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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 or Piemontese?
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, too.


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 beyond.

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 Italy.

Il testo in italiano


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