Joseph E. Saccone
(February 2003 -- San Rafael, CA)
From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self,
parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
I am now 89 years "young" and my memory isn't quite as
sharp as it use to be. (But they came in) 1906 from Genoa. My mother
was born in Diano D'Alba (in the) province of Cuneo. She came to
the U.S. in either 1906 or 1907 along with my brother Bernard who
was a young child at that time -- my father came over before them.
What led them to their destination (relatives already there,
hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
Father had two brothers here already and he was seeking "the
Did they emigrate to another location before or after (Argentina,
France, England, etc.)?
Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were they members
of a Piemontese society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
They settled in what was called (and still is ) the North Beach
area of San Francisco where there was quite a settlement of Italians
of various sections of Italy. They did not belong to any organizations.
Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture,
history, cuisine, etc.?
My mother was Piemontese and my father was Genoese, we spoke the
Genoese dialect at home, however, my mother had many Piemontesi
friends and when they were together they spoke Piemontese. Mom was
a superb cook and I assume that her knowledge of cooking was what
she had learned in Piemonte I including polenta and bagna cauda
!! Her background was from a peasant life on a farm. I don't recall
how she met my father.
Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial
emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
My mother never did return to Italy, and after a few years she lost
all contact with her family due to deaths, etc., and her inability
to write. She was a tremendous worker, having worked in a cannery
during the day, and taking in laundry during the night, besides
taking care of her family which at that time consisted of my father
and my brother, who was born in Italy.
Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian or Piemontese?
I identify myself as an American first, and an Italo-Americano second
-- I do let people know that I am very proud of my Italian heritage!!
Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte? What was
your experience like?
Unfortunately, I have not gone to visit my parents' hometowns.
Have you studied your Piemontese genealogy? Please explain why.
No, I have never studied my Piemontese genealogy (nor my dad's either
) I suppose it was through lack of curiosity.
Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or
any other organization?
I presently am a member of Piemontesi nel Mondo.