(This tapestry hangs in the main hall of Palazzo Zappi in Imola. Today, an elementary school)
WHO IS A ZAPPI ...
.........anyway? Since this site is called "The Zappi Family," one may want to ask who belongs to it. Well, the answer is pretty simple: anyone who legitimately wears the surname.
By "legitimately" I mean someone who didn't just walk up to the Civil Registry, or whatever takes its place, and legally changed his surname from, say, "Zappetoisky" to "Zappi."
Although we deal here with the closer, immediate, family members, all others borne to the surname share the same heritage, the same ancestry and are--more or less distantly--related. As a Family, save for exceptional cases, we tend to be somewhat parsimonious in procreating. So there aren't many of us around. Still, generation after generation, the numbers steadily grow.
In this, we are luckier than many others. If you've read our "History" section, you've learned of the Alidosi, who first sent us packing out of Imola. Well, their lineage was gone long before we returned there. The same can be said of many other families whose names still ring--but only in the history books.
You may have noticed that, as genealogies go, we've kept this one short. We have seen many similar "trees" published on the 'Net: all one gets to read are long lists of names and dates of no significance whatsoever because nothing is learned about these people. Therefore, we've shortened it to the point where all the living members of our immediate family can get to a common ancestor. But one only has to go back four or five generations at the most to reach a common ancestor for all the living Zappi.
Since we all share the same ancestry, we are all entitled to use what in English is quite pompously called the Zappi "Coat of Arms" but in Italy simply "lo scudo," or "lo Stemma," the "logo" that differentiates our Family from any other. Our progenitors earned it, it is our birthright. The mark that accomunates us all--no matter how distant the relationship to the direct male-line descent. We can be proud of it, for it wasn't either purchased--as is often the case nowadays--nor unduly gained as was often the case in the past.
What only one, and his direct descendants, can display is the coronet above the Coat of Arms. That is the prerogative of the first-born natural and legitimate male, the Head of the Family, and his sons or daughters. That doesn't mean he is any better than the others. Only that he has more responsibilities and duties. In the old times these duties were sweetened by non insignificant privileges but, nowadays, only the responsibilities remain. All in all, one is better off without it. Trust me.
How does this work?
Pretty simple: upon Luigi Zappi's death, his nephew Zefiro inherited the title and became Head of the Family. Therefore, all of Zefiro's sons and daughters were entitled to use such title. Zefiro's descendants are six male and one female but, save for his first natural (that is, not adopted) and legitimate (born in wedlock) born male, Romolo, none of the others can transmit it. Therefore none of Zefiro's nephews--including your own humble chronicler--save Romolo's own son, Luis Carlos, are entitled to use it.
Luis Carlos has only one son. But Luis Carlo's son is adopted, so he can't inherit. In this case, the line would go back to Zefiro, search for his second natural and legitimate male: Romolo's twin, Remo. Since Remo passed away, his first natural and legitimate son, Jorge Luis, and Jorge Luis' progeny--Giancarlo and Enrico--would inherit.
That, however, is a long time in coming because, thanks Lord, both Romolo and Luis Carlos are in excellent good health and we all want to have them around for as long as possible.
As you may see from the graph, the Head of the Family's line of succession after Romolo's goes first to Remo and his descendants, then to Italo and his. But Italo had two male sons without progeny, so it's highly unlikely it would stay there. Then it would be the turn of Marco Aurelio's male progeny: Mark and his son Kyle, and Paul. Finally, we reach Umberto and his son Umberto II. Luckily, there are plenty in line so it's very unlikely it will peter out any time soon.
|LUIS CARLOS -1|
|REMO LUIGI +|
|JORGE LUIS -2|
|Gian Carlo -3|
|Enrico Arturo -4|
|ITALO JOSE +|
|MENTORE JUAN -5|
|ADALBERTO LUIS -6|
|MARCO AURELIO +|
|MARK EDWARD -7|
|Kyle Edward -8|
|PAUL ANDREW -9|
|UMBERTO EMILIO +|
|UMBERTO II -10|
There you have it. From now on, keep track of it by yourselves. Stay in touch with each other and consider every Zappi, even those you've never hear from or knew existed, as part of our Family.
A word about these pages.
Modern technology consents what was extremely difficult in the past: a meeting point where anyone who shares the surname can join. Hopefully, with technology becoming more accessible and users more proficient, participation will increase and contacts--although, in some instances, limited to e-mail--more frequent. You are all welcome.
In the regular course of events, our Family Head would be our natural Webmaster. Lack of technical ability, however, made this impossible and a small group created a Fund to support this activity through the next Century. Our current Webmaster will designate as successor a Family member who has the required time, expertise, and patience. As things stand, in case of mishaps your future Webmaster will be Enrico, son of Jorge, who already qualifies under all aspects and is in possession of the password to take over. He will, in turn, designate his replacement.
If all goes as planned, someone will be reading these words--by means of whatever technology will be then in vogue--a hundred years from this Thanksgiving Day of 1997.