We Monferrini | Our Stories | Monferrino Diary | History | Language | Gallery
Our Names | Family Album | Links | Bibliography | Turismo | Guestbook| Pagine Monferrine

Rose Bo Marenco
(April 2003 -- Sunnyvale, CA)

From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self, parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My father and mother were both born in Italy -- my father in Franchini which is a frazione of Altavilla (Monferrato). My mother was born Maria Stanchi -- to Domenico Stanchi and Rosa Zeppa Stanchi -- in Quargnento near Alessandria. Actually it was on a farm between Quargnento and Fubine. She went to school in Fubine but the family was really from Quargnento. My great-grandmother (whom I met in 1953) was Giovanna Longo Zeppa. Giovanna had nine siblings, one of which was the father of Luigi Longo, the Secretary of the Communist Party. So, Luigi's grandfather and my great-great-grandfather (also named Luigi Longo) were the same person . My mother's celebration of her 90th birthday (was) in May 2002. My mother has two children, myself and my brother Louis Bo. Louis has two sons and one daughter and they have seven children. I have a son and one daughter and we are expecting our first grandchild in October. My mother still drives a car and her mind is sharp as a tack. Her brother is 93 and still living in Torino.

What led them to their destination (relatives already there, hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
My father was Stefano Bo and his father was Luigi Bo. Luigi Bo came to America and arrived on June 24, 1911. My grandfather was called by his brother-in-law Stefano Baralis who was already here working in the lumber mill in McCloud, California. Luigi was married to Maddalena Baralis who was born in Acceglio near the French border and they had two children, my father Stefano born May 8, 1905 and Maria Bo born April 10, 1910.

When my grandfather arrived, his brother-in-law was already living in McCloud, California but at some time they both went to Copperopolis to work in the copper mines in California, because I heard him tell stories of the towns around Copperopolis such as Alta Villa and Murphy's. Finally Luigi earned enough money to send for my father, my grandmother and my aunt and they arrived January 31, 1920 and they went to Weed, California. My grandfather was then working in the mill in Weed.

In Weed, as well as McCloud, there were many Italians and as long as they worked they really didn't have to know how to speak English. However, my father Stefano Bo went to night school to learn the English language. In October 1929 my father went to Italy for a pleasure trip with three other gentlemen, met my mother, married her in December 1929 and returned to the United States in February 1930. My brother was born in February 1931. While my father was in Italy in 1929, he commissioned a house to be constructed in Franchini for my grandfather. In 1932, my grandparents and my aunt returned to Franchini as they figured they were rich by the days' standards. They put all their money in the bank and then of course after that the lire devalued. But they still had the property with their house.

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 Piemontesi society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
McCloud was a small company town of 2,500 inhabitants with many Italians, mostlyToscani, some Piemontesi, some Calabresi, and some Veneti. My father was one of the first founders of The Sons of Italy Lodges in Weed and McCloud. He also went to the first convention of the Lodge in Stockton, California in 1925. He was a member until his death in 1975. We now live in Sunnyvale, California. My husband was born in San Francisco. His parents had a grocery store and ravioli factory in the '30s. They called it the Torino Ravioli Factory.

Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture, history, cuisine, etc.?
My brother and I spoke Piemontese until we went to school. We didn't speak the dialect too much after that but I married a gentleman of Italian background and I started speaking the language more. My husband's parents are of Genovese and Piemontese heritage. He had a babysitter who was Toscana so he speaks good Italian and understands Genovese and Piemontese.

Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
We still stay in contact with many of our relatives and now with e-mail and telephone rates down, it is so easy that we speak and write frequently with them. Our families and we have been back to Italy many times and I was fortunate to meet my grandparents on both sides and also my great-grandmother on my mother's side. We still maintain many traditions and love the cuisine. We both love to cook. My father-in-law came from a family of 13 and I have written down the family tree on all sides of our family. We also met many of the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Needless to say that when we go to Italy for a visit, we don't do too much sightseeing because all the relatives are tugging at us to visit with them.

Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian or Piemontese?
We identify ourselves as all four --- American, Italian, Piemontese, and Genovese.

Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte? What was your experience like?
We have visited all of the home towns of our families except for Ivrea, where my mother-in-law's family came from. We have made a vow to go to Ivrea next time and try to stay at the Castello di Pavone. Our experiences have been wonderful, and that's why we keep going back.

Have you studied your Piemontesi genealogy? Please explain why.
Yes, I have studied our genealogies, especially the records in Ellis Island records. We want to leave the history to our children.

Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or any other organization?
We belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Sons of Italy Lodge and my husband belongs to the Italian-American Club of Menlo Park. My husband also belongs to a club in San Jose called the "Amici d'Oro" -- "a circle of friends of Italian ancestry meeting for a social lunch for the purpose of maintaining their Italian heritage." Once a month they meet for lunch and usually with a speaker. Subject matters usually pertain to something Italian. There are about 70 to 80 members. Quite a few of the members also came from the town of McCloud so you can say that we have kept in touch for more than 50 years.


Il testo in italiano è in preparazione


©2000-2013 Monferrini in America
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

We Monferrini | Our Stories | Monferrino Diary | History | Language | Gallery
Our Names | Family Album | Links | Bibliography | Turismo | Guestbook | Pagine Monferrine