Bob and Joyce Zambenini's Roots


Bob's father's family came to Perth, IN from Northern Italy to work in coal mines. His father, ISIDOR ZAMBENINI settled in farm country 12 miles northeast of Terre Haute, IN, near Fontanet. Bob's mother was HAZEL JOHNSON, daughter of a local blacksmith, JOHN T. JOHNSON, in Brazil, IN.

Bob's Grandparents, were PIETRO and MARIA RIZZI ZAMBANINI from Sclemo Italy. Sclemois west of Trento. Pietro came to the USA to work in the late 1800s, and returned to Italy and brought the Maria and two sons to USA in 1901. He is believed to have worked in Vermont and later in McAlester OK, where there was a major mine explosion. Pietro was home sick that day, and he then moved on to Perth IN. He as naturalized in Clay County IN in 1896, and returned to Sclemo to bring his wife and sons to the US.

Bob' maternal grandparents, John and MINNIE DITTMAR JOHNSON were from Perth IN and later moved to Coal Bluff IN (Vigo County) where Hazel was born. The family moved to Brazil IN in 1937. John's father was PERRY JOHNSON. John's mother was MARY E. ARCHER, who claimed to be part Cherokee Indian. Mary Archer is a descendent of SIMON ARCHER-PATRICK ARCHER-JOHN ARCHER. SIMON ARCHER and his four brothers have a deep history in Washington County PA in the Indian Wars of the late 1700 and are sons of the American Revolution.


Joyce's father, RALPH F. SOMHEIL, came to Indiana from Stockholm, Sweden. He was photographer and owned and operated Ralph's Studios in Brazil, Greencastle, and Lafayette, IN. Joyce's mother, MARY LOUISE HEILIGER, was from a native Brazil, IN family and continued to operate the family studio in Brazil for ten years after her husband's death in 1966.

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