Thanks to the old church records of Lavertezzo, hand drawn family trees by the late Rae Codoni, and the records provided to me by Dr Bob Treffene, I have been able to reconstruct the Truffini family ancestry in Switzerland from earliest times, and to determine some descendants in Australia and the United States.
Bartolomeo Truffini was born in Lavertezzo on 16 March 1838 and sailed to Australia on the John Owens in 1858. His father was Filippo Bartolomeo Truffini, born 13 May 1814. His mother was Giovanna, last name unclear.
Filippo Bartolomeo was the son of Bartolomeo Truffini, born 24 August 1772 and Maria Giovanna Ciossa who was born on 12 January 1778 to Carlo Giuseppe Ciossa and Maria Domenica Bacciarini. Another child of this marriage was Maria Lucia Truffini who married Giacomo Codoni. A descendant of this marriage was Rae Codoni (1924-2006) who did much early Ticinese research in California.
Filippo Truffini was born in 1737, according to the Lavertezzo church census, and his wife Maria Domenica Bacciarini was born 13 January 1736.
His father was Giovanni Truffini, born 1700, and his mother was a Caterina, born 1705 (last name not available).
Giovanni’s father was Giacomo Truffini, born 1670, married to a Rosalia, born 1672.
Giacomo’s father was Giovanni Truffini, born 1643, married to a Domenica, born 1644. The earliest church census is 1669. Interestingly in that census a Maria Domenica Truffini, born 1609, is shown as the mother of Giovanni.
The Ciossa family may also be followed back many generations. Carlo Giuseppe Ciossa was born 11 March 1750. His ancestry can be traced back to Antonio Ciossa, born about 1610 and who died 2 Nov 1670.
The Truffini and Ciossa families lived in a “frazione” (hamlet) of Lavertezzo known as Sambugario that clings to the hillside above the village. Here also lived the Dodini family, Three generations back from Carlo Giuseppe, born 1750, is another Carlo Giuseppe born 15 October 1683. His second wife was Giovannina Dodini, born 19 March 1688. Giovannina’s father was Giacomo Dodini, born 19 January 1660. The church records trace the Dodini family back two more generations to a Giacomo Dodini, born probably about 1590.
From this Dodini family descend more than 400 known descendants in the United States, including Tony Quinn, Jay Grossi and Bill Adams – who have appeared on the SwissInfo page – and all the Truffini/Treffene descendants in Australia.
Two hundred years ago, Lavertezzo was a vibrant little village of 700 hardy souls. Today it is a picturesque “must see” tourist site in the Valle Verzasca with a restored 17th century stone bridge and handsome baroque church. Sadly the Truffini, Ciossa and Dodini names have disappeared from Switzerland, but their ancestry is carried on in places as distant as the United States and Australia.