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Michael Ferro
(March 2003 -- Oakland, CA)

From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self, parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My grandparents emigrated from Casalborgone (Torino) and Montiglio d'Asti (Asti) in about 1892. Their names were Giuseppe Ferro and Giovanna Masoero.

What led them to their destination (relatives already there, hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
They emigrated to San Francisco to work.

Did they emigrate to another location before or after (Argentina, France, England, etc.)?
They remained in San Francisco.

Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were they members of a Piemontesi society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
They settled in an Italian community comprised of natives of many regions of Italy. I do not think they were members of any Piemontese group, but they were members of Italian (and business) groups.
Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture, history, cuisine, etc.?
They spoke Piemontese and Italian at home and at work. Their English was strongly inflected by Italian. Their diet remained in many ways Piemontese -- polenta was a common food and rosemary a common seasoning.

Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
After the First World War they returned to Piemonte to live but they remained only 18 months before returning to San Francisco. One of my grandfather's brothers came to San Francisco to work for several years but returned permanently to the Torino area.

Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian or Piemontese?
I identify myself more as Piemontese-Californian than American.

Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte? What was your experience like?
I have visited cousins in the Torino area several times. They are generous, lively, happy people, with comfortable houses and splendid diets. They live in a beautiful part of the world. Their children seem quite happy. I wonder whether those who came here were, in the end, any better off than those who remained, despite the poverty in Italy in the early 20th century and the horrors of the Second World War in northern Italy.

Have you studied your Piemontesi genealogy? Please explain why.
I have identified over 100 members of my family, all descended from (or married to spouses who are descended) from one set of great-grandparents, here and in Piemonte. There are somewhat more of us in Piemonte (68) than in California (55).

Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or any other organization?
I am a member of the Piemontese nel Mondo.

Il testo in italiano e' in preparazione


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