Departure to new banks 

1.chapter : Time of emigration


Mathias Giovanni Ziller was the fifth son of the Joannes Michael Ziller and Anna Maria Inama. Born in 1825 and a resident of Sanzeno Nr. 21, he suffered the hard conditions of his homeland as a young man. At 30 years of age he married his first wife Marianna Anselmi from Brez.  She died a few months after their wedding in April 1855, suffering from dysentery, which was epidemic in the region at that time. A year later he married Catharina Inama . They had nine children,three of which died in childhood.



Abb.1 Mathia Giovanni Ziller and his wife Catharina Inama

In a land tortured by diseases and bad harvests, the living conditions were hard and the resources were scarce. Many branches of the former aristocratic families had become impoverished and didn't retain their titles after the intermittent reign of the Bavarians, which ended in 1814.
In most cases only the eldest son of the families had the opportunity of staying in his homeland. The other family members had no choice but to leave the family and build their lifes elsewhere.
After learning the trade of a shoemaker (presumably in the workshop of his later father-in-law Angelo Clementi in Pressano) the second son Giovanni emigrated to Innsbruck to the near North Tirol. He married his wife Clementine Clementi and established a shoemaker workshop in the local part of Innsbruck, Pradl. His younger brother Emanuel Andreas setteled in Ahlen in Germany at the end of the 19th century. The youngest of the brothers, Basilio , was probably the most courageous and was the first one, with his cousin Enrico, to cross the ocean.
This was the beginning of the end of the family's development over the centuries in their homeland, the Val di Non. Last but not least, Vittorio the only son of Giuseppe , the oldest of the Ziller brothers, left his home country. Vittorio was able, with the help of his uncle Basilio, to emigrate to America in the year 1913 .He settled in Nuremberg, Pennsylvania.


            Giovanni and Clementine                                    Andreas and Henriette


Basil and Mary


Due to the difficulty of communication, the brothers didn't keep in touch as they might have liked. The contact of the three family branches broke off in the early twentieth century and led to a independent development of the families.

What is fascinating in this connection is, that despite these facts, the"Ziller-genes"controlled the further evolution of the families. In all three clans music, creativity, diligence,and persistance led to a ,mind you, independant development of professional musicians , who played music together in the family unit. While in America the "Ziller-Sisters"  caused quite a stir, the "Trachtenkapelle Ferdl Ziller"  from Austria traveled through Europe and the German branch of the family especially four "Ziller-Brothers"  earned their daily bread with music. A fascinating parallel of events.


                The "Ziller sisters" in America                                "Trachtenkapelle Ferdl Ziller" in Austria  

The "Ziller brothers" in Germany
My special thank goes to my American family who sent me most of the pictures shown above.
Will be continued!

copyright Dr.Ferdinand Ziller