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

Sebastian Maggiora
(March 2003 -- Walnut Creek, CA)

From where did your family emigrate and when? Who emigrated (self, parents, grandparents) and what were their names?
My parents came from Provincia d'Asti (formerly part of the province of Alessandria). My father Giovanni Maggiora was born in Quattordio and immigrated to the U.S. from Refrancore in 1903. My mother Clara Ghidella (fathers wife) was born in and immigrated to the US in 1921 from Castello d'Annone (frazione Campanella).

What led them to their destination (relatives already there, hopes of a job at a mill, mine, etc. Please explain)?
My father came to the San Francisco bay area where some friends had come previously. I believe his first job was with the Italian Swiss Colony in the winery. My mother was a house-wife and occasionally worked in a fruit cannery.

Did they emigrate to another location before or after (Argentina, France, England, etc.)?
No, they both came straight to California.

Did they settle among other Piemontesi and were they members of a Piemontesi society (fraternal, mutual aid, etc.)?
Yes, they settled where many Piemonteis lived, but I'm not aware that they belonged to any Piemoteis club. There were some Italian clubs in local towns.

Did your family maintain Piemontesi traditions -- language, culture, history, cuisine, etc.?
The previous generation more or less maintained the Piemonteis traditions cuisine, but the the majority wanted to be Americans and many changed their names to American names "Betty, Ruth, etc." In fact, my father-in-law changed his name from "Giuseppe Pittavino" to "Joe Pittavin." I guess this was to appear more American. the history/stories as I remember were very localized. In their day they probably lived within a radius of 20 miles their whole lives.

Did your family return home to visit or to live after the initial emigration? Did they maintain contact with family back home?
My father never did. My mother became ill and had to return to Italy (after) being deported in 1926 for having become a "Public Ward" before establishing U.S. residency (five years). My brother and I went with her; we were 4+ years and 18 months old, respectively.I returned to the U.S. in 1931,and my brother in 1940. We made several trips to Italy during the years.

Do you identify yourself more as American, Italian or Piemontese?
American first, followed by Piemonteis and Italian.

Have you visited your family's town(s) in Piemonte? What was your experience like?
Each time I returned it was great,seeing school friends,and living in a small village (six families) in the country even the cow manure pile smelled good and brought back memories of my childhood.

Have you studied your Piemontesi genealogy? Please explain why.
I have studied my genealogy because wanting to know "where it all happened" and my five children have seen where their grandparents lived so that they will know their roots.

Do you belong to the Piemontesi nel Mondo, Famija Piemonteis or any other organization?
I belong to the Piemontese nel Mondo of Northern California, where we are studying the Piemonteis language.


Il testo in italiano


©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