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Nick Cignetti
(January 2003 -- North Canton, OH)

From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self, parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My great uncle was the first to emigrate from Crotte par Strambino in 1903. My maternal grandparents (Pietro and Carolina [Andro] Beiletti were next, my grandfather in February of 1907 then my grandmother in November of 1907. My father then came in 1920. All the above from the same village. My uncle Giuseppe (my dad's brother) came in 1913. Other cousins and friends came from 1903 to 1920.

What led them to their destination (relatives already there, hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
My great uncle Giuseppe Cignetti was the first to come (in 1903) and settled in Paulton, PA, a small coal mining village. Why he picked this place is what I am still trying to find out.

Did they emigrate to another location before or after (Argentina, France, England, etc.)?
No, to my knowledge they all came to Paulton.

Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were they members of a Piemontese society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
Yes, the better part of Paulton was from Piemonte some from Monferrato, Canavese and Val d'Aosta. They formed a societa to take care of their health insurance and to handle socializing.

Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture, history, cuisine, etc.?
Yes and I still speak fluent piemontese and eat the cuisine. We still keep the culture.

Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
Yes, during WWII I can still remember the family making packages of food and clothing and shipping them to Piemonte. After my father passed away the land that he owned became mine and I still am the owner. My first cousin Nicolao Cignetti (my father's oldest brother stayed in Italy. Nicolao is his son.) lives in the old homestead in Crotte. I visit him often and will be visiting him this May with my wife.

Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian or Piemontese?
American then Piemontese.

Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte? What was your experience like?
I visit Crotte often and every experience has been outstanding. Since we eat the cuisine here in the USA there is no difference when we go there. Along with that I communicate at least once a month via telephone, speaking only Piemontesi.

Have you studied your Piemontese genealogy? Please explain why.
I have traced the Cignetti family back to the 1500s and have researched that area back to the BCs. The cities of Turin and Milan were Celtic. Caesar had to defeat them before going on to Gaul. This is one of the reasons for the abundance of auburn haired people in that region. My father had red hair.

Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or any other organization?

I do not belong to any organizations.

Il testo in italiano


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