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Roots in Coglio, Switzerland

May 2017
Italian and Latin Names
Parish records, from which most of this information comes, is primarily written in Latin, while civil records are primarily written in Italian. Names that have only been observed in Latin but have either been converted to Italian or left in Latin are rendered in italics.

Coglio (Coi)Top

Emblem of Coglio, Ticino, Switzerland

January 2016The ancestral home of our Ferari, Lafranchi, and Pozzi families is the town of Coglio in the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland. In Ticinese dialect it is known as Coi. Coglio lies in Valle Maggia, one of the three main river valleys of Ticino. It is situated next door to the town of Giumaglio, separated by the Riale di Giumaglio.

 

Church of Santa Maria of Mt. Carmel, Giumaglio
Church of Santa Maria of Mt. Carmel
Coglio, 2015

Parish Records

January 2016The parish of Coglio was formed in 1698 from the mother church at Maggia, however, the vicar of the neighboring parish at Giumaglio, which dates back to 1668 but was formally established in 1671, as early as the 1680s tended to the residents of Coglio.[Signorelli 325] The parish records of Coglio and the Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo (in Latin as Sancta Maria de Monte Carmelo), cover baptisms (1658-1981), marriages (1658-1980), and deaths (1888-1981).

Throughout most of this time the parishes of the valley had been under the Diocese of Como, in Italy, until the new federal government of the restored Swiss Confederation unilaterally abolished the diocese's jurisdiction in 1859. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) eventually responded by appointing the Bishop of Basel, in Switzerland, as administrator Apostolic over the parishes of Ticino in a nominal Diocese of Lugano in 1888. Such an administrator ran the parishes of Ticino until 1971 when a formal Diocese of Lugano with its own bishop was finally established.

Coglio Parish Records Reconstruction, 1745Top

February 2016A fire destroyed many of the parish records of Coglio on January 24, 1745, but many of the books were saved having been kept in the vicar's home; however, baptism, marriage, and death record books were lost. After the fire, the succeeding vicar, Giovanni Battista Pozzi, by decree of the Bishop of Como on March 20, 1745, set about reconstructing the books by recording the testimony of parishioners. Pozzi's reconstruction of 211 baptism records and 39 marriage records was done by family grouping, rather than chronologically. This may have been done simply by order of the interviews or it may have reflected some precedence among the families of that time. The reconstructed baptism and marriage records were group by the earliest families in following order:

Pastors of the Parish of CoglioTop

Early Pastors, 1658-1745

January 2016A fire destroyed many of the parish records of Coglio on January 24, 1745, but many of the books were saved having been kept in the vicar's home; however, baptism, marriage, and death record books were lost. After the loss, the succeeding vicar, Giovanni Battista Pozzi, by decree of the Bishop of Como on March 20, 1745, set about reconstructing the books by recording the testimony of parishioners. What is known of the early pastors is from his work and from the priests' appearances in the records of Giumaglio when they occasionally substituted to perform baptisms and marriages.

Father Giovanni Battista Pozzi (1745-1782)

Father Pozzi was born and baptized in Coglio in July 1712, the son of Don Giovanni Francesco Pozzi. He served in the parish of Coglio under Father Eustachio Antonio Perinoni as early as 1742 and after Father Perinoni's departure in the fall of 1744 he filled the vacancy until officially named as Vicar of Coglio in late March 1745.

A fire destroyed the parish records of Coglio on January 24, 1745, and Father Giovanni Battista Pozzi and he set about reconstructing the destroyed parish records dating back to as early as 1631. Father Pozzi served as pastor through August 1782 and apparently died before December 1782. He was 70 years old and had served as pastor for 37 years. During his tenure the parish saw an average birth rate of four per year.

Father Giacomo Antonio Ramelli (1783-1790)

June 2016After Father Pozzi's death, Father Giacomo Filipponi, pastor the neighboring parish of Giumaglio, filled in through December 1783 after which Father Giacomo Antonio Ramelli was installed as pastor and rector of Coglio. Father Ramelli had previously served as the pastor of Moghegno, about 5 kilometers downriver. In 1784, Father Ramelli attended Father Filipponi at his death.

Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio, pastor of Giumaglio, substituted for Father Ramelli in July 1790 and in March 1791 he was named as delegated pastor of Coglio.

Fathers Pedrazzini (1791-1794) and Delamisine (1795)

Father Andrea Maria Pedrazzini became pastor of Coglio in the spring of 1791. He may have been related to the Pedrazzini family of Campo, from whom daughters of the late Don Notaio Michele Pedrazzini served as godmothers to Coglio children in the 1790s, beginning with Father Pedrazzini's first parish baptism.

After Father Pedrazzini, Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio, pastor of Giumaglio, subsitituted again in late 1794 until the arrival of Father Claudio Ludovico Delamisine(?) around January 1795, however, Father Delamisine's tenure was only a matter of months, and Father Calzonio substituted once more in the spring of 1795.

Father Giuseppe Antonio Leoni/Leone (1795-1802)

July 2016Father Giuseppe Antonio Leoni arrived by July 1795 and served as pastor for nearly seven years. During his tenure, a likely relative from Cerentino, 20 kilometers upriver and along the Rovana di Campo, was named as godfather to three children from Coglio and Giumaglio in 1798 and married a Caneverini woman from Coglio in 1799. In late 1801 the title of Canon of Bironico, Valle Lugano, was added to his records and after March 1802 he was replaced, suggesting that he may have been promoted.

Father Francesco Antonio Bernardino Ressiga-Vacchini (1802-1806)

Father Francesco Antonio Bernardino Ressiga-Vacchini of Ascona became vicar in the Spring of 1802 and served into April 1806.

Father Giovanni Giorgio Dellapietra (1806-1809)

Father Giovanni Giorgio Dellapietra of Bosco (presumably Bosco Gurin, 25 kilometers upriver and along the Rovana di Campo and Rovana di Bosco Gurin), succeeded Father Ressiga-Vacchini by May 1806. He served into October 1809.

Father Bernardo Nicolai (1811-1816)

Father Bernardo Nicolai of Gordevio, about 7 kilometers downriver, succeeded Father Ressiga-Vacchini by December 1811, following a year in which there were no baptism or marriage records. He served into January 1816.

Father Giovanni Battista Camesi (1816-1822)

Father Giovanni Battista Camesi of Menzonio, Val Lavizzara, about 17 kilometers upriver, succeeded Father Nicolai by April 1816, following a brief gap in February during which Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio filled in. Father Camesi served into July 1822.

Father Pietro Ferrini (1824-1825)

Father Pietro Ferrini became Vicar of Coglio by February 1824, but, judging from his handwriting, he apparently back-entered one of Father's Camesi's baptism records from August 1822 and two for Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio of Giumaglio (however, curiously recorded as "Giacomo Calzoni"). Father Ferrini served into November 1825, after which Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio (correctly recorded as such) substituted yet again.

Father Giuseppe Tunzi (1827-1831)

Father Giuseppe Tunzi of Lodano was named as Vicar of Coglio by early 1827 and back-entered baptism records performed by other substituting and interim priests dating from December 1825. These priests included Father Giovanni Antonio Calzonio of Giumaglio, Father Giovanni Leoni of Maggia, and Father Cesare Caglioni of Coglio. Father Tunzi recorded his first baptism in March 1827. He served to September 1831.

Father Angelo Nizzola (1831-1845)

Father Angelo Nizzola (sometimes written as "Nizzuola") of Valle Onsernone was first noted as Vicar of Coglio in August 1831.

November 2016During this time, the parish saw the addition northern Italians. Giovanni Battista Tachella from Pietrafraccia, near Genoa, who married a Lafranchi woman in 1834. His arrival followed the Kingdom of Sardinia's addition of Genoa with Piedmont to consolidate the western third of modern day northern Italy. Similarly, November 2016Gratirolis of San Giovanni Bianco, Province of Bergamo, and Tagliaferris of Pagnona, then in the Province of Como and now in Lecco, under the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, which controlled the central and eastern thirds of northern Italy, arrived in the parish by 1844 and married Lafranchi women. Their arrival foreshadowed the rise of Josef Radetzky, Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia (1848-1857) who went on to order some 6,500 Ticinese expelled from Lombardy and sealed the border between Ticino and Lombardy in 1851 for two years.

Father Nizzola served as vicar to February 1845.

Father Carlo Neuroni (1845-1861)

November 2016Father Carlo Neuroni took over as vicar by September 1845, with Father Giovanni Giacomo Antognini, Vicar of Giumaglio, and Father Giuseppe Tunzi filling in during the interim. Father Neuroni was likely from Riva San Vitale, in the southernmost district of Mendrisio, as indicated in his first record when an apparent relative, Costantino Neuroni of Riva San Vitale, was named as a godfather to a parish child.

November 2016The Gold Rushes in California (1849) and Australia (1851) prompted a wave of emigration, especially between 1853 and 1863. The birth rate in Coglio, which had reached six or seven per year, dropped to four.

Father Neuroni served until July 1861.

Father Giovanni Battista Bettetini (1862-1864)

Father Giovanni Battista Bettetini took over as rector and vicar of the parish by February 1862 and served to at least October 1864.

Father Lorenzo Rizzoli (1868-1883)

Father Lorenzo Rizzoli of Borgnone, Centovalli, became vicar by June 1868 and apparently back entered 17 baptism records from Father Giovanni Giacomo Antognini, Pastor of Giumaglio, during the vacant period in between July 1865 and April 1868. Father Rizzoli later officiated at the funeral of Father Antognini, who died on June 17, 1876, and filled in as the pastor of Giumaglio through 1879. He later returned to Coglio to tend to Angelo Tagliaferri before his death in August 1899. At that time Father Rizzoli was serving as a spiritual deacon in Gordevio.

Giumaglio Viciniori

November 2016Father Agostino Anzini, who took over the parish of Giumaglio in 1880, began performing ceremonies in Coglio and recording them by April 1883; however, Father Rizzoli, who may have transferred to another parish, returned in April 1886 to perform a baptism, with permission from Father Anzini. Father Anzini served until at least May 1887.

Father Riccardo Pedrazzini, from the neighboring parish of Giumaglio, substituted until his departure after December 1890, after which Spiritual Deacon Antonio Padlina took over the parish of Giumaglio by February 1891 and doubled as the vicinior of Coglio. He became vicar of Giumaglio by March 1897 and served seven years through August 1898.

Lastly, Father Giosuè Maggini, Prior of Maggia, doubled as vicinior delegate of Coglio and Giumaglio by October 1898 and served through at least March 1903.

Father Serafino Turri

Father Serafino Turri became vicar of Coglio and Giumaglio (he often hyphenated the parishes as "Coglio-Giumaglio") by November 1905 and served through February 1917. He may have been from the Borgnone, Centovalli, as suggested by the marriage of Salvatore Turri of Borgnono to Ersilia Lafranchi in late 1917.

Father Antonio M. Gianini

May 2017Father Antonio M. Gianini became vicar of Giumaglio and Coglio in 1917. Another pastor, whose name is uncertain, spanned the years of 1920 and 1922.

Father Arturo Papa

May 2017Father Arturo Papa became spiritual deacon of Coglio by 1924 and rector by 1930. By 1935 he was both pastor of Someo and rector of Coglio.

Notai and Dons of CoglioTop

The office of notaio (notary) was responsible for noncontentious, private civil law issues. Notaries were well educated and prepared legal instruments for conveying property, contracts, powers of attorney, and such. Their position merited the honorific of "Don" (Dominus/Domino/Domini), as did those of military leaders and doctors.

Giovanni Pozzi (1680s)

February 2016Born in 1618 and died in 1696; observed as Notaio from 1686 to 1688, but may have served until his death and posthumously referred to as Chancellor of Coglio. Don Pozzi married Apollonia Pozzi of Giumaglio in 1686.

Giovanni Francesco Pozzi (I) (< 1709-~1747)

February 2016Son of Don Giovanni Pozzi, born on August 12, 1688, in Coglio, and observed as a don prior by 1709 and as Chancellor of Coglio in 1709 when he married Domenica Tomasini of Lodano. They had as many a ten children, of whom son Giovanni Battista (1712-1782) became Vicar of Coglio in 1745 and son Don Rodolfo Maria (1719-1771) became notaio of Giumaglio by 1741. After Giovanni Francesco's death around 1747, son Rodolfo doubled as notaio for both Giumaglio and Coglio.

Filippo Antonio Lafranchi (< 1862-> 1864)

Filippo Antonio Lafranchi was identified three times in baptism records as Don and Judge Advocate between 1862 and 1864. He was born on May 10, 1831, the great-grandson of Giuseppe Antonio Maria Lafranchi.