By Paula Clark, United States
The name of my ancestor who last lived in Ticino was my mother, Pierina Martignoni Breschini. She was born in Bellinzona, Cantone Ticino on 8-11-1902 to Rocco Martignoni and Rosa Paganetti. The family home was located in San Nazzaro, on Lago Maggiore.
Her occupation was a Seamstress.
At the age of 26 in 1928, she came by boat to the United States and entered through Ellis Island in New York.
The reason she came to this country was to visit her brother and her uncles.
She came to Salinas, California where she worked for the J. P Meyenberg family who owned the Pet Milk Company. She lived with the Meyenber family (who were German Swiss from Zurich). She went to school to learn the english language, met my father, Peter David Breschini, and they married in 1937. My mother died at the age of 99-1/2 on JANUARY 21, 2002. My mother became a United States Citizen. She raised 2 daughters, Paula Breschini Clark and Carol Breschini Richards, who still reside in Salinas, California. My mother and father and my sister and I went to Switzerland in 1953. This was the first time my mother had returned since she left at the age of 26. We met our grandparents and all our cousins. My father was a farmer here in Salinas, Ca. He died on 1-1-1990 at the age of 93. My mother was a housewife.
We our well informed of our Ticino roots. We still have cousins living in San Nazzaro, Bellinzona and Lugano. I am very fluent in the Swiss dialect language. I have been back to Switzerland 4 times since 1953 to visit relatives.
My father, Peter David Breschini was born in the US, but his parents, John and Tranquilla Molinari Breschini, were born in Switzerland.
John Breschini was born in Gerra Verzasca in 1868 and died July 7, 1930 in Salinas, California at the age of 62. John Breschini came to Salinas, Calif. in 1888.
John Breschini became a US citizen on 9-26-1896.
John and Tranquilla were married in San Francisco, California March 18, 1894.
My dad’s mother, Tranquilla, was born Tranquilla Molinari in Gordolla on March 15, 1870 and died in Salinas, California on April 12, at the age of 79. Tranquilla came to Marin County California and then to Salinas, Calif in 1894.
When John Breschini came to this country, he worked around the Salinas Valley milking cows. He purchased the old Blanco Store on Blanco Road in Salinas in 1898 and had a postal service within the store building. The building was called the Breschini Emporium. He also purchased the farm ground surrounding this old store.
The farm is still in our family.
John and Tranquilla Breschini had five boys and 3 girls.
The Turkey shoots were held on the Breschini ranch from 1900 to 1926.