LYNN SERAFINN is an author and genealogist specialising in the families of the Trentino, Italy, where her father was born.
Accessing records from a variety of archives in Trento and other provinces in northern Italy, she has constructed hundreds of family trees for clients, tracing the lives of tens of thousands of people back to the 1400s.
She has also translated many thousands of documents and historical articles from both Latin and Italian into English.
A published author on other topics, she is currently working on her multi-volume Guide to Trentino Surnames for Genealogists and Family Historians.
She is also an avid blogger and video podcaster, and writer of the regularly featured column ‘Genealogy Corner’ for Filò Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.
A former college lecturer with an MA in adult education, she also delivers workshops, helping others to trace their Italian family history, for the Society of Genealogist and other organisations.
Facebook group: https://facebook.com/groups/TrentinoGenealogy
Hi. I’m LYNN SERAFINN, genealogist at Trentino Genealogy.
I am an author and genealogist specialising in the families of Trentino, and writer of the regularly featured column ‘Genealogy Corner’ for Filò Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, but have lived in England since 1999. I live in Bedford, not too far away from my beautiful and talented daughter, her husband, and my two grandsons. 🙂
My father, Romeo Fedele Serafini (later known as ‘Ralph Serafinn’), immigrated with his parents and siblings from Santa Croce del Bleggio (in Val Giudicarie, Trentino) to the Pennsylvania coal mines shortly after World War 1. The family changed their surname from Serafini to Serafinn in the 1930s to make it sound ‘less Italian’ to Americans.
My paternal grandfather was in the Austro-Hungarian army during WW1, and spent at least two years as a prisoner of war in Siberia. After 1917, he, along with thousands of other bedraggled prisoners, walked across the European continent to get back to their native villages and be reunited with their families.
In his book A Courageous People from the Dolomites, author Father Bonifacio Bolognani cites my great-granduncle Luigi Parisi (brother of my great-grandmother, Europa Parisi) as the founder of the Trentini community in Brandy Camp, Pennsylvania in the late 19th century.
I have traced my own Trentino ancestry back to the early 1,400s, with a few of my ‘noble’ lines linking historically (pre-documentation) back to the 1,100s.
I grew up listening to Trentino dialect, but my father would never teach it to me. Later in life I taught myself to speak Italian (now, I’m tackling Latin, too), and I take great delight in being able to communicate, read and write in Italian, and translate complex documents into English. One of my current translation projects is a collection of eye-witness accounts of reported ‘miracles’ in Trentino during the 1620s.
I have a Bachelors’ in music, and spent more than three decades as a freelance musician, from symphony violinist to opera singer to electronic dance musician. In 1994 I co-wrote, co-produced, and played on an EP entitled Imagine!, which hit number-1 in many dance club charts, under our artist name ‘Overlords of the UFO’ (it has recently been re-released).
Always fascinated in world culture, in my 20s I did graduate work in Asian languages, world music and social anthropology. During that time, I was awarded a foreign language grant and studied in India for a year.
Later in life, I received an MA in adult education and distance learning, and was a college lecturer in London for many years.
I am also a certified life coach through Coaches Training Institute, as well as a CTI Leadership Graduate.
For several years between 2009-2013, I worked as a marketing consultant for authors and small business owners (just before I committed to doing genealogy on a fulltime basis). In 2011, I published a book entitled The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, which addressed issues around the economic, environmental and human impact of unethical marketing practices. The book received various awards and became an Amazon #1 bestseller.
I believe my teaching and coaching experiences help me serve my genealogy clients at a deeper, more meaningful, level.
A member of the London Society of Genealogists, I regularly deliver workshops there entitled ‘Tracing Your Italian Ancestors’ and ‘Reading and Understanding Italian Genealogical Records’.
An avid ‘techie’, I won the ‘Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the Year Award’ in 2005. My technical skills help me create and manage my clients’ trees, organise data and cloud storage, use Photoshop to enhance and repair documents and images, and run a variety of genealogy software programmes with ease.
I received a Distinction in a Level-3 Accreditation in Genealogy from the Centre of Excellence, but I believe my true genealogy ‘accreditation’ comes from my having researched, analysed and translated tens of thousands of Trentino genealogical records.
Before COVID, I routinely spent between 3 and 4 months a year in the province of Trento doing research for clients, as well as for my own projects (I am hoping this will resume soon!). I consider Trento to be my second (and certainly my ‘spiritual’) home. I invite you to contact me if you are looking for help with your research.
In addition to my work for clients, my personal research project is to transcribe all the parish records (and some additional parchments) for Santa Croce del Bleggio, from the 1400s to the current era, as well as to connect as many living people as I can who were either born in Bleggio or whose ancestors came from there. It is my hope that this tree, which already contains tens of thousands of people, will serve as a visual and spiritual reminder of how we are all fundamentally connected.
To speak with me about how you can find out more about your own Trentini ancestry, please first have a look at my SERVICES PAGE, and then feel free to drop me a line via the CONTACT FORM on this website.
Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn
Join our Trentino Genealogy Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/TrentinoGenealogy
View My Santa Croce del Bleggio Family Tree on Ancestry: https://trentinogenealogy.com/my-tree
(note: the online version is out of date, as I am working on a new one offline.