(March 2003 -- San Francisco, CA)
From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated
(self, parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My mother was born in the village of San Lorenzo, which is right
next to Vignale Monferrato, in 1896. In 1914 she (Rosmina Cacciola)
sailed to New York on the Ile de France.
What led them to their destination (relatives
already there, hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
Presumably, she did this because she found village life boring,
although, soon after she had regrets. She was met in New York
by her brother who had emigrated first to Argentina and then to
New York several years previously.
Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were
they members of a Piemontesi society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
Her brother arranged for her to stay with a Piemontese family
on the west side of Manhattan which at that time was heavily Piemontese.
There was a large colony from Fubine, a small town about five
miles from Vignale. The women were an important component of the
ladies garment workers and the men were mostly employed as waiters
in the restaurants of New York. The Piemontese tradition was strong
and until well after World War II there was an active soci club
called the Young Fubinesi. Rosmina knew no English at the time
friends found her a job in the laundry room of the Hotel McAlpin.
She left that job and worked as a nurses aide in an Italian hospital
Did your family return home to visit or to live
after the initial emigration? Did they maintain contact with family
In 1916 she returned to Italy for a cvisit to her family and then
returned to New York. She was introduced to my father, who was
from Bergamo province, by his sister who had worked with her in
the hospital. They were married in 1917 and my brother was born
in 1918. She visited her family again in 1925 and 1955. Eventually
my mother, father and brother moved to a suburb of New York where
my father worked as a carpenter and my mother as a garment worker.
My father died in 1929 and my mother in 1989.
Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian
I identify myself as an American, although I maintain contact
with Italian relatives.
Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte?
What was your experience like?
I have been to Vignale four times and the experience was enjoyable.
Unfortunately family members have either died off or moved away.
Have you studied your Piemontesi genealogy? Please
Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija
Piemonteis or any other organization?
I belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo.