From Debby Fields, United States
This is a great site and as one with Swiss ancestry on my mother’s side I would like to add my little story. My great-great-grandfather, Noe Tognazzini, was born in Someo, Canton Ticino, in 1841. Alone and at the age of 14 he emigrated to Daylesford, Australia, in search of his father (I do not have that name) who was mining in that area of Australia.
Because Noe had no money he had to travel third class on board the ship to Australia. Fast-forward to 1854 when my great-great-grandmother, Maria Gentila (Zanolli) was born in Gordevio, Switzerland (Canton Ticino). When she was 18 she and her mother (Madalena Zanolli) sailed for Australia where the following year (1873), she and Noe were married.
Thirteen sons & daughters were born in Australia. One of the thirteen was my great-grandfather, Moses (1879-1950). When Daylesford became inundated with miners the Swiss Family Tognazzini sailed by way of mail boat to a new life at Pt. Sal on the California coast in Santa Barbara County. Five more children were born. The family thrived in that area and later many scattered with several settling around the San Luis Obispo area to become ranchers and store owners (Bull’s Tavern in San Luis Obispo belonged to my great-great-uncle, Albert, and I think it is still called Bull’s Tavern and is a college hang-out).
My great-grandfather, Moses, went on to marry Matilda Maria Tognazzini (no relation) from Switzerland, and they had two children: Ena (Tognazzini) Vreeland and Eddie Tognazzini. My mother is Ena’s daughter. I am very proud of my Swiss heritage and used to listen for hours to Grandma Tillie’s stories of growing up in Locarno in the 1880’s-1890s. I would love to hear from someone who can possibly remember the Tognazzini family. Thank you kindly.