What is the ‘One Tree Project’?

Serafinii Family Tree - screenshot

THE ‘ONE TREE PROJECT’ is a genealogical research project founded by Lynn Serafinn, the goal of which is create a visual, literary and spiritual reminder of how we are all connected. Its motto is  ‘One Tree. One Family. One Humanity’.

The prototype of this project will focus on the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Trentino, Italy. Years of research of this parish has convinced Lynn that EVERY person who has even the smallest degree of ancestry from this parish, is related by blood. This is because the vast majority of people in rural Trentino married within their own parish. This creates a rich tapestry of inter-marriage between families. This means, if you look hard and long enough, you can discover a family connection — even if a distant one — with pretty much anyone whose family once lived in Bleggio. And this interconnectedness is not just found in Bleggio, but in any of the ancient and historic parishes throughout the province of Trento.

As a result of mass migration at the beginning of the 20th century, many thousands of descendants of the families of Bleggio are dispersed throughout the world, especially in the United States. Many of them have little or no idea of their ancestral roots, nor even that they may have many living relatives still in the land of their Trentini ancestors.

To reconnect our long-lost mutual family, the goal of the project will be to identify and ‘map’ everyone either born in that parish, or whose ancestors came from there, from the 1400s to the current era, and to create a rich collection of information and resources for living descendants.

Lynn hopes to achieve this goal by doing the following, over the next 5 years:

  1. Using this blog to provide research tools and information to aid those who are interested in tracing their Trentini family origins.
  2. Constructing a parish-wide FAMILY TREE of BLEGGIO by:
    • Cataloguing the complete parish records (birth, deaths and marriages) of Santa Croce del Bleggio from 1550 – 1923 (the range of the parish records).
    • Incorporating other research sources (notary records, old parchments, etc.) into the tree, to expand the range of the tree back to the 1400s.
    • Identifying as many descendants of the families of Bleggio as possible (both in Italy and abroad — especially in the United States) to bring the tree up to the 21st century.
    • Incorporating vital information, photos, etc. of these descendants into the ‘FAMILY TREE OF BLEGGIO’

3. Writing and publishing a series of books on the history of the various family lines of Bleggio, incorporating local history of the times, including a ‘Genealogical Encyclopaedia of the Families of Bleggio’

4. Programming all this data into a searchable, online resource for the public to research their ancestry

5. Providing help to descendants of Bleggio in accessing and using these resources, so they can preserve their own family history

6. Training others to maintain the system and/or to develop the same kind of project for other Trentini parishes…and perhaps in other parts of the world as well.

This project is already underway, especially the first two aims on the list.  As of this writing, about 10,000 names (mostly of Bleggio origin) have already been catalogued. This work has been funded solely by Lynn Serafinn, who has already contributed thousands of work hours and spent thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros.

There is no way to complete this project without help from independent funders. For that reason, there will be a series of fund-raising projects to raise money to complete the various steps of the project. If you would like to see this vision become a reality, we invite you to subscribe to this blog, so you can receive our articles and be informed when the first round of fundraising will take place.

Everyone who supports this project via our fundraising events will receive some sort of genealogical ‘gift’ in return for their support (we will tell you more when we get closer to the time).

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about the ‘One Tree Project’. If you’d like to speak to Lynn about the project, please drop her a line via the contact form here on the Trentino Genealogy website.