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|Someda de Chiaramonte|
|Genealogie - Spezielle Texte|
|Geschrieben von: Glen Covert|
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I began researching the history of Trentino-Alto Adige when I was twelve years old. Now, a decade later, my interest shocks the average person from the United States. I must admit. It is a rather unusual area to research for an American. After all, very few people in the States have heard of that obscure province of northern Italy. This isn't to say most people in the States are uninformed. I probably wouldn't have discovered the existence of this beautiful and culturally rich region either if I didn't have ancestral roots from there. According to family tradition, my ancestor Maria Katharina von Someda de Chiaromonte was of a noble family of knights who had a knights castle in South Tyrol. The Someda de Chiaromonte family were supposed to have originated in the 15th century somewhere in South Tyrol, perhaps from a place called Someda and were supposedly related to all the other old South Tyrolean noble families. This is the family tradition. When I was told the family tradition, I set out to learn more, to try to find this ancestral knights castle. The task proved a little more difficult than anticipated. I had no idea where to look for information, because I didn't know where South Tyrol was. Locating South Tyrol was a challenge in itself, because the region in Italy formerly known as South Tyrol is now Trentino-Alto Adige, and depending on your origin, there are a half-dozen other names for the current and historical province. Once you figure out that half of the names generally refer to the same area, you then find yourself researching the history of a very politically, economically, and socially complex province, so complex, in fact, that historians (from the United States) generally prefer not to research it, since the task is so large. Even historians (from the United States) who research the history of the Habsburg hereditary lands, Austria-Hungary, the Holy Roman Empire, or the Habsburgs tend to ignore the history of Trentino-Alto Adige. For this reason, there are almost no sources in the English language to rely on for background information, which means you must learn German and be able to read Old German script before you can start doing your research in history.
There are many archives I am indebted to for helping bridge all the barriers to tell this story. The Tiroler Matrikelstiftung, the Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung of the Tiroler Landesarchiv, and the Ufficio Emigrazione of the Provincia Autonoma di Trento always responded kindly and in a timely fashion to my many inquiries, sending me copies of original documents and referring me to others, including Dr. Hannes Obermeir of the Südtiroler Landesarchiv and Professor Dr. Franz Heinz Hye of the Innsbrucker Stadtarchiv, who went out of their way to locate dusty records. The pursuit of original documentation introduced me to many wonderful people, who I am honored to have as friends. Thanks goes to fellow historian Baron Alexander Hohenbühel gen. Heufler zu Rasen, who tutored me selflessly so that I could better understand the history of Trentino-Alto Adige. Special thanks goes to Alexander von Egen u. Thurnstein, his sweet sister Eleonora, and cute mother Anna for their kind hospitality and for allowing me to research in their family archives. Special thanks goes to Count Johannes Jakob Trapp von Matsch for forwarding my original letter of intent to his brother-in-law Andreas von Trentini, their family historian. In this respect, I would like to thank Count Trapp's daughter Isabella, who gave me a tour of the Castle Churburg and introduced me to Mr. Hermann Theinar, the archivist of Churburg. Special thanks goes to Andreas von Trentini and his wife Countess Maria "Mariedi" Trapp von Matsch for their kind invitation to their home, the Magnifica Corte di Caldonazzo, for introducing me to other Trapp relatives, and for touring me around to see the Trapp and Someda ancestral lands, including visits to the Castel Beseno, to Vetriolo, where the Someda vitriol business was located. Another special thanks goes to Count Andrea Ceschi a Santa Croce and his parents Hugo and Elisabeth for their kind hospitality in Verona and Malcesine, and letting me take pictures of documents in their family archives.
I must also thank all of them for their continued support and encouragement in my research endeavors, and especially to Andreas von Trentini for all but telling me to just sit down and write the thing.
Last but not least are my uncle Lothar and mother Irene. I greatly appreciate Lothar's help in translating text from Italian to German to English, in addition to his continued enthusiasm which fueled my research. Irene was, and still is, my resident translator of German to English, especially for Old German text. Without her help with translation or her telling me about my South Tyrolean heritage when I embarked on this journey when in the seventh grade, such a history would not have been possible.
Glen Covert - glen_covert (ät) hotmail.com - updated: September 2009