The couple had three children – widely spaced apart – all born in different places.[clxiv] Thus, we can see that Lorenzo was moving around, most likely for work, sometimes with his wife and sometimes on his own. Eventually, he returned to Priò, but as his only son died in infancy, his travels did not result in a new Ziller line in Priò or in Val di Sole.

Another roamer was an Ambrogio Ziller from the Taio line who spent several years (roughly from 1903 to 1909) in his wife’s village of Segno (parish of Torra), where he was working as a ‘fabbricatore’ (manufacturer), which I would presume means someone who was running the operations, rather than a factory worker. Again, as the family returned to Ambrogio’s home village of Taio by 1912, his travels did not result in a new Ziller in the parish of Torra.[clxv]

Closing Thoughts

I originally chose ‘Ziller’ as a topic for research, as I suspected all the Ziller of Trentino had a common ancestral history. I knew the surname would not have been ‘indigenous’, as it is linguistically Germanic, and it seems to point to a specific geographic region as its point of origin. And although I have not yet discovered any way to determine the precise time of their arrival in Trentino, I can fully imagine they made their appearance sometime after the end of the Black Death (1347-1352), when so many families migrated to new territory, hoping to rebuild their lives and restore social balance.

If this was the case, the ‘Ziller’ were probably not known as ‘Ziller’ at all. First of all, surnames were not widely used or ‘fixed’ before the 1400s. But more than that, toponymic surnames (i.e., those based on place names) only have relevance when they can be used to distinguish a family from others. If you live in the Zillertal mountains, everyone is a ‘Ziller’, so it would be of little use to call yourself by that name. But if you’re coming to a new province, where even the language is different, it seems logical that the locals would call you ‘Ziller’ – ‘that man/family from Ziller’.

Another reason why I chose Ziller as a surname study is that it isn’t terribly common. According to the Cognomix website, there are an estimated 105 families with the surname Ziller living in Italy today – not a particularly high figure, as surnames go.[clxvi]

Moreover, the surname seems to be clustered within a fairly contained geographic perimeter. Pretty much all of those 105 families (except for three families in the area of Rome) are in the northern part of the peninsula, with 76% living in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige. Three-quarters of those live in the province of Trento (i.e., Trentino), with the other quarter living in the province of Bolzano (i.e., South Tyrol).[clxvii]

As I have not researched the Ziller living in other regions of Italy, I am unable to comment on those. I am also unable to say whether any of the present-day South Tyrolean families are descendants of those I discussed earlier (but I suspect many are). Aside from these, I know via Dr Ferdinand Ziller that there are some Ziller living in Austria, and at least some of these are originally from Trentino. Generally speaking, the Ziller appear to gravitate towards places that are either German-speaking, or which are near places where German is spoken. Personally, I find that interesting in itself, as it seems to speak to an ancient connection with their original ethnicity, despite the fact that they have lived in Italian-speaking villages for at least the past 600 years.

With regards to the Ziller in Trentino, the evidence supporting their ancestral lineage seems conclusive. After having plotted more than 800 Ziller individuals onto my ‘Ziller Master Tree’, every single one I have found, regardless of where they may have lived in the province, can ultimately be traced back to the early Ziller of Seio, where we know they were living by the early 1400s.

  • The Ziller of Sanzeno, Dambel and Fondo all came from Seio.
  • The Ziller of Taio and Revò came from Sanzeno, who originally came from Seio.
  • Several Ziller branches in South Tyrol, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA came from one of the above.

Thus, it seems safe to say: EVERYONE descended from a Ziller of Trentino is a cousin to every other Trentino Ziller – even if very distantly. And, for me, finding cousin connections like that is the true treasure of any surname study.


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Also, if you are seeking help researching your Ziller family, please feel free to contact me at https://trentinogenealogy.com/contact.

This article and others on this blog are ‘working drafts’ of research for my ‘in progress’ books entitled The Birth of Your Surname: The Origins, Evolution and Genealogy of 15 Ancient Trentino Families (although it might end up being more like 20 families), as well as a multi-volume set covering many hundreds of surnames called ‘Guide to Trentino Surnames for Genealogists and Family Historians. It will take me a few more years to complete these book projects, but I am offering these PDF eBooks while they are still in progress.

Until next time!

Lynn Serafinn, genealogist at Trentino Genealogy

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
18 October 2022

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RESOURCES

ARCHIVIO DIOCESANO DI TRENTO. Parish registers (baptisms, marriages and death records) for Sarnonico, Sanzeno, Taio, Dambel, Fondo, Revò, et. al.

AUSSERER, Carl. 1985. Le Famiglie Nobili Nelle Valli del Noce: Rapporti con i Vescovi e con i Principi Castelli, rocche e residenze nobili Organizzazione, privilegi, diritti; I Nobili rurali. Translated by Giulia Anzilotti Mastrelli from the original German work Der Adel des Nonsberges, published in 1899. Malé: Centro Studi per la Val di Sole.

BERTOLUZZA, Aldo. 1998. Guida ai Cognomi del Trentino. Trento: Società Iniziative Editoriali (S.R.L.).

CASETTI, Albino (dottore). 1951. Guida Storico – Archivistica del Trento. Trento: Tipografia Editrice Temi (S.R.L.).

COMAI, Piergiorgio. ‘I Nobili Rurali di Priò’. Accessed 16 September 2022 from http://pierocomai.altervista.org/storie/Nobili_a_Prio.pdf

COGNOMIX. ‘Mappe dei Cognomi Italiani’. https://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani.

DIOCESE OF TRENTO. Investiture feudali e altre concessioni del vescovo Bernardo Cles. Patrimonio Digitale.  https://patrimoniodigitale.diocesitn.it/it/vieweriiif/?id=62&type=archive.

GIACOMONI, Fabio. 1991. Carte di Regola e Statuti delle Comunità Rurali Trentine. 3 volume set. Milano: Edizioni Universitarie Jaca.

GUELFI, Adriano Camaiani. 1964. Famiglie nobili del Trentino. Genova: Studio Araldico di Genova.

NATI IN TRENTINO. Provincia autonomia di Trento. Database of baptisms registered within the parishes of the Archdiocese of Trento between the years 1815-1923. https://www.natitrentino.mondotrentino.net/.

NEGRI, F. (don). 1984 (reprint of 1922 edition). I Signori di S. Ippolito e di Clesio, nei loro rapporti genealogici, domestici e censuari fino al secolo XVI. Mori: La Grafica Anastatica.

RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli.

STENICO, P. Remo. 1999. Notai Che Operarono Nel Trentino dall’Anno 845. Trento: Biblioteca San Bernardino.

STENICO, P. Remo. 2000. Sacerdoti della Diocesi di Trento dalla sua Esistenza Fino all’Anno 2000. Indice Onomastico.

TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine. Trento: Società di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche.

TIROLER LANDESMUSEEN. Tyrolean Coats of Arms. Ziller stemma 1525. Accessed 15 September 2022 from http://wappen.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/index34a.php?id=&do=&wappen_id=30206&sb=ziller&sw=&st=&so=&str=&tr=99

TRENTINO CULTURA. ‘Archivi Storici del Trentino’. Searchable database of historical documents stored in the various archives of Trentino. https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/sistema/semplice.

WEBER, Simone (Mons.). 1992 (reprint). Le Chiese delle Val di Non Nella Storia e Nell’Arte. Volume III: I Decanati di Taio, Denno e Mezzolombardo. Mori (Trento): La Grafica Anastatica.

WEBER, Simone. 1990 (reprint). La Pieve di Denno. Denno (Trento): Comune di Denno.

ZILLER, Ferdinand (Dr). ‘Historie der Trientinischen Adels-Familie Ziller aus dem Nonsberg Ein halbes Jahrtausend Familiengeschichte,’ http://www.familie-ziller.com/site04.htm .

END NOTES

[i] The noble Cillà/Cilladi of the Giudicarie were originally called ‘Endrici’. Their original village was Bono in the parish of Bleggio, but a branch adopted ‘Cillà’ and/or ‘Cilladi’ first as a soprannome, and later as a surname, after the moved from Bono to the frazione of Cillà in the early 1500s. Various members of this family served as Captains of Castel Stenico.

[ii] RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378.

[iii] NEGRI, F. (don). 1984 (reprint of 1922 edition). I Signori di S. Ippolito e di Clesio, nei loro rapporti genealogici, domestici e censuari fino al secolo XVI. Mori: La Grafica Anastatica, page 255-256. He spells his name ‘Geronimo’ in the document.

[iv] STENICO, P. Remo. 1999. Notai Che Operarono Nel Trentino dall’Anno 845. Trento: Biblioteca San Bernardino, page 351.

[v] Image of notary document signed by ‘I, Antonio, son of the late Ser Giovanni of Seio in Val di Non’ can be viewed at http://www.familie-ziller.com/site04.htm

[vi] Another early document date 10 September 1514 can be found at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/1613162.

[vii] It is difficult to know exactly when Girolamo began is profession, because many of the early documents with his name on them were actually copies of his father’s documents, and these show the dates of the original drafts, not the date on which Girolamo copied them. The earliest record I have found where he is the original author is dated 13 December 1549. See https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/1615374.

[viii] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Testamento, 30 October 1555, Sarnonico’. Will drafted by Girolamo Ziller, son of Antonio. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/667791

[ix] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Locazione, 18 April 1575, Sarnonico’. Legal document drafted by notary Girolamo son of Antonio Ziller of Seio. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/3567620.

[x] GUELFI, Adriano Camaiani. 1964. Famiglie nobili del Trentino. Genova: Studio Araldico di Genova, page 161. Guelfi says the title was given to Antonio and his brother (singular), but gives no name, as well as to their cousin Giacomo (not mentioning the other cousin). He says they were from the house of ‘Cillera’.

[xi] AUSSERER, Carl. 1985. Le Famiglie Nobili Nelle Valli del Noce: Rapporti con i Vescovi e con i Principi Castelli, rocche e residenze nobili Organizzazione, privilegi, diritti; I Nobili rurali. Translated by Giulia Anzilotti Mastrelli from the original German work Der Adel des Nonsberges, published in 1899. Malé: Centro Studi per la Val di Sole, page 113. Ausserer says the award was extended to his brothers and cousins (both plural), but he gives no names.

[xii] Rauzi also says ‘brothers and cousins’ because he is just quoting what Ausserer wrote. RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378.

[xiii] TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine. Trento: Società di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche, page 307. The authors say Antonio’s brothers were named Pietro and Nicolò, but instead of referring to their cousins, they say the title was extended to their uncles, which is not correct.

[xiv] DIOCESE OF TRENTO. Investiture feudali e altre concessioni del vescovo Bernardo Cles. Patrimonio Digitale.  Accessed 6 October 2022 from https://patrimoniodigitale.diocesitn.it/it/vieweriiif/?id=62&type=archive. Page 171-172.

[xv] The Ziller stemma 1527 shown here is from TIROLER LANDESMUSEEN. Tyrolean Coats of Arms. Accessed 15 September 2022 from http://wappen.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/index34a.php?id=&do=&wappen_id=30206&sb=ziller&sw=&st=&so=&str=&tr=99

[xvi] CRISTANI, Antonio (Sr). 1586-1603. Giudizio di Cles, Rallo, volume 2 (book 893). Stored at the Archivio di Stato di Trento. Book of legal document drafted by notary Antonio Cristani. One document drafted in Rallo on 24 February 1576 cites: ‘Antonio, son of the late Nicolò Ziller of Seio, and his brothers Giovanni Pietro, Romedio and Giorgio, and their sister Orsola, wife of Ser Gaspare Busetti of Rallo.’

[xvii] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Costituzione di censo, 3 September 1598, Tres’. ‘Sold to Giovanni Federico, son of the late Benedetto, son of [Pietro] Lorenzo “Ziller” of Seio, living in Tres. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/3567923.

[xviii] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Costituzione di censo, 29 December 1602, Tres’. A Censo and a field in the territory of Tres ceded to Giovanni Federico “Ziller” of Tres. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/3568052.

[xix] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Sentenza, 13 June 1609, Tres’. Giovanni Federico Ziller, living in Tres, cited as witness. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/1613509.

[xx] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Compravendita, 20 February 1624, Castel Thun’. ‘Dominus Giovanni Federico Ziller of Tres’. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/1395678/

[xxi] He also tells me there were some other mentions of Ziller in Tres among the archives of the Thun family of Castel Bragher, but again I currently do not have enough details about the documents that could enable me to apply them to my research.

[xxii] STENICO, P. Remo. 1999. Notai Che Operarono Nel Trentino dall’Anno 845. Trento: Biblioteca San Bernardino, page 189.

[xxiii] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Stima ed immissione in possesso, 11 September 1614, Priò’. Giovanni Federico Ziller of Tres acting as agent in the name of dominus Baron Giorgio Sigismondo Thun. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/51095

[xxiv] Tres parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 1. ‘Giacoma, wife of Lorenzo Cileri’ cited as godmother of Anna Maria Gregori.

[xxv] Tres parish records, deaths, volume 1, page 14.

[xxvi] There is a baptismal record dated 16 March 1640 (Tres parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 7) where a noble Guglielmo Ciller is the godfather of Maria Simonibis, but the record says nothing about him, and there is no other mention of a Guglielmo Ziller in the Tres records. He may have been from a different parish.

[xxvii] RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378.

[xxviii] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Constitution of census, 8 January 1559, Sanzeno’. Giorgio Ziller is mentioned as a landowner in the area, but it does not specifically say he is living in Sanzeno. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/2123183 .

[xxix] Not the same notary Antonio Ziller who had been granted Rural Nobility in 1529.

[xxx] Trentino Cultura website. ‘Sentenza, 7 September 1577, Cles’. Drafted by the notary Antonio, son of the late Giorgio Ziller of Seio, living in Sanzeno. Accessed 18 September 2022 at https://www.cultura.trentino.it/archivistorici/unita/1399034.’

[xxxi] ‘Lady Giuliana de Ioris of Denno, wife of dom. Giorgio Ziller of Sanzeno’ is cited as godmother of Cattarina Bertoldi of Casez on 22 January 1589. Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 80.

[xxxii] ZILLER, Ferdinand (Dr.). ‘Historie der Trientinischen Adels-Familie Ziller aus dem Nonsberg Ein halbes Jahrtausend Familiengeschichte.’ Accessed 3 October 2022 from http://www.familie-ziller.com/site04.htm .

[xxxiii] The had another son named Pietro, who died sometime before the drafting of this document.

[xxxiv] Giovanni Pietro Busetti and Maddalena Ziller married in Sanzeno on 10 February 1578. Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 1, page 247.

[xxxv] Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 1, page 252.

[xxxvi] Sanzeno records, baptisms, volume 1, page 57. Giacomo Ziller, son of Antonio (no mother’s name recorded) was born in Sanzeno on 5 November 1579. There are only a few very fragmented and damaged records in the register before this date.

[xxxvii] Photo downloaded from http://www.familie-ziller.com/site04.htm, copyright by Dr Ferdinand Manfred Ziller.

[xxxviii] ‘Giuliana, wife of dom. Giorgio Ziller of Sanzeno’ cited as godmother of Matteo Donati of Banco on 24 February 1593. Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 93.

[xxxix] STENICO, P. Remo. 2000. Sacerdoti della Diocesi di Trento dalla sua Esistenza Fino all’Anno 2000. Indice Onomastico, page 467.

[xl] Gaspare Ziller (son of Vigilio) of Seio married Domenica Pellegrini (daughter of Sisinio) in Sanzeno on 18 April 1795, and his brother Vigilio married Domenica’s sister Maria Anna on 5 April 1796. Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 2, no page number.

[xli] RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378.

[xlii] I am still trying to verify whether his mother was Domenica Pancheri of Romallo or Domenica Stancher or Sanzeno, as there are two marriage records falling within the correct range and her surname is not given in his baptismal record.

[xliii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 3, no page number.

[xliv] Cristoforo’s first son, Giorgio, was born in Casez on 31 January 1735. Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 3, no page number. The record says he was from Sanzeno, living in Casez. All his later children were born in Casez.

[xlv] These sons were Cristoforo (born 4 September 1736), Giovanni Pietro (born 29 April 1740), and Giovanni Bartolomeo (born 15 November 1743).

[xlvi] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 3, no page number.

[xlvii] Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 2, no page number.

[xlviii] Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 1, no page number.

[xlix] The couple married 25 June 1753 (Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 2). In her death record, Dorotea is called ‘the once widow of Antonio Riz, and the wife of Bonifacio Ziller’. She died on 11 February 1755 (Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 1).

[l] Sarnonico parish records, marriages, volume 3, page 252-253.

[li] Mafiola Ramponi was born in Magras on 5 March 1589 (Malé parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 204). The couple married in Sanzeno on 7 May 1606 (Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 1, page 263), most likely so her uncle could perform the ceremony. Her name (also spelled Mafeola, Maffiola, and Manfiola) was either the name of her paternal grandmother, or the second wife of her paternal grandfather.

[lii] WEBER, Simone (Mons.). 1992 (reprint). Le Chiese delle Val di Non Nella Storia e Nell’Arte. Volume III: I Decanati di Taio, Denno e Mezzolombardo. Mori (Trento): La Grafica Anastatica, page 49. Rev. Giovanni Ramponi and Maffiola’s father (Bartolomeo) shared the same father (Antonio Ramponi), but they may have had different mothers.

[liii] Giovanni Mattia Domenico Ziller was born 13 October 1800 (Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 4, page 42-43). He had an elder brother named Giovanni Mattia born in 1792 (another brother named Giovanni Mattia died in infancy), but the eldest was known only as ‘Giovanni’ (after his paternal grandfather), and Giovanni Mattia Domenico was known only as ‘Mattia’ (after his maternal grandfather).

[liv] The couple married on 4 November 1826. Sanzeno parish records, marriages, page 8.

[lv] TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine. Trento: Società di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche, page 307.

[lvi] GUELFI, Adriano Camaiani. 1964. Famiglie nobili del Trentino. Genova: Studio Araldico di Genova, page 138.

[lvii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 820-821. His father’s first wife was Maria Barbara Claudia Zanella, who died at the young age of 33 after giving birth to six daughters. At of this writing, I am unsure as to whether he is also the ‘Domenico’ who was married to Domenica Magarotti of Padova.

[lviii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 4, page 106-107. His baptismal record also has a margin note saying he died in Trento in 1883. According to my calculations, Ernesto was the 2nd cousin once removed of Domenico Francesco Ziller di Taubendorf.

[lix] TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine. Trento: Società di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche, page 307.

[lx] TIROLER LANDESMUSEEN. Tyrolean Coats of Arms. Stemma for Ernesto (Ernst) Ziller von Methoburg granted 1869. Accessed 15 September 2022 from http://wappen.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/index34a.php?id=&do=&wappen_id=30205&sb=ziller&sw=&st=&so=&str=&tr=99

[lxi] Please note that Rauzi (page 378) gives a year of 1809, but this is incorrect.

[lxii] TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine. Trento: Società di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche, page 307.

[lxiii] TIROLER LANDESMUSEEN. Tyrolean Coats of Arms. Stemma for Ernesto (Ernst) Ziller von Methoburg granted 1869. Accessed 15 September 2022 from http://wappen.tiroler-landesmuseen.at/index34a.php?id=&do=&wappen_id=30205&sb=ziller&sw=&st=&so=&str=&tr=99

[lxiv] Wikipedia. ‘Corona Ferrea’. Accessed 2 October 2020 from https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_ferrea

[lxv] Museo Duomo Monza website. ‘Corona Ferrea’. Accessed 2 October 2022 from http://www.museoduomomonza.it/en/corona-ferrea/

[lxvi] Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 170-171.

[lxvii] It can also mean ‘grandchildren’ or ‘nieces and nephews’ when referring to a group of males and females.

[lxviii] The abbreviation ‘Caes. reg.’ stands for the Latin term ‘Caesareus regius’, meaning he worked either directly or indirectly in the service of the Emperor. The most natural way to translate this is ‘imperial’.

[lxix] The brothers were born 16 July 1849 and 29 December 1855, respectively.

[lxx] The couple married in Sanzeno on 25 April 1832, with a dispensation for 3rd and 4th grade affinity (not consanguinity), indicating a marital connection between mutual relatives. Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 3, page 16. As of this writing, I have found death records for nine of their children, ranging from one day to six years old.

[lxxi] Rev. Venanzio Simone Francesco Ziller died in Malgolo on 24 November 1870. His death record says he was the curate of Malgolo. A ‘curate’ is the equivalent of a pastor, but for a smaller ‘daughter’ church of the main parish church. Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 124-125.

[lxxii] His full name in his baptismal record is Roberto Giuseppe Venanzio Ziller. He was born 19 August 1833. Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 5, page 58.

[lxxiii] Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 4, page 23-24.

[lxxiv] RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378.

[lxxv] WEBER, Simone. 1990 (reprint). La Pieve di Denno. Denno (Trento): Comune di Denno, page 143.

[lxxvi] GIACOMONI, Fabio. 1991. Carte di Regola e Statuti delle Comunità Rurali Trentine. 3 volume set. Milano: Edizioni Universitarie Jaca, volume 2, page 596-597.

[lxxvii] WEBER, Simone. 1990 (reprint). La Pieve di Denno. Denno (Trento): Comune di Denno, page 143.

[lxxviii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 181. His parents’ names were Antonio and Dorotea.

[lxxix] CASETTI, Albino (dottore). 1951. Guida Storico – Archivistica del Trento. Trento: Tipografia Editrice Temi (S.R.L.), page 289.

[lxxx] As I don’t have the early Taio baptismal records here at home, I pieced together this information on Taio using a combination of the marriage and death records for the parish, along with information from the Nati in Trentino website.

[lxxxi] Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 2, no page number.

[lxxxii] Giovanni Andrea Ziller is reported to have died in Ceniga, which is in the parish of Drò in the southern part of the province. His death was reported back to the Taio parish priest by his son Giuseppe, and recorded in the Taio register, where only the month and year are given (February 1785). Taio parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 79-80.

[lxxxiii] Veronica (Emer), widow of (Giovanni) Andrea Ziller died in Taio on 18 November 1790, when she was said to be about 70 years old. Taio parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 83-84.

[lxxxiv] Anna, wife of Michele Ziller, died on 6 May 1824, when she was said to be 79 years old. Taio parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 126-127. Their marriage record is not in the Taio register, so I do not yet know her surname.

[lxxxv] Michele Ziller died in Taio on 11 February 1827, when he was said to be 84 years old. Taio parish records, deaths, volume 4, page 4-5.

[lxxxvi] Cognomix. ‘Ziller’. Accessed 1 October 2022 from https://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani/ZILLER.

[lxxxvii] Dambel parish records, marriages, volume 2, page 42. Their ages and all four parents’ names are given in the marriage record. The birth dates are from the Nati in Trentino website.

[lxxxviii] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 2, page 104.

[lxxxix] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 2, page 131.

[xc] Ermenegildo, son of Romedio Ziller and Giulia Pedrotti, was born in Dambel on 2 October 1882 (Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 24) and died on 8 October 1882, reportedly of angina. His death date is in the margin of the baptismal record, and it is also on page 125-126 of volume 2 of the Dambel death register.

[xci] Sarnonico parish records, volume 7, page 154. The Swiss marriage record (in German) is a separate certificate that has been inserted into the book, and it was photographed when the microfilm of the register was made.

[xcii] Dambel parish records, deaths, volume 2, page 157-158.

[xciii] Sarnonico parish records, marriages, volume 7, page 203. Their marriage record says they were granted a dispensation for second grade consanguinity, which indicates they were first cousins.

[xciv] Dambel parish records, deaths, volume 2, page 242-243.

[xcv] Scheda Caduti Trentini della I Guerra Mondiale. ‘Ziller, Giuseppe (ID code 12145)’. Accessed 9 October 2022 from https://www.cultura.trentino.it/portal/server.pt/community/caduti_in_guerra_-_cerca/309/cerca_nella_banca_data/19671.

[xcvi] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 43.

[xcvii] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 59.

[xcviii] Dambel parish records, marriages, volume 3, page 62.

[xcix] Both of their death dates are written in their baptismal records. Candido died at age 74 on 12 November 1965, and Angela died at the age of 71 on 10 November 1970.

[c] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 68.

[ci] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 70.

[cii] Luigi died at age 65 on 18 November 1968. Speranza was nearly 81 years old when she passed away on 09 March 1985.

[ciii] Dambel parish records, baptisms, volume 3, page 86. The priest has written ‘born in New Philadelphia’, and his US draft card specifies he was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio (not Pennsylvania).

[civ] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2713; Volume #: Roll 2713 – Certificates: 516300-516899, 24 Feb 1925-25 Feb 1925.

[cv] Year: 1925; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 18; Page Number: 100.

[cvi] Year: 1934; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 17; Page Number: 113.

[cvii] New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Brooklyn.

[cviii] Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

[cix] Fondo parish records, marriages, volume 4, page 46.

[cx] Seio parish records, baptisms, volume 1, page 11. Gustavo’s birth (07 September 1868) is recorded in the Seio baptismal register, but it specifies that he was born in Württemberg.

[cxi] Fondo parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 82.

[cxii] Fondo parish records, baptisms, volume 10, page 6. Emilio Lodovico Ziller was born in Fondo on 15 August 1909. Notes in his baptismal record say he married Giuseppina Niedermair in San Michele Appiano (province of Bolzano) on 23 November 1955, and died in Bolzano on 03 November 1983.

[cxiii] Fondo parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 89. Adolfo Carlo Ziller was born in Fondo on 25 March 1904. Notes in his baptismal record say he married Carolina Seppi of Ruffré (a frazione of Sarnonico parish) on 29 December 1936, and that he died in Fondo on 11 April 1973.

[cxiv] Fondo parish records, marriages, volume 4, page 38.

[cxv] Their son Romano Romedio Ziller was born in Fondo on 8 January 1905. Date via Nati in Trentino website.

[cxvi] Camillo was born in Seio on 5 January 1900, and died there on 29 May 1975, at the age of 75. His baptismal record indicates he married Anna Covi of Fondo on 12 April 1939. According to my research, she was already 34 years old at the time. Seio parish records, baptisms, volume 2, page 9.

[cxvii] Romano Romedio was born in Fondo on 8 January 1905. Notes in his baptismal record say he married Violante Fortunata Graziadei of Fondo on 15 September 1934, and he died in Fondo on 14 October 1984 (age 79). Fondo parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 94. Violante was several years older than Romano (born 15 Sep 1897), which means she was already 37 years old at the time of their marriage. Fondo parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 48.

[cxviii] Eugeno was born in Sanzeno on 31 July 1875. Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 156.

[cxix] Revò parish records, marriages, volume 6, page 34. The marriage record says her mother’s name was Rosa Martini, but this is an error.

[cxx] I would have presumed Eugenio had fought in the military during the war, but I do not see him listed in the military register for Trentino.

[cxxi] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 78.

[cxxii] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 91.

[cxxiii] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 108.

[cxxiv] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 130.

[cxxv] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 10, page 36.

[cxxvi] Wikipedia. ‘Sindaci di Bolzano’. Accessed 12 October 2022 from https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sindaci_di_Bolzano.

[cxxvii] According to the notes in their baptismal records, Lino married on 04 January 1936 (his wife’s name looks like Carmela Nicolodi in the notes, but I am not certain) and died in Bolzano on 17 April 1975. Teodoro married on 18 February 1939 (his wife’s name looks like Silvia Nicolodi to me, but again I would need confirmation of this); he died in Bolzano on 27 December 1979.

[cxxviii] RAUZI, Gian Maria. 1987. Araldica Tridentina: stemmi e famiglie del Trentino. Trento: Grafiche Artigianelli, page 378. Rauzi merely states that the Ziller now own the house; a family member told me it was Lino who purchased it.

[cxxix] For More information about the Martini de Wasserberg see: SERAFINN, Lynn. 2022. ‘The Martini Families of Trentino. Origins, Connections, Nobility, and Challenges of Research. https://trentinogenealogy.com/2022/01/martini-origins-nobility/

[cxxx] Archivio di Stato di Trento. ‘Ruoli Matricolari’. Roberto is ID number 29885; Teodoro is ID number 20985. Accessed 11 October 2022 from https://archiviodistatotrento.cultura.gov.it/Ruoli_matricolari/.

[cxxxi] According to a notation in Roberto’s baptismal record, the couple married 23 October 1946. Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 9, page 130.

[cxxxii] Revò parish records, baptisms, volume 10, page 36. Guido died on 16 October 1982. The notes in Guido’s baptismal record say Franca was born on 07 May 1932, and was the daughter of Francesco Visintainer and Alma Rizz, but it does not say where she was born. A family member confirmed she was from Cles.

[cxxxiii] Cognomix. ‘Ziller’. Accessed 1 October 2022 from https://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani/ZILLER.

[cxxxiv] The couple married in the church of Santi Antonio Abate e Rocco Confessore in Traversara on 28 April 1855. Arsio e Brez parish records, marriages, volume 6, page 3.

[cxxxv] Marianna died 28 April 1855. She was 27 years old. Sanzeno parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 66-67.

[cxxxvi] Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 4, page 29.

[cxxxvii] Assunta ‘Modesta’ Ziller was born 29 May 1859 (Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 65), and married Luigi Gabardi of Malgolo on 11 February 1896 (Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 5, page 1). The couple had 5 children. A note in Modesta’s baptismal record says she died on 25 July 1939, not long after her 80th birthday.

[cxxxviii] Concetta Chiara Ziller was born 17 May 1873 (Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 144), the youngest child of Mattia Ziler and Barbara Cattarina Inama. She married Alessandro Branz of Sanzeno on 08 January 1898 (Sanzeno parish records, marriages, volume 5, page 5), and gave birth to nine children. A note in her baptismal record says she died on 21 December 1956, when she was 83 years old.

[cxxxix] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 48. There is a note in his baptismal record that says he died on 16 April 1934 (presumably in Sanzeno).

[cxl] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 74.

[cxli] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 92.

[cxlii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 6, page 128.

[cxliii] Sanzeno parish records, baptisms, volume 7, page 73.

[cxliv] ZILLER, Ferdinand (Dr). ‘Exodus. Departure to new banks: Chapter 1: Time of emigration’. Accessed 14 October 2022 from the ‘Familie Ziller’ website at http://www.familie-ziller.com/Exodus1.htm.

[cxlv] This information is via Dr Ferdinand Ziller.

[cxlvi] STELZER, Deanna Davidson. ‘The New World’. Accessed 13 October 2022 from the ‘Familie Ziller’ website at http://www.familie-ziller.com/NewWorld.htm.

[cxlvii] Enrico Romedio was born 6 September 1873, son of Teodoro Sisinio Ziller and Carolina Celeste Melchiori.

[cxlviii] The article I read is a notice about their 50th wedding anniversary in 1947, but the image I accessed was from a tree on Ancestry, and the date and name of the newspaper was chopped off. Compiling information from various US documents, it seems Maria Rosa Anselmi was born in Germany, but her father was from the Anselmi of Brez in Trentino.

[cxlix] I have only found one child for that couple so far, a daughter named Katherine Edith born in Minidoka County, Idaho on 5 May 1906. Enrico died in Los Angeles County California on 16 January 1955 (as per US Social Security death index, number 559011985).

[cl] STELZER, Deanna Davidson. ‘The New World’. Accessed 13 October 2022 from the ‘Familie Ziller’ website at http://www.familie-ziller.com/NewWorld.htm.

[cli] STELZER, Deanna Davidson. ‘The New World’. Accessed 13 October 2022 from the ‘Familie Ziller’ website at http://www.familie-ziller.com/NewWorld.htm.

[clii] US Social Security death index, number 559011985.

[cliii] STELZER, Deanna Davidson. ‘The New World’. Accessed 13 October 2022 from the ‘Familie Ziller’ website at http://www.familie-ziller.com/NewWorld.htm.

[cliv] On his application for his US passport in 1934, Evarist Ziller says was born in Innsbruck on 18 February 1893. As cited earlier, his cousin Vittore Emmanuele was born 22 March 1893.

[clv] Evaristo’s Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 10; Page Number: 169. The family have told me that Vittore actually used his future wife’s surname to enter the US (possibly to avoid the Austria military draft), and that Basilio helped pay for his passage.

[clvi] Evaristo provided details about his marriage and his first two daughters are in his US passport application in 1934.

[clvii] Death record says he died 3 August 1969. Place: San Diego; Date: 3 Aug 1969; Social Security: 551014093.

[clviii] FIND-A-GRAVE. ‘Victor E Ziller’. Accessed 12 October 2022 from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/218849082/victor-e-ziller

[clix] COMAI, Piergiorgio. ‘I Nobili Rurali di Priò’, page 2. Accessed 16 September 2022 from http://pierocomai.altervista.org/storie/Nobili_a_Prio.pdf.

[clx] Sarnonico parish records, baptisms, volume 8, page 146. He was one of twins (the other twin was a girl).

[clxi] Lorenzo Ziller and Anna Cattarina Melchiori married 30 October 1857. Torra parish records, marriages, volume 9, page 5.

[clxii] Anna Cattarina died 12 October 1862; she was 29 years old. Torra parish records, deaths, volume 3, page 158-159.

[clxiii] Lorenzo Ziller and Giuditta Zanella in Magras on 14 March 1866. Magras parish records, marriages, volume 2, page 13.

[clxiv] Typical spacing between children in this era is about 2-3 years apart; this couple’s children were born 5 years apart, in Ossana, Magras, and Priò.

[clxv] In the baptismal record of Luigia Amalia Ziller (6 June 1909), daughter of Ambrogio Ziller and Raimonda Marcolla, it says her father was a ‘fabbricatore’ (Torra parish records, baptisms, volume 12, page 20). She and four of her siblings were all born in Segno, but the family returned to Taio by the time of the next sibling, born in 1912.

[clxvi] Cognomix. ‘Ziller’. Accessed 1 October 2022 from https://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani/ZILLER.

[clxvii] The precise figures on their site show 59 Ziller families currently living in the province of Trento, and 21 in province of Bolzano.

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