History of some Mattei’s from California

From Tony Quinn, United States

Here is a write up on photos of this family from the Santa Cruz county library.

Pasqual Sonognini (1846-1904) was born in Sonogno, Ticino, Switzerland. He married in Santa Cruz, in 1890, Theresa (Teresina) Davico (1873-1941), born in Gordola, Ticino, Switzerland. They lived in Laurel Grove, California, which was later renamed Swanton. Pasqual was the first postmaster of Laurel Grove, where he and Theresa owned the Laurel Grove Inn.

They had three children, Sylvester (1891-1962), Angelina “Lena” (1893-1985), and Elvezia (1896-1966). In 1904 a forest fire swept through Swanton, Bonny Doon, and Boulder Creek. While fighting the fire, Pasqual died, drowning in a logging flume where he had tried to escape the flames. His widow, Theresa, became the new postmaster. She married in 1906 Riccardo “Richard” Mattei (1878-1932), an immigrant from Cevio, Ticino, Switzerland.

They had three children, twins, Lillie Amelia (1908-1995) and Marguarita “Rita” (1908-1987), and Constance (1912-1986). Lillie Mattei married John Lewis “Jack” Chiorini. The photo albums contain approximately 200 images of the Mattei family, friends, neighbors in the Swanton, Scotts Creek, and Mill Creek area.

One thought on “History of some Mattei’s from California

  1. Hi Tony,

    It’s a wonderfully rich source of information, but sadly, I haven’t yet been able to link these illustrious MATTEIs to my lot. The website is worth a visit though just to see how to make your family history accessible. Something it would be good to do.

    The link (presuming there is one) would be through Richard Mattei (1878-1932). I hope to go through the Cevio records, again soon. I have ordered them from LDS. When I researched my Mattei’s in 1992, in Cevio, the parish priest was most protective of the information of those not directly and immediately related to my great grandfather Alessandro. Maybe another look through will fill some gaps.

    Thanks for your information.

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