Troy's Genealogue

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Family Histories:

Select Pedigrees of Valle Maggians

June 2017
Northern California
Valle Maggia ReunionJune 2016
In the planning now is a reunion for descendants of Valle Maggia, 21-22 July 2018, in the Santa Rosa area. People far and wide are invited--stay tuned for details and check in on FacebookFacebook with the "Valle Maggia Families" group.
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.


April 2017Following are select pedigree charts of late 19th Century natives of Valle Maggia--chiefly from Giumaglio and Coglio--based upon parish record reconstructions. These are all works in progress that are presented to serve as a basis for comparison and discussion. Please do not cite these as finished genealogies nor not accept conflicting information without question. The pedigrees selected represent the ancestries of key contributors and collaborators on the parish reconstruction projects and emigrants who started families in America and Australia.

Cerini of GiumaglioTop

The main surviving Cerini families descended from Antonio1, Pietro, and Giovanni.

Enrico "Henry" Felice Cerini/Cerine (1881-1960)[Pietro] &
Olga Rosalia Cerini (1891-1991)[Antonio]

Henry emigrated to California in 1899 and eventually adopted the spelling of "Cerine" for his name. He was of the Pietro line. Henry married Olga Rosalia Cerini in 1910 in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. She was a granddaughter of Giovanni Battista8 & Maria Orsola Cerini8 from the Antonio1 line and emigrated in 1907. Henry and Olga were third cousins, once removed, on Henry's mother's side going back to Antonio Cerini (V)5 and Maria Perpetua Lafranchi4. They had three daughters, all born in Oregon.
• Henry and Olga were parents to contributor and second cousin Alice Cerine (1911-2012) and her nephews Dell & Dee Swearingen and niece Connie Smart.

Giovanni Battista Cerini8 (1834-) &
Maria Orsola Cerini8 (1839-)[Antonio]

Giovanni Battista8 and Orsola Cerini8 were second cousins, descendants of the Antonio1 line. Battista likely emigrated for a time by 1880 to Nicasio Township, Marin County[Cen 1880], where he worked as a hired farm worker, but returned to Giumaglio. Five of his six surviving children immigrated to California, the exception being youngest daughter Carolina, who did not emigrate but whose husband and children did. Their children's stories were the inspiration for the parish reconstructions of Giumaglo and Coglio.

Giovanni Nunzio Cerini (1849-1899)[Pietro]

Giovanni Nunzio Cerini descended from the Pietro line. His father emigrated for a time to Victoria, Australia, in the 1850s, but returned to Giumaglio. Nunzio did not emigrate, but six of his nine adult children immigrated to Marin and Sonoma Counties. Finding a link between his family and Battista's8 was key to prompting me to reconstruct all of Giumaglio and Coglio parishes. As it turns out, any direct Cerini male connection we might have predates by several generations the marriage of Nunzio's ancestor Giovanni Pietro Cerini (1699-1739) to Giacomina Cerini (1696-1750) on the Antonio1 line in 1720.
Nunzio's great-grandson Elio Genazzi in Maggia gave my father and me a spectacular tour of Valle Maggia and historic sites throughout Ticino in September 2016.

Giovanni "John" Sebastiano Cerini (Jr.) (1854-1929)[Pietro]

Township 13 and 15
Township 13 and 15 may indicate the area northwest of Laton (Township 13) midway between Laton and Caruthers (Township 17): Between 1910-1920, Township 15 was formed of parts of Township 6 (Coalinga) and Township 13 (Laton); in 1920, Township 17 (Caruthers) was formed of parts of Township 3 (southern Fresno) and Township 15. About midway between Caruthers and Laton lies Cerini Avenue, perhaps this is the area that the John Cerini family is enumerated in as Township 13 in 1910 and Township 15 in 1920 and 1930. Cerini Avenue falls under the Laton post office. John's son, John Jr., revealed that he was born in the Elkhorn area and lived in Riverdale Township about 1917.
May 2017John Cerini. baptized as "Joannes Sebastianus," lost his father in 1863 or 1865 in Australia when he was 9 or 11 years old. He emigrated at the age of 15 in 1869 by way of England, New York, and the Panama Canal, to San Francisco, and first settled in Bodega Township, Sonoma County. His first wife, Julia Ann Cecelia Tuomey (1860-1880) died a month after the birth of their daughter. He remarried to Frances (Calzascio/Calazascia) (1862-1941) a couple years later and resettled in Township 4 (Fowler/Kingsburg/Selma) of Fresno County by 1900, Township 13 (Laton/Caruthers) by 1910 and Township 15 (Laton/Coalinga) by 1920
Our uncle Dan Cerini also lived in the area of Caruthers, which could suggest familial ties between the two Cerini lines, however, it appears their closest relationship was that of fifth cousins through their mothers' lines.

Pietro Valentino Cerini (1873-1940) &
Santina Lorenza Cerini (1881-1977)[Pietro]

Peter and Santina were both descendants of Pietro Cerini, connecting back to Giovanni Cerini (1724-1803) & Maria Margherita Pedrotti (1739-), making them third cousins, once removed on that line.
Peter had emigrated in 1888, returned to Switzerland, married Santina in 1902, and then both emigrated to Washington. They first settled south of Seattle and later in Seattle. They had five children.
• Ancestor of contributor and distant cousin Christine Weicher.

Guglielmetti of CoglioTop

Pietro Cesare Guglielmetti (1857-1921)

Pietro Cesare Guglielmetti immigrated to America in 1876 and settled in Petaluma Township, Sonoma County, California. He married Olimpia Lafranchi (1876-1959), the daughter of Giuseppe Pietro Lafranchi and Eugenia Brigida Righetti.
Pietro's eldest brother, Giovanni Battista (1838-1909), emigrated to Australia in 1854 and ultimately emigrated to California with his wife Domenica Dolcini (1841-1913). They also settled in Petaluma.
• Grandfather of the late Donna (Guglielmetti) Malugani.

Lafranchi of CoglioTop

The Lafranchi family descends from three main lines: Martino1, Giovanni Giacomo1, and Giovanni Antonio1, which I divide and label "A," "B," and "C," respectively. This order is how Father Giovanni Battista Pozzi arranged his reconstruction of the parish after a fire destroyed all records in 1745.

Carlo Maria Giovanni Lafranchi/Charles LeFrancke (1833-1868)[Giovanni Antonio/C]

Carlo Maria Giovanni Lafranchi emigrated to Australia in 1854 and first settled in Stoney Creek Goldfield, New South Wales. He adopted the spelling "Charles LeFrancke" . Charles married Jane Shaw in 1858 and had five children before his early death at the age of 35, at Canal Creek Diggings, near Leyburn, Queensland.
• Ancestor of contibutors and distant cousins Peter LeFrancke, Sharon Currie, and Lynne Hammond.

Eugenio Celestino Lafranchi (1876-1942)[Giovanni Antonio/C] &
Claudina Maria Lafranchi (1878-1955)[Giovanni Antonio/C]

April 2017While both Eugenio's and Claudina's paternal lines descended from Giovanni Antonio1, their closest relationship was that they were second cousins, once removed on his mother's side and her father's side, connecting at Giovanni Battista Lafranchi (Jr.) (1797-1852). Eugenio and Claudina settled in Sonoma County, California.
• Ancestors of contibutor and distant cousin Patti Smylie.

Giulio Battista Lafranchi (1839-1934)[Giovanni Antonio/C]

Giulio Battista Lafranchi was a second cousin to Giuseppe Pietro Lafranchi. He emigrated to Australia when he was 15 years old in 1855 and likely joined his next elder brother, Pietro Giacinto, who had emigrated the year before. Giulio Battista settled in Victoria, Australia. His son Peter Lafranchi (1888-1917) served with ANZAC during World War I and died on the first day of the Second Battle of Bullecourt (May 3-17, 1917) on the Hindenburg Line in Northern France. Giulio died in Eganstown in 1934.
• Ancestor of contibutor and distant cousin Debra Talbot.

Giuseppe Pietro Lafranchi (1843-1924)[Giovanni Antonio/C]

Giuseppe Pietro Lafranchi descended from Giovanni Antonio Lafranchi1 ("C" line) and his mother was from the Giovanni Giacomo Lafranchi1 ("B" line). He emigrated to Australia when he was about 11 years old to join his father, but his father died just a few months before his arrival. He likely was cared for by friends or relatives as he stayed on in Australia and New Zealand. He was also a second cousin to Giulio Battista Lafranchi. Giuseppe Pietro returned home to Valle Maggia and married Eugenia Brigida Righetti (1844-1933) of Someo in 1870. The following year, Giuseppe left for America leaving his pregnant wife behind. She and their daughter followed in 1875 and they settled for about 3 years in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona. They ultimately moved to Sonoma County, California, by 1881, and settled along Sebastopol Road in Llano Precinct, Santa Rosa Township. They had five children.
Daughter Olimpia (1876-1959) married Pietro Cesare Guglielmetti (1857-1921) about 1893.
Son Edward (1879-1960) married Lucia Agnes Piezzi (1879-1962) in 1899.
• Ancestor of contributor and distant cousin Diana Neal and the late Donna (Guglielmetti) Malugani.

Lesina (Lèsna) of GiumaglioTop

Elvezio Giuliano Lesina (1878-1951)

Elvezio Giuliano Lesina settled in California. His grandson Mark Lesina has been studying Valle Maggia for much longer than I and has contributed a treasure trove of information gleaned from civil records, newspaper articles, and books.

Pedrotti (Padrött) of GiumaglioTop

The first parish census of 1692 in Giumaglio enumerated three Pedrotti families: Antonio Pedrotti (~1651-170X), son of Pietro; Giovanni Pedrotti (~1658-1700), the brother of Antonio and a widower with three children; and Giovanni Pedrotti (1668-1697), son of an elder Giovanni whose relationship to Pietro is unknown. It appears that the latter Giovanni’s line died out in 1697 and that only the two brother’s families survived to modern times, so essentially all Pedrottis of Giumaglio origin today trace back to Pietro and his two sons.

Angelo Pedrotti (1846-1895)

April 2017Brothers Giuseppe (1843-1926) and Angelo (1846-1895) emigrated to California and settled first in Bolinas Township, Marin County, California, by 1870. Giuseppe returned home to Giumaglio while Angelo married Luigia "Louisa" Beffa, settled in Olema, Marin County, and had eight children before their early deaths--hers about 1890 and his in 1895.
Their eldest brother Giovanni Pietro (1836-) emigrated to Australia years earlier in 1853.
Giuseppe and Angelo were first cousin to James Pedrotti and his brothers.
• Angelo was the ancestor of contibutor and distant cousin Sally Staley.

Pedrotti Brothers of Bolinas

April 2017Brothers Giovanni Gerolamo "James" (1850-), Giacomo Agostino "Gus" (1853-1924), Domenico (1857-1920), and Mattia Giuseppe "Mathias Joseph" (1860-1933) all emigrated to California between 1867 and 1876. Their father, Giovanni Giacomo Pedrotti (1820-1889), and his younger halfbrother, Giovanni Domenico Pedrotti (1834-1902), both worked in Australia 1853 to 1856. Giacomo returned to Giumaglio and Domenico ultimately continued on to Siskiyou County, California. James Pedrotti and his siblings settled in Bolinas Township, Marin County, California, by 1870.
The Pedrotti brothers were first cousins to Giuseppe and Angelo Pedrotti.
• Gus was the grandfather of contributor and distant cousin Gene Pedrotti.

Pezzaglia of CoglioTop

The Pezzaglia family of Coglio all trace back to Giacomo Antonio Pezzaglia, who was baptized on April 6, 1658. His parents were Giacomo Pietro Pezzaglia and Domenica Muscio.

Romildo Anacleto Pezzaglia (1853-1938)

Romildo Anacleto Pezzaglia emigrated to America with his family in 1887. He married Bessie Leola Mayhood and settled in Rio Vista, Solano County, California. They had seven children.

Piezzi of GiumaglioTop

Anna Maria (Piezzi) Pisenti (1837-1881)

Anna Maria Piezzi married Giuseppe Pisenti, reportedly a native of Poscante, Province of Bergamo, Italy, in Giumaglio in 1868. Their son, James Pisenti (1871-1934) emigrated to California and settled in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.

Giuseppe Vittorio "Victor" Piezzi (1853-1938)

Victor emigrated in 1869[Cen 1930] and married Luella Adella Wylie in 1877. He settled on Piezzi Road west of Santa Rosa.[Cen 1910] He was a descendant of Giacomo Piezzi (1729->1781).
Vittorio Piezzi and Maurizio Sartori were first cousins through grandparents Giacomo Maria Piezzi & Maria Angiola Cerini.
Daughter Lucia Agnes (1879-1962) married Edward Lafranchi (1879-1960) in 1899.
• Victor was an ancestor of contibutors and distant cousins Parker Hall and Steven Dutton.

Pozzi (Pozzítt) of Giumaglio and CoglioTop

The earliest existing census of Giumaglio parish in 1692 counted 11 Pozzi households in four groups. A source of confusion is that three heads of household were named Giovanni Giacomo Pozzi, one was the town notary and another the town doctor. Not listed in the census, but yet again of the same name, was a fourth--Father Giovanni Giacomo Pozzi (~1619-1694), Vicar of Giumaglio. Finally, the neighboring village of Coglio was home to Don Giovanni Pozzi, who also had Giumaglio roots.

Stefano Fabiano Pozzi (1833-1922)

Stefano Fabiano Pozzi descended from the Coglio branch of Pozzi aristocracy. He apprenticed as a watchmaker in Geneva and then emigrated to Australia in 1854. He returned home in 1860, married Giacomina Pedrazzini of Maggia in 1861, and had one son, who died in infancy. About 1870 they moved to Australia where they settled in Daylesford, Victoria, and had two daughters. Giacomina died in 1877 and Stefano remarried in 1880 to Mary Ann Page. He and Mary Ann had three more children.
• Stefano was an ancestor to contributors John Dean and Helen Herbel.

Sartori of GiumaglioTop

Giovanni Giacomo Sartori (Sr.) (1811-1891)

Four of his eleven children emigrated to California: Giovanni Pietro (1839-1910), Benedetto (1845-1877), Rafael (1849-1921), and Ignazio (1854-1915). Descendant of Giovanni Giacomo Sartori (1759-1827).

Maurizio "Morris" Sartori (1863-1953)

Born and baptized in Giumaglio on January 6, 1863. Immigrated and married Sabina Caporgno of Someo and started a dairy ranch in Tomales, Sonoma County. Retired to Petaluma, Sonoma County. Descendant of Giovanni Giacomo Sartori (1759-1827).
Maurizio Sartori and Vittorio Piezzi were first cousins through grandparents Giacomo Maria Piezzi & Maria Angiola Cerini.