Yolanda Cavallo Statham
(March 2003 -- Fresno/San Francisco, CA)
From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self,
parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My father Giovanni Michele Cavallo emigrated from Italy twice: 1900
from Cavallermaggiore, provincia di Cuneo, to Buenos Aires, and
1907 (?) from Cavellermaggiore to Brisbane, Australia. From Australia
he came to Vancouver, Canada (in) 1911 and from Vancouver he came
to San Francisco, California (in) 1912 (?). My grandfather (maternal),
Vittorio Dugoni, emigrated from Torino to San Francisco (1912).
My grandmother (maternal) and my mother followed Vittorio from Torino
to San Francisco (in) November 1914. My sister Florence and I were
born to Maria Dugoni Cavallo in San Francisco on August 9, 1922
and on August 17, 1925, respectively.
What led them to their destination (relatives already there,
hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
Hopes of (a) better life. My grandfather Vittorio Dugoni, had just
experienced two bankruptcies.
Did they emigrate to another location before or after (Argentina,
France, England, etc.)?
Except for my father, my other relatives came directly to San Francisco.
Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were they members
of a Piemontese society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
They settled in (the) North Beach section of San Francisco which
at that time was an Italian enclave. They supported Italian culture
but did not join any societies.
Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture,
history, cuisine, etc.?
The family always spoke Piemontese in the home. My parents lived
in San Francisco by the same cuisine, religion, etc., that they
had lived by in Italy. My father's bedtime stories were about Italian
history. Not many children went to sleep at night hearing about
Teodolina and Teodolachre!
Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial
emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
Neither of my parents returned to Italy after emigrating but they
kept up a long and faithful correspondence, including packages during
World War II.
Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian
Naturally I think of myself as an American having been born and
bred in the U.S. but I feel very much at home in Italy, especially
in Piemonte because I speak the dialect fluently -- and Italian,
Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte?
What was your experience like?
I try to visit my mother's relatives every year. I hope to be able
to do so for many more years although I must, at 76, be realistic!
Have you studied your Piemontesi genealogy? Please explain why.
I have studied the genealogy of my mother's "avi" back
to the 1700s in Oleggio; my father's mother to Bricherasio. Nothing
Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or
any other organization?
I belong to Piemontesi nel Mondo and have visited their center in